For more information about News About WOCSD please contact Reg Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 207-646-8331.
News About WOCSD
Graduation at Wells High School for 2015 was held on June 14th with 116 seniors receiving diplomas. These commencement exercises will be shown on Time Warner Cable Channel 3 in Wells and Ogunquit at the following times beginning on Monday, July 13th and ending Sunday, July 26th .
In Wells, the program will be shown Monday through Thursday at 4:00 pm plus Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 am and 7:00 pm. In Ogunquit the program will be shown Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 am and 7:00 pm
In the graduation ceremony Tyler Robichaud performed the “The Star-Spangled Banner”, Jacob Wilson provided the Salutatory address and Sydney Robinson made the Valedictory address. This year’s commencement speaker was global healthcare activist Mr. Donato Tramuto who spoke about personal challenges and rejection he faced in high school and finding one’s heroes. Interim Principal of Wells High School Eileen Sheehy provided closing remarks.
The 2015 Wells High School Graduation June 14, 2015. Speaking at the podium is global healthcare activist Donato Tramuto of Ogunquit. Tramuto is founder and CEO of Physicians Interactive and the Tramuto Foundation
Scene from Wells High School Graduation 2015
Last year David Johnson was appointed by the Town of Wells to fill a vacancy on the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District School Committee until July 1st. To recognize his service as a Committee member for the 2014-2015 school year, Chair Helena Ackerson and Interim Superintendent Jim Daly presented Johnson with a plaque at the June 17th meeting.
“We would like to recognize your year on the school board and filling in when we needed you,” said Ackerson. “We really appreciate the work that you have done.”
“He is an asset to the community and the school District,” said Interim Superintendent Jim Daly. “We appreciate his support over the years.” Daly added that Johnson was a “tremendous asset” this past year with School Committee business especially with the ongoing Wells High School renovation project.
Johnson said that he has served the WOCSD School Committee for a total of 14 years. For most of those years he represented Wells but began his time representing Ogunquit where he once resided. Johnson believes that he has the distinction of being the only School Committee member to represent both Ogunquit and Wells at different times since the District was founded in 1980.
Johnson said that he “appreciated everybody” recognizing him for his service and that he was “honored to serve”. In a phone interview he stated emphatically that he has decided not to run anymore for public office but added that he would still be interested in helping the School Committee if needed in a non-elected capacity as an appointed member of a future sub-committee.
During his years with the School Committee Johnson has served as Chairman, member of the Policy sub-committee and a school representative to the District's sick bank for employees in need of extra sick leave.
A large parade on school grounds consisting of classrooms of students and staff dressed in colored t-shirts, a presentation recognizing positive citizenship and student art with medals, a slide show and video presentation, field games including relay races, food and a very large corporate hot air balloon all added to the excitement and color of this year’s Colors Day at Wells Elementary School on June 18th.
The purpose of this annual June event, which is entering its 29th year, is to promote cooperation, sportsmanship, teamwork, and fun among members of the Wells Elementary School community.
New this year was a visit from one of RE/MAX’s hot air balloons and crew invited to the event by Josh Lagasse of the RE/MAX office in Ogunquit. Lagasse was accompanied to the event by Ina Toth of RE/MAX. Adults were allowed a brief ride up to about 50 feet on the tethered balloon in exchange for a small donation to Project Graduation 2016.
Colors day is organized and sponsored by the PTSA for WES with additional sponsorship from many area businesses. According to Assistant Principal Ken Spinney, this years slide and video show was assembled by Ken Webb, (a technology teacher in Saugus, Massachusetts) and shown to the entire student body by Webb with assistance from Inger Gregory, and Physical Education Teacher Kathy Calo.
It was Calo who initiated Colors Day on a much smaller scale in 1987. In the early years Calo was assisted by Laura Subilia-Bell with the event's planning and other tasks. Each year several hundred t-shirts are printed and handed out to students for Colors Day. This year it was student Michael Lewinski's logo design that was selected to be printed on the front of the shirt.
Students in the Multi 4 class of Melissa Stapleton and Beth Bush dressed in green playing in the ‘Torch Race’ on Colors Day 2015 at WES. Facing the camera and carrying the torch is Grady Roy. Waiting for Roy at left is Luke Keniston. Other field day games include tug of war, and bucket brigade.
