News About WOCSD

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

Wells High School Chorus members participate in area festival

posted by Michael Richards

Three members of the Wells High School Chorus were selected to represent WHS in the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) District 1 High School Honors Festival held at Noble High School on January 20th and 21st.   According to WHS Director of Music, Larry Downing, the students passed an audition in October to attend the Festival.  Invited to perform were Richard Patnaude, Bella White and Zoe Angelakis.  According to Downing, Patnaude and White will also attend the Maine All-State Music Festival in May at the University of Maine at Orono. The MMEA is a state unit of the National Association for Music Education.
Musicians and Mr. Downing
In the photo from (l to  r) is Richard Patnaude, Bella White and Director of Music at WHS Larry Downing.  Not pictured is Zoe Angelakis. 

Literary Achievement Awards Contest Entry Deadline

posted by Michael Richards

— If you are a student in the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District and would like to enter this year’s Literary Achievement Awards contest, please remember to turn in your entry to your grade teacher no later than Friday, March 3, 2017.  Any student interested in entering the contest is encouraged to submit a piece of writing that they have created during the current school year and consider to be their best work.  An entry can be of any genre including a short story, poem, essay, newspaper article, or any other writing sample. The first place winner in grades kindergarten through adult education will receive $100.   The top 12th grade entry will receive $500.   First, second, third and honorable mention prizes will all be awarded at an awards ceremony at Wells High School on April 27th.  The Literary Achievement Awards writing contest is sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Wells and Ogunquit. 
Past awardees
Those who placed in the WOCSD Literary Achievement Awards contest in 2016

WHS Warriors raise needed funds for community outreach

posted by Michael Richards

On February 8th, the Wells High School Warriors Boys Basketball Team presented a check for $1,422 to the Wells-Ogunquit Outreach Program.   This presentation was made during halftime at a home game with the Poland Regional High School Knights.
This marks the fifth year that the team has raised funds for this charity largely by going door-to-door to sell  $10 “cash calendars” that offer monthly chances to win one of many gift certificates donated by local restaurants.  Money was also raised when parents of teammates held a bake and food sale at a Wells Rec basketball game in January.   A grand prize of two tickets to a Celtics game donated by Sevigney Insurance was also raffled to raise this donation. 
According to the Warriors Coach, Troy Brown, his team has raised $12,000 for this cause in the past five years.
Accepting the check on the 8th was one of the volunteers with the Outreach Program former teacher and children’s librarian Diana Abbott.  According to Abbott her organization focuses on providing Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and gift certificates to those in need during the holiday season.  Abbott says she focuses primarily on the needs of school children in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD.   An example would be providing school supplies for children in homeless situations.
During the check presentation, Abbot spoke briefly following some loud applause to thank all who helped with the fundraiser including, as she referred to them as, “all these wonderful Warriors”.  She also commented on how the money will help others in special situations.

“Whenever we get a call it is just so nice to be able to have this reserve so that we can say ‘yes’ (to them),” said Abbott.  Yes, to a child that needs glasses or yes to one who is homeless and needs new clothing.  “Those calls come often,” she added. 

Boys basketball team presenting check
Accepting a ceremonial check from the Warriors Boys Basketball Team on behalf of the Wells-Ogunquit Outreach Program is community volunteer Diana Abbott.  Team members in photo: front row (l to r) Christian Saulnier (with red shirt and headband), Deandre Woods, Owen Berry, Riley Dempsey, Tyler Dewey.   Back Row (l to r): Dylan Whitney, Matt Sherburne, Keegan Reidy, Channing Wang, Cam Cousins, and Tyler Bridge.  

Hanagan wins WJHS Geography Bee

posted Feb 14, 2017, 8:00 AM by Michael Richards

On February 2nd before a large audience of students, staff and several parents in the WJHS Ward Gymnasium, eighth-grade student Natalie Hanagan matched wits with nine competitors to emerge as the winner of the school-level competition in the National Geographic Bee.  

