Lamprey Elementary School News

Governor Sununu Visits Lamprey River Elementary School Fourth Graders
By Cheryl Killam and Leslie O’Donnell   5-25-18

Governor Chris Sununu paid a visit to Lamprey River Elementary School fourth graders on Friday afternoon, May 25, as part of the school’s government study unit – and to make up for his missing a chance to chat with some of the students when they took part in the annual fourth grade trip to the State House in Concord.

Governor Chris Sununu and Principal Bryan Belanger


The sun was shining and there was just enough of a breeze to keep the black flies and mosquitoes away while the more than 100 fourth graders gathered outside to talk with the Governor.

4th graders waiting for Governor Sununu


Sununu gave a quick overview of the year, saying about 1,000 bills were submitted but only about 200 passed. He asked if the students knew what he did with the bills, and many of them did, saying he could either sign or veto them.

Sununu said he had to sign a group of bills that day but vetoed one that he said increased costs. Then he took questions from the students – many of them humorous but others surprising coming “out of the mouths of babes,” as one adult onlooker said.

4th graders ready with lots of questions


Among the questions were:

• Did you ever dream about being Governor? “No, I was an environmental engineer. “

•Are you looking to run for a second term? “Yes.”

•What’s your favorite part of the job? “This,” he said, “coming to see kids, working with schools and educators. I have a sixth and a seventh grader myself.”

•What was your dad famous for? “He was Governor when I was your age.”

•What’s the hardest thing about your job?  “My time management. I gotta be grounded to spend enough time with my kids and family. “

•Did your dad inspire you to be Governor? “Yes. He believed in giving back to the community.”

•Can we have school start after Labor Day? “I wish it could but I could not get any House Representative that would write and sponsor the bill. Would you like three more weeks of summer vacation?” When the students said they would, he added, “You could get it if you spent 20 more minutes each day in school. “

•If you could change one thing in Raymond, what would it be? He asked the kids what it would be and they all said “the school.” He responded that he had $30 million in Safe School grants and hoped that the Principal had applied for some of that money. Principal Bryan Belanger said he has done so.

•Are you rich? “Not rich enough to buy a new lawn mower. I felt like I got a great deal when I got a used one for $200. “

•Are you in favor of Northern Pass?  “Yes, because it would be renewable energy.”

•If you could pass one law, what would it be? “A Save Our Summer Bill, so that the high school kids could work longer during the summer to help out the businesses that depend on the tourists.”

•How much was your suit?  “$99 from George’s.”

•What is your favorite law? “The one where if we have extra money, we give it back to the towns and taxpayers.”

•What are the main problems in New Hampshire? “Kids and drugs, healthcare for all kids, and full-day kindergarten, which fortunately you have here in Raymond.”

•What is your favorite color? “At 7 p.m. at night it’s orange, but in the morning, it’s blue.”

•Is the Governor’s job stressful? “Sure, everything in life can be stressful.”


As the event drew to a close, a group of students and Belanger gave Governor Sununu a poster board-sized Thank You card, signed by all of the fourth graders .
Fourth grade teacher Jen Saltmarsh coordinated the event for the school’s five fourth grades.


4th graders presenting their Thank You poster



Saltmarsh explained that as part of the school’s fourth-grade study unit on government, students learn about the three branches of government, both nationally and on the state level, and how a bill comes about. They also travel to the State House in Concord – this year the trip was on May 8 – and visit the Hall of Flags, the House of Representatives, the Senate and the Governor’s office.

During this year’s visit, students were able to chat with two of Raymond’s three state representatives – Kathleen Hoelzel and Carolyn Matthews. The Town’s third representative, Michael Costable, and State Senator John Reagan were not in attendance.

The students were divided into two groups for their tour, and while the first group met with Governor Sununu, he had an unexpected commitment that kept him from visiting with the second group. Saltmarsh said students in the second group were understandably disappointed, but luck was on their side - a parent contacted the Governor’s wife and asked if he could make the trip to Raymond to meet the youngsters, and he agreed to do so.

“It’s wonderful to have this kind of experience,” Saltmarsh said of the Governor’s taking the time to travel to Raymond. “We’re so excited about his visit. I’ve emphasized to the kids that this is a really big deal – the Governor is like the President of the state. The kids feel like a celebrity came here.”

4th graders with Governor Sununu holding his Thank You poster.


Governor Sununu and the 4th graders


All of the 4th graders signed the Thank You poster

Principal Bryan Belanger, Town Manager Craig Wheeler, BOS Chairman Jack Barnes and Governor Chris Sununu










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