On The Job – Chantelle Morin

Jewelry maker and owner of CCMDesigns in Nashua (@ccmdesignsforyou)

What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your career?

How expensive beads are. It’s pretty expensive. When I did my taxes this year I was very surprised at what I’d spent on tools and supplies. It’s expensive.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

I wish people that are creative and have an idea just go for it. I remember one day I had a friend who wanted to make earrings and she goes, ‘What do I do first?’ and I said, ‘You just have to start,’ so I wish people would just start.

What was your first job?

Working for the Telegraph [The Nashua Telegraph] delivering papers.

What is the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?

Probably from my dad, who was in the military, and it was, just be the hardest worker I can be. If it’s slow, you should be doing something. Always be working.

Zachary Lewis

Five favorites
Favorite book: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Favorite movie: Avengers: Endgame
Favorite music: My favorite band is Paramore
Favorite food: Cheeseburgers
Favorite thing about NH: That it’s so close to Maine where my family lives.

Featured photo: Chantelle Morin. Courtesy Photo.

How to prepare for a hike

Conditions on the trail are not like in your yard

Lt. Jim Kneeland is the Search and Rescue Team Leader and Coordinator at New Hampshire Fish and Game, and the Hike Safe Representative/Partner with the U.S. Forest Service. Visit hikesafe.com.

What is your advice for inexperienced hikers?

Depending on experience levels I always think that hiking in a group is obviously a good idea. Then you can bounce ideas off of one another when you’re out on your excursion, like when to turn back or if you don’t feel comfortable with the conditions. Or better yet if you’re really inexperienced there are a list of guides that you can find online and going with an experienced guide, maybe taking your first time or two to kind of go through a safe way to go hiking … in adverse conditions or basic conditions that you’re not familiar with. That’s another good way to gain some experience is to go with a guide.

What should hikers know about springtime in New Hampshire?

Hiking enthusiasts [who] come from the south where their lawns might be green and the daffodils are coming out … there are still a lot of times late into the spring [with] winter-like conditions and that means you should be prepared … with clothing, footwear, traction devices, even after today you probably need snowshoes again here, even in April. That’s the kind of thing we see people usually screw up here and that’s the change of the seasons, being prepared for where … different weather conditions that are still going on here in elevation.

What is a Hike Safe card?

A Hike Safe card is a way that we help fund search and rescue here in New Hampshire. Traditionally, prior to the advent of the Hike Safe card, the only way that Search and Rescue was financed was through this $1 surcharge on OHRV [Off-Highway Recreational Vehicle] registrations and boat registrations, and that wasn’t eating the cost of search and rescue here in New Hampshire, so they came up with the voluntary Hike Safe card, which is a $25 per person or $35 per family Hike Safe Card which lets you support Search and Rescue in New Hampshire and actually has helped defray the cost of Search and Rescue placed upon the agency.

What should you do if you encounter a bear, bobcat, etc.?

We do have, obviously, bears, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, those kinds of things here in New Hampshire. It’s very rare, you might see one, but it’s very rare that you have an adverse interaction with one. Making noise, making yourself appear large, usually gets the animal to go the other way. I can’t think of a time, there’s only been a few occasions where … not myself, but I have heard of bad interactions with people outdoors and that’s typically because they surprised the animal or maybe even, in the instance of a bear, maybe got between a sow and its cub, but typically most wildlife doesn’t hang around long enough…. Noise is my best advice.

What should Granite Staters do to help preserve wilderness areas they frequent?

They can visit websites through the Forest Service, Appalachian Mountain Club and whatnot to see the best ways to protect those fragile environments above treeline and that’s basically staying on the trail, not trampling vegetation…. A lot of our trails are marked by rock cairns, which are piles of rock that mark the trails, and then in the summer months when you can see the granite that you’re hiking on there’s usually a painted blaze on the rock or a tree that depicts where the trail goes, so staying on marked trails…. Then obviously, no one likes to see garbage and stuff up on the trail. Take what you bring. It baffles me to go hiking and you see people putting dog poop in the green bags and leaving the bags on the side of the trail. If you’re going to pack it in, you can pack it out, so that’s my advice on trash….

Zachary Lewis

Featured image: Lt. Jim Kneeland. Courtesy photo.