For close to an hour, 10 students answered questions on geography in what was the first round of the 29th   National Geographic Bee sponsored by the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C.  These ten students were the highest scorers in earlier geography bees held in the school’s various social studies classrooms.

Eighth-grade student Jaiden Greaves became the runner-up to Hanagan and therefore a standby for her should she not be able to attend the state level of competition on March 31st at the University of Maine in Farmington. 
“This year's bee was very successful and exciting,” commented sixth grade teacher and Bee organizer/ questioner, Bonnie Dill, who added, “…the competition was fierce, stretching into several rounds.  The crowd was silent while competitors ‘deep thought’ each question.  When correct answers were given, cheers erupted from the bleachers.”  

Prizes for all 10 included a certificate of achievement, a globe bouncy ball and a Swiss chocolate Toblerone bar.  “This tasty prize,” Dill commented about the chocolate, is “to symbolize a sweet success”.  Hanagan and Greaves also received a life-sized penguin stuffed animal and a reference book.   In addition, Hanagan received a copy of the National Geographic Student World Atlas, in part, to prepare for the next level.  Those who win at the state level will be invited to Washington D.C. in May to compete in the national championship portion of the contest at the National Geographic Society.   Prizes include a $50,000 scholarship. 

Judges for the WJHS Bee included teachers Susan Dugovic and Bruce Pelqouin. The timekeeper was Dan MacLeod.  

According to, “The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit membership organization driven by a passionate belief in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world.”  According to Wikipedia the National Geographic Society “is one of the largest nonprofit scientific and educational institutions in the world.”        

Student competing in the Geo-Bee

From left to right are Brody Maxon (6th gr), James Wirths (7th gr), Indie Brogan (6th gr), Tanner Douglas (7th gr), Isabel Martin (8th gr), Jaiden Greaves (8th gr and first runner up), Natalie Hanagan (8th  gr. and school geography champion), Anna Franks (7th gr and an alternate in the WJHS Geographic Bee), Camden Sevigney (7th gr), Auggie Ciorra (7th gr) and Jackson Koh (5th gr).

Natalie Hanagan and Bonnie Dill with presentation
Natalie Hanagan (left) and Bonnie Dill

Wells Elementary School recognizes its good citizens

posted Feb 8, 2017, 6:13 AM by Michael Richards

On January 20th, Wells Elementary School held its first Breakfast of Champions to honor 30 of its students who have demonstrated the school’s core values in interacting with their fellow students and school staff.   Those values include respect, responsibility, honesty, trustworthiness, and compassion towards others and their school.

After the breakfast, WES Principal Christopher Roche gave each student a certificate of recognition and a special sticker to wear throughout the school day.   

According to Roche, the Breakfast of Champions concept was brought to the Wells-Ogunquit CSD by Superintendent Jim Daly (then principal at Wells High School) in 2007 when he instituted the celebration at the high school.  

“It is an opportunity to recognize students who have exemplified the core values of WES and (the) WOCSD,” commented Roche.  “One Friday per month, students (will) join our administrative staff and their parents for breakfast as we announce their great contributions to the learning community as well as the school climate at WES.  It is a tremendous event and Mr. Spinney and I look forward to this each month!"   

“We are very proud of our students for exhibiting core values in many different ways that make the culture what it is at Wells Elementary School,” commented WES Assistant Principal Ken Spinney.  “We are proud of them.”

Those honored for the month of December included Grady Manning, Addison Greene, Luke Boucher, Mason Gatcomb, Joshua Corbett, Breanna Hill, Camron Chaloux, Ava Wheeler, Evan Suitter, Tanner Tufts, Francesca MacEwen, Hailey Worthing, Drew McLaughlin, Payton Fazzina, Hunter Sturmer, Norah Donnell, Aiden Duell, Nate DeMauro, Isabella Leslie, Chase Lunetta, Scarlet Arbelo, Reese Murphy, Claudio Watson, Evan Peterson, Bella Smith, Kendall Ball, Camille Decato, Honey Conley, Jonathan Martinez, and Christopher Buckley.
Wells Elementary School Good Citizens Recipients
WES students recognized on January 20th at the first WES Breakfast of Champions

