News About WOCSD

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Local junior high students place in DAR’s American History Essay Contest

posted Mar 23, 2021, 5:40 AM by Michael Richards   [ updated Apr 9, 2021, 10:50 AM ]

The Old York Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently announced the winners of the 2020-2021 DAR American History Essay Contest.  Six students from Wells Junior High School and one student from Noble Junior High School placed in the contest.  
According to the national DAR website (, “The American History Essay Contest (created in 1956) was established to encourage young people to think creatively about our nation's great history and learn about history in a new light,” … “Essays are judged for historical accuracy, adherence to the topic, organization of materials, interest, originality, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and neatness.” 
The Old York Chapter’s American History Chair Mrs. Barbara Carmone indicated that those who entered were required to write on the topic of the Boston Massacre, a pre-American Revolution confrontation between British soldiers and colonists.  “Students were to imagine they were living in Boston and after witnessing the events of March 5, 1770, describe their family discussions about the Boston Massacre and what role it played in organizing the colonists against the British King and Parliament,” noted Carmone.
Those who placed include:  Elana Michele Vennard of WJHS, First-Place 8th Grade Chapter Winner and Third-Place Maine State DAR 8th Grade Winner;  Maren Robinson of Noble High School in North Berwick, Second-Place 8th Grade Chapter Winner; London Chadwick of WJHS, First-Place 6th Grade Chapter Winner and Third-Place Maine State DAR 6th Grade Winner; Saoirse Carrigan and Hailey Ann Worthing from WJHS tied, making both Second-Place 6th Grade Chapter Winners; Mason Colbeth, of WJHS, First-Place 5th Grade Chapter Winner and Second-Place Maine State DAR 5th Grade Winner and Deanna Ferris, of WJHS, Second-Place 5th grade Chapter Winner.  Fourteen WJHS students, (four 5th graders, five 6th graders, and five 8th graders) entered the contest this year.

“The winners, as well as the essayists who did not make it to the winners' circle, did an exceptional job capturing this tragic and momentous event through their use of fascinating characters and strong emotion,” commented Carmone.  Later this spring these students will be honored by the Old York Chapter.  At that time all contest participants will be presented with certificates and gifts.

Apart from the junior high essay contest, DAR also recognizes good citizenship in high school seniors with the DAR Good Citizens Award and Scholarship Contest created to “encourage and reward the qualities of good citizenship.”  This year WHS senior and vice president of her class, Kate Pinette was among three to receive the DAR Good Citizens Award from the Old York Chapter.  Those that receive this honor have demonstrated the qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism. 
The Daughters of the American Revolution is a women’s lineage and service organization for women 18 years and older who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution.  The Old York Chapter in York currently has 67 members.  There also exists a National Society Sons of the American Revolution organization.

DAR Recipients
Top row, left to right :  Deanna Ferris (WJHS Gr.5) ; Adina Hunter, Teacher at Noble (with), Maren Robinson (Gr. 8 Noble High School), and Hailey Worthing (WJHS Gr. 6).
Bottom row, left to right: Mason Colbeth (WJHS Gr. 5) London Chadwick (WJHS Gr. 6) Saoirse Carrigan ( WJHS Gr. 6) and Elana Vennard (WJHS Gr. 8).   This image attached is provided courtesy of Barbara Carmone of the Old York Chapter of DAR. 

Nine WHS students receive recognition in regional art contest

posted Feb 24, 2021, 3:26 AM by Michael Richards

The Wells High School Art Department announced earlier this winter that nine WHS students have received a combined total of 13 awards in this year’s Maine Region Scholastic Art Award Competition, a regional component of the National Scholastic Art and Writing Contest.

According to the Art department, the students’ work was evaluated by a panel of judges based on three criteria: originality, technical skill, and the emergence of personal vision or voice.  The group received awards in the categories of Painting, Photography, Comic Art, Ceramics, and Drawing & Illustration. The Art Department at WHS includes Art teachers Emily Knight and Meredith Radford

“Art is meant to be shared,” commented Emily Knight.  “I am exceptionally proud of these students who, despite the additional burdens, stressors, and isolating factors in their lives right now, have continued to push themselves academically and creatively and put their work out into the world. Although we aren't able to see the work displayed physically in Portland this year, I know how proud and deserving these students are for this recognition.”

Following is a list of the winners and the categories in which they placed: Lilly Arbelo, a Gold Key in Photography, a Silver Key in Painting and an honorable mention in Photography;  Zoe Clark, a Gold Key in Photography and two honorable mentions in Photography;  Anavi Curtiss, honorable mention in Comic Art; Anna Franks, honorable mention in Painting; Natalie Hanagan, honorable mention in Photography; Rosemary Norton, honorable mention in Comic Art; Kai Rosenberg, honorable mention in Ceramics & Glass; Quinn Tremblay, honorable mention in Drawing & Illustration; and Grace Ward, honorable mention in Drawing & Illustration.  Gold Key recipients Arbelo and Clark have had their entries advanced to the national level of the contest.  According to Knight, the winners at the national level will be announced sometime in March.   