In the kitchen with Jillian Bernat

Jillian Bernat, Bar Manager at Greenleaf restaurant in Milford, began her career in the industry busing tables at the age of 15 at the Owl Diner in Lowell, Mass. She later worked as a server, a bartender and other positions at Lui Lui, a family Italian/American restaurant in Nashua, for 12 years. She later worked at 815 in Manchester, her first craft cocktail-related position. After a two-year stint at Bar One in Milford, she is now at Greenleaf in Milford.

What piece of equipment couldn’t you live without?

My must-have bar item is definitely my Japanese-style jigger. I was trained to always use one while working at 815 because consistency is key. You can free pour/count sometimes but it’s hard to do with squeeze bottles and not as reliable in my opinion.

What would you have for your last meal?

Lobster and steamers hands down. It’s a nostalgic meal for me, I grew up going to my grandparents’ house on the weekends to swim in their pool with my brother and cousins. Some of the most fun times and very New England. Lobster and steamers every weekend.

What is your favorite local eatery?

How do you even choose just one? No fair. I love Pressed Cafe as I’ve been going for years, even when they ran the Bridge Street Cafe back in the day. There’s a great Thai food spot in Goffstown also called Ubon Thai. The owner Nan is so sweet!

What celebrity would you like to drink one of your cocktails?

This one was tough but I kept coming back to one of my favorite musicians, P!nk. I think having her at my bar would be a riot. I am very not serious and love to laugh and make people laugh. I think I could chop it up with her easily. Plus, she’s a total badass and role model.

What is your favorite drink to make?

The smart alec in me says an easy glass of wine or a beer, haha! But I do love to make and drink a good negroni or variation with an agave spirit.

What is the biggest cocktail trend in New Hampshire at the moment?

I’m going to sound lame because I don’t really pay attention to trends. I think gin and agave spirits are still holding strong if I were to guess; perhaps that. It’s such a bummer that crap gin drinks back in the day have ruined it for people now; gin is so versatile!

What is your favorite thing to make at home?

I feel like I can speak for a lot of bartenders when I say, something simple! We don’t really like to work when we’re “punched out.” I love amaros and good vermouths, so usually a simple pour of something like that. Sometimes a good sour beer too.

John Fladd

Something about Rosemary
2 ounces Uncle Nearest 1884 whiskey
1/2 ounce red wine/rosemary reduction syrup
2 dashes orange and angostura bitters
Stir and serve on a big rock, garnish with rosemary sprig.

Featured Photo: Jill Bernat, Bar Manager at Greenleaf restaurant. Courtesy Photo.

On The Job – Neon

Owner and tattoo artist at Neon Lady Tattoo

Explain your job and what it entails.

I am a tattoo artist and that entails drawing custom pieces for clients and bringing their ideas to fruition.

How long have you had this job?

I’ve been tattooing for 11 years. Started apprenticing in 2013 and opened my own business four years ago in February 2020.

What led you to this career field and your current job?

I wanted to be able to create artwork for my clients and wanted to do something I enjoyed as my career. Creating custom work and being able to do custom art pieces has always been a passion of mine and being able to support myself doing that has been one of the greatest things.

What kind of education or training did you need?

I did go to art school for a little while, for a couple years, but you do need an apprenticeship, so finding a mentor and another tattooer that has experience and is willing to take on a student or an apprentice, in order to be licensed to be able to tattoo legally.

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?

I wear whatever I please that is comfortable and black usually. It’s my favorite color. It hides the ink and the blood — you can include that or not; it’s the truth, though. It’s professional, looks artsy.

What is the most challenging thing about your work, and how do you deal with it?

Time management. Especially as a business owner, beyond just being a tattooer, owning the business. Just trying to balance personal life and work life is very challenging but it comes with its own rewards.

What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your career?

How much of my time would be dedicated to being involved in it. Like the emails and customer service aspect of it, again, the work-life balance.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

It can be physically taxing, mentally taxing. But a positive aspect of that, though, is you get to meet so many different people and I feel like you definitely grow as a person with all the folks that you meet and how close you end up becoming with some of your clients and the importance of some of the art pieces that come in. Whether it’s a memorial piece or you’re doing a cover-up or scar cover, how important that can be with some clients and that comes with some responsibility too, being able to give someone a sense of themselves back.

What was your first job?

My father owned a pizza restaurant for several years…. So I pretty much folded pizza boxes for a dollar to help the family, swept floors, cleaned tables, that was my first job.

What is the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?

