Tag Archives: home school

We Visited The New Hampshire State House In Concord. Part I (of many to come)

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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..by Anura Guruge


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Yes, this is the impressive, iconic, white edifice with the ever shining gold dome, completed in 1819 and now having the distinction of being the oldest state house in the U.S. where the legislature still meets in the original chamber. [Some simplify that to say that it has the oldest ‘working’ chamber.] Our visit was for home-schoolers. It was organized by the same lady that arranged the equally successful and rewarding trip to the UNH ‘Know the Coast‘ day in October. It was originally going to be on Thursday, but got postponed till Friday because of the Nor’easter. We had to be there at 10 am. We had to first shovel the drive again and clear up the approach to the mailbox before we could leave. Since it was a ‘holiday’ parking wasn’t a problem and we parked right behind the State House, at a meter, with six quarters for 2 hours.

We lucked out in multiple ways. There were only three families the group just met the minimum 10 requirement for a guided tour. Furthermore, though their was another tour at the same time for a troop of boy scouts, we got the Director of the State House Visitor’s Center, Virginia Drew. She was good. She has been doing this for 12 years. She was knowledgeable, engaging, friendly and very helpful.

I was surprised how ‘open’ the State House is. I know it is the people’s house, but it was different. You just walk in. Everybody was ultra friendly. It was a good visit, a good tour. I was impressed. It was my first time. Devanee had gone with her school in Grade 4, as is the norm. Deanna had never been, and neither had Teischan. I am going to go again. See NH government in action. That we know a few legislators will make it even more fun. We got to see where Senator Andrew Hosmer will be sitting. Teischan even tried it out.


Click to ENLARGE.

New Hampshire Governor's Office, State House, with the Christmas trimmings.

Governor’s Office with the Christmas trimmings.

NH House Senate Chamber.

Teischan getting a one-on-one from our tour guide, the Director of the Visitor’s Center, Virginia Drew — in the Senate Chamber.

Virginia Drew with Barak Obama

That is our guide, Virginia Drew, the Director of the Visitor’s Center with one of the many visitors that call in. She is the one on the right.

Anura Guruge December 28 2012 at the New Hampshire State House

Trying out one of the tall chairs at the back of the Senatorial Chamber. It was very comfortable.

I Am Genuinely Sorry To See Steven Ross, Assistant Principal, Leave Alton Central School (ACS)

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


I have known Steve Ross since 2007 when my then 7-year old daughter started attending Alton Central School (ACS).

Since Steve was in charge of discipline, I soon got to know him; my daughter far from an angel. Steve Ross was always fair, understanding and even fun. Yes, we crossed swords once, but we were both cool. We continued to ‘josh’ with each other when we met in the parking lot or at a school event. He would tell me about his son who used to visit China on a regular basis.

I would like to have seen Steve as the new Principal. He told me that he would not apply because he was extremely happy with his current job. That is why I was shocked to read yesterday, in the BaySider newspaper, that he was leaving.

I sent him an e-mail this morning and basically echoed the sentiments I am posting here. He was a good ol’ fruit, and despite some differences we have had, I will genuinely miss him. I felt a sense of safety with Steve being there; you could always tell that deep down, despite what he might try to portray, he cared — he was a caring father.

Not sure what is happening. Though he thanked me for my kind words he would not tell me why he was leaving. I am hoping that it has nothing to do with the new Principal.

I also see we are getting a new Superintendent. I don’t know him, but I hope he at least knows that Pluto is no longer a planet. [See this post for background.] I have read that he is a big athletics coach. I just hope he is not just a jock. I wish him all the best. He doesn’t have a very high bar to clear. I just hope he really cares about the kids, their education and well being, rather then being a self-serving politician, who specializes in euphemisms to brush off the real issues facing ACS. In reality we don’t need two full time administrators to do that.