Holderness Central School

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    Joe Sampson


    I was born, raised and educated in NH and have spent the bulk of my life in the Lakes and White Mountains region of central NH.  Whenever there is a free moment, I am outside with my family, hiking, biking, skiing, boating, camping, or just riding scooters with my daughter in the driveway. My wife Kait, daughter Elodie, son Tanner, our Labrador Bear, and I live and play in Moultonborough NH, where all of those activities are minutes away.  I spent two years teaching and ski coaching in Vermont at Okemo Mountain School before moving back to NH and transitioning into public education. I spent seven years working at Laconia Middle School and one year at Woodland Heights School in Kindergarten.  I have worked as a special educator, reading interventionist, and youth behavior specialist. During the last three years, I have served as Principal at Wentworth Elementary School.  I am so honored to accept this new amazing position at Holderness Central School, at a school I have always admired while growing up in Plymouth.  I look forward to continuing the strong tradition of academic excellence at Holderness Central School while continuing to build capacity for community and place based educational opportunities for all students. Kids, with the guidance of a strong teaching staff, can promote incredible gains in school, life, and their personal development when given the opportunity to have a voice in deciding the trajectory of their educational program. I am so excited to build relationships with all of the HCS community members in order to continue making that happen. I’m so fortunate to join such a strong team. 

    Holderness Board Chair Carolyn Mello stated “The Holderness Central School Board is pleased and excited to welcome Mr. Joe Sampson as our school's new principal. Joe has excellent credentials as well as the experience needed to be our school's leader. Additionally, he brings enthusiasm, creativity, and the ability to foster an even greater love of learning in our students. We look forward to working with this outstanding educator.”

    Superintendent of Schools Mark Halloran stated “Joe did a terrific job in Wentworth developing not only an impressive record of academic achievement for the students, but also engaging the community and making all residents of Wentworth feel welcome at every event held at Wentworth Elementary School. Though Wentworth will miss Joe, he still remains a vital member of the administration within SAU48, and we are pleased to have him move to Holderness.”

     At its June 12, 2019 meeting, the Holderness School Board unanimously appointed Joseph Sampson as Principal.

    Mr. Sampson will be assuming his role on July 1, 2019. He will be replacing William VanBennekum, who served as Principal for the past 12 years.  Mr. VanBennekum will be moving on to serve as Principal for the Londonderry Middle School.

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  • 2019-2020 Calendar


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  • NH School Funding Forum


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  • 2nd Trimester Honor Roll


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  • Please go to the Families tab for parent information on The N.H. Statewide Assessment System (AIR Testing) & National standardized testing at Holderness Central School.



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  • Screen Time Roundtable Discussion II



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  • HCS Water Testing Letter

    HCS Water Testing Report


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  • Below are articles & websites that address screen time. 

    "Worry less about children's screen use, parents told"

    Children and Adolescents and Digital Media

    Tips for Managing Too Much Screen Time

    Too Much Screen TIme in Schools

    Don't Pull the Plug Yet

    Wasted Time, No Screen Time

    More Screen Time For Teens Linked To ADHD Symptoms

    Even Techies Limit Their Children's Screen Time

    Is There An Upside To Screen Time? The Research And Reality Of Setting Limits

    Center on Media and Child Health



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  • Standards-Based Grading


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  • USDA FNS Nondiscrimination Statement


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  • Join our e-mail list for HCS updates


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General Information

     General Information 

    Welcome to Holderness Central School! 
    School hours: 8:20am to 2:55pm
    Ace Hours: 3:00pm to 5:30pm 
    Student Breakfast: Full cost, $1.50. Reduced cost, 30 cents.
    Student Lunch: Full cost, $2:50, Reduced cost, 40 cents.
    Student Drop Off: Please drop off students by the playground.
    Student Pick Up: Please pick up students by the front of the school.



HCS Calendar

Town of Holderness

  • About Holderness

    The Town of Holderness is in central New Hampshire, nestled between the foothills of the White Mountains and the shores of the Squam Lakes. From early times, Native Americans and then European settlers used the Lakes as a trade route. Goods from the North Country floated across Squam Lake, down the Squam River to the Pemigewasset, and then to the Merrimack and the seacoast. 

    Benning Wentworth granted the township of New Holderness in 1751 but the official charter from King George III is dated 1761. “New” was dropped from the name at the 1816 Town Meeting, and all was quiet until 1868 when a dispute over “gaslights and sidewalks” literally split the community. What is now the town of Ashland was formed around the thriving mills and railroad depot of the time, leaving the rest of Holderness to the farmers and fishermen. 

    Ironically, it was the unspoiled beauty of Holderness that drew visitors seeking relief from the swelter of Boston or Baltimore. By 1890, Holderness was a cool retreat from city summers, with dozens of rustic fishing camps on the shores of Squam Lake and hotels dotting the hillsides.

    Today Holderness is still small and still largely rural. The breathtaking natural beauty of the lakes and mountains is still what draws visitors and residents alike all year round. Yet it doesn’t take long to discover that Holderness and the surrounding towns have wonderful educational, cultural, and commercial assets as well. Shopping, theater, music, restaurants, galleries, and bookstores are within a few miles of Holderness Village.