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News About WOCSD
In December, Wells High School junior Mitch Libby was recognized as Wells High School’s Student-Athlete of the Month for October of 2016. He received this award for his academics, sportsmanship and performance this past fall season on the WHS Cross Country Team. He was noted especially for his running the 5K in post-season competitions.
Presenting a plaque to Libby on December 6th was John C. Kreie of Cole Harrison Insurance and Pamela Moody-Maxon of Moody Maxon Real Estate. Cross Country Coach, Bob Winn was also present at the presentation.
“Mitch led the team through the entire regular season and through all four championship events,” commented Coach Winn. “Look for more great things from Mitch.”
This fall, the boys and girls cross country teams at WHS qualified for the State Class B championships held in Belfast in early November. The boys team placed second making the team fifth place overall in the State and sixth in qualifying for the 2016 New England Cross Country Championships held later n Rhode Island.
Libby was also recognized in November at a school sports awards presentation for his impressive post- season and for being named his team’s Most Valuable Player (MVP). Libby, who says he has enjoyed running since the sixth grade, is the son of Karen and Dave Libby of Wells.
The Student-Athlete of the Month awards program at Wells High School is sponsored by the Cole Harrison Insurance Agency and Moody Maxon Real Estate. Recipients for the award are selected by the administration at WHS. The Student-Athletes of the Month program began at WHS in 2007.
(From left to right) John Kreie, Mitch Libby, Pam Moody-Maxon and Bob Winn.
WHS senior Riley Dempsey has been awarded the school’s “Athlete of the Month” award for November of 2016. As with many others before him in the past decade, Dempsey is receiving the award for his academics, sportsmanship and participation in WHS sports, in particular, for the offensive and defensive roles he played on the WHS Warrior Football Team during the season’s playoff period ending in victory for the Warriors in the Class C State Football Championship game in November.
Presenting a plaque to Dempsey on December 6th was John C. Kreie of Cole Harrison Insurance Agency, Pamela Moody-Maxon of Moody Maxon Real Estate and Warriors Football Coach Tim Roche.
“The month of November was our playoff run, and we had to win four games to win the State championship…” said Roche. “Riley did a great job on offense and defense making plays for us all the time.”
"Riley was a lot of fun to watch this year,” commented John Kreie, a graduate of WHS and a football player with the Warriors from1989-92. “The kid never came off the field, offense, defense and special teams…he was always out there going ‘100 mph’. To score 19 touchdowns and rush for more than 700 yards in a season is unheard of.”
“I couldn’t have done it without my coaches and teammates, especially helping me on the football field, getting me ready,” said Dempsey of his performance on the team and the Athlete of the Month pick for November, “I really have to thank them for all of their support throughout the season.” Dempsey, who began playing football during his fourth grade year, played football for the Warriors throughout high school.
“He really did a great job for us all year,” summed up Roche. “But we stepped up big time in the month of November and he was a real big part of that. He is a big leader for us...” Riley Dempsey is the son of Bridget and Ken Dempsey of Wells.
The Athlete of the Month awards program at Wells High School is entering its 11th year. It is sponsored by the Cole Harrison Insurance Agency and Moody Maxon Real Estate. Recipients of the award are selected based upon the above mentioned criteria by the administration at Wells High School.
From left to right, is John Kreie, Riley Dempsey, Pam Moody-Maxon and Warrior Football Coach Tim Roche.
Wells Elementary School administrators and teachers have recently formed a student group called The Student Leadership Team. It is an assembly that is similar in function to a typical high school or junior high student council.
This fall, two students from each of WES’s third and fourth grade classrooms were nominated by their teachers to represent their classmates at monthly meetings scheduled through May. The current group of 18 students will meet with their seven staff advisors to address school spirit and ways to “pay it forward” in the community.
“Teachers were asked to nominate students who could represent the interests/needs of all classmates and would be committed to serve on the team for the entire school year,” stated a letter from school to parents and guardians explaining the Student Leadership Team, one of the initiatives administrators hope to focus on for the 2016-2017 school year.
Pam Lear and Mirna Davila are advisors to the team. However, they believe that they are more facilitator than advisor since all students in the group have demonstrated leadership skills. According to the two educators, these students will likely grow as leaders as they pass through the higher grades.
“They are an impressive group of students,” said Lear, a fourth grade teacher. “They are a really strong group working well together,”
“Leadership is a skill that should be taught at an early age,” commented Davila, an ed tech. “Not only is the Student Leadership Team learning to work as a team but also…(discovering) the importance of focus, compassion, planning, execution and being a positive impact in their school.”