Founded in 1923, the National Scholastic Art and Writing Contest is described on its website ( as “The nation’s longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens.”   The contest is presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers and is open to 7th through 12th grade students.  The contest is organized locally by the Maine College of Art in Portland.   Due to the pandemic, a virtual exhibition of this year’s award-winning work can be found online at    

(Contest examples courtesy of Wells High School Art Dept.)
Arbello Gold Key
Lilly Arbelo received a Gold Key award in Photography for her above photo. 

Clark honorable mention
Zoe Clark received a Gold Key in Photography for her above photo. 

Ward honorable mention
Grace Ward received an honorable mention in Drawing & Illustration for the above drawing.

Curtiss Honorable Mention
Anavi Curtiss received an honorable mention in Comic Art for the above drawing. 

WHS announces its selection for the WMC Citizenship Awards

posted Feb 11, 2021, 4:15 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School seniors Nora Stevens and Jonah Potter have been selected to receive the Western Maine Conference’s Citizenship Award for 2021.  Each year two seniors from each high school in the WMC are selected by their school to receive this award in recognition of their leadership, community service and contributions to their school’s educational, athletic and social environments.

Nora Stevens with her award
Nora Stevens, a three-season athlete, has been an outstanding member of the WHS Field Hockey, Indoor Track, and Lacrosse teams for the past four years being selected as captain of the Lacrosse team in her junior year.  She is the recipient of numerous academic awards including Book Awards in English and mathematics and is a recipient of Breakfast of Champions and Student of the Trimester recognitions.  In addition to holding a rigorous academic schedule, including Honors level and Advanced Placement classes, Stevens also has completed coursework through York County Community College, the University of Southern Maine, and the University of New England.

Jonah Potter with his award
Jonah Potter is a peer role model in terms of volunteerism and leadership evidenced by being a volunteer tutor to elementary and junior high students and being vice president of the Interact Club/Community Service Program.  He consistently maintains a high level of academic achievement, even pursuing subjects independently should a particular course not be offered in the school's curriculum.  He is a talented student-athlete making four-year commitments to the Football, Wrestling, and Lacrosse programs.   Potter has been a part of eight state championships during his tenure at WHS and was a student representative for the NEASC accreditation process at WHS meeting with regional representatives of the program.  

Pinette receives the Principal’s Award at WHS

posted Jan 26, 2021, 3:33 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School Principal Eileen Sheehy announced in January that senior Kate Pinette has been selected to receive this school year’s Principal’s Award.  This annual award, sponsored by the Maine Principals' Association (MPA), is given in recognition of a student’s academic achievement and citizenship.

“Kate is an outstanding leader in our school community and very deserving of this recognition,” commented Principal Sheehy.  “She is a dedicated student and athlete and she’s always willing to lend a hand.”

Having maintained High Honor Roll status throughout her high school career, Kate Pinette has received several academic awards including a Breakfast of Champions Award, the Dartmouth College Book Award, and the DAR Good Citizenship Award.  In addition, she was recognized as an AP Scholar with Honor.  Kate is a member of the National Honor Society, vice-president of the WHS Class of 2021 and treasurer of the Environmental Club.  She has excelled in athletics, having been a member of the WHS Soccer and Track & Field and Cross-Country teams where she was a recipient of the Rookie, MVP and Coach’s Awards.  She also volunteers her time tutoring local elementary students in French.

According to WHS Guidance Counselor Sherri Anderson-Wormwood, “Kate…challenges herself academically, seeks leadership opportunities, and volunteers her time to help others.”

According to the Maine Principals’ Association website, the MPA Principal’s Award was established in 1984.  Each year, high schools that are members of the MPA select one outstanding senior to receive this honor.

K Pinette MPA Principal Awardee

The recipient of the MPA’s Principal’s Award at Wells High School for the 2020-2021 school year is Kate Pinette.

Kindergarteners plant for spring while social-distancing

posted Jan 4, 2021, 5:40 AM by Michael Richards

Since the fall of 2003, kindergarten students at Wells Elementary School have left their classrooms for a brief period on a day in November, often in the cold, so that each could receive a tulip bulb and plant it on school grounds.  Despite the ongoing pandemic, the tradition was able to continue for 2020 on November 10th. 

As in past years, the bulbs were provided by the school’s Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA).  The event was organized by Wells-Ogunquit CSD Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley.

