While principal Kim Wheelock quickly concluded Colebrook Academy's commencement exercises on Thursday night, Class Marshal Caden Fregeau wasn't standing on ceremony. To the audience's delight, he jumped right up and led his classmates in dancing their way up the aisle to a jazzed-up version of "Pomp and Circumstance." (Karen Harrigan photo)

Colebrook Board Continues Search for Town Manager

By Jake Mardin

Colebrook is continuing its search for a new town manager, and the select board has received about ten applications as of Friday, according to chairman Greg Placy.

The board will continue to accept applications until the position is filled, and Mr. Placy said they narrowed the field to three applicants and held interviews with them. "We're taking our time on it to make the right choice," he said, adding that the board received applications from candidates both local and out of town with varied experiences.

Current town manager Sharon Penney's last day on the job will be on June 30. She took the position in September of 2018 and during that time has been involved in a number of large projects, including the water and sewer upgrades, the expansion of American Performance Polymers and the search for a new well site.

(Issue of June 16, 2021)


New graduates Brittany Hicks (left) and Libby Placey were all smiles leaving the gym following Pittsburg's commencement on Saturday. (Jake Mardin photo)

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jodi Gilbert Steps Down

After four and a half years with the North Country Chamber of Commerce, executive director Jodi Gilbert notified members on Thursday that she will resign as of July 2.

"I have truly enjoyed working at the Chamber and being a representative of this great organization and you, its members," she wrote. "We've made huge strides over the last several years and I very much hope the Chamber continues to build upon the work that has been made to improve the organization for the benefit of the members."

Among the organization's accomplishments during her tenure, she cited increased Web site traffic and social media audiences, and a 32-percent increase in membership. The Chamber re-branded the Moose Festival and the GoNorth Snofest, refined its Destination Marketing Program, established the Go North brand and a voluntary destination fee charged at participating lodging establishments to support it, and obtained New Hampshire Joint Promotional Program grants to further its Destination Marketing.

The Chamber also launched the destination Web site for the region and produced the hour-long film "Seeking the Source" that aired on NESN in 2019. Working with area ATV clubs, the Chamber secured funding from the Polaris Foundation to help with trail sign systems. Thirty-five have completed the new Go North 9er Hiking Challenge, with over 200 signed up.

The office disseminated information on resources, funding support and more during the COVID pandemic; secured state funding for chambers in the Great North Woods region; procured personal protective equipment for area businesses; and produced four work force development videos promoting the many jobs available in the region.

"All this and more has made for a substantial annual increase in our budget as we grow the capacity of the organization," Ms. Gilbert observed. "As the Chamber improves, so too does the economic climate of the region." She expressed thanks to the Chamber board and members "for the opportunity to work with you and to promote the great area that I grew up in and love. I see amazing potential and opportunities in the Great North Woods."

Chamber president Hannah Campbell said the board welcomes any applicants for the position of office manager, which is full-time and is being advertised now. "Our Chamber is growing and getting stronger, but for the type of person we want and the qualifications we're ideally asking for, a full-time office manager is commensurate with the role and salary," she said of the change in job titles. "Jodi's done a lot of work over the past four and a half years, and it's going to be hard to find a replacement."

(Issue of June 16, 2021)


The third- through sixth-graders in Canaan-Stewartstown Girls on the Run and Canaan Running Boys hit the trails for their annual 5K cumulative race on Saturday at April's Maple. It was mainly a fun run, but coaches kept track of timed finishes. John Daley finished first among the boys, Ella Gilbert came in first among the girls, and everyone was rewarded with ice cream afterward. (Lucie Fillion Daley photos)

Pittsburg's Merrill, Colebrook's Ouellet Named to YSCC Twin Decades Teams

By Jake Mardin

Two North Country players were named to the Yankee Small College Conference Twin Decades Teams, which recognized the best athletes to represent the YSCC since its inception in 2005.

Kami Ouellet played for Hesser College after a standout career at Colebrook Academy, and Luke Merrill was graduated from Pittsburg High School and went on to experience success at NHTI. Members of the league picked 20 of the best baseball players and 20 of the best softball players to represent the conference.

Ouellet was a member of the Mohawks softball team that won three consecutive Class S championships. She was profiled in the September 5, 2005 issue of Sports Illustrated as part of the "Faces in the Crowd" column, which cited her 48-7 record and 438 strikeouts with Colebrook. In the 2005-06 season at Hesser College, she was named YSCC Player of the Year and selected for the All-Conference Team.

Ouellet helped lead Hesser to the YSCC Conference Championship with a no-hitter victory over NHTI. She was named to the All-Conference Team the following season, and in the 2007-08 season, she was named to the USCAA All-American Honorable Mention Team. She wrapped up her college career with a shutout win over Southern Maine Community College in the 2008-09 championship game.

Merrill played for NHTI after a successful high school career in Pittsburg that concluded with a runner-up finish in the 2008 Division IV championship. He was a member of the 2009 YSCC championship team and played on the 2010 USCAA National Tournament Team. He was named to the YSCC All-Conference Team in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and was the 2010 YSCC Baseball Player of the Year.

(Issue of June 16, 2021)


The News & Sentinel
6 Bridge Street, PO Box 39
Colebrook, NH 03576