News About WOCSD

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

WHS seniors visit elementary school before graduation

posted Jun 14, 2018, 4:20 AM by Michael Richards

On June 7th, in what has become a tradition over recent years, the senior class at Wells High School, all dressed in graduation caps and gowns, walked the short distance from their school to Wells Elementary School.  Just three days before their Sunday graduation, they came to visit the students and staff and walk the school’s hallways one last time before beginning the next chapter in their lives.  At center in the photo leading the Class of 2018 into her school past cheering fourth and multi ¾ grade students is WES Principal April Noble.   The rest of the student body and staff lined the school’s hallways to cheer the seniors on. 
WHS Seniors at WES

WES welcomed students and their families to after-school motivational event

posted Jun 12, 2018, 4:12 AM by Michael Richards

The Title I Team at Wells Elementary School organized and held “Avoid the Summer Slide”, an event for Title I students and their families on May 17th.    According to the group, they welcomed about 77 attendees (from 30 families) for an early evening dinner plus math and literacy activities.  Team members include Kim Richard, Karen Valliere, Nancy Talbot, Bonnie Esty, and Lucille Pisano. Volunteers included students from Wells Junior High School and some WES classroom teachers.

The evening was designed to help prevent students from losing skills in literacy and math over the summer.  To keep students reading and working on their math skills regularly during the warm summer months, they were given a calendar of daily literacy and math activities.  Students also left with materials to play literacy and math games.  Those who return their calendars when school resumes in September will be entered into a drawing to win one of two bicycles donated by the Masons of Ocean Lodge #142.  

“I found tonight's event very informative,” stated one parent in feedback comments.   Another parent commented, “I liked being shown how to get my son to have fun while learning! That's definitely the way to do it.” 

“Avoid the Summer Slide” was also attended by Allison Herman, Assistant Library Director and Head of Youth Services at the Wells Public Library.  She spoke about the library’s summer reading program.
Preventing the Summer Slide
In the photo are a few of the students who attended WES’s “Avoid the Summer Slide”.  Sitting on the right side of the table are (left to right), Whitney Thomas, Mason Miles, and Emma Roberts.

Communications and terrorism expert speaks to students at WHS

posted Jun 6, 2018, 5:01 AM by Michael Richards

In May, an expert in communications and terrorism spoke about his work to a large group of Wells High School sophomores and others in the Olenn Auditorium.  In his lecture, Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Buffalo, Mark G. Frank, Ph.D. focused on lying.   He showed video clips to demonstrate how a trained interviewer can detect when someone is lying through careful observation of subtle “micro” facial expressions and body language. 

But this is just one aspect of Dr. Frank’s research and teaching career.  He has a long list of accomplishments including training over 1,000 law enforcement agencies and being a founding member of the FBI's Terrorism Research and Analysis Project.   His research has been funded by The National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Several of the video clips shown were research videos featuring college students either truthfully answering questions or putting on an act to conceal lying in their answers.  Following the clips, Dr. Frank would ask the audience for a show of hands as to who they thought was lying.   

Sometimes deception in someone is not so easy to spot without the aid of technology.  One clip shown required Dr. Frank to freeze frame a segment of a video to reveal something startling that the casual viewer would miss.  At one point in a video deposition for a civil case that involved him, OJ Simpson is shown a photograph of himself wearing a pair of Bruno Magli shoes.  Buried in that split-second of deposition footage is a remarkable image of a wide-eyed and seemingly horrified Simpson as he discovers that he is waring that brand of shoes in the photo, shoes he indicated once that he would never wear, and a brand of shoes worn by the murderer in the 1994 murder of his wife and friend, a crime Simpson was acquitted of earlier in a criminal trial in Los Angeles.  

“It’s always important, I think, for students to understand how science ultimately gets deployed,” said Dr. Frank after his presentation.  He believes students need to understand how seemingly insignificant experiments such as researching facial expressions can ultimately lead to something major including apprehending terrorists.   He hopes presentations like this will help bring science to life for students so that they can make informed decisions when, as voting citizens, they are presented with choices about funding scientific research.

