Advocate Award


Advocate Award

Thanks to the efforts of high school teachers, dedicated educational professionals, and college faculty partners across the Community College System of NH (CCSNH), Running Start is giving more and more students and families a sound and affordable way to begin their college careers.

Many high school teachers, administrators, and staff members have taken on additional responsibilities to make this happen, and the CCSNH recognizes those individuals who have gone above and beyond to promote the opportunities offered through Running Start. Beginning in 2007, CCSNH began to acknowledge the Running Start advocacy efforts of one person within each region served by the seven campuses of CCSNH. Each of the seven individuals selected for a CCSNH Running Start Advocate Award is honored at a public event. Below you can read about the people who have received the Running Start Advocate of the Year Award for White Mountains Community College.

Year 2014

Recipient: Pauline Corzilius 

Position: Science Instructor and Running Start Liaison, Lisbon Regional School, Lisbon 

Principal: Mr. Steve Sexton

Corzilius and Governor Maggie Hassan(Left-right: Corzilius and Governor Maggie Hassan)

Pauline Corzilius earned her BS degree in Environmental Biology from Plymouth State University and then her MS degree in Botany from UNH in 1984. The following year she began to make her mark as an innovative, exemplary, and dedicated science teacher in the North Country, first at Woodsville High School, then in 2006 at Lisbon Regional School. In 2008, Pauline excitedly began her first Running Start partnership at Lisbon Regional when she offered Nutrition, a WMCC chemistry course, to her students. In fact, she was so excited and so proud of her students, that at the completion of her course she invited the Running Start Coordinator to visit her class, congratulate her students, and take a photograph of them, which she published in local newspapers.

Since that first year, enrollment in Running Start has tripled at Lisbon because Pauline has advocated so strongly for the program. How exactly has she done that? For starters, she has extended the science offerings to include Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics I, and this year, Biology. But Pauline is hardly interested in keeping Running Start credits in her own department. She agreed to be the Running Start liaison at Lisbon Regional, and in that capacity, she has put on her recruitment hat and convinced mathematics and business faculty at Lisbon that they, too, should provide Running Start opportunities to their students. This year, after continual efforts, Pauline has convinced two English teachers to join the Running Start team at Lisbon. In addition, Pauline has convinced students, who could not fit her high school classes into their schedules, to register for the WMCC courses that she teaches as adjunct faculty at the Littleton campus. And even today, Pauline is working – her guest here is a Lisbon colleague. I think there’s some more recruiting going on!

The numbers show what Pauline has accomplished at Lisbon Regional School: this small high school will graduate 25 seniors this June, sixty percent of whom will be heading to college with a WMCC college transcript, and of those 60 percent, one third will be carrying a semester’s worth of credits. That’s a lot of college success already under their belts, and a terrific potential savings for the students and their families. Thank you, Pauline!

Pauline is no stranger to honors and awards, including these: Kappa Delta PI for excellence in teacher preparation, Sigma XI for achievement in scientific research, Woodsville High Teacher of the Year, Grafton County Teacher of the Year, NH Association of Conservation Districts Teacher of the Year, NH Dept of Environmental Services Volunteer Water Quality Monitor of the Year for designing and monitoring the Mid-Upper CT Water Quality Laboratory, and selection to Phi Kappa Phi honor society. It’s also time to recognize Pauline for her tremendous support of Running Start.

For these reasons, Pauline Corzilius, or Corzi as her students affectionately call her, is White Mountains Community College’s 2014 Running Start Advocate of the Year.

Year 2013

Recipient: John Allen

Position: Mathematics Teacher & Department Chair, Kennett High School, North Conway NH

Principal: Mr.,Neal Moylan

John Allen began his mathematics teaching career in the Catskills Mountains of New York in 1981. Fortunately for us, he was lured back to NH’s White Mountains where he had spent many vacations in his youth at a family home in Jackson. It was in NH that John pursued graduate work in mathematics at UNH, Plymouth State, and Southern NH University. After working as a field accountant for a construction company, then for a camera company where he indulged his love of photography, John’s patience paid off and in 1987 his wish for an opening in the mathematics department at Kennett High School materialized. For the next 25 years, John made his mark in the Mt Washington Valley as a dedicated teacher and coach to all levels of students from middle school to high school. It wasn’t long after John began teaching at Kennett that the administration recognized John’s commitment to students and to the delivery of mathematics education and awarded him the department chair position.

