News About WOCSD

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Top Ten list for Wells High School Class of 2020

posted May 12, 2020, 4:22 AM by Michael Richards   [ updated May 14, 2020, 11:49 AM ]

Wells High School has released the “Top Ten List” for the Class of 2020.  Gwen Wallingford is the Class of 2020 Valedictorian and Kaitlyn Chrisemer is the Class Salutatorian.  What follows is an alphabetical listing of the top ten students with mini high school biographies.  Graduation is planned for Saturday, August 1st at 1:00 pm at Wells High School.

Ashleigh Bolduc is the daughter of Deidre and Kevin Bolduc of Ogunquit.  This fall Ashleigh will attend Bentley University majoring in Business/Marketing.  She is president of her class and vice-president of Interact and Student Council.  Ashleigh has been a member of our cheerleading and volleyball teams and has served as captain of our field hockey team.  She has also been a member of the Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Teams becoming a State champion and setting a school record in the Girls 1 x 400-meter relay.  Academically, Ashleigh has achieved various accolades, including WHS book awards, Breakfast of Champions, Student of the Trimester, as well as being a recipient of the Saint Michael’s College Award.  She is a member of the National Honor Society and has been honored with the MPA’s Principal’s Award.
Top 10-Bolduc

Grace Bradish is the daughter of Amanda and Jamie Bradish of Wells.  Grace plans to attend the University of Maine at Orono to study Civil Engineering.  Grace has achieved High Honors all four years of high school and has been a solid, committed member of the Cross Country team, serving as captain.  She has been involved in multiple extracurricular activities including the Math team.  Grace is currently serving as president of the National Honor Society, as well as being chosen for a teacher’s assistant position in our Studio Art classroom acting as a mentor for our younger students.  
Top 10- G Bradish

Hannah Bradish is the daughter of Amanda and Jamie Bradish of Wells.  She plans to attend the University of Maine at Orono with a major in Business.   Hannah is a quiet leader, often leading by example.  She is a member of the National Honor Society and recipient of numerous book awards.  Hannah is also a phenomenal diver - often putting in hours and hours in the pool - earning a trip to the State competition all four years of high school.  She is the school record holder for multiple dive categories.  Hannah has been a committed member of the Track and Field team becoming Western Maine Conference League Champion in the pole vault during her sophomore year placing 4th at the State meet.  
Top 10 - H Bradish

Kaitlyn Chrisemer, Class of 2020 Salutatorian, is the daughter of Susan and William Chrisemer of Wells.  Kaitlyn plans to attend Emmanuel College to study writing, editing & publishing in the fall.  Since 2009, Kaitlyn has been a member of the Brixham Danceworks in South Berwick and has currently achieved the highest level in every style of dance.  In addition, she is a member of the National Honor Society, has achieved numerous book awards, Breakfast of Champions, and has been involved in set building, tech and student choreographing for school plays and musicals.
Top 10 - Chrisemer

Tyler Evans is the son of April and Jason Evans of Ogunquit.  Tyler plans to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall to major in Computer Science.  He is a member of the National Honor Society, designated an AP Scholar and recognized as a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Tyler takes great pride in being a key member of his family’s restaurant, The Lobster Shack in Perkins Cove, working hard throughout the summer months helping the family business grow.
Top 10 - Evans

Guss Madsen is the son of Kelli and Benjamin Madsen of Wells.  Guss plans to attend Brigham Young University this fall to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering.  He serves in the National Honor Society, is a founder of the Wells High School “Fans in the Stands” program and is a leader on the WHS Math Team.  He was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar nominee and was recognized by the Town of Wells for the attainment of his Eagle Scout and two Eagle Palms. Guss is the recipient of numerous book awards at Wells High School, including the St. Anselm Award.  
Top 10 - Madsen

Givon McLean is the son of Christina Barrett of Wells and Trevor McLean of Arundel.  Givon will be attending St. John’s University to pursue a doctoral degree in Pharmacy.  Givon was instrumental in the formation of the Environmental Club, co-president of the Philosophy Club and a member of the Student Council.  He is an active volunteer within our community, particularly within veteran organizations.  Givon has received numerous academic awards including the Phi Beta Kappa Award and is a member of the track team.
Top 10 - McLean

Samantha Jones is the daughter of Beth and Travis Jones of Wells.  Samantha plans to attend Emmanuel College in the fall with an undecided major.  Samantha has been a member of Wells High School’s A Capella Chorus and has held numerous roles in WHS plays & musicals.  Samantha has achieved many accolades including Breakfast of Champions, Students of the Trimester, and an AP Scholar.  
Top 10 - Jones