This presentation was planned by WHS social studies teacher Kevin O'Shaughnessy who commented later that student responses to the lecture were “very positive.”  “Dr. Frank is a real-life example of an expert that explains and trains law enforcement in techniques that help catch (terrorists) or prevent terrorist acts,” commented O’Shaughnessy who is a long-time friend of Dr. Frank.   O’Shaughnessy has hosted previous lectures by Dr. Frank in his AP Psychology class.  This lecture was held primarily for sophomores in World After 1945 classes taught by O’Shaughnessy and colleague Kristen Thompson.  That course includes a study unit on terrorism.                                          

“Students were genuinely interested in Dr. Frank's information on profiling,” commented social studies teacher Kristen Thompson. “They related to his sense of humor and were an involved audience. They particularly liked learning about the facial characteristics that indicate lying!”   

Terrorism speaker
At the lectern and in front of a power point collage of various infamous characters on May 17, 2018 is communications and terrorism expert Dr. Mark G. Frank of the University of Buffalo

WJHS Students “rally” for upcoming blood drive at WJHS

posted May 30, 2018, 12:46 PM by Michael Richards

The Wells Junior High School student body filled the seats in the Ward Gymnasium on May 23rd for a blood drive “rally” featuring a student quiz show presented by the American Red Cross. This was in advance of an actual blood drive to be held by the Red Cross at WJHS in the Ward Gym on June 4th from 1pm to 6pm.  

The panel for the quiz show consisted of representatives from the school’s grades who sat in front of the audience to answer questions from Sherry Woodes of the Red Cross’ Portland office.  Woodes came to the presentation with two student volunteers from Greely High School who assisted her while appearing as a big brown dog and a “very” large drop of blood with eyes.  

Woodes indicated that employing a quiz show format before a group of students is an idea that she tried for the first time at WJHS.  “It was a great response. The kids were fantastic,” she said.   

Woodes, the Donor Recruitment Account Manager for York County, indicated that this informational and motivational event at the school was part of the Red Cross’ Future Donor Program targeted to educate, engage and motivate a middle school audience.  Despite being too young to donate blood, this presentation is to communicate to them that they can still play a role in helping in the ongoing cause to build up critical blood supplies.  Woodes said that she organizes and coordinates the blood drives in York County, averaging 25 each month.

Woodes pointed out in the presentation that there are many ways students can help make a blood drive successful including informing and motivating their parents and other adults to come to an upcoming blood drive at their school.  “They need to go out and talk to adults.  They need to let adults know about the blood drive and the importance of donating blood,” said Woodes.  

"Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood,” commented Woodes later. “It is the blood (that is) already on the shelves that saves lives, which is why we must work hard every day to constantly replenish the supply."    

For more information on the blood drive, call Sherry Woods at 207-831-4541.  WJHS staff members Ellen Rodman and Dianne Hussey were the coordinators for Woodes’ appearance at the school.  WJHS’s Health teacher Rodman can be reached at 646-5142 during regular school hours. 
WJHS Blood Drive Rally Game

At left is American Red Cross Account Manager Sherry Woodes quizzing a panel of WJHS students on “all things blood”. 

Wells High School Graduation and Top Ten list for 2018

posted May 30, 2018, 5:16 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School will hold commencement exercises on June 10th at 1:00 pm at Warrior Memorial Field.  Estelle Reardon is the Class of 2018 Valedictorian and Anya Chase is Class Salutatorian.  This year’s commencement speaker will be Wells High School Class of 2004 alumnus and musician/rapper, Ryan Peters, known professionally as “Spose”.  

The Wells High School Guidance Department has released the names of the top ten academically ranked students for the Class of 2018.  What follows is an alphabetical listing along with abbreviated school biographies. 

