News About WOCSD

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

WES Holds 27th Colors Day

posted Jul 8, 2014, 10:44 AM by Fran Prentice

A major event at Wells Elementary School each year is Colors Day which coincides with the last day of school and the start of the summer break.  This year Colors Day occurred on a sunny June 19th with over 450 students participating.   

Begun modestly in 1988 by Physical Education Teacher Kathy Calo, Colors Day has evolved into an event designed to bring the entire student body together for a few hours to celebrate the school’s core values of cooperation, honesty, respect, responsibility, sharing and trustworthiness.  This outdoor get-together features a parade that winds around the school, an awards ceremony, a display of art work, a song and banner contest, a slide show of the year’s school happenings and outside games such as “Tug of Color” and the “Bucket Brigade.”

The parade consists of students grouped by classroom with each unit distinguished by the color of t-shirt students wear and a unique classroom banner.  This year’s Colors Day t-shirt with an owl on the front was designed by fourth grade student Kara Borkowski.  The idea to use the ‘owl’ as the mascot for this year's Colors Day originated with third grade student T.J. Gadomski.   The hundreds of t-shirts worn were purchased by the PTSA and printed by Ocean Graphics.

The Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) at Wells Elementary School sponsors and coordinates Colors Day but does so with lots of support from many others in the community.  The PTSA would like to thank the following area businesses for their contributions and support:

Alexandre's Garage, Aroma Joe's Coffee, Atlantic Oceanfront Motel, Best of Everything, Billy's Chowder House, Chase Tree Service, Cluff Excavation,

Coastline Painting & Maintenance, Cocoons Day School, Cole Harrison Agency, Cole Harrison Insurance, Cut.Rite Landscaping,  David Elwell Custom Builder, Fetch'n Fun Doggie Daycare & Boarding, Hayden Excavating, Inc, Hollywood Plumbing & Heating, Jonathan's Restaurant, Kennebunk Savings, Mariner Resort Motel, Misty Harbor Resort, Morse Hardware & Lumber, Nadeau Orthodontics, Nor-Easter Construction, Inc., Ocean Graphics, Ogunquit Lobster Pound, Pediatric Associates of York Hospital, Peoples Choice Credit Union, Peoples Insurance Agency, Perkins Cove Lobster Shack, Seacoast Pizza, Seagull Inn & Condominiums, Sea Mist Resort, Sea-Vu South Campground, Sevigney-Lyons Insurance, State Farm, The Dunes on the Waterfront, the Steakhouse, Wells-Ogunquit Little League, Wells Seacoast Cab, Wells Storage Solutions, Wild Blueberry Café, Spiller Farm, and York Hospital Family Medicine in Wells


Caption: First grade’s ‘Purple Pandas” marching in Colors Day parade on June 19th.  Waiving at the left side of the banner is teacher Michelle Langelier.


Caption: Hundreds of students sit in the courtyard of WES for an awards ceremony at Wells Elementary School on June 19th


Caption:  A kindergarten student from the Kindergarten Purple Pandas carries water held in a large sponge to a bucket in the Bucket Brigade competition among classrooms.

Wells High School Graduation Ceremony to be Cablecast on Time Warner Cable

posted Jul 2, 2014, 11:01 AM by Fran Prentice   [ updated Jul 2, 2014, 11:02 AM ]

Wells High Graduation took place this year on June 15th with 107 seniors receiving diplomas.  Commencement exercises were video recorded and will be shown on Time Warner Cable Channel 3 in Wells and Ogunquit at the following times:  Thursdays through Sundays at 9:00 am and 8:00 pm for two weeks ending July 13th.  The program runs for 58 minutes.

Colin Sevigney sang the The Star-Spangled Banner, Nicole Moody provided the Salutatorian address and Cassidy Healey made the Valedictory address.  This year’s commencement speaker was U.S. Olympian Julia Clukey who spoke about her career and believing in one’s self to achieve personal dreams and goals.   In the Principal’s address, Jim Daly focused on the topic of courage by reflecting on one particular soldier's courage on D-Day. 

At the beginning of the ceremony Mr. Daly was awarded a plaque by Wells Police Chief Jo-Ann Putnam on behalf of the Wells Board of Selectman in recognition of Wells High School’s recent achievements including receiving an “A” with the Maine Department of Education’s Maine School Performance Grading System.