In recent meetings the Student Leadership Team has been listing ideas on how to increase “school spirit” and how to “pay it forward” to the community. For school spirit, a Flashlight Friday is planned in January. One of the ideas to “pay it forward” includes a bake sale with baked goods to be sold to staff members. Proceeds from this sale will go to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. Other ideas that the student team is planning on implementing include an animal shelter drive and a card sale.
At the WOCSD School Committee meeting on December 7th, two Team members, Alex Finn and Hayden Meffert spoke to the Committee and audience about the new Student Leadership Team.
Wells High School administrators have selected senior Michelle Desjardins to receive the distinction of Student-Athlete of the Month for September of 2016. This award is in recognition of a combination of factors including academics, sportsmanship and her performance on the WHS Girls Volleyball Team, an evolving team in existence for just three seasons.
Presenting a plaque to Desjardins on November 21st was Pamela Moody-Maxon of Moody Maxon Real Estate and John C. Kreie of Cole Harrison Insurance Agency. Both companies are sponsors of the Athlete of the Month awards program at WHS.
Before the presentation, Desjardins speculated that she had been picked to receive the award, in part, for her successful role in motivating and rallying her teammates while playing a tough opponent, Kennebunk High School, in a WHS Homecoming game in September. “I helped bring our team up to the challenge,” said Desjardins.
WHS Girls Volleyball Coach Ryan Fairchild agreed about the motivational role that Desjardins played in that matchup. Fairchild said that she scored “seven aces, one kill and had ten digs.” “Her consistent play across the board allowed us to be competitive throughout the match,” added Fairchild.
“I feel incredibly honored to have been chosen out of all the other great athletes in this school to receive Athlete of the Month,” commented Desjardins. “It's awesome to see all the hard work that I've put into volleyball paying off and being recognized.” On the team, Desjardins plays the positions of “left side and opposite outside hitter”.
According to Moody-Maxon, “Michelle is the epitome of what a scholar-athlete should be. She is a well-rounded individual who not only excels in the classroom…but also on the volleyball court. She has a strong work ethic and that shows both on and off the court.”
Michelle Desjardins is the daughter of Gary and Cindy Desjardins of Wells. The Student-Athlete of the Month Award has recognized high achieving student-athletes at WHS since 2007.
From left to right is John C. Kreie, Michelle Desjardins and Pam Moody-Maxon. Both Kreie and Moody-Maxon are former athletes at and graduates of Wells High School.
The drama club at Wells High School will present Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in the school’s new performing arts center, November 30th through December 3rd.
Dates, times and ticket prices for this show are as follows: Wednesday, November 30th at 3:30 pm with students and senior citizens admitted free. Adult ticket prices are $5; Thursday and Friday, December 1st and 2nd at 7:00pm (students and senior citizens $5, adults $8); and a final presentation on Saturday, December 3rd at 1:00 pm (students and senior citizens $5, adults $8).
A Christmas Carol is based on the classic, haunting tale by 19th century English author Charles Dickens. It was adapted for the Wells stage by Director Andrew Lopez and produced by Jay Audet. About 30 students are part of the production of this first play to be presented in the new venue.
“My adaptation of A Christmas Carol is the original novel, adapted for the stage,” commented Lopez. “Other than one scene written by myself, all dialogue is verbatim. I created a five character "Greek Chorus" to deliver narration that I considered essential. It is a dark show, full of music, dance, and special effects.”
Indeed the Olenn Performing Arts Center is now capable of wonderful special effects with state of the art sound and lighting technology. This new venue with a balcony can seat an audience of about 440.
In addition, this play introduces David Littlefield as assistant director for this and future plays at WHS. Littlefield is a 2010 graduate of Wells High School and a 2014 graduate of Burlington College in Vermont where he majored in video production. He is currently a substitute teacher in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD and owner of the video production company, David Littlefield Productions.
“It’s been really exciting for me to come back to the school and see the new stage and see that there is so much more participation in the drama department...,” said Littlefield who, as a student at WHS, played a role in numerous play productions produced in the old Olenn Auditorium. Littlefield added that “it is also great to see that arts and drama are…flourishing. I think the new stage is helping to facilitate that growth.”
Assistant Director David Littlefield next to a poster for A Christmas Carol presented at WHS from November 30th through December 3rd. The play, with a student cast and crew of 30, is produced by Jay Audet and directed by Andrew Lopez.
Eighth grade students and staff at Wells Junior High School presented their 22nd Annual Thanksgiving Dinner for area seniors on November 20th. According to organizers, a record 550 area seniors were served a traditional holiday feast including dessert and coffee. For those unable to attend, numerous boxed dinners were prepared and delivered.