Kylie Belanger is the daughter of Lili and Todd Belanger of Wells.  She will be attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute to major in Biotechnology.  Kylie has challenged herself at virtually every opportunity with honors-level coursework as well as Advanced Placement (AP) courses throughout high school.  Not only has she been a solid, committed member of the WHS Basketball, Lacrosse and Soccer teams but has held leadership roles in the Interact Club, Student Council (president), FEMS in STEM, Philosophy Club and the National Honor Society (president).  She has received WHS book awards, including the St. Michael’s College Book Award, Student of the Trimester award and is a 2017 recipient of the National School Development Council’s Award for Academic Growth and Student Leadership.  She has participated on the Prom Committee and performed with the WHS Select A Cappella group, Chorus, and Drama Club.  Kylie has volunteered for numerous community service opportunities including the “Shootin’ for a Cure” breast cancer fundraiser, Tour de Cure for Diabetes, Catholic Charities of Maine, National Reading Day, Band Boosters Turkey Dinners, Preble Street Food Shelter and at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital.  She has served the homeless at special events and is a valued member of her local church.  
Belanger Top 10

Anya Chase is the Class of 2018 Salutatorian and daughter of Sophia and Matt Chase of Wells.  Anya will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology majoring in Biological Engineering.  At WHS, she has received a plethora of academic awards including a Literacy Achievement Award, WHS book awards in numerous subjects including the Dartmouth Book Award and Student of the Trimester recognition.  She is not only an AP Scholar with Distinction but actively involved in the WHS Student Council, Quiz Show Team, Math Team, and the National Honor Society.  Anya has made a solid commitment to the WHS Field Hockey, Basketball and Softball teams earning numerous athletic awards, including Western Maine Conference All-Star, MaxPreps National Player of the Week, Journal Tribune Softball MVP, Portland Press Herald “Softball Player to Watch,” as well as earning recognition on the All-State Softball Team.  Anya has dedicated her time to the community by participating in the “Shootin’ for a Cure” fundraiser and volunteering at Wells Parks and Recreation. She has tutored 8th-grade math students and volunteered at the Wells Public Library.
Chase Top 10

Olivia Durfee is the daughter of Tracy and James Durfee of Wells.  Olivia will be attending Sewanee: The University of the South majoring in Biology/PreMed.  At WHS she has been a member of the Student Council, FEMS in STEM, the Philosophy Club, and National Honor Society. She is also a 2017 recipient of the National School Development Council’s Award for Academic Growth and Student Leadership.  She has served as vice-president and president of the Interact Club and has volunteered her time throughout the community including for “Shootin’ for a Cure”, the Preble Street Food Shelter, the Ronald McDonald House, and numerous blood drives.  Olivia has been a solid member of the WHS Soccer, Basketball and Softball teams and has received the Warrior Pride Award plus an MVP award in soccer.          
Durfee Top 10

Raven Goodell is the daughter of Jason and Deanna Goodell of Wells.  Raven will be attending the University of Maine at Orono majoring in Music.  She is a Questbridge College Prep Scholar, a recipient of a Breakfast of Champions recognition and numerous WHS book awards.  She has been a member of the WHS Select A Cappella group, the WHS Band and the Jazz Band, Chorus and Winter Guard.  She has donated countless hours at the Safe Haven Humane Society, as well as volunteering with “Starz for Broadway” at Wells Elementary School.  
Goodell Top 10

Mitchell Libby is the son of David and Karen Libby of Wells.  Mitchell will be attending the University of Southern California this fall majoring in Electrical Engineering.  While at WHS, he has been a four-year member of both the Track & Field and Cross Country teams.  Mitchell has also made solid, four-year commitments to the WHS Jazz band and Concert Band programs.  A member of the Philosophy club, he is also Captain of both the Math Team and Cross Country teams.  Libby also received WHS’s Athlete of the Month for October of 2016 and October of 2017 for running on the boys cross country team.  In November of 2017, he represented WHS in the 2017 New England Cross Country Championships.  Previously to that, he won the Western Maine Conference Division II Championship and finished 2nd in the state Class B championship.  Mitchell was voted “Mr. WHS” by his peers in the fall of his senior year.  
Libby Top 10