Caption:  Left to right: Class Vice President and Salutatorian Nicole Moody, Class President Clayton Martin, Principal Jim Daly and WOCSD Superintendent Ellen Schneider.  Speaking at the podium is U.S. Olympian Julia Clukey.


Caption:  WHS graduating senior Grace Wright shakes hands with School Committee Chair Marc Saulnier.   To the right and above Wright is WOCSD Superintendent Ellen Schneider and Class Advisor Lee McGlashan.   At the podium is WHS Assistant Principal Eileen Sheehy.

WES Student Places First in Local, State and Regional Poster Contest

posted Jul 2, 2014, 10:59 AM by Fran Prentice

In March, Wells Elementary School student Logan Blanchard received first place in the second grade category at the local level of the Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest for 2014.   Since that time her poster has moved on to even greater heights by receiving first place in State and New England regional competition.

“I was amazed,” said Blanchard’s Art Teacher Sandy Brennan. “She is a great little artist and she works hard.”   Brennan said that Blanchard’s poster is currently being judged at the national level.

Began in 1961, the Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl Poster Contest is open to all first through fifth grade students.  This annual contest is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Forest Service and National Garden Clubs, Inc.  Locally it is sponsored by the Seacoast Garden Club.

The contest seeks to encourage children to be involved with natural resource conservation and wildfire prevention.  According to the USDA, this contest gives “students the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of wildfire prevention and basic environmental conservation principles through original drawings of Smokey Bear or Woodsy Owl.”

First place winners in national level competition will receive an all-expenses paid trip for four to Washington, D.C. where they will attend a Recognition Ceremony and each receive $50 from National Garden Clubs.

This year the contest stipulated that students incorporate an image of the iconic 70 year-old bear park ranger with his familiar fire prevention slogan, “Only You Can Prevent Wildfires”.   Smokey the Bear first appeared in 1944 to reinforce the notion that individuals can help prevent forest fires.  Woodsy Owl appeared in 1971 with the conservation message of “Lend a Hand, Care for the Land”.

This year, 86 WES second grade students along with elementary students from Kennebunk entered the contest.


Caption:  Logan Blanchard and WES Art teacher Sandy Brennan

Maine’s First Lady Receives Quilts Made by WJHS Students

posted Jul 2, 2014, 10:57 AM by Fran Prentice

Maine’s First Lady Ann Le Page visited Wells Junior High School on May 20th to receive 11 student-made lap quilts on behalf of the Veterans Strong Program and quadruple amputee Staff Sargent Travis Mills.  The quilts are bound for Mills’ new National Veterans Family Center in Belgrade. 

Mrs. Le Page was invited to WJHS by fifth grade teacher Rachel Kilbride who, along with other fifth grade staff, guided the 87 fifth graders who worked on the five month service learning project.  Accompanying the Governor’s wife to WJHS was Lynn Harvey, Director of the Blaine House and Executive Assistant to Maine’s First Lady and Christina Toriello Project Manager for the National Veterans Family Center.

State lawmakers who attended included Representative Kathleen Chase and Senator Ron Collins.

In the school’s multipurpose room, Mrs. Le Page, WOCSD Superintendent Ellen Schneider and other attendees including school staff and fifth grade students watched a slide show featuring students at work on the quilts, each with a distinctive “lone-star” design.   During the event, Mrs. Le Page, Principal Chessie and Superintendent Schneider made brief comments about the fifth grade project.

After the slide show, groups of students lined up to pose with quilts that they had worked on with the First Lady.  The idea for the quilt project formed in Kilbride’s mind after she attended a presentation by Carole Carroll, a creator of ‘Miracle Quilts’,  an effort to provide quilts for those (especially those wounded) who served in the armed forces; all in honor of Pfc. Joseph Miracle who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007.    

“This fall I asked the other fifth grade teachers on my team if we could do something like this as part of our Geometry Unit,” commented Kilbride.  “They thought it was a good way to help students understand the geometry skills and give back.”

In December of 2013 the quilt project began.   The squares for the quilts were designed with triangles.   Each fifth grader created a star quilt square from nine squares creating a distinct look.

