News About WOCSD

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

Sam Coleman wins WJHS Spelling Bee

posted Jan 22, 2020, 5:15 AM by Michael Richards

Wells Junior High School 8th grade student Sam Coleman emerged the top speller in this year’s Wells Junior High School Spelling Bee held on January 15th.   An equally excellent speller, 6th grader Jacob Ouellet, achieved runner-up status.

Students from 5th through the 8th grade classes were eligible to compete with their peers and become one of the 12 finalists (three from each grade) in this contest held before an audience of students, school staff and parents in the Ward Gymnasium. 

WJHS teachers Julie Esch and Marilyn Zotos were the spelling bee organizers. “The spellers all rose to the challenge,” commented Esch who teaches English and Language Arts (ELA).  “What a fun event for all.” 

“This spelling bee was the best in my 15 years of being involved in it,” said Zotos who also teaches ELA.   It was really a battle right to the end.  It was very exciting.  And as I said earlier (to the audience), it’s just as exciting as an athletic event.” She indicated that she was encouraged by the performance of the Bee’s contestants in an era where teachers have to compete with “texting” in teaching proper spelling.  “We need to fight for spelling,” she added.  

“Really good,” said Jacob Ouellet about participating in the contest.  He admitted, however, that he was worried about the outcome but concluded, “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”  All 12 contestants displayed a show of spelling talent with none being eliminated for many of the earlier rounds.   

Judges included Esch, Zotos, Mary Rand, Cheryl Turner, Laney Yeomelakis, Sarah Downs and Angela Bishop.  Esch and Zotos also alternated as announcers. 

Sam Coleman ─with Jacob Ouellet as back-up─ will now compete in the York County Spelling Bee which takes place February 4th at Biddeford Middle School at 3:00 p.m.  The winner of that contest will move on to compete in the Maine State Spelling Bee on March 21, 2020.  The 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee will begin on May 24, 2020 in Fort Washington, Maryland.  The main prize for first place at that level is $50,000.


WJHS Spelling Bee Finalists 2020
In the photo are this year’s finalists in the 2020 WJHS Spelling Bee. In the back row (left to right) are Gabe Ordway, Evan Belanger, Derek Lippe, Eli Potter, Bobby Lucas, and Bee winner Sam Coleman.  In the front row (l to r) are Ainslie Donovan, Cole Gauthier, Ahlaya Coombs, Damian Cry, Amelia Connor, and runner-up Jacob Ouellet.  

WJHS Spelling Bee Champion at the microphone
At the microphone is 8th grade student Sam Coleman who won this year’s WJHS Spelling Bee on January 15th.

School Committee members honored

posted Jan 14, 2020, 4:31 AM by Michael Richards

With January being School Board Recognition month, Wells-Ogunquit CSD Superintendent James Daly formerly recognized the District’s School Committee at its meeting on January 8th.   At this time, the six members of this governing body who represent either Wells or Ogunquit citizens received words of appreciation and certificates of achievement from Superintendent Daly.

“We are lucky to have such dedicated people serving on our school committee,” commented Daly later.  “They truly care about our students, staff, and community.”

Recognized were committee members Boriana Dolliver (Ogunquit), Aneliya Georgieva-Petrov (Ogunquit), Committee Chair Helena Ackerson (Wells), Vice-Chair Jason Vennard (Wells), Karen MacNeill (Wells), and Heather Sittig (Ogunquit).

“Any time spent working to support children is time well spent,” commented Karen MacNeill. “I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment I have spent hearing about, meeting about, reading about, chatting about Wells-Ogunquit students.  They are the main focus of the WOCSD.   The School Committee, leadership, and Superintendent Daly make…certain that they get the best education, services and fun school experience they can possibly get.  I look forward to what's in store for the rest of the school year and what is to come in the future.”

The Committee meets regularly throughout the school year at 6 pm on the first Wednesday of each month at the Superintendent’s Office located at 1460 Post Road in Wells. The public is welcome to attend and address the Committee when public comments are heard.  

The Wells-Ogunquit CSD School Committee meetings are video recorded.   They are presented live-streamed and archived on the Internet at www.townhallstreams.com.   The proceedings are also replayed on the second Thursday of the month plus various repeat times on Spectrum Channel 1301 in Wells and Ch. 1302 in Ogunquit.  