This popular event is not only a gesture of goodwill offered to the community but a ‘service learning’ project for all eighth grade students who make decorations and table settings, check coats, serve food, wait on tables and help with cleanup. Most of the school’s 88 eighth graders were present and dressed in white shirts and black slacks. As in previous years, a valet service was provided by a small group of Wells High School students.
“The kids that run this…and serve do a wonderful job,” said Rita Baer who, with husband Stan, have been attending this dinner for some time. “They’re very sweet, they’re very kind” she added.
Along with the students, those that helped make this event possible included Wells IGA Super Food Market for donating 27 turkeys cooked by Congdon’s Doughnuts Family Restaurant and Bakery and carved by Roger and June Messier. The WJHS School Nutrition Services staff, led by Lisa Currie, prepared mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash and gravy and Dunkin Doughnuts of Wells donated the coffee. In addition, various school staff baked a selection of pies. Eighth grade student Negel Martell filled the dining room with piano music joined at times by singing students and others.
Julie Esch, an eighth grade English Language Arts (ELS) teacher at WJHS, said that the dinner is the culmination of a Generations Unit studied in ELA classes. In this unit students study issues relating to aging in today’s society and visit residents at Sentry Hill in York Harbor.
Along with students, over 20 staff and others contributed time and effort in preparation of this enormous project including, but not limited to, Gary Leech of Congdons, and WJHS staff Julie Esch, Vicki Aldridge, Linda Gaidimas, Susie Dugovic, Principal Robert Griffin, and Assistant Principal A.J. Dufort.
A group photo of Wells Junior High School’s eighth grade students at WJHS just prior to this year’s 22nd Annual Thanksgiving Dinner where 550 were served a Thanksgiving meal.
The WJHS Annual Thanksgiving Dinner can sometimes involve entire families. Here is an example from this year’s dinner which served 550 and employed almost 88 students: From left to right is WJHS ELA teacher Tasha Potter, her sons, Jonah Potter (an 8th grade student), Nolan Potter (a junior at Wells High School, member of the WHS Warrior Football Team and helper at the dinner), and (seated) Tasha Potter’s parents Sandra Walker and Robert Walker (Mr. Walker a former teacher at Kennebunk and Noble high schools).
On Friday, November 18th, a day before the Class C State Football Championship game between the teams of Wells High School and Mount Desert Island, the Warriors took time for a morning visit with students at Wells Elementary School.
“This was an amazing thing for our children, commented WES teacher and PTSA co-president Pam Lear. “Their (the students) look of awe was amazing.”
With music playing over the intercom, students, many holding signs, lined the hallways to greet and cheer the players. Both teachers and students received red Warrior towels to bring to Saturday’s game at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.
As it turned out for Wells, the Warriors were victorious over MDI with a score of 44 to 0 making this the Warriors’ third state championship win.
“It was so special for the players to share their time with us,” commented Lear about Friday’s visit. “Our children loved it! Making a connection between the younger students and our older role models is so important. These kiddos will remember this”.
The Wells High School Warriors Football Team standing outside of Wells Elementary School on November 18, 2016 following a visit with the school’s teachers and student body. A day later the team would go on to win the Class C Football State Championship
On November 10th, a day before this year’s Veterans Day, Wells Elementary School held its annual Veteran’s Day K-4 assembly to honor local veterans and those still serving in the military.
Numerous veterans attended this year’s event and were introduced and recognized before a large gathering of students and staff. First grade students, who made flags earlier to display, presented the vets with certificates of appreciation. Multi-age third/fourth grade students presented them with personalized cards.
Several guests spoke about what Veterans Day means to them including Army Major Shane Maxon, Commander of the 20th Special Forces, Charlie Company, and veterans Roger LaPlante (U.S. Air Force) and John Primerano (U.S. Army). Assistant Principal Ken Spinney also took a few moments to read aloud the names of many area service men and women deployed overseas during the upcoming holiday season.
The WHS Band and Color Guard performed and the Wells-Ogunquit Webelos Cub Scout Troop demonstrated the proper technique for folding the America flag. They also explained what the folds of the flag represent.
Others students who participated in the assembly included Nolan Motter (who explained the meaning of the Star Spangled Banner), Chloe Madsen (the meaning of playing Taps), Molly Tavares and Bobby Lucas ( answering “Who is a Veteran ?”) and Derek Martin (the importance of gratitude and how there are heroes all around us).
“They’re a great bunch of kids,” said World War II Army Veteran John Primerano about the students in the assembly. Primerano, was 19 years old when he made his first combat jump with the 101st Airborne Division. Primerano served from 1943 to 1946.
Kin Hamlyn of the Patriot Riders of America Maine Chapter 1 spoke to students about the importance the ordinary household items that they, their parents, and school staff had collected in a special collection that ended the day of the assembly. These items will be distributed to furnish housing for newly relocated homeless veterans. According to Marty Crier of WES, six pickup loads of supplies, including furniture, was donated for this cause.