Wells High School students to compete on Maine quiz program

posted Jan 27, 2017, 3:51 AM by Michael Richards

Six Wells High School students have been selected to form a team consisting of four players and two alternates to represent WHS on a new television quiz program created by Maine Public called “The High School Quiz Show: Maine”.   The program will feature eight high school teams from around Maine in three levels of competition including a final championship round.  Maine Public was formerly known as the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

High schools wishing to send a team had to first qualify interested students.  This was done with a preliminary test provided by Maine Public.   Out of the 30 schools to take this qualifying test, only the eight highest scoring schools were selected to appear on the program.  

WHS English teacher Ann Bechan was appointed to be the team’s coach.  Bechan initially gathered together a group of students from various grade levels for the preliminary test.  Now, with her team in place, Bechan is conducting practice sessions until the quarter-finals in March.

The idea to enter the contest was that of WOCSD volunteer, Lou Macellaro, who learned of the competition in the fall and presented the idea to Assistant Principal Josh Gould.    “It is publicity for the school” said Macellaro who believes the competition is also good for the WHS student community.  Macellaro believes students will watch the show when it is aired and participate in the excitement of the games “vicariously through television.”   

The website described the program as "…a televised academic quiz tournament set up in a single-elimination knockout format.”   According to Maine Public’s David Boardman, the Education Program Coordinator for the Maine Education Project, this program is not like the popular Jeopardy show in that it “…is focused on academics - anything typically covered in school, as well as general information about Maine.  It's more the academic quiz-style show with questions posed directly to each competing team.” 

Maine Public’s website states there will be four preliminary rounds or quarterfinals, two semifinals followed by the final round or championship game.  The taping day for the quarterfinal session that WHS will face off with Oak Hill High School in will be held on March 25th at Maine Public's Ladd Studio in Lewiston.   If they succeed in that round they will move on to the semifinals later that day.  The championship round will take place April 8th in Lewiston. 

The winning team will take home a trophy, individual certificates plus $1,000 for its school’s Project Graduation or something similar with the runner-up team receiving $500 for Project Graduation or similar.  All of the 30-minute shows produced from this project will be aired on Maine Public Television at a date to be determined.      

According to David Boardman, the following high schools are also participating in the new quiz show: Bonny Eagle High School in Standish, Falmouth High School, Marshwood High School in South Berwick, St. Dominic Academy in Auburn, Oak Hill High School in Wales, Cape Elizabeth High School, and Oxford Hills High School in South Paris.  Alternate teams are: Brunswick High School, and Noble High Schools in Berwick.       
Quiz show participants
In the back row (l to r) is Matthew Chase (Gr. 10), Channing Wang (Gr. 11), and Brendan Dean (Gr. 11).  In the front row, (l to r) is Team Coach Ann Bechan, Katelyn Hurlburt (Gr. 12), Danielle Jarosz (Gr. 12), and Marisa Mizzoni (Gr. 12)

Students and teacher witness history as it unfolds

posted Jan 25, 2017, 4:30 AM by Michael Richards

On January 20th, millions of people in the U.S watched television to see Republican Donald J. Trump become the 45th president of the United States, this following a seemingly long and divisive presidential election campaign.   The Nielsen ratings service--not counting Internet viewing—indicated that the live U.S. television audience for the inauguration reached 30.6 million.    
Among those watching at noon were many school students across the country including the 7th grade class at Wells Junior High School viewing the event from four different classrooms.
In the room of Social Studies teacher Bruce Peloquin students observed the proceedings on a Smartboard as the once-every-four-year event unfolded.   Peloquin’s 24 students sat silently, glued to the big screen as they took in the historic scenes including the administering of the oath of office by Chief Justice Roberts, the 21-gun salute and the inaugural address.  Soon after it was time to move on to the next class.   