WOCSD-School Committee recognition 2020
From left to right are Boriana Dolliver, Aneliya Georgieva-Petrov Helena Ackerson, Jason Vennard, Karen MacNeill, and Heather Sittig.

Bolduc receives MPA Principal’s Award

posted Jan 7, 2020, 4:53 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School Principal Eileen Sheehy recently announced that senior Ashleigh Bolduc has been selected to receive this year’s Maine Principals’ Association’s Principal’s Award.  This award is presented in recognition of a high school senior’s academic achievement and citizenship.  

“Ashleigh has distinguished herself as a student who values every opportunity to learn,” commented Principal Sheehy in announcing this news.  “Her dedication is a testament to her commitment to excellence. She is a true leader.”  Ashleigh is the daughter of Kevin and Deidre Bolduc of Ogunquit, Maine.

WHS Assistant Principal Josh Gould added, “Ashleigh’s charisma and positive attitude are contagious.  She has a profound impact on the many activities for which she is involved in at Wells High School.”  

According to Principal Sheehy, the list of Bolduc’s accomplishments include being a member of the National Honor Society, president of the Class of 2020, vice-president of the Interact Club, a member of the Student Council and was once selected to represent WHS at the Maine Youth Leadership seminar.  During her high school career, she has maintained “High Honor Roll” status in challenging courses receiving recognition for this with Breakfast of Champions, Student of the Trimester and Academic Book awards. 

In school athletics, Bolduc earned distinction for her performance on the WHS Field Hockey team resulting in her selection to the All-Academic team.  She was a member of the WHS Cheerleading team and is currently on the WHS Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field teams.  She earned a State Title in the Girls’ 4x100 meter relay and is a member of this year’s Unified Basketball team.  
  
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.  Award recipients and their principals are invited to attend the organization’s Honors Luncheon which will be held this year on April 4th in Brewer, Maine.   At this event, recipients will receive a lapel pin and plaque.   In addition, five of these students will be selected by a lottery to receive $1,000 scholarships.  

WHS MPA Award 2020
(Photo courtesy of Wells High School)
Caption: At Wells High School are (left to right) Josh Gould, Ashleigh Bolduc and Eileen Sheehy.

Ramsdell and Bedell recognized for being good citizens at school and the community

posted Jan 6, 2020, 4:36 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School seniors Francesca Ramsdell and Logan Bedell have been selected by WHS to receive Western Maine Conference’s (WMC) Citizenship Award for 2020.  This award recognizes student character and contributions to their school’s educational, athletic and social environments plus community volunteer service.

Each year, two graduating seniors at high schools in the WMC are selected by their school to receive this award.  According to WHS Principal Eileen Sheehy, those that are selected “…exemplify the qualities of leadership, citizenship, strong academics and are strong athletes.”   

Francesca Ramsdell was described in a recent article in a WHS newsletter, as “…an integral part of the WHS community. Her quiet leadership is demonstrated in many ways…”  Franny has served in numerous roles including vice-president of the Student Council and Interact Club as well as president and vice-president of her class.  She is also a member of the National Honor Society, captain of the Lacrosse team and has played an important role in the Girls’ Basketball team’s “Shootin’ for a Cure” fundraising program. In her sophomore and junior year, she received the WHS All-Star award in basketball.  She also volunteers at a community food pantry and recreation department. 

Logan Bedell was described in the above-mentioned school newsletter article as “…a role model and leader and has dedicated countless hours to enrich the lives of those around her.”  Logan is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Interact Club, Philosophy Club, and Environmental Club.  She is a three-season athlete who is a member of the volleyball, basketball, and softball teams.  Logan has also been dedicated to raising funds for “Shootin’ for a Cure” and volunteers with Wells Elementary School’s PTSA and the Wells Congregational Church’s “Soups On” program.  In addition, she was once selected to serve on a panel discussion for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Collaborative Conference. 

These students and many others receiving this award will be honored by the Western Maine Conference at the organization’s annual Citizenship Awards Banquet held March 5th at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland. 

                                                                ### 
WHS Citizenship Award 2020
Recognized by Wells High School and the Western Maine Conference for their demonstration of good citizenship are (l to r), student-athletes Francesca Ramsdell and Logan Bedell.  

“Wreaths Across America” greets the WJHS community

posted Dec 11, 2019, 10:13 AM by Michael Richards

It was a steady and drenching rain on December 9th when Wreaths Across America rolled slowly by Wells Junior High School on its annual 750-mile journey to Arlington National Cemetery and other locations bringing thousands upon thousands of “remembrance wreaths” to be placed at the gravesites of veterans.

