Hudson Grange Recognizes Dedicated Community Contributors

April 22, 2016


The National Grange was organized in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 4, 1867.  In 1873, the first grange in New Hampshire was the Gilman Grange in Exeter.  The subordinate granges followed all organized by Deputy Thompson then on Dec. 8, 1973, the Hudson Grange became number 11.  Meetings were held at the No. 6 Schoolhouse.  There were only 19 members then, and Kimball Webster was elected the first master.

The grange was organized as a fraternity for farmers, however, now that farms are practically non-existed, the main purpose has turned to community service.  The Hudson Grange assists St. John the Evangelist’s Food Pantry at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It also awards a $500 scholarship to a deserving Alvirne High School senior.

On Tuesday night, April 11, Hudson Grange 11 held its annual Community Recognition Night awards ceremony at Wattanick Hall to honor and recognize outstanding members of the community who have helped to make a difference in someone’s life.

Receiving the Community Citizen Award was Ben Nadeau.  Nadeau took some advice from vocational director Web Palmer when he was in Alvirne High School.  Palmer said, “You need to get involved.”  For more than 23 years, Ben has been involved.  He was elected to the Town of Hudson Budget Committee at age 18.  He has served three terms as a selectman and is in his second year on the Hudson School Board.  He served a number of years on the building committee and spends many years working with the seniors in their search for a permanent Senior Center.  That effort had something to do with Ben appearing in a gorilla suit during an early cleanup of Benson Park.  He says it was meant as a joke – you will have to get him to explain that.  It isn’t unusual to find him volunteering at the park, cleaning up or doing something that needs to be done.  He is proud to say he was a selectman during the effort to get the new Senior Center build, and says that it is a beautiful building that is utilized all the time.

Nadeau says he like to do most of his volunteering in the background.  You might find him at the Soup Kitchen, wearing a hat and dark glasses to try to avoid being recognized, working with other groups such as Scouts and church groups to help those less fortunate.  It’s not unusual to see him work at the Lion’s Club Scholarship Dinner, passing out plates of spaghetti and drinks, then helping clean up afterwards, all the time trying to stay in the background.

While all this is going on, he and his wife, Jennifer, are raising a family that they are proud of.  Ben likes to take the kids with him when he volunteers, teaching them the value of giving back to their community.

The Police Award was presented to Hudson Police Detective Alan Marcotte.  Detective Marcotte has been a Hudson police officer for 10 years and has been assigned to the Detective Division for the last two.  For his entire career, Marcotte has been actively involved in the Special Olympics of New Hampshire.  He has participated in the Special Olympics Torch Run since 2006 and has been the coordinator of the Special Olympics Winter Games since 2010.  Detective Marcotte has also coordinated the Winni-Dip for the last three years which resulted in $9,500 being raised by the Hudson Police Department this year alone.

Aside from Special Olympics, Detective Marcotte has volunteered at the Toys for Tots Bell Ringing, St. Vincent de Paul and has read to the children the elementary schools in the town of Hudson.  Off duty, Detective Marcotte spends time with his wife, Melissa (who is expecting their fourth child), and their sons Noah, Brady and Jackson.

The recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award was Brenda Whiteley.  Whiteley has been a Special Education teacher in the Hudson School district for 30 years and at the Elderly Learning Center at the H. O. Smith School for three years.  She is a highly knowledgeable and dedicated teacher.  Brenda goes above and beyond to learn about each of her students and creates lessons that challenge yet gives them the foundational skills that they need.  She creates games and activities that provide all modalities of learning for each and every student.  She supports students in non-academic areas such as holiday performances, night events, etc.  Her work ethic is described as superb; she is a team player and collaborates with all team members.  Brenda is positive with a can- and will-do attitude in all situations.

Marilyn Martellini was presented with the Principal of the Year Award.  Martellini, currently principal of Hills Garrison School, is completely her 43rd year as a teacher and administrator this year.  At the close of this school year, she will retire after spending the past 34 years as a school administrator in Hudson.  She spent the first nine years of her career in the Laconia School District.  Marylyn has been principal of both Nottingham West and Hills Garrison schools, and before that spent several years at Hudson Memorial.  Every building has benefitted from Marilyn’s influence.  She has been a voice for all students, supporter of teachers, and an administrator who maintains a positive attitude and cheerful disposition no matter the circumstances.  Marilyn Martellini can be counted on to stay the course.  In the face of challenge, Marilyn continues to be positive, focused on student achievement, and build an atmosphere that supports learning.

Martellini can be counted on to make decisions in the best interest of children.  To work with her is to know that she celebrates success, appreciates her staff, loves children, cares about parents and will never ask anyone to do something she would not do herself.  Over her years in Hudson, she has always been quick to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of her staff and students.  She is well-respected in the community and has devoted multiple years to fundraising for playgrounds in town.  As a parent, she was very involved in the Bronco Boosters and though her daughter, Audra, is completing her tenth year as a teacher herself, Marilyn continues to support all schools, town athletics and more.  As a building administrator, she has taught students the importance of giving back.  Each year, she involves students in food drives to support the food pantry at St. John the Evangelist Church, she has organized walk-a-thons to support the Senior Center and made a donation after the devastating tsunami several years back.  It is important to her that children learn the importance of supporting others and giving back to the community.

Marilyn Martellini has devoted over half of her lifetime providing leadership in the Hudson schools.  She can typically recognize and name the overwhelming majority of former students she has known over the years.  She has provided literally thousands of children with positive schools experiences and happy memories, and has worked alongside parents and staff to help make school a positive place for students.  We are grateful for all that she has provided to Hudson students, and we wish her great happiness as she begins the next chapter of her life.

Firefighter/AEMT Dennis Haerinck was recognized with the Firefighter Award.  Firefighter Haerinck started his career with the Hudson Fire Department on Nov. 14, 2004.  Dennis is an integral part of our emergency services team.

Currently assigned as the senior firefighter at the Burns Hill Fire station on Suppression Group 3, Dennis coordinates the daily activities with the on-duty captain.  He is consistently providing support to new employees assisting with their development and guiding them through their day-to-day activities.

Dennis also serves on the department’s Engine and Ladder Truck Research Group.  This group is responsible for reviewing the specifications and layout of apparatus for the department.  The goal of this group is to make sure the fire department is prepared to not only purchase up-to-date apparatus but also to make sure that the design and purchase of equipment meets the operational goals of the organization.

The fire services required professionalism, loyalty and dedication in order for firefighters to be successful in this career field.  Firefighter Haerinck demonstrates all of these characteristics each and every day as he protects the public.  He supports the values, vision and mission of the Hudson Fire Department.

If you are interested in learning more about the Hudson Grange, call Jerry Leclerc at 882-8602 or Haefner at 889-1553.