Estelle Reardon is the Class of 2018 Valedictorian and the daughter of Daniel and Muazzez (Gul) Reardon of Ogunquit.  Estelle will be attending the University of Chicago where she will major in Political Science and Creative Writing.  She has received numerous academic accolades while at WHS including first place in the Daughters of The American Revolution Good Citizenship Award in New England/New York, Literary Achievement Awards, selection to the New England Young Writers’ conference, recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa and Williams College Book Awards, semifinalist in the Letters about Literature contest, as well as Student of the Trimester and Breakfast of Champions recognitions.  As a freshman, she received Second Place in Voice of Democracy (the VFW’s high school equivalent to Patriot's Pen) youth writing contest. She is a member of the National Honor Society, president and founder of both the Philosophy and Real Facts Clubs and president of FEMS in STEM.  She has done two medical internships over the last two summers at the Maine Medical Research Center and the University of Southern Maine respectively.  At WHS she has also participated in outdoor track and cross country. She has published a story in a prominent Vermont literary magazine as well as an online novel.  The novel, entitled Elimination, has been read by over two thousand and is ranked five stars on the Inkitt website.  
Reardon Top 10

Megan Schneider is the daughter of Cheryl Turner and Ronald Schneider Jr. of Wells.  Megan has been accepted to St. Michael's College where she will major in English.  At WHS she has been co-president of the National Honor Society and vice-president of the Student Council.  Megan is a three-sport athlete, a frequent recipient of Warrior Pride Awards and is one of this year’s recipients of the Good Citizen Award of the Western Maine Conference.  Megan has served as team captain for both the volleyball and lacrosse programs and has made a solid, four-year commitment to the school’s basketball program as well.  She has received WHS book awards, is an AP student and recipient of the UNE’s Department of Environmental Studies Award. She has received a Silver Key and an Honorable Mention for Photography in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.  She has volunteered for Links for Liza, Shootin’ for a Cure, Little Dribblers, and at the Congregational Church of Wells.
Schneider Top 10

Madison Szczygiel is the daughter of Matthew and Debbie Szczygiel of Wells.  Madison will be attending Dalhousie University to major in Medical Sciences.  At WHS she has been a member of Interact, FEMS in STEM, Math Team and a member of the National Honor Society.  She is secretary of the Student Council and president of the senior class.  She has received the Good Citizenship Award of the Western Maine Conference, numerous WHS book awards including the Anselm Book Award.  She has received Athlete of the Month, Breakfast of Champions and Student of the Trimester recognitions.   She was involved with indoor/outdoor track, is captain of the Varsity Soccer team, manager of the Ice Hockey team and is a recipient of Varsity Track 30C Citizenship and Leadership awards. She was also a Western Maine Conference leadership representative.  
Szczygiel Top 10

Leah Tufts is the daughter of Karen and Charles Tufts of Wells.  She has been accepted to Bentley University as a member of their Honors and Women’s Leadership programs and will major in Business.  Leah has been president of the Student Council and has received numerous academic book awards, sportsmanship awards - including the WMC Good Sportsmanship Award, and scholastic recognitions including Student of the Trimester.  She was captain of both the WHS Lacrosse and Soccer teams and a member of the Girls Basketball team. Leah has also been class treasurer, a member of the Philosophy Club, Math Team, Quiz Show Team, National Honor Society, Interact Club, and vice-president of the FEMS in STEM club.  Leah has volunteered with Shootin for a Cure, Special Olympics York County, Future Stars Basketball Camp, The Ronald McDonald House; the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center and at Preble Street Food Shelter. Earlier this year, Leah was selected by WHS Principal Eileen Sheehy to receive the Maine Principals’ Award. 
Tufts Top 10

Channing Wang is the son of Michael and Celia Wang of Wells.  He will be attending Rice University to major in Economics.    At WHS, he served as treasurer of the Student Council and secretary of the National Honor Society.  Channing has served as class vice-president and secretary, is a member of the Quiz Show Team, Math Team, and the WHS Basketball team.  He also won a Silver Key for Photography in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.  Channing is a Questbridge College Prep Scholar and National College Match Finalist. 
Wang top 10

WOCSD seeking to continue innovation and high standards in student nutrition with search for new food service director

posted May 23, 2018, 12:06 PM by Michael Richards

In recent years, the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District has received attention at the state and national level for achieving consistently high academic rankings and a 100 percent graduation rate.  For example, in their 2018 list of top performing high schools, US News and World Report designated Wells High School a “Silver Medal School” for being ranked 4th among Maine high schools and 523rd nationally. 