Despite the weather, a large portion of the junior high student body and several staff members stood outside to greet the convoy of semi-tractor trailers and other vehicles including an escort by numerous area law enforcement.  Since 2007, Wreaths Across America has made either a full stop or a slow drive-by visit to WJHS.  When the convoy has stopped, convoy members, students, and others have gathered together at Ocean View Cemetery in Wells for a solemn wreath-laying ceremony. 

The trip to Arlington National Cemetery with wreaths to honor veterans during the holiday season was the idea of Morrill Worcester president of the Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine.  In 1992, Mr. Worcester decided to bring a surplus of his company’s holiday wreaths to Arlington.  Since that time his idea has grown exponentially involving 1.8 million wreaths placed at gravesites around the United States in 2018.  Mr. Morrill’s idea has evolved into what is now called National Wreaths Across America Day which, this year, falls on December 14th.                        

WJHS Wreaths 2019
Wells Junior High School students and school staff view the Wreaths Across America convoy on its way to Arlington, Virginia on December 9, 2019

As winter officially approached, WES Kindergarteners planted for spring

posted Dec 9, 2019, 12:34 PM by Michael Richards

On November 15th, kindergarten students with some parent volunteers at Wells Elementary School momentarily looked beyond the approaching winter to springtime and the blossoming of the tulip or daffodil bulb that each was about to be handed to plant in a rock garden bordering their school’s playground.  It’s a scene that has played out annually at WES since the fall of 2003. 

Shortly after lunchtime, about 115 kindergarteners emerged from school one group at a time to do the planting.  Assisting them, and kindergarteners like them for the past 16 years, was Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley who was assisted this year by parent volunteers Tina Eaton, Megan Tetu, and Rachel Morris.  Foley, who organizes this annual event, first spoke to each group of students about the nature of bulbs and planting them in the holes that the volunteers had pre-dug.  As in past years, the bulbs were purchased by the school’s PTSA.  

"It's sometimes difficult for kindergarten students to understand that they have to wait until spring to see any results,” observed Foley.  “One little boy wanted to stand by his hole and ‘wait’ for the bulb to grow.  (There is) no immediate gratification with bulb planting!" Foley added. 

Bulb planting 2019
A small group of kindergarten students at work burying tulip and daffodil bulbs at Wells Elementary School on November 15, 2019.   At right is Megan Tetu, a parent of a kindergarten student. 

Wells Elementary School recognizes its “core value” champs

posted Dec 5, 2019, 5:59 AM by Michael Richards

On November 15th, Wells Elementary School held its first Breakfast of Champions event for the 2019-20 school year.  At that time, 24 first through fourth-grade students were recognized for demonstrating one or more of the school’s core values of honesty, responsibility, respect, and compassion.  

In alphabetical order, students selected were:  Blake Barker, Halle Bohn, Nia Borberg, Jordyn Chadbourne, Mason Colbeth, Michael Colbeth, Joshua Corbett, Colin Cournoyer, Logan Desper, Molly Firmin, Antwan Green, Annaliese Latulippe, Hannah Levy, Cameron Lucey, Lucas Madsen, Liam Moody, Riley Pendergast, Tim Perry, Robert Roche, Rusty Rousseau, Jasper Roy, Michael Sargent, Levi Soucie-Libby, and Joshua Tarabia.  

According to WES Principal April Noble, any WES staff member observing a student who often employs one or more of the school’s core values in interaction with others can select that student to attend the breakfast and be recognized for their accomplishment.   One can also be nominated for even one “above and beyond” instance of employing a core value.

After she calls each nominee to the stage, Principal Noble reads aloud why that student was selected from a statement written by the staff member who nominated them.  Then, before they leave the stage for a group photo, honorees are presented with a Certificate of Achievement by WES Assistant Principal Theresa Curran.  

Food for the Breakfast of Champions is prepared by the WES’s Nutrition Services.  “We are thankful to work with (them) on this breakfast,” added Principal Noble. 

WES Breakfast of Champs November 2019 Recipients
Most of the first through fourth-grade students recognized November 15th for incorporating the use of one or more of WES’s core values during the school day. 

Project Graduation to host special breakfast on December 8th in Wells

posted Nov 25, 2019, 5:17 AM by Michael Richards

Project Graduation at Wells High School is currently raising funds to help provide fun activities within a safe environment for seniors in the Class of 2020 following their graduation on June 7th.
 
