, Derry, New Hampshire

October 10, 2013

Governor, Council makes Londonderry stop

By Julie Huss

---- — LONDONDERRY — The governor brought the state’s business to town for a day.

Gov. Maggie Hassan and the Executive Council came to Londonderry for a District 4 meeting Oct. 2, bringing the Granite State’s business to the local front and taking care of some state business in the meantime.

The meeting is one of a series of meetings being held in communities around the state.

Prior to the start of the meeting, the governor and councilors were welcomed by Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith.

Londonderry High School’s a cappella quartet Rising Harmoney presented the national anthem and also sang “Amazing Grace.”

Smith told the state contingent and visitors that Londonderry was a community with a lot of potential and success stories, including top student musicians in the school district music programs, thriving apple orchards, and a lot of development and growth in the pipeline, including the $1 billion Woodmont Commons project, and the Pettengill Road development plan.

“We also think the quality of life here is second to none,” Smith said.

He said Pettengill could establish 10,000 to 15,000 new industrial and high tech jobs once development begins.

“This would be a great thing for the state and community,” he said.

The Woodmont Commons project would also bring potential business and growing residential development.

With Londonderry’s current 24,000 residents and a combined school and town budget of about $100 million, Smith said his community is aiming high toward what lies ahead.

Along with the regular business meeting, Hassan recognized Londonderry High School teacher Peter Willis for his educational success. She awarded him a state commendation, calling him a “passionate and consummate” educator.

Willis was among the 36 nominees for the 2014 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year award. He was one of several Southern New Hampshire nominees on the list, including Pinkerton Academy social studies teacher Joseph Lee, who eventually won the top Teacher of the Year.

Willis has worked at Londonderry High School for more than 25 years. He teaches freshmen humanities and world history, and coaches the girls volleyball team, with two state championships under his belt.

Hassan said Willis’s devotion to his work shows in his everyday classroom time and also outside the school.

Smith invited the governor and councilors to stop by any of Londonderry’s apple orchards.

“Stop by and pick some apples off the trees,” Smith said. “You won’t be disappointed.”