This forum highlighted the New Hampshire Extended Learning Opportunities (NH ELO) Initiative that seeks to offer credit to high school students for opportunities pursued outside of the traditional classroom setting. Developed by Plus Time New Hampshire and the state department of education, NH ELO allows students to pursue learning of personal passion and interest outside of the traditional classroom setting for academic credit, based on a pre‐determined set of academic competencies. Participating high schools are working on systemic changes to provide students with greater access to credit bearing learning opportunities, with a focus on engaging underserved youth.
Janice Hastings is the VP of Program and Resource Development with PlusTime NH – a statewide non-profit partnering with communities to create and support varied environments for positive youth development throughout the day and year. She joined PlusTime NH in 2005 and has been working intensively for the past three years on high school afterschool programs and initiatives. Ms. Hastings has 25 years of non-profit education experience, including teaching in a therapeutic residential facility for teens, coordinating summer job training programs for 1,400 NH youth ages 14 to 21, and serving as Executive Director of VSA arts of NH for 10 years, bringing arts programs to people with disabilities. Ms. Hastings served as Director of Education and Affiliate Services for VSA arts in Washington, D.C., where she worked with the executive staff and boards of 51 state VSA arts affiliates. In her spare time, Ms. Hastings is a bookmaker who uses art to promote social justice.
Paul Leather was sworn in as Deputy Commissioner of Education on April 14, 2010. Mr. Leather’s background and experience in Education, Counseling, and Administration in New Hampshire spans three decades. He is also serving as Director of the Division of Career Technology and Adult Learning for the New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE) and oversees the administration of Vocational Rehabilitation, Adult Education, Career and Technical Education, Tech-Prep, School Guidance and Counseling, Apprenticeship Programs, and Career Development efforts, including Workforce Investment Act coordination for the NHDOE. In addition, Mr. Leather is past president of the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) and oversees statewide initiatives such as High School Redesign, Extended Learning Opportunities, and Drop Out Prevention.
Mike has worked in Education since 1975 when he interned at the Worcester Alternative School. He has taught Social Studies in Massachusetts, the US Virgin Islands, and at Newfound Regional High School in Bristol, NH. Mr. O’Malley has worked in school administration as a Department Chair, Assistant Principal, and has been Principal of Newfound Regional High School since 1999. In 2009-2010 Newfound was honored with the NH Secondary School of Excellence Award. Newfound Regional High School is one of the four high schools in NH to develop and implement extending learning opportunities in which students earn credit towards high school completion. Mr. O’Malley has also worked closely with both the Middle States and New England Associations of Schools and Colleges on numerous Accreditation Visiting Teams. Mike is a member of Phi Delta Kappa, has raised three children, enjoys carpentry, scuba diving and skiing, and is a die-hard Red Sox fan.