When you see John Allen in his classroom, observe his interactions with students, and watch his presentations to his classes, you are left with no doubt of his absolute dedication to his students and his school. In 2006, John led his department in offering Running Start opportunities to his pre-calculus and calculus students. The following two years, other biology, pre-calculus, Calculus I, statistics, early childhood education, computer-aided design, and information technology teachers were participating in Running Start, all because of John’s vision and his advocacy for the program. And two years ago, business classes and a psychology course were added to the Running Start offerings. In addition, John argued successfully that AP courses in biology, calculus, statistics, and psychology ought to also carry the Running Start option, since he understood the advantage to students of earning college credits from White Mountains Community College. Today, thanks to John’s persistent advocacy and tireless efforts to ensure that all Kennett students and their parents understand the Running Start options available to them, and the advantage of those options, the numbers of Running Start registrations at Kennett High School have grown from fewer than 20 to over 100 in just six years. John can probably tell you, that’s better than a 400% increase.

For these reasons, John Allen is WMCC’s recipient of the 2013 Running Start Advocate of the Year award.

Year: 2012

Recipient: Michael Brosnan 

Position: Social Studies Teacher and Department Chair, Gorham High School, Gorham NH

Principal: Mr. Keith Parent

Michael Brosnan began his teaching career in Sweden and after living in Israel and Austria settled in the North Country where he now teaches economics, psychology, sociology, and history at Gorham High School, and chairs its Social Studies department. Mike's list of achievements is long and impressive and speaks to his commitment to public education in school and community, his breadth of public education experience, his innovation in education, his ability to articulate educational vision, and his ability to inspire and challenge educators and students. Mike holds degrees in Political Science, English, Social Studies, Third Word Education, Liberal Arts, and Administration. He was a Japanese Fulbright Memorial recipient, a National Science Foundation recipient for Psychology, and The Grange Citizen of the Year for NH. He has also been awarded the John Marshall award by the NH Bar, been a recipient of an award to study at the Navajo Nation by the Center for Civic Education, and has received the Tilloton Teaching Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching.

Knowing this, it should be no surprise to learn that Mike is also an exceptional advocate for the Running Start program. In fact, in September 2000 Michael became the first person in the North Country to offer the Running Start option to his students, when he began his Running Start partnership with White Mountains Community College and offered the Running Start opportunity to his Psychology students. Today, because of Mike's vigorous advocacy for the Running Start program, Gorham High School, with a population of fewer than 150 students, offers its juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credits through Running Start in eight different courses, including English, science, mathematics, humanities, and history. This year, because of the continued commitment Mike and his fellow Running Start colleagues have shown to their students, their school, and their community, more than 40% of the graduating seniors at Gorham High School will graduate with college credits, some of them with enough WMCC credits to start their college careers as second-semester freshmen or first semester sophomores. This is a story that Mike loves to tell each year.

For these reasons, Michael Brosnan is WMCC's 2012 Running Start Advocate of the Year.

Year: 2011

Recipient: Dr. Stephen Torrey 

Position: Science Teacher and Running Start Liaison, Groveton High School, Groveton NH

Principal: Mr. Pierre Couture

(Left-Right: Paul Holloway, Chairperson, CCSNH Board of Trustees; Dr.Stephen Torrey; and Governor John Lynch)

Dr. Torrey began teaching at Groveton High School in 2004. When one looks at Dr. Torrey's curriculum vitae (which includes Doctor of Osteopathy, Master of Public Health, Secondary Education Certification, and most impressively a 22-year career with the US Navy where he achieved the rank of Captain) it is hard to imagine that he might want to teach high school students. Yet, when you see Dr. Torrey in his classroom, observe his interactions with students, and watch his presentations to his classes, you are left with no doubt of his absolute dedication to his students and his school.

Consider this: When Dr. Torrey arrived at Groveton High School, there were no Running Start partnerships there. Two years later, Dr. Torrey became the first teacher to offer a Running Start opportunity to Groveton High School students. In the years since, he has tirelessly advocated the program to his administration, his fellow teachers, his students, and the community. Today, thanks to his persistent advocacy, five other Groveton High School teachers have Running Start partnerships with WMCC and a total of nine courses are offered in this small North Country high school.

