News About WOCSD

For more information about News About WOCSD please contact Reg Bennett at rebennett@wocsd.org or at 207-646-8331.

Students experience impairment and distractions during “simulated” driving

posted Dec 7, 2018, 4:12 AM by Michael Richards

The International Save a Life Tour, a driving safety awareness program presented by Matrix Entertainment of Grand Rapids Michigan, visited Wells High School in mid-October to present information and a bit of reality about distracted and impaired driving.

The day began with a morning presentation to a school-wide assembly followed by students experiencing virtual reality on two simulators, one complete with a distracting cell phone and another that provided the simulation of driving under the influence of alcohol. 

Christopher Rich of Matrix Entertainment first presented information on distracted and impaired driving stressing the dangerous and all too often fatal consequences that can arise from taking one’s eyes off the wheel and not focusing on driving even for a few seconds.  Later, Rich interacted with students throughout the morning and early afternoon as they experienced simulated driving in the gym.  

A junior with the first name of Jack tried the impaired driving simulator.  He said the experience was fun but “hard to do.”  Specifically, he found it hard to steer under the simulated conditions.  Junior Franny Ramsdell, who is also a student representative on the WOCSD School Committee, said that the presentation and experience with simulators “…was really cool because that’s like as real as you can get without actually experiencing it.”  

“We just try to get people to understand the severeness of it, the consequences that are associated with distracted driving…,” said Rich on the importance of this presentation.  Rich added that driving a car can be a very liberating experience but one needs to be wary of distractions that can arise while driving such as adjusting the radio, interacting with passengers in the vehicle and even “distracted” pedestrians walking alongside or crossing the road.  

WHS Student Resource Officer John Riegel organized the International Save a Life Tour’s visit to the school.  He said that WHS students begin getting their driving license in their sophomore year.  He estimates that half of the students at WHS already have driving licenses.

“This is great because it adds onto what we do with John Riegel,” said Health teacher, Nancy Cotty during the Matrix presentation.  For the past three years, Cotty’s Health classes (sophomores), as well as many junior students, have already been experiencing a little of what impaired driving is by wearing special-effects goggles while operating a golf cart in the school’s parking lot under Officer Riegel’s direction.
Driving demonstration at WHS
At center watching a student interact with an alcohol impairment simulator is WHS School Resource Officer (SRO) John Riegel

For nearly 25 years district’s volunteers continue to play a vital role

posted Dec 3, 2018, 10:30 AM by Michael Richards

The Wells-Ogunquit C.S.D. has had its current school volunteer program in place since 1994.  During that time, several thousand community volunteers and students have worked in one or more of the District’s three schools to fill important teacher, student and overall school needs by performing various tasks ranging from mentoring a small reading group of kindergarteners, coaching junior high students to performing clerical work.  Based on need, the majority of these volunteers have worked at Wells Elementary School. 

“The WES staff are extremely grateful to our volunteers,” commented Wells Elementary School Principal April Noble.   “Having these teens and adults in our building enrich connections to the community and teach our children about service learning.”  

“We couldn't do it without their help!” commented WOCSD Superintendent James Daly.  “We are truly lucky to have such supportive community members to work with our kids.”  

For nearly 25 years, Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley has coordinated the program.  Each year she instructs and places volunteers of varying ages and backgrounds into grades K through Adult Education classrooms or elsewhere.  “With the hundreds of volunteers we recruit each year, we are adding man-hour support to students and programs,” pointed out Foley who says new volunteers are always welcome.

However, new volunteers first need to register, have a quick security check and attend a one-time, 45-minute training seminar. Volunteers may then decide if they want to work daily or a few times a week and what they would like to do based on the expressed needs of school staff.  Supervised assignments could be in a classroom, computer lab, school library, office, on school grounds during an event or elsewhere.   Many help out on episodic projects or one-time yearly events such as school drama productions, the Scholastic Book Fair and Colors Day.  Volunteers also make up support groups such as the Athletic and Music Boosters.  

There are times when an elementary teacher can’t cover "all the bases" educating their students.  An example is in the kindergarten classroom of Marcia Millian where she needs to break her class into groups for individualized math and reading attention.  Millian estimates that volunteers provide about 200 combined hours each year with her students.  "I have been so lucky to have the support and help of so many parent and community volunteers in my classroom,” commented Millian. “They are an integral part of my successful academic centers, providing children with direct assistance, reinforcement of learned skills and encouragement to always do their best. I am so grateful for the continued assistance of my classroom volunteers!"

