ConVal Quest a worthy investment

To the editor,

On behalf of the Peterborough Rotary Club, I would like to express my thanks to the ConVal School Board Budget Committee for their Thursday night vote to include funding for the ConVal Quest program in next year’s district budget.

Observing the board at work over the course of their last three meetings, I have again been impressed with their diligence and the quality of the work they do. Superintendent Brendan Minnihan has a respectful and constructive approach to his role in leading the school district and several teachers and administrators are again this year being recognized for their excellent performance at ConVal, including Brian Pickering who is a finalist for Principal of the Year.

While often a thankless task, our school board members regularly work long into the evening to protect taxpayers and see to it that the local tradition of maintaining high standards for public education are upheld in our regional school system. We are grateful for their efforts.

The ConVal Quest program is modeled on the QUEST program founded by the Jaffrey-Rindge Rotary Club, which has now completed its third year of operation at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge. The program, which has been widely praised for its effectiveness, offers a free summer camp and educational experience to rising sixth, seventh and eighth grade students which combines classroom and outdoor activity with the participation, guidance and support of certified instructors and community volunteers.

Jaffrey-Rindge Rotary’s QUEST, which is this the recipient of the New England Board of Higher Education’s New Hampshire program excellence award, is funded by a combination of school district support and private donations, amplified by many hours of volunteer commitment. The result has been an astonishing improvement in overall scholarship at the Jaffrey-Rindge Middle School, a 50 percent decrease in disciplinary referrals and a great deal of fun for all involved.

As a result of the school board’s vote, the path is now clear for the creation of a Quest program for the ConVal district, offering free scholarships for 75 deserving students, to take place next July at the Sargent Center in Peterborough.

Those who are interested in further information on Quest or who would like to support the ConVal effort are encouraged to contact the Peterborough Rotary Club at Peterborough Rotary Charitable Trust, PO Box 354, Peterborough, NH 03458.

Andy Peterson


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