“As this honor is well deserved, it also pushes us to work even harder to be the best at everything we do,” commented School Committee member Boriana Dolliver.  “We would also like to pride ourselves into being innovative in terms of how we approach eating and nutrition.  Simply put, Dolliver sees one premise here and that is “Food should be delicious and good for you.”

So, along with dedicated teachers, adequate resources and a supportive community, it is reasonable to assume that good nutrition at lunchtime also factors into the mix leading to overall academic success.  For over ten years the District has strived with its farm-to-school initiative to serve healthier, less processed food meals producing, on average, about 12,000 such meals a month in a 10-month school year. 

With that said, and with the news that the current nutrition services director is leaving the District to embark on another chapter in her career, the Wells-Ogunquit CSD, finds itself seeking a new Director - one who will continue the commitment to the District’s ongoing 10+ year direction to reinforce good eating habits among students through education, special events and limiting a reliance on processed foods through a continued partnership with area farmers thus incorporating fresh produce into school meals. 

“We are (hoping to find) a food service professional who is passionate about nutrition and kids. Someone who can play a role in driving positive change in the WOCSD food system,” added Dolliver. 

In 2012, the School Nutritional Services and the Physical Education department at WES were recognized with a “Silver Award” in the Healthier U.S. Schools Challenge, a voluntary program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.  

For more information please contact the Wells-Ogunquit CSD at 207-646-8331 from 8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday. 

WHS Alumni Association to hold golf tournament June 3rd

posted May 23, 2018, 7:28 AM by Michael Richards

The 7th Annual Wells High School Alumni Association Golf Tournament will be held at the Cape Neddick Country Club on Sunday, June 3, 2018.  Funds raised from this event will go towards the Association’s Scholarship Fund.  

Registration begins at 7:30am followed by the tournament’s Shotgun Start at 8:30.   The 4-player team scramble format has a fee of $100 per player which includes expenses for golf, cart, prizes and lunch.    There will be a raffle with offers from local businesses plus various contests and other prizes.   Each player will receive two “hole-in-one” chances (rules apply) to win either a 2018 Ford Focus from Starkey Ford or a Husqvarna lawn tractor from Eliot Small Engine Repair.   Eldredge Lumber & Hardware is also a sponsor of this tournament.  

Registration forms can be found at  Registration fees are considered a tax-deductible donation and are due with the registration form.  For more information, please contact WHSAA President Joe Searles at either 207-205-0741 or 207-985-7465.  Should this tournament be canceled due to bad weather, a rain date of June 24th has been set.

The Cape Neddick Country Club is located south of Ogunquit at 650 Shore Road in Cape Neddick, Maine.  

Alumni from previous golf tournament
Pictured is the 4-player team called “KABA” which won the 2017 WHS Alumni Association Golf Tournament.  Team members (the order of them listed here does not align with this photo) include Kathy Sullivan, Anne Pelvine, Bill Driscoll, and Andy DiDomenico

WHS sports teams recognized by the Maine Legislature

posted May 17, 2018, 7:16 AM by Michael Richards

State Representative Robert Foley and State Senator Ronald Collins visited Wells High School on May 8th.  They came to present “Legislative Sentiments” to the WHS basketball and wrestling teams.  Legislative sentiments is an official document expressing the Senate and House’s recognition of the accomplishments of both teams during their most recent seasons. 
While the school will keep the original document presented, each team member and coach was provided a copy of it by Representative Foley.  Legislative Sentiments are approved by both legislative bodies and signed by the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate. 
“I was honored to be able to recognize the efforts these two teams gave this season,” commented Foley.  “A Legislative Sentiment is an official State document that will be forever a part of the State's legislative documents.  Having the basketball team earn back-to-back Southern Maine Class B championships and the wrestling team winning consecutive Class B State championships is worthy of this recognition.  Both teams represented our town well and we are proud of their efforts."  Foley represents District 7 in the Maine House of Representatives. 

