Monday, August 31, 2009


Ian Smith, who taught Social Studies at Hanover High for nine years, is the school's new Dean of Students. Here are excerpts from his remarks at the opening-day assembly.

Good morning. I want you all to know how pleased we are to have you back. I was never sure if administration was telling the truth when they would say how glad they were to see everybody, staff and students alike. After spending the summer here, I now know for sure they meant what they were saying. For a Dean of Students, school is a very strange place with no students.

In the welcome message in the school handbook, I refer to the democratic school and the fact that it relies not only on students exercising their freedoms but doing so in a responsible way. I want to emphasize this point and remind you that the opportunities that you have are earned as a result of your willingness to adhere to the guidelines stated in the handbook. Know that these opportunities exist because we trust that you'll respect the school culture that allows the freedoms you're accustomed to, to be extended.

In turn, we the staff have made the commitment to provide a setting where students of all interests and abilities feel comfortable. We want you to feel good about coming here each day. We want you to know that you will be supported and that we want to see each of you succeed. But also understand that a large part of your experience here at the high school will be determined by you alone, the attitude that you come to school with, how hard you work and how much you are willing to extend yourself and create the kind of relationships that will make this place a good place to spend the day.

Not every day is going to be easy and there will be times you would rather be somewhere else. We know this. However, in the spirit of good will, please keep in mind the power that each of us has to affect our own day, to make a bad day into a good one, and to help someone else along.

I want to wish you well this year. Let us, as a staff, know how we can help. Have a great first day.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009


Jake Miraldi, a graduate of HHS and West Point, wrote from Afghanistan in mid-June. He sits at right in the top photo and at left in the bottom photo.

"The update is that my platoon and another from our battalion were picked to go far, far from our normal area of operations to retake a town from the Taliban.  The town had been completely overwhelmed and it was our task to retake the town and to reestablish the Afghan police and army in the area.  Long story short, we took the town back fairly easily but early evening on the night of the first day we were attacked from all the high ground literally surrounding the town by, our best guess, anywhere from 75-150 enemy.  In that first fight we sustained 3 casualties. One sergeant was wounded in the hand, I received fairly substantial shrapnel wounds from an RPG that exploded about 6 inches from me, and another one of my sergeants was killed by the same RPG.  The fire fight lasted around 2 hours.

"I am fine. I was helicoptered to a hospital, but I was able to walk and, with some effort, run during the fight and to the Medevac itself.  This was 12 days ago now and I am walking with a slight limp but am not in any real pain.  My soldier that was killed was buried today in his home town and I have spoken several times with his wife and tried as best I could to comfort her.  After they fixed me up I spent the next 2 days fighting anyone and everyone to go back because my platoon was still there.  After two days they relented and I limped myself to the bird to fly me back up to the village.  When I arrived I found that that the platoon had performed above and beyond what even I had expected.  We had two more guys slightly wounded by shrapnel, not so much that they needed to be Medevaced, and my platoon, along with our friendly Apache and Airforce pilots, had confirmed killed 63 Taliban.  We remained there for 3 more days and made it back to home base a couple of days ago.

"I tell you all about this fight in detail mostly because of the tragic loss of one of my soldiers and because I was wounded, which I figured someone would hear through the grapevine and I wanted to assure all of you that I am fine, walking around, running around, physically capable of doing all the things I need to do, though I will have trouble with metal detectors from here on out as they left all the shrapnel in my leg.  Again, given how much you all have done for us I figured an update as significant as this probably should make its way to you.

"Hope all is well with all of you.  I will write again soon."

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Senior Aaron Watanabe from Norwich, VT is Hanover High's Student of the Month for September.

He runs cross-country, winter track and spring track, and qualified nationally by placing 5th in the Nike Northeast Regionals. He is an integral part of the Math Team and Quiz Bowl, and this summer attended the Advanced Study Program at St. Paul's School in Concord, NH. Aaron is a serious, thoughtful student with a welcoming personality. He is unfailingly polite, engaged and engaging, and supportive and respectful of peers and teachers alike.

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A new school year of great classes, athletics, plays, music and community service has begun at Hanover High. Please send news items for the school blog to Have a great year!

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