Assisting students that day were parent volunteers, Jodie Woodworth, Danielle Charlonne, and Amanda Graves who, the day before, had dug over 100 holes, six feet apart, so that the students could socially distance from one other while planting. 

The kindergarteners planted their bulbs one class at a time in anticipation of seeing their flowers appear and bloom in the spring.  Kindergarteners who are remote-learners came to school on a separate day with their families to plant their bulbs.  

“We have had every kindergartener plant a bulb each fall since the new WES opened 17 years ago, and I didn’t want the pandemic to put an end to that tradition,” commented Foley.  “I’m glad we could figure out a way to organize it safely, and give all students, in-person and remote learners a chance to participate.”

Miss Duggan's class planting bulbs
Planting tulip bulbs are from left to right: Andrew Nadeau (facing the camera), Natalie Dickerson, and Caroline Miller.  They are students in Miss Duggan's kindergarten class. 

Kinder students planting bulbs
Kindergarten students planting tulip bulbs with Wells Elementary School in the background. 

With a pandemic in the background, summer reading program continues through the fall

posted Dec 8, 2020, 4:36 AM by Michael Richards

The summer of 2020 saw the Wells-Ogunquit CSD’s Summer Reading Program enter its fifth year.  Over time it has helped many students stay motivated to read throughout the long summer months.  However, this year, with a pandemic altering school routine and normalcy, its function and importance has expanded.   Instead of ending in early September, it has continued into the fall of this unusual year.
The reading incentive program, the idea of WOCSD Superintendent Jim Daly, began modestly at Wells Junior High School in 2016 under the direction of WJHS Librarian Lynn Mercier.  It has since expanded to reach into all of the District's schools.  Normally, as summer recess approaches, students are able to select two books that they want to read for the summer.  These books are from a wide selection of new paperbacks that they can take home and keep for free.  This year, distributing two books to each student at WJHS began again in the fall and, according to Mercier, will be completed in January.  Since the school’s library is now closed to students due to COVID 19, Mercier travels around the school with her book cart visiting students in each English language arts (ELS) classroom where she distributes the paperbacks.   
“I think it's a tremendous opportunity to encourage reading for our kids!” commented Superintendent Daly recently. “Ms. Mercier has done an outstanding job promoting literacy throughout our district.”
Local bookseller Francine Tanguay of Annie's Book Stop in Wells has also been instrumental in the success of this reading program since its beginning.  Her knowledge of books mixed with an understanding of what kids really like to read for pleasure when away from school has proved pivotal.  Tanguay recommends, orders, and provides the books at a discount.  She also donates many books whenever possible.  
“Compiling the lists for the Summer Reading Program is a group effort between the three school librarians with special attention paid to fun reading for the students,” commented Tanguay in an email.  “Given the number of students involved and (the) varied interests of the student body, the book selection ranges from picture books (for) early readers to various types of fiction and nonfiction for all age groups and abilities.”  

Librarian Mercier says she finds Tanguay to be very supportive, flexible and a great mentor.  “She has helped to put lots of books in students’ hands over the years,” said Mercier who added that “Francine helps us stretch our dollar!”  With the exception of 2020, Tanguay estimates, that 1,000 books are now provided yearly for students.   
“In this pandemic year, books are more important than ever to relieve the sense of isolation we all are experiencing but especially for our kids,” noted Tanguay.  “The program is an investment in our future as a community because these kids are our future.  
The principal of WJHS Josh Gould concluded, “We are thrilled to be able to put copies of books into our student's hands in a safe manner.  Reading activates the imagination.  During a pandemic, the imagination is a great friend!”                  

Students who participating in summer reading program
Caption:  From left to right is Hayden Williamson, Amelia Connor, CJ Douglas and Lynn Mercier.  

Additional Students who participated in the summer reading program
Caption:  From left to right is Ben Brown (with arms crossed), Lynn Mercier, Emmett Gagne and Devyn Woodman.

High School students create an obstacle course for K-2 students

posted Nov 18, 2020, 4:29 AM by Michael Richards

In October, a small group of Wells High School art students and their teacher Meredith Radford began creating a colorful and permanent “motor skills” obstacle course painted onto a large section of pavement on the playground at Wells Elementary School.    

“The course includes pathways, directional movements, loco-motor skills and balance skills, all which are developmentally age-appropriate, especially for K-2,” commented Radford in an email.   She and the Foundations Arts and Alternative education students were invited by WES Principal April Noble to create the course.

Earlier in the fall, Radford and students focused on creating several sidewalk chalk murals at various locations around Wells High School.   This was to get her students working outside more in a school year overshadowed by a pandemic, spruce up the campus with some color and provide designated spots where students could safely take a brief face mask break. 