“Congratulations to another two Wells High School championship teams; wrestling and basketball,” said Senator Ron Collins in a phone interview.  “Wells continues to produce championship teams year after year.  It’s quite a legacy,” added Collins who represents State Senate District 34.
Boys Basketball Team Honored
2018 Class B South Boys Basketball Regional Champions, the WHS Boys Basketball Team.  Senator Ron Collins is at far left and Representative Bob Foley is at far right.

Wrestling team honored
2018 Class B State Champions, the WHS Wrestling Team.  State Representative Bob Foley is in the back row, second from left.  At far right is Senator Ron Collins.  

WHS’s Campanella signs “National Letter of Intent”

posted May 7, 2018, 3:58 AM by Michael Richards

In the lobby of Wells High School on April 26th, WHS senior Rosemary Campanella signed a National Letter of Intent (NLI) to play tennis for Merrimack College where she plans to major in Engineering and Spanish.  In agreeing to play, she will receive a scholarship to attend this college located in North Andover, Massachusetts. 

“It is super exciting,” said Campanella who was accompanied at the signing by her mother Karen, father Kevin and sister Grace.   “I’ve wanted to play college tennis my whole life.”   Introducing Campanella to those attending the signing and press conference was Wells-Ogunquit CSD Director of Athletics 6-12 Pierce Cole.

Campanella said that she has been playing tennis close to 15 years.  During high school, she has played three years on a team composed of WHS and Kennebunk High School students.  Jacquelyn Holmes is the coach of this team, the Kennebunk/Wells Girls Tennis Team.  According to Holmes, Campanella lost just one match last year playing number 1 singles and made it to the state finals.  

“Rose was a strong, persistent advocate for a Kennebunk/Wells tennis team her freshman year,” commented Holmes.  “Since she has not only been an outstanding tennis player on the team, but she has grown into an extraordinary leader both on and off the court.  She is an absolute joy to watch play and learn from.  I am so proud of her for choosing to attend Merrimack in the fall.  We will miss her here, but I have no doubt she will flourish there.  They are lucky to have her.”   

According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), by signing an NLI, the college-bound student-athlete agrees to attend the school in exchange for athletics financial aid. 
Campanella signing her letter
Left to right: Karen, Rosemary, Kevin and Grace Campanella

WJHS staff and many others in Maine walk for Autism

posted May 2, 2018, 9:05 AM by Michael Richards

A group consisting largely of special educators and others from Wells Junior High School came together on April 29th to participate in an annual statewide walk to raise awareness and funding for autism.   Originating from the University of New England in Biddeford, the newly formed WJHS Bridges Team walked two miles in rainy weather raising $720.00

Recreational therapist at WJHS, Heather McAtavey organized and assembled the team of 27.  “I am very grateful for such an incredible turnout for our first year participating as a team in the 16th Annual Autism Society Maine Walk for Autism,” commented McAtavey the day after the event.  She indicated that 99 teams originating from six locations from Biddeford to Bangor participated in the walk this year.

“I would like to thank each and every one of the walkers for their participation and all of the individual donations made by coworkers, friends, family and members of the community,” added McAtavey.  “I look forward to the upcoming years, as the Bridges Team continues to take part in the annual walk.”  McAtavey described the beginning interest in forming a team at WJHS as “phenomenal”. 

According to the Autism Society of Maine, “The proceeds from this event will help fund the Autism Society of Maine’s programs that support families here in Maine.  Today, autism occurs in approximately one out of every 68 births.”   According to the Society’s website (, preliminary results indicate that $55,744 was raised in the latest Autism Walk.  
Walking for Autism participants
The 2018 WJHS Bridges Team at the University of New England on April 29th.  Team members in green shirts are staff from Wells Junior High School.  Team captain Heather McAtavey is at the far right behind the front row.   Most of the other walkers in the photo are staff family members (some WJHS students), friends and other community members. 

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