Stay humble and keep growing. There’s always an opportunity to learn.
—Zachary Lewis

Five favorites
Favorite book: Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt
Favorite movie: An American Werewolf in London
Favorite music: I like a mixture of punk and rock ’n’ roll, in general. Some rap, some hip-hop, some oldies.
Favorite food: Sushi!
Favorite thing about NH: There’s so much to do, especially with nature. I love to hike, I like to garden, I like the seasons.

Featured photo: Neon. Courtesy Photo.

New Hampshire’s new Poet Laureate

A discussion with Jennifer Militello

Jennifer Militello, award-winning Goffstown poet and MFA Director at New England College, on being named New Hampshire Poet Laureate, to begin her five-year term in April.

What do you believe led to your nomination?

There is a process. There is a selection committee that goes through the applications, or nominations, and it’s made up of members of the different art communities around the state: New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, New Hampshire Writers Project, Poetry Society of New Hampshire. It is a pretty long, extensive process. Then they bring the name that they choose to the governor and he nominates that person and then the Executive Council finally approves it. I think I’ve just been doing a lot of work to increase the visibility of poetry throughout the state for a long time. I’ve been advocating for poets…. There are many excellent poets in the state and many people who could do an excellent job in this role, but hopefully people saw that I had started a festival, run an MFA program, invite visiting poets, and I am in schools a lot. Hopefully, it was a natural next step for some of the work that I’ve been doing.

What does the Poet Laureate do?

There’s no real definition or expectation or role. I think each Poet Laureate chooses the way they want to grow and support the poetry community individually. I think ideally it is someone who is really active in connecting with other members of the poetry community. Someone who is thinking about young people, who is thinking about schools, who’s thinking about libraries, who’s thinking about event organizing, and also who’s just increasing the visibility of poetry. I know there have been poet laureates who have started websites or put together anthologies with New Hampshire poets’ poems featured, there are people who have worked to support poetry in schools. One poet laureate I know created a conference and got together all the poet laureates from across … the different states and then had them do readings in different parts of New Hampshire for a weekend, which was really cool…. I think really it’s just the person who is like ‘poetry is here,’ and it’s amazing, kind of the poster child for New Hampshire poetry for five years. If people are interested in poetry or have questions about poetry they can go and shoot me an email and let me know and I’m here.

What is your take on the state of poetry in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire is in a really exciting place at the moment. One of the things that I always think about when I think about New Hampshire is the incredibly rich literary history of the state. There’s a foundation here. It’s a state full of poetry history. Robert Frost is, of course, the first person we all think of and then, more recently, we have Donald Hall, Jane Kenyon, Sharon Olds, who were all living here. I think now the poetry community in New Hampshire is … writing poems that are rooted in the poems of their foremothers and fathers, but … also looking to contemporary poetry to find out what a poem wants to be in the current moment…. It’s a really rich place, it’s pretty exciting.

What led you to the state of New Hampshire?

I was born in New York City and grew up in Rhode Island but I wanted to live in New Hampshire from the time that I knew that you could choose where you wanted to live. We used to come up to go camping when I was a kid, and sometimes skiing. I wanted to be a poet since I was really young and I always saw those two things hand in hand. I always wanted to live in the woods and write some poems and be in a place that felt like a place poets would live in my very young, naive mind, and Robert Frost wrote some of the first poems I was familiar with and loved… When I turned 17 I came up to UNH to study with Charles Simic. I have spent a few short stints away in other places but for the majority of my adult life I’ve lived in different parts of New Hampshire. … It’s an adopted role, my New Hampshirite-ness, but it is something that has always been a dream of mine to live here.

Do you have a favorite poem about New Hampshire?

This is so cliche but I really love ‘Birches’ by Robert Frost…. One of the great things about literature is that it can permanently change the way you see things. When I am here and I see birch trees, there are always moments from that poem. There’s one moment where Frost talks about the birch trees bent over by an ice storm as women who have kind of thrown, bent over throwing their hair over their heads, and I see that image in my head every time I drive through New Hampshire after a snow or ice storm and I have read it so frequently to my daughter that she has it memorized; it’s a really long poem. So yeah, it’s an oldie but goodie and I would say, just off the top of my head, it’s the one I think of.

What’s more important, the sound of the poem or the meaning of the poem?

I actually think a lot of times the meaning grows out of the sound, ideally. I always tell my students to think about songs on the radio that they love. The lyrics are important but the music is important and poems only have the language to accomplish both of those things. You are responding with your intellect but you are also responding with your instinct or emotions. For me, I really like it when a poem is an experience that hits me emotionally and then the intellectual aspects of it follow. So, I am a sound person.