The interactive course at Wells Elementary was seen as a way to get the younger students engaged in an activity that, with its unique design, helps them exercise while maintaining a safe distance from one another at recess.   In addition, the course requires no equipment to be shared and can be duplicated at home with a piece of chalk.   

“We are thrilled to add this motor course to our playground,” commented April Noble. “Upon its completion, the students instantly were engaged!  A motor course provides an opportunity to learn and experience different sensory input. This engaging, fun experience improves strength, balance, motor planning and coordination.  We are so thankful for the time and effort the high school put in to provide us with this course!”  

HS Student and Art Teacher working on the project
WHS student Nathan Bolduc and teacher Meredith Radford begin working with a design for WES's new motor skills course on October 21, 2020. “Its pretty cool,” said Bolduc.  “All the little kids can be able to use it.”

Obstacle Course Laid Out
Newly completed motor skills course at Wells Elementary School features  spins, star jumps, squats, toe touches and five arm circles, which, according to Radford, “are developmentally appropriate for K-2.” 

Elementary students vote in Maine student mock election

posted Oct 30, 2020, 4:36 AM by Michael Richards

Wells Elementary School held a simulated voting exercise on October 19th.   Third and fourth grade students including multi -3rd and -4th grade classes voted for presidential,  congressional and senatorial candidates using voting booths on loan from the Town of Wells.  This voting exercise was their participation in the Maine Student/Parent Mock Elections coordinated by the Maine Secretary of State’s Office in Augusta. 

The results from student voting at WES are as follows.  President:  Biden/Harris 116 votes (59%), Trump/Pence: 66 votes (34%) and “other” 14 (7%).   U.S. House of Representatives-Maine 1st Congressional District:  Chellie Pingree 73 votes (44%) and Jay Allen 91 votes (56%).   U.S. Senator Maine:  Susan Collins 87 votes (45%), Sarah Gideon 92 votes (48%) and “other” 13 votes (7%). 

The voting took place in the school's second floor foyer.   Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic there were no parent volunteers present this year to assist students with the process and tally up voting results.  However, School Resource Officer Scott Long managed the voter registration table and long-term substitutes Jen Hicks and Kaitlyn Tufts helped with sanitation requirements between voters.  Wells-Ogunquit CSD Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley organized this school event.

"We tried to give the students the experience of voting, even if it was during a pandemic year,” commented Foley. “Everyone sanitized before and after entering the voting booths, and stood in line socially-distant.  It was great to see the third and fourth graders so excited about the voting process. "   WES students currently attending school at home were allowed to vote absentee. 
According to the Maine Student/Parent Mock Election web page, “Participating an excellent way to encourage young people to become interested in voting and involved in candidate campaigns and state and national issues.”

The voting results from WES were compiled with those of other participating Maine schools and can be viewed at:

Student casting ballot in mock election
WES student Abby Bolduc casting her ballot during WES's 2020 mock election.  

Student posting his ballot in mock election
WES student Zachary Jenkins casting his ballot during WES's 2020 mock election 2020.

(This photo courtesy of Maryanne Foley)

Wells High School preparing to cull the Class of 2019’s student records

posted Sep 16, 2020, 5:01 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School will be culling student records for the Class of 2019 beginning in early October of 2020. Any student wishing to receive their cumulative folder, should submit their request in writing, including their name and mailing address, to guidance secretary Erin Sanborn. One can either email the request to her at or mail the request addressed to Erin Sanborn, Wells High School Guidance Office, 200 Sanford Road, Wells, ME 04090. The culling process will continue as time permits throughout the 2020-21 school year.

Jackson selected as new Assistant Principal for Wells High School

posted Aug 31, 2020, 5:59 AM by Michael Richards

Wells-Ogunquit CSD Superintendent Jim Daly has approved the recommendation of an interview committee and appointed Kevin Jackson as the Assistant Principal at Wells High School, effective August 1, 2020.

Mr. Jackson has been an IEP Coordinator and Special Education teacher at Noble High School since 2011.   He graduated from New England School of Communications and earned his teaching certification requirements through the University of Maine system completing his administrative certification at Endicott College.   During his nine years in education, Jackson has developed and implemented curriculum and instructional practices, facilitated professional development, developed programming for students, managed supervisory roles, delivered special education services, and managed a wide array of day-to-day school procedures.  

“Kevin's professional experience enables him to join our strong culture for excellence at Wells High School,” said WHS Principal Eileen Sheehy.

Committees composed of teachers, parents, and administrators facilitated the interview process.   A screening committee reviewed applications and selected five strong candidates.  After reviewing these final candidates the interview committee unanimously expressed their strong support for Jackson. 
K Jackson new WHS Assistant Principal

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