Submitted by Michael McLean
First Meeting - Holiday Inn, Concord
To borrow from the well known first line - It was not the best of days, it was not the worst of days. Although the weather was not great (It was much better than it had been!), a majority of the 224 members and guests who had signed up, traveled to the Holiday Inn, Concord, to attend the First Meeting of the new year on February 1, 2003. The tables were festively set with colored napkins and adorned with bright centerpieces. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the meal and the good fellowship. We were very pleased to have Walter P. Havenstein, president of Information & Electronic Warfare Systems, a unit of BAE Systems, the largest employer in the state, who gave an excellent slide and video presentation on the work his company is doing to help protect the men and women in uniform by providing them with the latest in electronic equipment. He was enthusiastically received by all in attendance! We were joined by five first time members of the chapter: John and Rebecca Brown of Swanzey, Mark Nelson of Lee, Norman Phillips of Exeter (who joined the Chapter on the spot) and Norma Coker of Merrimack (who also joined at the luncheon).
Submitted by Kenneth McCann
“… Men and women of the United States military, you answered the call to serve your country in the finest armed services in the world, so, as you prepare to leave the military, we ask you to turn your attention to the home front, to Uncle Sam’s classrooms, where we need your services as teachers…” First Lady Laura Bush
This call to arms for America’s classrooms has taken form through the Troops-To-Teachers (TTT) program.
Originally introduced in 1994, the program recently received a new infusion of financing from the federal government, along with the strong personal support of the First Lady. Its purpose is to challenge retirees, members leaving the armed forces, or drilling as Guard or Reserve members to consider teaching as a second career. The Troops-To-Teachers program enriches the quality of American education by helping to place mature, motivated, experienced and dedicated personnel in our nation’s classrooms.
The program has been successful in producing quality teachers, a high percentage of whom are men and minorities. There a nearly 5000 who become teachers in our nation’s schools through the TTT program and the 2002 National Teacher of the Year is a TTT participant. In addition, these people have experience beneficial to successful teaching in high- demand fields, such as mathematics, science, and special education, and are teaching in high-demand areas such as inner cities and outlying rural areas.
The new TTT Program provides financial support directly to the service member to aid in acquiring the necessary certification to teach. In return for the financial support, the service member agrees to teach for three years in a “high needs” school. High needs is considered to be any school who has either 20% or 50% of their children receiving free or reduced lunches. For the 20% schools, an eligible service member can receive a stipend up to $5000 to be used for the certification process. For teaching in a 50% school, the eligible service member can receive a $10,000 bonus.
Educational eligibility is based on a variety of factors. To teach in the K-12 public school system a person must possess, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree. For those
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