Because Groveton's economy was based mostly on the paper industry, when its only paper mill shut its doors, even the $100 tuition was a considerable cost to many of the families. So that no eligible student might be denied the opportunity to benefit from Running Start, Dr. Torrey called on a local foundation to provide scholarships for students in need. He advocated the merits of Running Start to the foundation's Board of Directors and insisted that now, more than ever, many families needed help in sending their children to college. The foundation was convinced of the worthiness of Running Start and awarded scholarships to supplement those offered by CCSNH.

This year, twenty-six students are participating in Running Start at Groveton High School. Without Dr. Torrey, Groveton High School would not have such a successful Running Start story to tell.

For these reasons, Dr. Stephen Torrey is WMCC's recipient of the 2011 Running Start Advocate of the Year award.

Year: 2010

Recipient: Jon Dugan-Henriksen 

Position: Social Studies Teacher and Department Chair, White Mountains Regional High School, Whitefield, NH

Principal: Mr. Erik Anderson

(Left-Right: Paul Holloway, Chairperson, CCSNH Board of Trustees; Dugan-Henriksen; Governor John Lynch, and Dr. Richard Gustafson, CCSNH Chancellor)

Jon Dugan-Henriksen began his partnership with Running Start in 2000, when he became one of the first teachers at White Mountains Regional High School to offer a WMCC course to the students through Running Start. That year he offered Psychology. The following year he added Sociology as a Running Start option. He now also offers WMCC's U.S. History to 1877 and America in the 20th Century to his students.

This year, Jay's commitment to offering exceptional benefits to students extended beyond his classroom at White Mountains Regional High School to a classroom at Woodsville High School, 35 miles away. Dugan-Henriksen adapted his US History courses to a video format so that he would be able to offer the Running Start advantage to students at Woodsville High School. "Jay has done an exceptional job to create one classroom out of two, thereby increasing the number of college credits available through Running Start to Woodsville High School students," says Erik Anderson, Principal of White Mountains Regional High School, who attended the award ceremony with Dugan-Henriksen.

Next year Mr. Dugan-Henriksen will also offer Psychology and Sociology via video in other North Country schools that do not offer these courses. In doing so, Dugan-Henriksen has taken personal responsibility for the mission of Running Start by urging students in a community larger than just his own high school to meet the challenge of a college course.

Year: 2009

Recipient: Colleen Clogston 

Position: English Instructor, Colebrook Academy, Colebrook NH

Principal: Ms. Joanne Melanson

Colleen Clogston began her partnership with Running Start in 2007, when she became the first teacher at Colebrook Academy to offer a White Mountains Community College course to Colebrook Academy seniors through Running Start. At the end of that school year, when Colleen’s position was eliminated, a great many parents championed her rehire as a part-time teacher so that she might continue to offer the Running Start advantage to their children. Colleen agreed to do so and taught WMCC’s College Composition course at night to a full class of 22 Colebrook Academy students, after a full day of working at another job. Her students were rewarded for their efforts when these colleges accepted their WMCC College Composition credits for transfer: Northeastern University, Husson College, WMCC, NHTI, Dickinson College, Keene State College, UNH, Lyndon State College, Thomas College, Plymouth State University, Great Bay Community College.

Advocate Award nominees are encouraged to invite a guest to the award ceremony. In the true spirit of a Running Start advocate, Colleen chose to invite a math teacher from Colebrook Academy in the hopes of convincing him to participate in Running Start and thus expand the Running Start options to the Academy students.

Year: 2008

Recipient: Tom Sweeny 

Position: Math Instructor and Department Head, Berlin High School, Berlin, NH

Principal: Mr. Gary Bisson

Tom Sweeny, a Berlin High School Mathematics Teacher since 1972, and an adjunct math instructor since 1999 at White Mountains Community College (then known as New Hampshire Community Technical College). Tom has been a Running Start advocate since the program's inception on the Berlin Campus of WMCC.

As the Mathematics Department Chairperson, he recruited five qualified math teachers in his own department to become Running Start affiliated, and he has helped his fellow math teachers to recruit registrations from students by passionately promoting the economic and academic advantages of participating in Running Start. At the beginning of every school year, Tom continues his advocacy for Running Start by speaking to the entire BHS faculty, urging them to become Running Start qualified teachers, and by urging students to meet the challenge of a college course.

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