Several members of the Patriot Riders produced a banner that was hung over the front entrance to the school, marched in the assembly and lined the hallway from the school’s gymnasium as students and veterans exited.
As one might conclude, this assembly not only honors veterans but is a learning experience that aligns with the WES’s Core Values including Respect and Compassion. An important goal of the assembly is to teach students about the meaning or Veteran’s Day and why it is celebrated and observed as a national holiday.
“I think it is important for the kids to get a sense of history and (understand) how we got to where we are as a country,” said Cindi Davidson who served 11 years in the U.S. Army. “It’s not like getting history out of a book, it’s like meeting people who were there and did things.”
Larry Wicker, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force in Korea, said that this particular assembly was the best that WES has produced. “Ken does a good job,” said Wicker of Assistant Principal Spinney who coordinates the Veterans Day K-4 assembly.
Faculty and staff who assisted with the production of the assembly included Marty Cryer, Karen Taylor, Maryanne Foley, Jere՛ Pierce, Suzanne LaPlante-Killoran, Selena Nickerson and Principal Chris Roche.
WHS student Kiah Holdsworth playing Taps at the Veterans K-4 Assembly at WES on November 10th, 2016
At the end of the assembly, students lined up to shake hands with the guest veterans. In this photo, World War II Veteran John Primerano greets students at the end of the Veterans K-4 assembly at Wells Elementary School on November 10th. Behind Primerano is Roger LaPlante, a U.S. Air Force veteran.
Wells High School Principal Sheehy has announced that seniors Richard Patnaude and Issac J. Michaud are the recipients of the 2016 National School Development Council Award for Academic Growth and Student Leadership in Learning. Formed in 1969, the Council, a network of regional school study councils, seeks to acknowledge the positive contributions that students make to schools. Recipients of this award exemplify admirable character and accomplishment.
Richard and Issac “are wonderful examples of the many positive ways students can influence a school,” said Assistant Principal Josh Gould.
Principal Sheehy added, “They are natural leaders who model commitment, compassion, and citizenship. Their dedication to academics along with their positive presence in our school make them outstanding role models. Over the years at Wells High School, Issac and Richard have …consistently contributed to the culture of our entire school community.”
Richard Patnaude is the son of Mary Beth and Jeffrey Patnaude of Wells. Richard has made a five-year commitment to the WHS music and dramatic arts programs. A talented tenor saxophone player, he is an integral part of the marching band program culminating in his selection as the Drum Major in both his junior and senior years. He has participated in all fall plays and spring musicals consistently holding lead roles. A National Honor Society member, Richard has been recognized by the WHS faculty with several awards in the fields of English, math, Spanish and health. Last summer he participated on an analytical research project as part of the Maine Space Grant Consortium program.
Issac J. Michaud is the son of Michelle and James Michaud of Wells. Isaac has recently earned Eagle Scout status through the Boy Scouts of America. He has participated in numerous community service projects and models leadership through various fundraising efforts with the younger cub scouts. This fall he planned, organized and led a community volunteer program that built four new benches placed in front of Wells High School. A three-year soccer and lacrosse team member, Isaac was named Student of the Trimester by WHS faculty and has received awards in Physical Science, Advanced Placement Biology, English 10 and Geometry.
Richard Patnaude (left) and Issac J. Michaud
Organizers of the most recent All-4-Kids Consignment Sale at Wells Elementary School had a few extra hands helping them set up for their October 15th sale of children’s clothing and other items. It turned out that the entire Wells High School Warriors Football Team showed up at the WES gymnasium the day before the sale to do some community service by helping set up the many awkward and heavy tables needed for merchandise displays.
“We were asked by Pam Lear (PTSA co-President) if we could help set up,” commented Wells Warriors Coach Tim Roche recently. “It was game day and we had to catch the bus but, according to Pam, we saved them a ton of time.”
The Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) for Wells Elementary School has been sponsoring and organizing this event since the fall of 2006. According to sale organizer and PTSA member Margaret Borkowski, this bi-annual sale has raised over $50,000 during the sale’s 10 year existence. Borkowski says the first year’s profits were about $750. According to Pam Lear, the recent sale generated $2,600 following payment to the sale’s consignors. Lear added that the next All-4-Kids Sale at WES will take place in April of 2017.
With funds generated from events like this, the PTSA is able to sponsor large annual events at WES including Colors Day and Starz for Broadway. PTSA money is also granted to teachers for requested classroom items. According to Lear, money raised also goes towards student activities and school supplies.
The Wells Warriors Football Team before the start of WES’s fall All-4-Kids Consignment Sale
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