Leadership Greater Nashua

LGN Class 2023 – 24: Education Day By Tiffany Joslin & Tracy Bourassa

By April 5, 2024No Comments

Tiffany Joslin

YMCA Greater Nashua

Tracy Bourassa

Enterprise Bank

What a way to kick off a Wednesday morning! Leadership Greater Nashua had the opportunity to visit Bishop Guertin High School. For some like myself, as a Bishop Guertin alumni it was a trip down memory lane. Walking through the doors on Wednesday morning I was instantly smacked with nostalgia, memories of my time at Bishop Guertin, and was instantly brought back in time. We greeted with such hospitality, from Mrs. Linda Brodeur (President of BG) and Mr. Dan Gurall (Vice Principal). Each of them shared their love and passion for their school community, along with some history of the school.


Bishop Guertin is a private school operated by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.  It was founded and opened in 1963 as an all-boys school, and turned coed in 1992 when it merged with Mount Saint Mary. During the presentation the LGN class was taught some common Cardinal vocabulary.


KVT+L- This translates to Known, Valued, and Loved. At Bishop Guertin they strive to get to know their students, they value their students, and treasure the time they get to spend with their students. Most of all they want their students to feel loved and know they can always come back. Bishop Guertin is a Sanctuary for their students. They want to create a safe place for their students to learn, grow, and make mistakes! They teach through relationships, and are all about whole person formation. They encourage their students to go out and make change in the world, to make our world a better place. You could see this in their student ambassadors as they led us through the school on a tour. The students have such pride in their school, you could see this as they talked about different programs they were involved in, shared stories of their school, or talked about their teachers! They were all very proud to be cardinals.


After our tour we were brought back to the classroom for two panel discussions. The first panel discussion was on Early Education in Nashua. We heard from some of Nashua’s leading early education programs. We had the privilege of having Elizabeth Witmer (YMCA of Greater Nashua), Jane Marquis (Adult Learning Center), and Angela Hehir (World Academy) on our panel. Each of them shared the great work they are doing in early education to help shape the young minds of infants through kindergarten aged children. We talked about how essential they work they are doing is, and without it our economy would be in trouble. One big take away that I got out of this panel was how we can all support them by staying up to date on bills that are currently in senate that will help with retention of teachers, help support services, training opportunities, and help with resources so they are able to continue with the important work they are doing. All three organization have made it their duty to make sure childcare is assessible for all!

Our second panel was with leaders in non-traditional education choices in Nashua. We were able to hear from Melissa Merhalski (ASD), Jason Strrniste (BG), Susannah Williams (Microsociety), and Jacqueline Gilbert (VLACS). This panel was so interesting to hear, as a NH resident I never realized how many options we have in our small state. Each one of these schools really focus on a different way of learning, and offer very different programs then the typical public schools. This panel brought a light to our eyes. It was mentioned that a panel like this would be so beneficial to parents who are in search of new learning opportunities for their children. Not every child is the same, and not every school is the same. This type of panel would let parents see ALL of the great options there are for their children in Nashua and would allow them to find the best place for their student to get their education that would best serve them.

We finished our morning over at Nashua High School South. When we arrived, we had a panel discussion, and some lunch with some of Nashua School District leaders. We were able to hear from Keith Richards (Nashua High School South Principal), Matt Poska (Assistant Superintendent), Marissa Dardagiannopoulos (CCC Coordinator), Dr. Mario Andrade (Superintendent), and Dan Alexander (Director of Special Ed). Nashua School district is all about community. They are always looking for new ways to connect with new community partners, and have developed some very strong relationships within our community already. These relationships have provided their students with opportunities to learn and grow as professionals in different fields. They are true leaders in education, and have set some robust goals to make Nashua a strong school district for all of our future leaders.


By: Tiffany Joslin

YMCA of Greater Nashua

We started our rainy snowy afternoon at Nashua Community College with Barry Garside, Associate VP of Academic Affairs. Barry spoke about Workforce Development, Future Trends, and Addressing Workforce Needs. NCC offers many different programs such as 2-year degree programs, online or in-person, certificate programs, and non-credited classes. The students range in age, 38% are over 25, nationalities, 21% are Hispanic, and many different backgrounds. The one thing in common is they want to better their lives.

NCC works with varied groups of employers to help fill a need in their companies. For example, BAE needed to ramp up production of their computer boards working with very small wiring. This requires very specific training. NCC has a 10-week course that gives students direct experience within the industry. Upon successful completion, students are guaranteed an interview with BAE for an entry-level position.

Next on our agenda was Michell Grimm. Michelle spoke about Dual enrollment and early college credits. This program allows high school students, from Sophomores to Seniors, 15 years or older, who live in Nashua or within a 50 mile radius of NCC, whether homeschooled or in a traditional school the chance to take 2 tuition-free credited courses. Taking these classes helps save tuition money, puts you ahead of the curve, prepares you for college, and helps you build your resume.

We finished the day with Russ Norris Asst. Professor of Business & Security Studies, Director of Security Programs at Rivier University. Rivier became a university in 2012 and is dual-accredited. They currently have the number one nursing program in New Hampshire. Russ entertained us with fascinating stories of cyber security and many different ways fraudsters are trying to hack into our lives.


By: Tracy Bourassa

Enterprise Bank

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