Gwen Wallingford, Class of 2020 Valedictorian, is the daughter of Brian and Jennifer Wallingford of Wells.  Gwen will be attending the University of New England to study Animal Behavior.  She dedicates much of her time to various community service projects including volunteering at the local animal shelter, serves in our Environmental Science Club, and mentoring younger children in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD.  Gwen is the recipient of book awards in numerous fields of study as well as the Dartmouth College Book Award, Breakfast of Champions, Scholastic Art and Writing Honorable Mention Awards.
Top 10 - G Wallingford

Alyssa Wallingford is the daughter of Brian and Jennifer Wallingford of Wells.  Alyssa plans to attend the University of New England.  She volunteers her time in our community and is a member of the WHS performing arts technical crew, the Philosophy Club, and the Environmental Club.  She has been honored through our Breakfast of Champions and Student of the Trimester programs. She has received faculty awards in French, English, Social Studies, Math, and Science.  Alyssa also received the Scholastic Silver Key award for her artwork.
Top 10 - A Wallingford

Girls basketball team recognized by school committee

posted Apr 2, 2020, 5:11 AM by Michael Richards

In March, the Wells-Ogunquit CSD School Committee recognized the Wells High School Girls Basketball team for winning the 2020 MPA Class B State Championship.  The team made WHS sports history in late February as this was the first time that Wells High School won a state championship in a girls sport.

The championship game between the Warriors and the Hermon Hawks was held at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on February 28th.  The game's final score in overtime was 34-26.
Presenting a “Certificate of Recognition” to each team member on March 4th  was Committee Chair Helena Ackerson, Co-Chair Jason Vennard and Wells-Ogunquit CSD Superintendent Jim Daly.

“It was a memorable season with an incredibly talented and dedicated group of girls,” commented WHS Girls Basketball Coach Don Abbott later.  “This team created a bond that will last a lifetime. It was an honor for us to be recognized by the school committee and Supt. Daly for this accomplishment.”

The Girls Basketball team continues its annual efforts to raise funds for breast cancer care at York Hospital raising almost $300,000 for this cause over the past decade.

Girls Basketball Team recognized
Caption: The Wells High School Girls Basketball team recognized for “exemplary achievement” by the Wells-Ogunquit CSD School Committee on March 4, 2020. 

Twelve Wells-Ogunquit art students place in regional level of national contest

posted Apr 2, 2020, 5:07 AM by Michael Richards

According to the Wells High School Art Department, 12 WHS students have won 18 awards in the 2020 Maine Region Scholastic Art Awards competition.  They received awards in the following categories: Art Portfolio, Ceramics, Digital Art, Drawing & Illustration, Jewelry, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, and Sculpture.  This year over 1,000 Maine students entered this regional competition, a first step in the prestigious Scholastic Art & Writing Awards founded in 1923.

Both WHS Art teachers Emily Knight and Meredith Radford had students who received these awards. The students and the awards that they received are as follows:  Lilly Arbelo - Silver Key in Drawing & Illustration; Trevor Bickford - Honorable Mention in Jewelry; Nathan Dedeo - Gold Key in Jewelry and Silver Key in Jewelry; Ash Dolan - Gold Key in Mixed Media; Abigail Durost - Honorable Mention for Portfolio (collection of 8 works), two Honorable Mentions in Digital Art, and Honorable Mention in Painting;  Matthew Elderkin - Honorable Mention in Ceramics & Glass; Natalie Hanagan - Honorable Mention in Photography and Honorable Mention in Drawing & Illustration;  Katie Plourde - Honorable Mention in Sculpture; Nora Stevens - Honorable Mention in Ceramics & Glass; Alyssa Wallingford - Silver Key in Ceramics & Glass; Gwen Wallingford - Honorable Mention for Portfolio (collection of 8 works), and Savanah Wilder - Gold Key in Sculpture and Honorable Mention in Sculpture.  Nathan Dedeo and Trevor Bickford are art students of Meredith Radford.  The other 10 are art students of Emily Knight.

Gold and Silver Key art works will be on display at the Maine College of Art in Portland from Monday, March 2nd to Saturday, March 14th.   The work of Gold Key recipients Nathan Dedeo, Ash Dolan, and Savanah Wilder will advance to the national level of competition.  

According to the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards website, “…the Awards have recognized the vision, ingenuity, and talent of our nation’s youth, and provided opportunities for creative teens to be celebrated.” 