If one is interested in exploring volunteer opportunities in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD, please contact Maryanne Foley at 646-5953 extension 4204 Monday through Thursdays or send an email to her at: mfoley@wocsd.org.
Volunteer in action at Wells Elementary School
Volunteer Linda "Cork" Dobson with kindergarten students Brynn Moody and Isaac Earl.  This year is Dobson’s 14th year volunteering in Marcia Millian’s kindergarten classroom.  Another volunteer present the day this photo was taken in Millian’s classroom on October 31, 2018 was Diane Trachimowicz with her own small group of students.

Tyler Bridge selected Student-Athlete of the Month at WHS

posted Dec 3, 2018, 10:27 AM by Michael Richards

On November 15, Wells High School senior Tyler Bridge was honored as “Student-Athlete of the Month” for September of 2018.   He received this distinction for a combination of his academics and sportsmanship as a running back and cornerback with the WHS Warriors Football team, winners of the 2018 Class D State Championship.

“It feels pretty good,” said Bridge about receiving the award.   When asked why he thought that he had been picked for September he modestly added that “That’s the beginning of the season and we got off to a really good start for football”.  On November 17 in Orono, the Warriors won the state title against Foxcroft Academy 55-20.  In that game, Bridge scored a game-changing five touchdowns and tossed for another TD. 

“Tyler is the best football player in the state of Maine,” commented Warriors Head Coach Tim Roche. “He set school records for rushing 2390 yards and 45 touchdowns.  He was an outstanding defensive player with four interceptions.  On top of all that he is 5th in his class and a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council and Interact.”  Roche summed up Bridge as an “All around great kid.”

Presenting Bridge with the Student-Athlete of the Month plaque was WOSD Director of Athletics 6-12 Pierce Cole, Pam Moody-Maxon, and John C. Kreie.  

The Student-Athlete of the Month program is sponsored by the Cole Harrison Insurance Agency and Moody Maxon Real Estate.  John Kreie represents Cole Harrison in co-presenting the Student-Athlete of the Month Award at the school. 

“Tyler was the leading force behind yet another State Championship Football team,” commented Kreie. “His numbers this year are mind-boggling…”   Kreie added, “He’s an unbelievable athlete, a super humble kid who is also top five in his class and will certainly make some college football coach happy…”   

According to the Journal Tribune of November 23, 2018, Bridge is now in the running with another to receive the Fitzpatrick Trophy for 2018.     
Bridge posing with his award
(left to right) Pierce Cole, Tyler Bridge, Pam Moody-Maxon, and John C. Kreie

Tulip planting at WES reaches 15th year

posted Nov 28, 2018, 4:11 AM by Michael Richards

On November 18, shortly before snow and colder temperatures arrived, kindergarten students at Wells Elementary School emerged from their classrooms to plant tulip and daffodil bulbs in the school’s courtyard area.  Over the years, this brief introduction to gardening for the school’s youngest has become a late fall tradition.

As in previous years, the bulbs were purchased by the PTSA and the planting was planned and organized by Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley. According to Foley, about 120 holes for the bulbs were pre-dug by school volunteers Allyson Barry, Casey Welch, and Lindsey Jenkins.

Since the fall of 2003, kindergarteners have been burying tulips in anticipation of seeing “their own” bulb ─ each child gets one to plant ─ bloom and add to the color of springtime around the school.  Over the past 15 years, this age group has also planted alliums, crocus and hyacinth in varying locations on school grounds.  This year, WES has 97 kindergarten and 13 pre-kindergarten students enrolled. 
Students planting tulips
Kindergarten students planting tulip and daffodil bulbs near the entrance to Wells Elementary School.
Students preparing gardens

WHS students receive NSDC Award

posted Nov 28, 2018, 4:06 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School Principal Eileen Sheehy has announced that seniors Katherine Reidy and Matthew Chase are the recipients of the 2018 National School Development Council’s Award for Academic Growth and Student Leadership.  

The Council, formed in 1969, seeks to acknowledge the positive contributions students make to schools.  Recipients of this award exemplify admirable character and accomplishment.  

“Katie and Matt are wonderful examples of the many positive ways students can influence a school,” commented Principal Sheehy.  “Their dedication to academics is commendable and their positive and enthusiastic presence is contagious.”

For more information on the National School Development Council and this award visit www.nsdc.us
Students posing with award
WHS seniors Katherine Reidy and Matthew Chase

Veterans recognized in assembly featuring guests from the Travis Mills Foundation

posted Nov 14, 2018, 11:22 AM by Michael Richards   [ updated Nov 14, 2018, 11:23 AM ]

A couple of days before Veterans Day 2018, 45 area veterans plus active US Military members attended Wells Elementary School’s annual Veterans Day assembly.