Zachary Lewis

Featured image: Jennifer Militello. Courtesy Photo.

On The Job – Phil DiLorenzo

Bartender at Stark Brewing

Explain your job and what it entails.

I’ve been bartending for 34 years. Bartending instructor for 10. Basically, knowing bartender duties, making drinks, waiting the tables, waiting on the people, keeping your bar clean and stocked, and customer relations, is basically what I do.

What led you to this career field and your current job?

I was a carpenter in the ’80s…. I needed a secondary job to get me through the off season, so I picked this up. My father sent me to bartender school in 1990. I picked it up as a second job and as the years have gone on it’s morphed into my full-time work. I got trained as a bartender but then I got into restaurant work so I can wait tables, I can manage, I can host, I can do basically all aspects of the front of the house of the restaurant.

What kind of education or training did you need?

My only formal education was the bartending class that I took about 30 years ago. It was a 40-hour course. The rest of the training I’ve gotten is through companies and corporations training you to do stuff their way.

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?

Generally, black and whites, or here, it is basically whatever I want as long as it isn’t offensive. Jeans and a Stark shirt is what they want me to wear. But generally I wear jeans, and if I don’t have a Stark shirt I’ll just wear black.

What is the most challenging thing about your work, and how do you deal with it?

Just dealing with the guests, dealing with the people can be the hardest part depending on the guest’s personality and their level of intoxication.

What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your career?

Well, I kind of walked into it with eyes open. I mean, I know what a bartender does, I got the job. Maybe started a little earlier — I was in my mid to late twenties when I started. That’s about the only thing, really.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

A personal pet peeve of mine is when people yell drinks at me while I’m in the middle of doing something else. A good bartender has his next three or four steps planned out. But if I’m in the middle of Step 2 and you yell something at me, it’s going to throw me off of step 3 and 4 and then you’re going to get mad at me because I’m going to need to take care of 3 and 4 before I can take care of you….

What was your first job?

Not including paper routes, washing dishes in an Italian restaurant in the early ’80s … a family-owned pizza joint called the Capri. I washed dishes and did prep work there when I was like 15, 16.

What is the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?

… I use this all the time, especially in my bartending classes. It’s all about the dollars and cents. If you’re not making the dollars, it doesn’t make any sense.

Zachary Lewis

Five favorites
Favorite book: Dean Koontz is the author.
Favorite movie: I like old ’70s car movies, to tell you the truth. Stuff like Vanishing Point and Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry.
Favorite music: Classic rock. I have a vintage stereo system … over 600 records….
Favorite food: Probably more of a seafood person.
Favorite thing about NH: The location. Within an hour of Boston, within an hour of home, within an hour of where I grew up, within an hour of the beach, within an hour of the mountains.

Featured photo: Phil DiLorenzo. Courtesy Photo.

Created by friendship

Author Shannon Hale discusses her process

On Friday, March 29, at 6:30 p.m. author Shannon Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham will be at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord (45 S. Main St., 224-0562, gibsonsbookstore.com) to promote the latest installment in their Kitty-Corn children’s book series, Bubbly Beautiful Kitty-Corn.

How do your own children or family influence your work as an author?

They influence my work a great deal. I have four kids and my first book came out the same year my first child was born. When they were younger I was writing young adult and adult novels, but as they grew up I was reading so many picture books and chapter books with them and graphic novels that what I’ve chosen to write in the last few years is greatly influenced by them. Also, sometimes, they just give me ideas for books, they’ll say something, and I’ll be like, ‘Aha! That’s a great idea.’

Can you talk about the importance of friendship and how that influences your work?

My theory is that all stories are about relationships. The relationships between characters is what makes us invested in them and interested in them and that’s the heart of every story, so I love friendship stories. With me and Uyen [LeUyen Pham], we are legitimately best friends and Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn was born directly out of that friendship. It really is just about our love of each other and learning how to best support each other and take care of each other and have fun together. That’s really the essence of those books.

What are your writing rituals or processes, if any?

I don’t have any rituals. I’m not a fussy writer. I think a lot of that is born out of being a stay-at-home mom with four kids for my whole career. I have to write whenever I get a chance. If the kids are distracted for half an hour, I’m writing. I didn’t have a full-time nanny or that kind of leisure. I’ve never had an office space where I would go to, to work, so that I was alone. I have learned to write in kind of a guerilla warfare way, where, if there’s time, I get myself to focus and I just write.