WHS Scholastic Art Awards Winners
From left to right: Trevor Bickford (Grade 10), Nora Stevens (Grade 11), Natalie Hanagan (Grade 11), Lilly Arbelo (Grade 11), Ash Dolan (Grade 12), Gwen Wallingford (Grade 12), Alyssa Wallingford (Grade 12), Matthew Elderkin (Grade 12), Abigail Durost (Grade 12), Savanah Wilder (Grade 12), and Katie Plourde (Grade 12). Missing from photo: Nathan Dedeo (Grade 12).   

Wrestling team recognized by school committee

posted Apr 2, 2020, 5:04 AM by Michael Richards

The Wells Ogunquit CSD School Committee recognized the Wells High School Wrestling team on March 4th for being named MPA Class B Team State Champions and Class B Duals State Champions in that new wrestling tournament.   

Presenting a Certificate of Recognition to each team member was Committee Chair Helena Ackerson, Co-Chair Jason Vennard and Wells-Ogunquit CSD Superintendent Jim Daly.   
Scott Lewia has been the wrestling team’s head coach since 2007.  “This year was one of our most successful seasons at Wells High School,” commented Coach Lewia later.   He noted the team’s other achievements this past season including winning the Franklin Savings Bank Invitational Tournament at Mountain Valley High School, the Atlantic Invitational Wrestling Tournament for the first time since 1989, and, for the 4th   consecutive year, the Class B South Regionals followed by the Class B State Championship.   

The Class B Duals Team Tournament is a new event this year.   “This tournament is much like the traditional team tournaments that they have in other sports,” described Lewia.   In this event, four top teams from the northern part of Maine and the top four teams from the southern half compete in a process of elimination until one team emerges the winner.   The Duals Team Tournament was held at Penobscot Valley High School.   

Wrestling Team Honored
The Wells High School Wrestling team being recognized for “exemplary achievement” by the Wells-Ogunquit CSD School Committee on March 4th.   Wrestling Coach Dan Bothwell is sixth from the left and Coach Scott Lewia is fifth from the right in the second row.  The team’s record for the season was 29-2.

Elementary students raise thousands for heart health

posted Mar 10, 2020, 4:20 AM by Michael Richards   [ updated Mar 10, 2020, 4:29 AM ]

Under the direction of Physical Education teacher Kathy Calo, over 300 Wells Elementary School students took part in a large jump rope event in the school’s gymnasium in February.  This was part of WES’s annual participation in the Kids Heart Challenge to raise funds for the work of the American Heart Association (AHA).   In doing so, students raised $15,300 with pledges for their participation.  Previously known as “Jump Rope for Heart” and introduced in 1987 to the school by Calo, WES students have thus far raised a grand total of $256,528 for this cause.   

According to the main web page of the AHA’s Kids Heart Challenge, “The Kids Heart Challenge is a fun and exciting event where your student learns about their heart while helping others by raising money for the American Heart Association.  It prepares your child for success through physical and emotional well-being.”

Jumping for a cause
In the photo is WES fourth-grade student, Matti Mattuchio, skipping rope with her classmates in this year’s Kids Heart Challenge.  


Teachers hold Title I open house for parents

posted Mar 5, 2020, 4:29 AM by Michael Richards

Wells Elementary School’s Title I math and reading teachers recently featured an open house for parents of Title I students receiving math and/or literacy support at WES.  The February 14th event, named "For the Love of Learning”, was to provide family interaction in celebrating student improvement in reading and math.  

The Title I law is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, a component of the Johnson Administration’s then “War on Poverty”.  Since that time, Title I has provided supplemental funding to designated schools to help provide, among other educational needs, assistance to students falling behind their peers in reaching educational goals.   

According to Title I Literacy teacher Karen Valliere, approximately 85 WES students are currently eligible and receiving this service.  “We were delighted.  Couldn’t have been any happier,” said Valliere about the turnout for the open house.  

“Our goal is to help each child develop the skills and strategies necessary to become a competent student so (that) he or she will find success when participating in classroom activities,” said Title I Math teacher Kim Richard. “We want to help children enjoy reading and math by providing them with resources they can use at home with support.  We hope they will continue to pursue reading and math for enjoyment as well.” 

Stacey Schatzabel is the Director of Instruction and Special Services for the Wells-Ogunquit CSD.  “Title I students make tremendous gains through our programming, however, the best results come from home and school working together,” commented Schatzabel.  “This event is an example of this partnership."  According to Schatzabel, the ESEA grant funds the Title I math teaching positions in the WOCSD.  However, the literacy positions are funded locally.   

Before they left their Title I classrooms on the 14th, also Valentine’s Day, participating students received either a free book of their choice and/or a math game to play at home.

Parent and Son at the Title 1 Event
Jacob Owen with son Jaxson reading together, My New Friend Is So Fun by Mo Willems.  Jaxson is in the first grade at WES.

