‘Running Start’ teacher honored

CONCORD – On Teacher Appreciation Day, New Hampshire high school teachers were recognized for their work promoting access to college credits by state and college leadership officials.

Linda Fox of Pelham High School was among those honored. Fox has been teaching for 50 years, and has been a Running Start instructor since 2003.

Described by her students as “wise, genuine, understanding and passionate,” she has helped 382 students earn 1,621 college credits in College Composition and Foundations of Education.

Gov. Chris Sununu and Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut joined New Hampshire’s Community Colleges recently to honor the teachers for supporting the Community College System of New Hampshire’s Running Start program. This endeavor enables high school students to take courses at their schools for both high school and college credit, allowing students and their parents an opportunity to reduce the cost of college.

“Running Start is an essential resource to ensuring that New Hampshire high school students are able to get a jump start on their college educations at an affordable cost,” Sununu said. “On behalf of all Granite Staters, I thank and commend those educators who go above and beyond to provide our students with the opportunity to access such a valuable resource.”

Created by the Community College System of New Hampshire in 1999 with seven high school partners, Running Start now reaches 100 high schools. In the past year, enrollment climbed by more than 30%, thanks to scholarships available for dual-enrollment science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses, supported by Sununu.

Course offerings range from technical studies in information technology, automotive, software applications, and engineering technology, to chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology, marketing, college composition and social science courses.

“Running Start gives students confidence that they can succeed in college, and it’s a huge financial savings since they can earn enough credits to graduate college early,” Nashua Community College Running Start Coordinator Louise Goulet said. “At Pelham High School, many students have access to two-plus Running Start courses each year.”

“Running Start is an important way for New Hampshire families to save money on college and for high school students to get a strong early start to college success,” state community college Chancellor Ross Gittell said. “It is a highly accessible and affordable way for students to reduce student loan debt and accelerate their coursework at the college level. We are very pleased to honor the high school faculty and staff who help thousands of students access these benefits.”