One by one, these special guests were introduced to the assembled students, staff and other guests.  This was followed by several segments including the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner”, a performance by the Wells High School Band and Color Guard team performing synchronized flag routines. Towards the end of the hour, students stood and sang a rousing rendition of “You’re a Grand Old Flag.”

Also attending the assembly were three representatives from the Travis Mills Foundation who spoke briefly and, before departing, received 64 neatly wrapped gift baskets previously assembled by teachers and students to bring back to the Foundation’s rehabilitation retreat for disabled veterans in Rome, Maine.  These baskets will be given to wounded veterans and their families who visit the retreat founded by Army veteran and quadruple amputee Travis Mills.  Representing the Foundation were Program Director Kelly Roseberry, Facilities Manager, and veteran Chris Roseberry and Program Coordinator Holly Oliver. 

Family members of those connected to the military were introduced.  Standing in the audience was Sarah Hester whose husband Chad is in the Navy.  “Absolutely amazing,” said Hester of what she was witnessing. “(I am) very impressed and honored.”  The Hesters recently moved to York County from Sacramento, California and have a third-grade student enrolled at WES.  

In the days leading up to the assembly, students and staff led by Tech Integrator Marty Cryer, collected and packed items into the gift baskets for the Travis Mills Foundation.  One of the classrooms assembling some of the baskets was that of Pam Lear’s.  

Donations of assorted items in the baskets for adults and children came from Toms of Maine, Renys in Wells, the Kittery Trading Post and parents of students. “The parents came through like gangbusters once again as they always seem to,” said Cryer of the generosity of the community.

To learn more about the Travis Mills Foundation or to make a much-appreciated donation, go online to: travismillsfoundation.org.  At this website, visitors can check out volunteer opportunities, and disabled veterans sign up to attend one of the Foundation’s retreats. 

According to WES Principal April Noble, the organizers of this event ─with assistance from others─ including Assistant Principal Theresa Curran, Music teacher Karen Taylor and Marty Cryer who has two sons currently serving in the military plus a husband and another son who are veterans.  
Veteran's Day Baskets from WES
Some of the 60 plus baskets of items prepared by WES students and staff to greet wounded veterans who attend the Travis Mills Foundation’s retreat in Rome Maine.  The retreat is located at the former Eve Arden estate in the Belgrade Lakes region. 

Taking a break from packing baskets
left to right) Aiden Lear, WES teacher Pam Lear, WES Tech Integrator Marty Cryer and Emma Grace Lear (6th grade) taking a break from packing many of the baskets of donated items eventually given to representatives of the Travis Mills Foundation for their retreat in Rome Maine on Veterans Day at WES.

School Committee recognizes cross country teams

posted Nov 14, 2018, 4:27 AM by Michael Richards

On November 7th, the Wells-Ogunquit CSD School Committee recognized the Wells High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams for their championship victories.  Superintendent Jim Daly and School Committee Chair Helena Ackerson awarded Certificates of Recognition from the School Committee to members of the WHS Girls Cross Country team and the WHS Boys Cross Country team for both winning the 2018 Western Maine Conference Division II Championship.  Daly noted that this is the first such win for the Girls team and the fourth consecutive WMC win for the Boys team.  

Also recognized was longtime Cross Country Coach Bob Winn.  “Great job. I think our kids, no matter what sport or activity they are participating in, (are) winning.  …they represent us in the best way and we couldn’t do it without you,” said Superintendent Daly to Winn.  
Cross Country Teams honored by School Committee
Members of Wells High School’s Boys and Girls Cross Country teams.  Coach Bob Winn is at far left. Not all team members were present to receive their certificates

WJHS to present holiday dinner for area seniors this Sunday

posted Nov 13, 2018, 12:02 PM by Michael Richards   [ updated Nov 13, 2018, 12:03 PM ]

Eighth-grade students and staff at Wells Junior High School will present the 24th Annual Turkey Dinner for area seniors on Sunday, November 18 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.  The dinner will consist of turkey with all the fixings plus coffee and dessert.  This popular event which serves about 400 annually is not only a gesture of goodwill offered to the community but a major ’service learning’ project for all eighth-grade students.  For more information, please call WJHS at 646-5142.

Previous Thanksgiving celebration
File photo showing a typical scene from the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner in 2014 at Wells Junior High School.

