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Rural Educational Leaders Network at Plymouth State University Selected as Rural Schools Collaborative's ‘New England Hub’

PLYMOUTH, NH – In May 2017, Plymouth State University (PSU) received a $1.5 million gift from life-long educator Ann G. Haggart. The gift established the Holmes-Pattee-Haggart Family Fund to provide scholarships to New Hampshire students with financial need, giving priority to those hailing from Coös, Grafton, and Carroll counties, and to create the Holmes-Pattee-Haggart Transformational Leadership Institute. This latter entity supports the Rural Educational Leaders Network at PSU (RELN), which was recently named the “New England Hub” of the national Rural Schools Collaborative (RSC).

The RELN at Plymouth State University is a professional development network dedicated to the professional growth of educational leaders from rural New Hampshire school districts. The network currently comprises 60 administrative professionals from 21 New Hampshire school administrative units (SAUs). Now, as the Rural Schools Collaborative’s New England Hub, RELN will extend beyond New Hampshire to work with administrative professionals and teachers in rural schools throughout New England.

“We are thrilled to partner with Rural Schools Collaborative as its New England Hub,” says Linda Carrier, Ed. D., assistant professor of Educational Leadership, and graduate program coordinator at Plymouth State University. “RELN offers administrators from New Hampshire’s rural schools the opportunity to learn, share ideas, and bring concepts back to their respective schools. This new partnership with RSC allows us to provide resources to help schools implement these ideas in their classrooms, not only in rural New Hampshire, but in our neighboring New England states as well. It is very exciting.”

RELN at Plymouth State University focuses on ‘place-based’ education, which entails integrating the community into rural school curriculum to help students understand and appreciate the uniqueness of their communities, and their roles as citizens.

“Ann Haggart envisioned a program in which K–12 administrators and teachers would have opportunities to work alongside community and corporate leaders to enhance their skills and knowledge of real-world challenges,” says Carrier. “RELN is a direct result of her vision, and we are already seeing results in our rural schools.”

The New England Hub and the Rural Schools Collaborative will work together to bolster support for rural education in New Hampshire and throughout New England. RELN will host its third annual “Summer Summit” at Plymouth State University on July 18th and 19th, where NH school administrators will hear from and engage with experts on rural education, and share ideas with colleagues on addressing issues and needs in rural schools and implementing programs and practices to address them in their respective schools.

For more information about RELN and the New England Hub, visit www.ruralschoolscollaborative.org/profiles/new-england-hub.

About Plymouth State University
Established in 1871, Plymouth State University serves the state of New Hampshire and the world beyond by transforming our students through advanced practices where engaged learning produces well-educated undergraduates and by providing graduate education that deepens and advances knowledge and enhances professional development.  With distinction, we connect with community and business partners for economic development, technological advances, healthier living, and cultural enrichment with a special commitment of service to the North Country and Lakes Region of New Hampshire. To learn more about Plymouth State University, visit www.plymouth.edu.

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