What is your favorite thing about book tours?

My favorite thing about book tours when I am touring with Uyen is that we get to be together. It’s just like extra friendship time. In between events, we keep very busy, it’s exhausting, but in between events we might go to a coffee shop and start working on a new book together. That’s how Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn started, [it] was in a coffee shop in St. Louis, Missouri, between a couple of events on a book tour for one of our graphic novels. So, I love that. I also really, really love seeing the kids. These picture books are so fun because the little kids are adorable. We get to read the picture book to them and see their reactions and hear their hilarious questions and commentary. I just adore that. My kids are older now. My kids are 13 through 20, so I don’t have any little kids at home anymore, so I just eat that up.

Do you have any advice for aspiring children’s book authors?

I guess the main thing would be to write for fun. You need to be able to develop your craft to the point where you can get your sentences to do what you want them to do and that takes a lot of time and a lot of practice. It’s like learning an instrument or a sport. So the more fun you can have while you’re doing it, while you are developing your craft, the faster it will develop for you.

Zachary Lewis

Featured image: Shannon Hale. Photo by Jenn Florence.

In the kitchen with Steve Hardy

General manager and head cook at Yankee Lanes (216 Maple St., Manchester, 625-9656, manchester.yankeelanesentertainment.com)

Steve Hardy at Yankee Lanes is working to change the perception of Bowling Food.“We’re trying to up the ante on our food preparation and service,” Hardy said. In spite of the casual atmosphere of a bowling alley, he tries to offer foods that appeal to a variety of palates, serving everything from fried pickles to steak tips. He takes even snack foods seriously. Case in point: his hand-cut french fries, which are soaked in cold water to remove some of the starch, then fried twice, once at a relatively low temperature to cook the potatoes all the way through, and then, after a rest, again at a high temperature to ensure a crisp exterior.

What dish do you have to have on your menu?

Steak tips, I have a really good following for the recipe.

What would you have for your last meal?

Steak, definitely steak. I’m clearly a steak guy.

What is your favorite local eatery?

Stumble Inn, besides here of course.

Name a celebrity you would like to see eating at the bowling alley.

Gordon Ramsay.

What is your favorite thing on your menu?

Our burgers are GREAT! They’re half a pound and cooked to the customer’s specification.

What is the biggest food trend you see in New Hampshire right now?

Mexican and Asian-style food is on the rise here with some really great choices.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

Pot roast; it’s simple, easy and delicious.

Featured Photo: Steve Hardy, General manager and head cook at Yankee Lanes. Courtesy Photo.

On The Job – Cathy Hilscher

Owner of Cats Kingdom

Cathy Hilscher is the owner of Cats Kingdom (679 Mast Road in Manchester, catskingdomonline.com).

Explain your job and what it entails.

I am the owner of Cat’s Kingdom. I am all about the food and holistic care. I am passionate about what I bring into the store and what I sell to people. I help people on an individual basis when they have problems with their cats because a big portion of it has to do with the foods that they eat.

How long have you had this job?

Nine years.

What led you to this career field and your current job?

Pierre, one of my cats, got sick from kidney disease and I realized there wasn’t a lot of education out there for cats and supportive food measures, and here I am nine years later.

What kind of education or training did you need?

I come from a background of retail. I’ve owned a few small businesses and I kind of put them together and collectively came up with this.

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?

You’re looking at it. Tie-dyed, sweatshirt, casual.

What is the most challenging thing about your work, and how do you deal with it?

Money coming in and money coming out and keeping things going is challenging. That’s the biggest thing. And getting noticed. Whatever you say out there, get me out there. Getting noticed and getting recognized online.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

How much goes into keeping a store in a state in a small environment with everything that is going on in the world. Keeping it afloat and getting the support locally to keep things afloat.

What was your first job?

A diet aide at a nursing home in New York, which is where I come from.

What is the best piece of work-related advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t take things so personally.

Zachary Lewis

Five favorites
Favorite book: I don’t do a whole lot of reading. I don’t really have one.
Favorite movie: I am a sappy person, so anything Lifetime.
Favorite music: ’70’s genre all the way.
Favorite food: Probably Italian
Favorite thing about NH: It is very similar where I come from, a small town in central New York, outside of Albany. Small, quaint – I am not a big-bustling-type person, so it’s perfect. Love the seasons. Everything.

