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Beloved teacher and writer dies

New Hampshire Union Leader

April 06. 2013 11:24PM

MANCHESTER - Friends and former pupils are remembering Alma Langlois, who died Saturday at age 93, as a poignant historian and teacher whose lessons went beyond the classroom.

Langlois was born Feb. 6, 1920, in Portland, Maine, and moved to Manchester after World War II.

For 22 years, Langlois taught English at Manchester High School Central. She retired from teaching in 1984, but Mayor Ted Gatsas, a former Langlois pupil, said her impact was profound enough that he gave her a proclamation three years ago, when Langlois turned 90.

"She was a wonderful, wonderful teacher," Gatsas said.

For most of her time at Central, she served as the adviser to the Little Green student newspaper. She was twice named a semifinalist in the National Journalism Teacher of the Year competition run by Columbia University Press, and she published five books of poetry.

William A. Burns, who was principal of Central High from 1967 to 1993, said he kept the "numerous" awards won by Langlois and the Little Green in a display case at the school.

"She was really a very good teacher with the students," he said. "The students seemed to adore her.

"Anything said by me about her would be very positive," Burns said. "She was a great person. I liked her a great deal."

Langlois published a monthly column in the New Hampshire Sunday News called "Mirror on Manchester." It focused on the city's history.

"I did not have her as a teacher, but she taught me a lot about civility, the city and character," said Joseph W. McQuaid, president and Publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader and president and chairman of the board of trustees of the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications. "The Loeb School was also thrilled to have her as one of its initial honorees."

Toni Pappas, past president of the Manchester Historic Association, said Langlois was able to portray Manchester's past in a special way.

"She just many times was able to capture the essence of what Manchester represents," Pappas said.

While in college at the University of Maine, Orono, she was president of the Sophomore Eagles, an editor for the campus newspaper and a member of the All Maine Women Honor Society. She also served as president of the Women's Student Council.

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