Although Project Graduation is no longer taking orders for its familiar fall “Flocking” campaign, the group is hosting a breakfast at Mike’s Clam Shack located at 1150 Post Road in Wells on December 8th from 8 am until 11 am.   Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under.   On the buffet-style menu will be 12 or more items including pancakes, scrambled eggs, French toast, fruit, and assorted pastries including homemade doughnuts.   This public event is sponsored by Condon’s Restaurant, the Molly Corporation, and Mike’s Clam Shack. 
 
The breakfast will also feature another way to donate to Project Graduation by participating in a raffle to win a ride for a youngster in a police car, fire truck or ambulance during the 34th Annual Wells Christmas Parade on December 15th.  Ticket prices are $1 for a single ticket, $5 for three, $10 for six and $20 for an “arms-length” of tickets.  Raffle winners do not need to be present to win. 
 
Project Graduation is also selling 30-ounce, double-insulated mugs for $25 apiece.  These extra-large, hot and cold mugs come with the familiar red “W” (for Wells Warriors) printed on them.  

For more information on Project Graduation at WHS, please contact Amy Moody at 207-251-0146.  

WOCSD-WHS Project Graduation 2019 Flock of Flamingos
A flock of flamingos planted firmly on the lawn of the Wells-Ogunquit CSD Superintendent’s office in Wells in October by Project Graduation.  During this fundraiser, one could donate and have Project Graduation place from 20 to 50 flamingos on, for example, a friend’s lawn for a day or so. 

Junior high students and their families honor related veterans

posted Nov 20, 2019, 10:04 AM by Michael Richards

For Veterans Day 2019, Wells Junior High School students created a unique display of photos with brief descriptions of veterans related to them and school staff.  According to WJHS Assistant Principal Doug Perley, this effort began modestly with a few exhibits but soon spread quickly filling a major section of a hallway wall and then some.

What came to be referred to as “the Wall” is located close to the school’s main office. The display was planned and assembled as a classroom community initiative and consists of over 200 individual exhibits highlighting veterans primarily from the World II era up to the present time including some former students of WJHS.  The display consists of engaging photos, both black and white and color, of fathers, sisters, grandfathers, and other relationships. 

“Every photo is of a person who has some direct connection to a student or a staff member in this building,” said Perley who pointed out that the display “has led to so many great conversations” among students and others.     

The community groups at WJHS meet once a week and are composed of students grouped primarily by classroom.  Topics discussed and activities planned generally center around the school’s core values of Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Compassion, and Trustworthiness. 

Among the wall postings is a section devoted to residents of “Avita of Wells” who served in the military.   A few days after the wall went up, some of these veterans along with hundreds of other community members were able to view the display during WJHS’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner on November 17th.   In recent years, WJHS has developed a strong relationship with Avita as numerous student volunteers have visited this facility routinely in the past three years to help serve lunch and visit with residents. 

Perley pointed out that many students who didn’t have relatives who are veterans still contributed to the wall with their own imaginative writings and drawings. 

“It was such a collaborative building-wide effort,” said Perley who stressed that it was “truly” a combined 5th through the 8th-grade endeavor.   Perley and Principal AJ Dufort are part of the 
WJHS’s Leadership team that approved and encouraged this school-wide project.

Wall Display Honor Veterans
A display to honor veterans related to students and staff at Wells Junior High School.

One of the Honorees at WJHS
WJHS staff member Deb Sheppard displayed a photo and brief description of her father-in-law, Master Sargent James A. Sheppard who was part of the famed Tuskegee Airmen serving in the US Army Air Corps (now the Air Force) during World War II.   

WJHS presents its 25th holiday dinner for area seniors

posted Nov 12, 2019, 3:36 AM by Michael Richards

Eighth-grade students and staff at Wells Junior High School will present the 25th Annual Turkey Dinner for area seniors on November 17th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.  The dinner will consist of turkey with all the fixings plus coffee and dessert.  This popular event serves about 400 annually.  It is not only a gesture of goodwill offered to the community but a major “service learning” project for all eighth-grade students.  Wells Junior High School is located at 1470 Post Road (Route One) in Wells.  For more information, please call WJHS at 646-5142.   


WOCSD-WJHS Thanksgiving Dinner 2014
Caption: A scene from the 2014 Annual Thanksgiving Dinner at Wells Junior High School.

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