WES Title 1 Teachers
WES Title I teachers (from the left) Bonnie Esty (Literacy), Kim Richard (Math), Nancy Colley (Literacy), Brenda Brown (Math) and Karen Valliere (Literacy).  

Wells Elementary School recognizes its champions at breakfast

posted Feb 28, 2020, 3:48 AM by Michael Richards

Wells Elementary School held its second “Breakfast of Champions” for the 2019-20 school year on February 14th.  On this day, Valentine’s Day, over 42 first through fourth-grade students were recognized in front of an audience of parents, staff and guests.  They were each recognized with a certificate for demonstrating one or more of the school’s core values in school.  Those values include responsibility, honesty, trustworthiness plus compassion and respect for others.  

“I love celebrating student successes,” commented WES Principal April Noble.  “I think it's special that it is a tradition in all three (WOCSD) schools that began when Superintendent Daly was the principal at the high school.  It's an honor for our kids to be recognized this way.”

According to the principal, all school staff members can now nominate a student demonstrating a core value for this award.  “I believe any time children can be recognized for their core values, they should, as we are helping guide their way towards becoming future citizens,” added Noble.

Honored were Jacob Afthim, Mila Barry, Robert Bates, Reid Brogan, Zoe Borberg, Luke Boucher, Vienna Cardinali, Zania Christie, Cody Clarke, Reese Collin, Lucas Copper, John Devon,  Ammariah Dean, Logan Desper, Sunny Geary, Bryan Greve, Lucas Heigelmann, Jackson Hester, Mason Holland, Nathaniel Johnson, Max Levesque, Dominic Lorello, Millie Lucas, Lucas Madsen, Ashlynn Marchand, Luke Michaud, Marissa Mottor, Colt Nadeau, Andrew Parker, Bella Paszkowska, Brantley Petetabella, Michaela Schettino, Rusty Rousseau, Phoebe Silcox, Camden Springer, Rhys Sullivan, Jayden Trafton, Kaylee Webber, Garret Witten, Gabriel Danner-Wilson, Sam Winship, and Savannah Young.      

WOCSD-WES Breakfast of Champs February 2020
First through fourth-grade students who were recognized February 14th for demonstrating the core values of Wells Elementary School.

Annual basket raffle and auction at WHS rescheduled to February 29th

posted Feb 24, 2020, 6:03 AM by Michael Richards

Project Graduation at Wells High School has announced that its annual “Theme Basket Raffle and Silent Auction” planned for February 28th has been “rescheduled” to take place on Saturday, February 29, 2020, in the gymnasium at Wells High School from 6 to 9 pm.  This popular fundraiser helps provide an alcohol and chemical-free night of events for seniors following graduation ceremonies in June. 

The evening consists of silent auctions and raffles for various themed gift baskets containing an assortment of items and gift certificates donated by parents of seniors and area businesses.  Tickets to take a chance on winning one or more of these baskets will be sold the night of the event. There is no limit as to how many tickets one can buy or how many baskets can be won.  However, winners of baskets must be present to accept their winnings.

After doors open at 6 pm, ticket holders will have time to walk around the basket and auction tables to examine prizes before the drawings commence at 7:45.   Baked goods and water will be available for purchase.  For more information contact Amy Moody at 207-251-0146 or write to her at

WHS Project Graduation Auction 2019
File photo from a previous Project Graduation raffle and auction.

Local high school publication evolves as it continues to inform and entertain students

posted Feb 12, 2020, 10:19 AM by Michael Richards

Founded in the early 1970’s by WHS teachers Janet O’Donnell and Nadyne MacDonald along with their students, The Wells Street Journal continues moving through time as relevant as ever presenting school and sports news for students and staff at Wells High School.   Currently, three editions are printed per school year.  Once a monthly publication, the paper’s editions now coincide with the change of seasons.

In the early years, the paper’s staff did not have the use of word processing programs, digital cameras, and other devices often taken for granted in 2020.  Instead, the paper was produced with typewriters and mimeograph machines.  But now the design of the paper’s pages is created online.  Currently, about 200 copies are printed per edition in a magazine format complete with a glossy cover.  It is distributed free to the student body and made available to the public in the lobby of the Wells-Ogunquit CSD Superintendent’s office.   

Teacher Dawn Wentland is now the paper’s advisor and editor.  She commented that her students meet in class daily where they, like former students, strive to “leave their own mark” in reporting and photographing about school issues and happenings.   Current topics and sections, much like in the past, include feature articles, school plays, sports summaries, survey results, recipes, school calendars, and puzzles. 