School bus drivers have a week in the spotlight

posted Nov 1, 2018, 11:10 AM by Michael Richards

The Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) at Wells Elementary School held Bus Driver Appreciation Week from October 22 through October 26.  During that time those that have the major responsibility of transporting Wells-Ogunquit CSD students to and from their respective schools, were recognized for their service. 

On Monday morning, these local Ledgemere Transportation bus operators were greeted with large “thank you” signs erected at various stops along their route.  Later, at their morning break at the Ledgemere bus barn, they snacked on doughnuts donated by Congdon’s Doughnuts and coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts.  Beginning Wednesday, drivers either found “thank you” notes waiting for them inside their buses or were handed similar notes during the week.  These expressions of appreciation were created by their k through 4th grade student riders. 

Back at the bus barn at lunchtime on Friday, drivers were treated to a lunch of chili donated by The Steakhouse in Wells and a cold cut platter donated by Hannaford Supermarket in Wells.  Other items on the menu were provided by PTSA members.  Drivers also received mugs donated by Krystle McCarthy of Rustic Designs.  PTSA member Nicole Iannillo was the primary organizer of this year’s Bus Driver Appreciation Week.

According to Ledgemere Bus Terminal Manager Lauren Clark, there are currently 15 drivers who work out of the bus barn in Wells.  On an average school day, her crew transports about 450 students.  Ledgemere also transports students in York and Sanford but from different locations with different drivers and buses.  Ledgemere Transportation is a subsidiary of Student Transportation of America.

It goes without saying that driving a school bus is a tremendous responsibility including adherence to safety at all times.  However, according to Clark, one dangerous annoyance for her drivers is the occasional vehicle that attempts to illegally pass a stopped school bus that is picking up or dropping off passengers.  She reiterates that it is critical for drivers not to pass a school bus when they see it stopped and showing warning indicators, including flashing lights and a raised stop sign.  
Bus drivers posing
At the Ledgemere bus barn location in Wells are some of Ledgemere’s bus drivers who transport Wells-Ogunquit CSD students.  Standing (left to right) are Marcia Finley, Penny Johnson, Tammy Bissell, Jean Lariviere, Lauren Clark, Bill Cochran, Maurice Violette, Paul Littlefield, and Dan Hobbs.  In the bus (l to r) are Rochelle Greenwood, Christine Towne, Tabitha Bergeron, and Alicia Goodwin (holding her son David).

Thank you mugs
Mugs like this one were given to all Ledgemere bus drivers to show appreciation for their work driving students in the Wells Ogunquit Community School District. 

The Wells Players present You Can't Take it With You beginning November 14th

posted Nov 1, 2018, 11:07 AM by Michael Richards

The Wells Players will present the madcap comedy by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart You Can't Take It With You, in the performing arts center at Wells High School commencing Wednesday, November 14th with a 3:30 pm performance.  Seats for this matinee are $5 with free admission offered to students and senior citizens. The show will continue with evening performances on Thursday the 15th at 6:30 pm and Friday the 16th at 7 pm.  The final performance will be on Saturday, November 17th at 2:00 pm.  Ticket prices are $8 for the general public and $5 for students and senior citizens.

Please note that the 7 pm show scheduled for Thursday, November 16th is “tentative”, based upon the State Football Championship game the same day.  Should Friday's play performance be postponed, a make-up performance is planned for Saturday, November 17th at 7 pm.

Winner of the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, You Can't Take It With You was later adapted for the big screen. The movie of the same name went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director in 1939. 

The play is considered a favorite of American high school productions.  As the story unfolds, Grandpa Vanderhof and his eccentric family, the Sycamores, are happily living their zany, contented lives. They are a warm, loving family proudly marching to the beat of their own drum. Their hobbies include collecting snakes, building fireworks in the basement, writing a myriad of plays that never get published, and taking ballet lessons. But when practical young Alice Sycamore becomes engaged to her company’s vice president, Tony Kirby, disaster ensues despite best-laid plans. Will the two families find a way to accept each other? Will love conquer all? 

This production is directed by Andrew Lopez and features a cast of more than twenty Wells High School performers and stage crew.  You Can't Take It With You is produced with special arrangement from Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York, NY. 
Cast of the play
The Wells Players present You Can't Take it With You.  Cast members are (left to right): Ella Poulin, Michael Gregory, Braeden Baston, Nathan Imhoff, Paige Tremblay, Parker McDermott, Noel Spofford, Abby Hanson, Katie Reidy, John Keniston, Hannah Wrigley, Garner Holdsworth, Alexis Howes, Logan Worthley, Emily Jarvis, Delaney Bailey, Samantha Jones and Sydney McDermott. (Cast members not pictured: Anna Gould and Abi Legere). 

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