"It was cool to have a chance to watch the inauguration,” commented 7th grade student Brady Fox."   Sitting next to Fox was his classmate Colby Bolduc who added, “I liked seeing history being made as the president took the oath of office.  I know not all schools had a chance to watch...”

"The ceremony that occurred today was not a red nor blue ceremony,” commented Peloquin.   “It was not a Republican nor Democrat ceremony.  It was truly an American ceremony showing the peaceful exchange of power.  It is important for our students to learn that even during contentious times, we are a government of laws, not of people.”

Peloquin continued, “Those laws pass peacefully from one president to another.  A pretty remarkable event when you think about it. We look to the Constitution of our country to assure our students that the first three words, 'We the People' affirms that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens, and its citizens must live up to the hope and idealism those words offer all Americans."
students watching the inauguration
Watching the presidential inauguration with their classmates and teacher at WJHS on January 20, 2017 is (l to r) 7th grade students Brady Fox and Colby Bolduc.

WHS Music Boosters to conduct a “Winter Weed-Out” collection in February

posted Jan 25, 2017, 4:01 AM by Michael Richards

For the month of February, the Music Boosters, a volunteer parent support organization at Wells High School, will hold a textile fundraising drive to raise funds for the WHS Music Department and the Epilepsy Foundation.   The fundraiser is called a “Winter Weed-Out” and is a great way for community members to make a non-monetary donation to a worthy cause plus do some serious ‘weeding out’ of their closets.

“It’s a clothing drive, except it’s more than just clothing, it’s any textiles,” commented school volunteer Ashley Breton before the first Weed-Out in 2016, a multi-community effort that generated 10 tons of clothing, and related items raising almost $4,000 for a very grateful Winter Guard team at WHS.   This year’s Weed-Out is to help the WHS Music Department raise a portion of the $38,000 needed to take school band and choral members to Williamsburg for “Music in the Parks” this spring.

The following is a list of what can be accepted for the drive: clothing (even torn and stained clothing plus clean rags),  clothing accessories, linens, towels, bedding, (sheets, blankets, quilts, comforters), curtains, drapes, shoes (even single shoes), purses, fabrics, uniforms, costumes, chair covers, slip covers, handbags, and backpacks.   

If you have any of these items and would like to donate them, please bag them up in new garbage bags and deposit them in designated barrels located at Wells Town Hall, the Superintendent’s Office for the Wells-Ogunquit CSD, Wells High School, Wells Junior High School, Wells Elementary School or at the office of Prime Storage in Wells during regular business hours.  Prime Storage is located across from the entrance to I-95 in Wells.  Tax donation receipts will be available at the barrel locations. 

This collection drive includes a “Stuff-the-Band Van” and a “Personal Pick-Up” day on February 4th and 18th from 8:00 a.m. till noon.  The WHS Band van will be parked and ready for your bags at the Wells Transfer Station on those days and times to collect your bags.  Or you can schedule a personal pick-up for your bags for either one of these days by contacting Ashley Breton at 646-7240 or writing her at:   To qualify for a personal pick-up you must have five or more 13-gallon bags or three or more 30-gallon bags.

According to Breton, this collection drive would not be possible without the support of Prime Storage in Wells.    
crew collecting gear
In the photo are some of last year’s Winter Weed-Out team members after loading up an Epilepsy Foundation vehicle in 2016.  

barrels to colect donations
 A photo of the blue barrels to be used in the 2017 Winter Weed-Out textile collection drive 

Libby named ‘Student-Athlete of Month’ for October at Wells High School

posted Jan 9, 2017, 3:51 AM by Michael Richards   [ updated Jan 9, 2017, 3:52 AM ]

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.     
Libby Receiving His Award
(From left to right) John Kreie, Mitch Libby, Pam Moody-Maxon and Bob Winn.

Dempsey selected “Athlete of the Month” for November at Wells High School

posted Jan 9, 2017, 3:46 AM by Michael Richards

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.  
Dempsey receiving his award
From left to right, is John Kreie, Riley Dempsey, Pam Moody-Maxon and Warrior Football Coach Tim Roche. 

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