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Franklin’s mayor chosen to host after-school summit

After weeks of infighting within the school district, focused on efforts to oust two school board members, there’s good news coming out of Franklin.

The National League of Cities, based in Washington, D.C., has named Franklin Mayor Ken Merrifield as one of five mayoral hosts nationwide for its Afterschool and Expanded Learning program, scheduled for next spring.

Date and place have yet to be determined.

The summits will include local elected officials, school officials and state employers, all of whom will try to inspire students to begin planning for careers before graduating from high school.

“There’s probably not as much attention paid to these interrelationships between employers and schools,” Merrifield said, “and this is a way to highlight those relationships and enticing local officials like myself to get more involved and actively connecting those two sectors of our local economy.”

Grants of $9,000 will fund the programs in each of the chosen states: New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota and Utah, all of which applied for the honor. Merrifield had already been coordinating internship programs with two local industrial employers, so Lynn Stanley, the executive director of the New Hampshire Afterschool Network, asked him to serve as mayoral host.

“It’s something I’ve been working on in my own little bubble in Franklin,” Merrifield said. “We’re going to try to hear from other communities that I know are trying to do the same sort of things and develop some practices and see what’s working in certain communities.”

(Ray Duckler can be reached at 369-3304 or or on Twitter @rayduckler.)

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