HAMPSTEAD – Hampstead Middle School Principal Patti Grassbaugh is the first woman from New Hampshire to be among those honored by the Greater Lawrence (Mass.) YWCA Tribute to Women.
Grassbaugh was nominated by Hampstead School Board member Jaye Dimando.
Her nomination states, “Patti has been the consummate and dedicated leader of the Hampstead Middle School for the last seven years. Her singular focus as a principal has been on high student achievement and the development of productive, moral, motivated and compassionate young citizens. She superbly demands the best from her staff and students, and she always supports those in need of extra assistance. Patti deeply believes in continuous improvement and led her school to the New England League of Middle Schools’ Spotlight School Award.”
Grassbaugh started work in Hampstead as Assistant Principal of Central Elementary School.
Dimando said, “While Patti has achieved much success in her professional life and has made a wonderful impact in education, she has also dealt with the most difficult of life challenges.”
Grassbaugh lost her son, U.S. Army Airborne Ranger Capt. Jonathan Grassbaugh. to an IED (improvised explosive device) in Iraq in 2007. She has turned this tragedy to positive efforts in the ways she and her husband, Mark, have chosen to remember Jonathan. They provide scholarships through the Captain Jonathan Grassbaugh Memorial Foundation and Hampstead Educational Foundation.
She has also worked with Hampstead Middle School teacher Lori-Lyn Griffin and parent John Kelley to create the only school in New Hampshire with a weather station that reports weather information daily to the National Weather Service.
Rebecca Hall, Greater Lawrence YWCA executive director, said of the honorees, “Each of these women embodies the victory of possibility over limitation.” The awards luncheon was held at the Andover Country Club in Massachusetts earlier this month on the 30th anniversary year of the event. The Greater Lawrence YWCA annually sponsors the Tribute to Women to honor a select group of women living and/or working in the Merrimack Valley who have made remarkable contributions in their professions and communities.
Members of the Hampstead community, including Police Chief Joe Beaudoin and his wife, and former Fire Chief Chip Hastings and his wife, were at the awards luncheon indicating the support and relationship Grassbaugh has developed between her school and the town.
“I was honored and humbled by being selected for this award,” Grassbaugh said. “It was kind of Jaye to nominate me. It was especially nice to have my colleagues there to celebrate with me.”