Kilbride wishes to thank teachers Cindy Roche, Alice Meader, Cheryl Turner, Donny Abbott, Beth Goodwin, Linda Gaidimas and school volunteer Carol Dalton who assisted with the project.  She also wishes to thank the WJHS Parent Teachers Organization (PTO) for providing snacks for the First Lady’s visit and funding for batting and fabric and parent volunteers who donated fabric and time helping students on days there was in-class sewing.       

Caption: From left to right are State Senator Ron Collins, Rachel Kilbride, Ann Le Page, and State Representative Kathleen Chase with quilts made for the National Veterans Family Center in Belgrade.

Champs Recognized at Breakfast Featuring Special Guests

posted Jul 2, 2014, 10:55 AM by Fran Prentice

It takes many to help a school run smoothly.  Three times each school year Wells High School holds a ‘Breakfast of Champions’ to  recognize those students and staff who contributed in productive and positive ways to the learning and social environments of WHS.

On May 23rd, nineteen students, and five staff members were invited to the third Breakfast of Champions to be recognized for their work with a certificate and a t-shirt.    

Students honored were (in alphabetical order) Talia Auen, Tyler Bartlett, Michael Curtis, Sierra Daney, Caleb Heyland, Angela Leone, Anna Libby, Hannah Moody, Natasha Nugent, Allyson O’Brien, David Osterday, Adrienne Perron, Ivy Pevear, Al Ramsdell, Matthew Rogers, Colin Sevigney, Harold Weaver, Harrison Woodman, and Emilee Wooldridge.

WHS staff honored included Jay Audet, Elisa Beriau, Becca Follansbee, Emily Neville, and Karen Quint.

Special guests State Senator Ron Collins and State Representative Kathleen Chase attended the award breakfast to recognize State wrestling champions (and school champs) Michael Curtis and Colin Sevigney. 

Senator Collins, who received an honorary Breakfast of Champions Award, read the following “Expressions of Legislative Sentiment” from the legislature’s Advance Journal and Calendar of the 34th Legislative Day:

“(4-1) Michael Curtis, of Wells, a member of the Wells High School Wrestling Team, who won the State Class B Wrestling Championship in the 195-pound weight class.  Michael was also named the State Champion in the first ever All-State wrestling competition.  We send Michael our congratulations and best wishes on these achievements."  Sponsored by Senator Collins of York.  Co-sponsored by Representatives: Chase of Wells and McGowan of York.

“(4-2) Colin Sevigney, of Wells, a member of the Wells High School Wrestling Team, who won the State Class B Wrestling  Championship in the 138-pound weight class.  Colin also placed 3rd in the first ever All-State wrestling competition.  We send Colin our congratulations and best wishes in these achievements."  Sponsored by Senator Collins of York, co-sponsored by Representatives: Chase of Wells and McGowan of York.

Breakfast of Champions was instituted at WHS in 2007 by Principal Daly to recognize student and staff contributions to WHS.   Each of these events is organized by Daly and school secretary Lil Lagasse.      

Photo caption:  Students and staff recognized at a ‘Breakfast of Champions’ on May 23rd at Wells High School.   Student wrestlers Michael Curtis and Colin Sevigney are in the back rows just to the right of the American flag.  Sevigney is below Curtis. 

Two Color Guard Members Selected for Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC

posted Jun 27, 2014, 8:46 AM by Fran Prentice

Wells High School juniors and Color Guard members Anna Libby and Adrienne Perron have been chosen to perform in the 2014 Macy’s Great American Marching Band for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.  They are the only two high school students selected from Maine.

“This is a really big deal,” commented Color Guard Instructor Bailey Smith.  “These girls are going to represent the Wells-Ogunquit Guard Program, Wells High School, the Town of Wells, and the entire state of Maine.” 

According to Smith, who nominated both for the selection process, the Macy’s marching band has about 185 musicians with 40 color guards and dancers from all over the United States.  The selection from each state is based upon a state’s population in which Maine is represented each year by only two. 

Smith indicated that it will be expensive to get Libby and Perron to New York for this event.  She estimates that the costs will run about $2000 for each student.   Such an amount will have to come from business and individual donations as well as from a large fundraiser planned for August 16th in the Wells Junior High School parking lot called ‘Seacoast Market Day’.

