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September 19, 2013

N.H. governor, Executive Council come to Windham

Governor, Executive Council meet at Windham High

WINDHAM — The town became New Hampshire’s capital for a day.

Gov. Maggie Hassan and the Executive Council abandoned the Statehouse yesterday to set up shop for a few hours at Windham High to deal with the business of running the state.

Town moderator Peter Griffin came to watch.

“This is incredibly important,” Griffin said, as he looked around the high school theater at the assembly of the powerful out from behind their desks in Concord. “The Executive Council is one of the most powerful bodies in the state and they chose Windham to hold one of their meetings.”

On a busy day, the council approved millions in contracts, including a $2.4 million deal for a Maine company to design a new state prison for women and a $25 million pact with Bank of America for credit card services with state agencies.

Councilors confirmed, amid much praise, the reappointment of the state’s longest serving commissioner, Van McLeod, who oversees Cultural Resources.

Principal Ryan Kaplan welcomed the governor and council over a breakfast of quiche, coffee and juice.

Kaplan related student and faculty accomplishments at the five-year-old school and highlighted a technology program that puts an Apple laptop in every freshman’s hands.

He told state officials about 90 percent of the school’s students take part in athletics or extracurricular activities.

“One of our goals this year is to get that number higher,” he said.

Bethany Bernasconi, a former New Hampshire teacher of the year, spoke about the marine science club, which she said has ranked in competition among the best in the nation.

Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, who represents Windham, said the school is a testament to what first-class facilities can do.

Seniors Tim Raymond and Clairee Putnam led Hassan and the council on a tour of the school.

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