This winter students are working on a spring issue.  For example, Ashton Jacobson-Theriault and James Evangelou are co-authoring an article about the computer game Madden NFL 20.  Others on the staff have been conducting student opinion polls with Google’s 'Who's Who?'  

Wentland wants to maintain the high standards that others have set in steering the paper.  In 2005, under the direction of then WHS teacher and newspaper adviser Jen Lacher-Starace, the Wells Street Journal was recognized by the Maine Center for Student Journalism with the James Russel Wiggins Award.   In 2017, then Wells Street Journal staff member Brianna Christie won a writing contest and was invited to represent Maine at the Al Neuharth Free Spirit Journalism Conference at the Newseum in Washington D.C.  Wentland credits Christie with being the one who was instrumental in moving the school paper forward into a magazine format.  

Wentland pointed out that her student crew is small this school year with only four students.  She indicated that in the previous two school years, the staff was larger and produced more content covering a variety of subjects ranging from “A History of the Origins of the English Language” by Matthew Chase to “Ghosts on the Coast” by Katy Cafaro.  Wentland commented that many of her staff in 2018-2019 are now in college with several of them reporting for collegiate student newspapers. 

Nonetheless, Wentland expects this year’s class to continue to provide “a forum for student voices” and be motivated to meet deadlines.  “I want people to find this magazine 10 years from now and say, ‘Wow -- that is so Wells High School 2019-20,” commented Wentland.

WHS Students newspaper 2020
From the left, teacher Dawn Wentland, Amasian Conley (senior), Ashton Jacobson-Theriault (junior), James Evangelou (junior); and, not pictured, Izaiah Doucette (junior).

Former students who were part of the WSJ
Former WHS seniors that were part of the staff of the “Wells Street Journal” pictured here in the spring of 2019.  They are (from left to right) Emma Nelson, Braeden Baston, Roslyn Soper, and Alyssa Bacon.   Nelson was Senior Editor and Bacon was a contributing writer to the Wells Street Journal in the 2018-2019 school year.   

Bingham wins WJHS’s annual Geography Bee; Paswaters is first runner-up

posted Feb 3, 2020, 3:43 AM by Michael Richards   [ updated Feb 3, 2020, 11:06 AM ]

At Wells Junior High School on January 29, 2020, eighth grade student Ryan Bingham received first place in the school-level or first round of competition in the 2019-2020 National Geographic GeoBee.  After an exciting final round, Kaden Paswaters, also in eighth grade, placed second.  The ten-student contest, the final round of numerous class qualifying bees, took place before the school’s student body in the Ward Gymnasium.  

“Well, I got the first question wrong so I was kind of expecting to go out after that,” said Bingham later.  He added, “But I had no idea this would happen.”   He candidly admitted that he did not know the answer to the deciding question but thought of a couple of likely answers and selected what turned out to be the correct response.  “I kind of guessed and I got it right,” he said.  “Social studies is my favorite class because geography is in it.”   He added that he likes geography and reading National Geographic magazine, the official magazine of the National Geographic Society.  

The other eight students who competed in the WJHS Bee were Olivia Boutot, Cole Gauthier, Sean Gilbert, Jackson Koh, Helen Lee, Jack McDevitt, Jacob Ouellet and Will Scott.  

Social studies teacher Bonnie Dill was the Bee’s organizer and questioner. “It was great to have two fifth graders (and) two sixth graders in the top ten so we have some talent coming up,” said Dill who observed that the contest was topical at times. “You could see in the last few questions that paying attention to the current news helps students to answer the final questions.”  

Others who assisted with the event included social studies teachers Susie Dugovic and Alison Le who were the contest judges. Teacher Dan MacLeod was the timekeeper.  

Each of the ten Bee contestants received a Toblerone candy bar and a small squishy globe to be a symbol of their knowledge of the World.   Runner-up Kaden Paswaters and Bingham also received a National Geographic World Atlas.   In addition, Bingham received a plush three-foot Antarctic penguin.  “It was a great prize,” said Dill of the penguin.  “The kids were excited about it.”   

To proceed to the state level of the National Geographic GeoBee, Bingham will need to complete a written test created by the National Geographic Society.  He then will be invited to attend the State Bee to be held at the University of Maine at Farmington in late March.  All winners of the various state bees are then eligible to compete in the National Geographic GeoBee in Washington, D.C. from May 17-21.

WJHS Geography Bee 2020
In the photo are students who competed in the recent WJHS Geography Bee.  In the back row from the left are Olivia Boutot, Kaden Paswaters, Ryan Bingham, Jackson Koh, and Jacob Ouellet.  In the front from the left are Cole Gauthier, Sean Gilbert, Will Scott, Helen Lee, and Jack McDevitt.

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