On June 19th, the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District (WOCSD) recognized teachers and staff who are either retiring or have served the District with 20 years of dedicated service. Retirees include Susan Condon (a teacher in the District for 31 years), Michele Guerrette (teacher, 33 years), Sally Marchand (librarian, 22 years), Ingrid Roach (ed tech and teacher, 24 years) Carolyn Vail (teacher, 25 years), Maureen DeFelice (teacher, 14 years), Roberta Jones (teacher, 30 years), Cheryl Dearman Mills (Adult Community Education Director, 25 years), Gigi Roberts-Maher (ed tech, 33 years) and Jane Garnsey (ed tech,14 years). Those recognized for 20 years of service included James Cumback (custodian), Christine Durocher (teacher), Tari Matthews (secretary) and Adrienne Zwetsloot (school nurse). A dinner for all staff and a celebration for the above mentioned was held in the Mutlipurpose Room at Wells Junior High School.
From left to right are Roberta Jones, Ingrid Roach, Jane Garnsey, Carolyn Vail, Gigi Roberts-Maher, Susan Condon, and Michele Guerrette
Photo of Cheryl Dearman Mills prior to her retirement as WOCSD Adult Community Education Director for 25 years.
The Wells-Ogunquit CSD has named school volunteer Marcia Ciorra Exemplary Volunteer of the Year for the 2014-2015 school year. This was announced at the District’s Annual Volunteer Appreciation Ice Cream Social for District volunteers on June 11th. In 2014-2015, volunteers logged a combined 3,000 hours working in the District.
“She goes above and beyond expected volunteering,” commented Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley about Ciorra who volunteers at Wells Elementary School. “Even if it is not her child’s classroom, Marcia is always willing to help other teachers with special projects.” It is Foley who has been receiving, training, tracking and assigning volunteers to their appropriate jobs for over twenty years.
“I wasn’t expecting an award but am honored to have been chosen,” commented Ciorra. “By volunteering I’ve had the chance to give something back to the community, and as a bonus I have the pleasure of getting to know the wonderful teachers and school staff at WES, as well as many of the kids who will grow up alongside my children.”
“Without you guys we would not be able to do what we do,” commented Foley, one of the speakers to address and thank the group for the work that they do. About 20-25 volunteers, as well as Foley, WES Principal Marianne Horne, WES Assistant Principal Ken Spinney, and Interim WOCSD Superintendent Jim Daly, attended this function.
“It takes a village and you’re a big part of that Village,” said Assistant Principal Ken Spinney to the group. District volunteers are made up of retired community members, parents, and students from Wells Junior High School, Wells High School and York County Community College.
According to Foley, volunteers give whatever time that they want as clerical, classroom, library and/or project assistants. Volunteers generally begin work in the fall and can be found throughout the year working in classrooms, the computer lab, the Art room, Library or wherever else they may be needed.
Foley pointed out that one significant project that Ciorra took on was to photograph and upload 1,500 pieces of student art work to Artsonia, a large online museum of student art work.
Foley wishes to thank Flowers by Christine in Wells for donating a flower arrangement for the volunteer appreciation event.
Anyone interested in volunteering through the School Volunteer Program should contact Maryanne Foley in September at WES at 646-5953, extension 4204.
In the photo (left to right) are Maryanne Foley, Marcia Ciorra and Interim Superintendent of the WOCSD Jim Daly
Volunteers for the 2014-2015 school year at the Volunteer Appreciation Ice Cream Social on June 11th. Second from the left is Maryanne Foley and third from the left is WES Principal Marianne Horne
The artwork of 70 Wells-Ogunquit K-12 students, all with the theme of “Birds of Wells,” was recognized at the 16th Annual Student Poster Contest Awards Night held on May 28th at Wells Elementary School.
Sponsored by the Wells Conservation Commission, the contest initially received an estimated 400 submissions, later narrowed down by a panel of judges.
About 160 students, parents, educators and town officials attended the awards ceremony. Before and after the program they strolled around the school’s café area to view the exhibit displayed on several upright panels featuring personal, unique views of our fine feathered friends. A slide show of the student artwork was also shown on a large screen above the stage.
The ceremony opened with introductory comments from Wells Conservation Commission Chair Owen Grumbling who has been involved with the Commission’s work since its creation in 1981. The recipient of this year’s Espy Land Heritage Award presented by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Dr. Grumbling asserted that “we live in the most beautiful place on the earth.” Grumbling had presented his $5,000 Espy Award to the Town of Wells Conservation Commission to support land and natural resource conservation, public education, and maintenance of public lands.
