Jeanna and Jeff raised three children in Acworth, Jessica, Colin and Vanessa, all of whom have since grown and moved out of the area. Their son Colin was recently deployed to a military police unit in Iraq.
Jeanna fondly recalled Jessica’s first day in the Acworth School in the early 1980s; the beautiful setting and the sense of warmth that met them at the schoolhouse door. Shortly afterward Jeanna began her long association with Acworth School, starting out as a volunteer in Linda Brenneman’s first grade class and then as a reading tutor for about two years before becoming secretary of the school. Jeanna held the position of secretary for fifteen years. Then in 2005 she became the fifth grade teacher in Acworth School.
Once her children were grown and had started to go off on their own, Jeanna went back to school to get teacher certification while she was still secretary of Acworth School. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree through Granite State College.
When Jeanna’s children were growing up and attending school here in town there were many families in Acworth with young children. In the early days of Jeanna’s involvement with Acworth School there were seventy students enrolled. Over the past ten years enrollment has been steadily declining in Acworth School, as it has in the entire Fall Mountain School District. As a result, Jeanna will be moved from Acworth School to teach fifth grade in the Alstead Primary School for the 2008 – 2009 school year. The few fifth graders who live in Acworth will be attending the Alstead Primary School since there will be no fifth grade class in Acworth.
A few days after school ended in June, Jeanna packed the belongings in her desk. Although she feels deep sadness over leaving the school that she loves in her own community, Jeanna also has a positive attitude toward facing this change.
Jeanna explained that she looked forward to going to work every day during more than twenty years of involvement with Acworth School and hopes that she’ll feel the same way about teaching in the Alstead Primary School.
The children have been the reason for Jeanna’s close association with Acworth School throughout the years. She said, "There’s something special about all of them," and that the trick is to get each child to recognize what that special quality is.
Many thanks to Jeanna for her years of dedication to Acworth School.
By Gretchen Abendschein
Jeanna knew it was time to leave the suburbs of Carlyle, Massachusetts and move to New Hampshire when her chickens were killed by a pack of neighborhood dogs. Shortly afterward, in the mid-1970s, Jeanna and her husband Jeff bought the Dearden House on Ball Road in Acworth.
Jeanna and Jeff discovered Acworth through real estate advertisements in the New Hampshire Times. They had looked at other places in NH and had also considered moving to Nova Scotia. But the beauty of driving along Cold River and up the steep hill into the center of town kept drawing them back to Acworth.
When Jeanna and Jeff bought the house on Ball Road it was in serious disrepair. They spent about a year camping out in one room while they worked on renovating the rest of the building. Jeanna was willing to rough it for a while because she felt that Acworth was a perfect place to raise a family.
Slideshow of Jeanna Foote