Featured photo: Cathy Hilscher. Courtesy Photo.

Future nurses

Nashua HS program offers experience

Lori Chisholm, Program Head of Nashua High School Careers and Technical Education – Health Occupations program, on the donation of eight Stryker Hospital beds through continued partnership with Southern New Hampshire Health.

Can you describe how this partnership changes or enhances the current health educational program at Nashua High School?

Southern and Nashua High have been kind of partnered throughout the years on different levels. Over the last year or so they have actually financially helped us with donations for some of the supplies we use as well as our pinning ceremony at the end of the year. This year they were actually able to donate eight Stryker hospital beds.

We had been replacing our beds one by one with our Perkins grant that we get through the school because they are quite costly. We have two labs, and each lab has five beds in it, so that was a huge help, for the students to actually have beds that work.

Laura Forgione [executive director of inpatient nursing, professional practice, and Magnet Program at Southern New Hampshire Health] … has been coming out every year and speaking to the students as well about their programs. Integrating them into the license nursing assistant part of the hospital as well as medical assisting and then on to nursing if that’s the way they choose to go. So it’s good for them to come into the school as well just to let us know about the programs that they are offering over there.

What is the student response?

One of my students that graduated from this program last year … went on to be accepted into the Rivier School of Nursing. At the beginning of this calendar year he actually asked for a recommendation for an LNA job at Southern. I do know that one of our students is actively working there, to the best of my knowledge. I think it just allows them to have information about different avenues that they can pursue and what the hospitals have to offer. Unfortunately, the State of New Hampshire and all the other states require that all the clinical hours the students get [are] in long-term care facilities. Which is unfortunate because I do think they would gain great experience being able to do that in the hospital as well. It restricts us a little bit in being able to even further the partnership with having students go there for clinicals because it is not approved by the board of nursing by the State of New Hampshire.

How important is hands-on experience for health care professionals?

Hands-on experience is extremely important. We actually start it with our students in the first year of the program, which is their junior year, typically, in our Health Science 1 class. Both the Health Science 1 and Health Science 2 class have full functioning labs that look like, in each room, five different hospital bed areas with curtains and blood pressure cuffs and side tables and overbed tables. We actually work on skills with them for their whole junior year as well as their senior year because in their senior year they actually go out and they take care of real people. They help them get showered, they help them if they can’t go in the shower, you know, get washed up in bed, get them dressed, help them to go to the bathroom, their hair, their teeth. So, they really are hands-on right from the get-go when they go out into the clinical environment. The lab environment is very important because it allows them to practice on each other before they actually touch people that rely on them to be able to help safely transfer them out of bed into a wheelchair.

What is the process of entering the program and how hard is it to get in?

It’s an awesome program. We allow area students to come that don’t have programs like this. We have students from Hollis, Brookline … Milford, Merrimack …. Obviously North and South, even though the actual program is at the South location of the high school. It not only benefits just the Nashua kids but the surrounding towns. So it depends upon the year, to be quite honest. When I had worked part-time in 2007 they had actually added a third teacher, and I was it, because the enrollment was so high. They are approved by the Health Science 1 teacher and the head teacher. If they have any questions they obviously come to me as well. Since Covid, the numbers have been down until this past year. Health Science 1 started with about 65 students. The most we can take in Health Science 2 is 48 because once we get out into the clinical environment I have one other instructor that I work with and we can each only take eight students at a time, and that is per the board of nursing of the State of New Hampshire.

For different reasons people drop out of Health Science 1. It wasn’t what they thought it would be, they aren’t performing as well as they thought they would. Next year I think I’ll have about 40-ish students. They can also do other tracks. Most of our students do the LNA track. I have a few kids that are doing physical therapy. I have two that are on our dental track. We are trying to get Pharmacy. Years ago we were able to let them go out into a clinical environment, into an actual pharmacy and work with a pharmacist and a pharmacy tech to see if that’s something they are interested in, but it is being held up at the pharmacy level because they have to get approval.

Not all of the students come out as LNAs. Some of them in Health Science 1 decide they want to be physician assistants, which, really, going into college they don’t need my program, the Health Science 2 program. They really would benefit from heavy loading on the sciences in their high school journey.

Zachary Lewis

Featured image: Lori Chisholm. Courtesy photo.

Stay in the loop!

Get FREE weekly briefs on local food, music,

arts, and more across southern New Hampshire!