Wells Board of Selectman Chair Karl Ekstedt awarded certificates to the students. Award-winning students in attendance were presented with gift certificates for “Pick Your Own Strawberries” at Spiller Farm, courtesy of Anna and Bill Spiller. Wells Conservation Commissioner Markus Diebolt, who serves as Trail Manager, offered closing remarks, encouraging students and families to get outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of our community and visit our town-owned public land and trails.
Later Dr. Grumbling noted that in sponsoring the contest each year “the Conservation Commission encourages the Town’s younger citizens to be aware of our Wells natural resources, both for their use and their beauty. We want to share the vision of the children with the rest of the community."
With the slogan of “Conserving Nature for Life” the Wells Conservation Commission is an official committee of the Town of Wells that meets the second Thursday of each month at Wells Town Hall. Members keep vigil over the town’s natural resources, especially forest and water that provide wildlife habitat, human recreation, and outdoor education.
The Commission establishes trails and interpretation on conservation lands that have been acquired for the townspeople through its Land Bank and its conservation partners.
Award-winning student posters will hang in the Wells Town Hall through July. As in recent years, contest organizer Audrey Grumbling expects the artwork will go on to be displayed in other community locations into the autumn.
"The artwork of our young people is by turns delightful, thoughtful, and inspiring,” commented Ms. Grumbling. “This year's artwork is no exception. The children worked with their art or science teacher to express their understanding of the value and beauty of our natural world. From drawing and painting to photography and graphic design, the art of our young people in kindergarten through high school demonstrates close observation and deep understanding that is truly inspirational."
Wells-Ogunquit teachers Sandy Brennan, Bruce Fearon, Chris Milliken and Vanessa White-Capelluti were recognized for their continued support of the contest in encouraging their students from kindergarten through high school to participate. Community businesses Spiller Farm, Lisart, and Claude Breton’s Framers Workshop also contributed to program efforts. WES Principal Marianne Horne, Assistant Principal Ken Spinney and administrative assistant Sarah Blevins, along with custodial staff, facilitated the use of the school for the awards presentations.
Award-winning student artists include: Kindergarten: Camryn Ayer, Lauren Martin, Ryan Dyer, Ashley Morrell, Payton Maxon, Marissa Nafah, and Avalonne Gilpatric; Grade 1: Nathan Colpetzer, Cadence Cox, Caroline Dufort, Owen Shangraw, Damian Cyr, and Evan Chase; Multiage Grade 1-2: Kendall Maxon, Reese Murphy, Madison Webb, Eli Potter, Brandon Talevi, and Elizabeth Nichols.
Grade 2: Alex Finn, Teagan Hludik, Chloe Madsen, Bella Smith, Jessica Palmer, Brandon Wallingford, Jada Pullen, and Sophia Signoretti; Grade 3 and MA 3-4:
Camdyn Blynn, Lily Hubbard, Owen Clarke, Kaden Springer, Spencer Carpenter, Rachel M. Rallo, and Jace Patel; Grade 4: Emily Downes, Hunter Roberts, Ainsley Spofford, Marina Villator, and Emily Kenney.
Grade 5: Auguste Ciorra, Justin Boulay, Lindsay Plourde, Megan Cox, Anavi Curtiss, and Avery Seuter; Grade 6 Art: Michael Gregory, Kate Pinette, and Gavyn Leighton; Grade 6 Science: Garner Holdsworth, Grace Stevens, Jacob Michaud, Jon Brown, Jaiden Greaves, Lindsey Parker, Isaac Schuhmacher, and Emma Keniston; Grade 7 Art: Ashleigh Bolduc, Cailey Brickett; Grade 8 Art: Duncan Campbell.
Wells High School, Photography: Helana Griffith, Savannah Martin, Briauna Doughty, Reed W. Norton; Graphic Design: Brooke Nucci, Bethany Berger, Sarah Berger; Illustrated Graphics: Elise McCormack-Kuhman, Nick Maynard; Drawing: Nick Maynard, Allison Beecher, Olivia Holdsworth.and Michael Driscoll.
For a complete list of winners please check out this page.
The first place entry in the ‘Photography Category’ in the 2015 ‘Student Poster Contest’ sponsored by the Town of Wells Conservation Commission is a photograph of a chickadee being fed. Contest entry by Helena Griffith (WHS).
Second Place in the ‘Pencil/Pastel Drawing’ category by Allison Beecher (WHS)
Elementary School collage of bird by Jessica Palmer, Grade 2 WES
Drawing of wingspread bird with images of Maine inside the wings is by Elise McCormack-Kuhman (WHS)
Fifth grade student Auguste ‘Auggie’ Ciorra, standing next to his drawing of an eagle’s head.
The Wells High School Alumni Association is holding its Fourth Annual Golf Tournament at the Old Marsh Country Club on the Littlefield Road in Wells, Sunday, June 28th at 1:00 p.m. Pre-registration is $90 per player and includes golf, golf cart, raffle tickets, prizes, and dinner. All proceeds generated by the tournament will go towards the Wells High School Alumni Association’s Scholarship Fund.
Registration needs to be completed by the 21st of June. Registration forms can be found at either Morse Hardware & Lumber, Brown’s Service Station or on line at www.wellshighalumni.org.
Organizers are hoping for the “best tournament ever” in part by adding a new feature called the WHS Class Challenge. Graduating classes can now compete against one other for later ‘bragging rights’. To qualify, each of these teams will need to have at least two of their four members belonging to the same graduating class at Wells High School.
The tournament has a shotgun start with a scramble format. For more information, please contact Sandy Brown at 646-5672.
Wells High School presented the third and last of three ‘Breakfast of Champions’ for the 2014-2015 school year on May 1st. Twenty-four students and four staff members were invited to be honored for their positive contributions to the learning and social environments at Wells High School.
Receiving a certificate, t-shirt, and plaque from WHS Activities Director Jack Molloy and teacher Jay Moore were students (in alphabetical order) Aliah Clay, Liz Curtis, Michelle Desjardins, Clarisse Goncalves, Raven Goodell, David Jacobs, Danielle Jarosz, Allison Jarvis, Taryn Lambert, Christian Levesque, Erskine Lothrop, Abigail N. Lord, Kate Macolini, Marisa Mizzoni, Hannah Moody, Alec Pinette, Sydney Robinson, Sam Sayward, Kameron Shaw, Ben Stevens, Maddie Taylor, Nikolai Tomaszewski, Ethan Huber-Young and Hannah Woodward.
Faculty and staff members honored included Erin Boisrond, Linda Gaidimas, Jen Lewia, and Sally Marchand.
To become a ‘Champion’ and invited to this breakfast, one has to be nominated by a coach, teacher or other staff member for contributions to WHS. Breakfast of Champions was instituted at the school by WHS Principal Jim Daly in 2007. These events have been organized to date by Principal Daly and Secretary Lil Lagasse.
On May 6th, the Wells-Ogunquit CSD School Committee recognized Maryanne Foley and Reg Bennett for their long-time commitment to the WOCSD’s Annual Literary Achievement Awards creative writing contest for Kindergarten through Adult Education students.
The program began in 1986. Foley, the District’s Community Resource Coordinator, took over coordinating the program in 1999. In 2002, Public Information Officer Bennett became Foley’s assistant as Co-Coordinator of the contest.
Each year approximately 250 students submit various forms of writing including poetry, non-fiction, and short stories. Entries are judged anonymously at two levels—by WOCSD staff and later by a panel of community members. The two-tier judging process produces first, second, third place and ‘honorable mention’ winners from each grade level.
"The program is a showcase of talented writers which demonstrates the progression of writing skills from grade to grade as the students mature,” sums up Foley about the contest.
When asked, Foley, also the Mistress of Ceremonies of the Literary Achievement Awards Ceremony held each spring, said that her most memorable moment running the contest came in 2012 when eight grader Brenda Griffin received a standing ovation from the audience for her moving essay about “bullying”.
Since its inception, the contest has had various sponsors including the former Ocean National Bank, which supported the contest for over 20 years. This year. sponsors included both the Wells and Ogunquit Rotary Clubs. President of the Ogunquit Rotary Club, Joe Boyle, and President of the Wells Rotary, Terry Hodskins, appeared at the podium during this year's awards ceremony on April 30th to make introductory comments. The Steakhouse in Wells was also a sponsor this year and in recent years by providing gift certificates to those receiving honorable mention.
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