This all day event will feature crafters and vendors making their crafts and products available.  In addition, the WHS Color Guard will perform plus there will be activities planned for children. 

The selection process for the Macy’s marching band included a written application and a video audition. Anna Libby auditioned as a dancer and Adrienne Perron auditioned for color guard.

“Being selected is a huge honor, and these girls are very deserving...” commented Smith. “We are glad the judges thought so, too.”

Donations by businesses and individuals can be made payable by check to "Wells Color Guard" with "Macy's" in the memo line.   Please mail to: Bailey Smith, Wells High School, 200 Sanford Road, Wells ME 04090. Vendors interested in being a part of Seacoast Market Day will need to contact Smith well ahead of time at

Caption: Anna Libby and Adrienne Perron

WOCSD Recognizes Retiring Staff and those with 20 Years of Service

posted Jun 24, 2014, 8:05 AM by Fran Prentice

The end of the 2013-2014 school year in the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District (WOCSD) finds nine staff members retiring.  In addition, four staff members have reached the 20 year milestone in their service to the District. 

All of these individuals were honored in a ‘Celebration of Service to Education’ ceremony on June 20th at the end of a staff luncheon at Wells Junior High School.   

At the ceremony, WOCSD Superintendent Ellen Schneider and the District’s three school principals Marianne Horne (WES), Chris Chessie (WJHS) and Jim Daly (WHS) recognized these individuals with comments and colorful gift bags.

Those retiring include Victoria Asquini (retiring with 35 years of service), Arlene Haskell (32 years), Carol Perry (13. 5 years), Barbara Stirk (25 years), Linda Tipping (25 years), Raylene Grant (18 years), Rachel Kilbride (21 years), Lucille Pisano (32 years), and Jacqueline Sukalas (31 years).

Rachel Kilbride, Lillian Lagasse, Sally Marchand, and Diane Norton were recognized for 20 years of service to the WOCSD.


Caption:  WOCSD staff are (l to r) Rachel Kilbride, Jacqueline Sukalas, Raylene Grant, Linda Tipping, Diane Norton, Lillian Lagasse, Sally Marchand and Barbara Stirk.


Caption:  WOCSD retiring staff member Raylene Grant (left) is greeted by WOCSD Superintendent Ellen Schneider (center) and Principal Marianne Horne at the Districts Annual Celebration of Service to Education.  Grant is retiring after 18 years of service at WES. 

Johnson Named WOCSD’s Exemplary Volunteer of the Year

posted Jun 24, 2014, 8:03 AM by Fran Prentice

The Wells-Ogunquit Community School District (WOCSD) held its annual Volunteer Appreciation event on June 12th with a barbeque in the Wells Elementary School gymnasium.   Those who volunteered a combined total of 3,000 hours working at various tasks throughout the District’s three schools during the 2013-2014 school year attended.  

The highlight of the luncheon was the announcement of this year’s Exemplary Volunteer of the Year, Brody Johnson who was selected based on his work with “terracycling” at Wells Elementary School.   Terracycling is the “upcycling” of certain hard-to-recycle items such as empty yogurt containers, juice pouches and glue sticks. 

Jen Royal is an aid to Johnson and volunteers time helping Johnson collect, sort, count, and ship all the plastic items to TerraCycle, a recycling company.

“Without Brody helping with this project, we would not be participating,” commented Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley who recruits and manages the District’s volunteers.   According to Foley, WES receives compensation to buy school items from the recycled plastic shipped to TerraCycle.

At the BBQ, Marianne Horne and Pat Hayden spoke and thanked the assembled volunteers.  There was a contest to estimate the number of candies in jars, and winners got to take home the candy.

Johnson, a 2011 graduate of WHS, has volunteered in the District for five years.   At Wells Elementary he has collected, shredded and prepared used paper for recycling and assisted students at lunchtime sort food to be composted.

Foley wishes to thank Hannaford and Subway in Wells for donations to the Volunteer Appreciation Barbeque.

Anyone interested in becoming involved in the WOCSD School Volunteer Program in the fall should contact Mrs. Foley at 646-5953 x 4204 or


Caption:   Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley and Exemplary Volunteer of the Year Brody Johnson.

McMinis Named ‘Athlete of the Month’ for April 2014

posted Jun 24, 2014, 7:57 AM by Fran Prentice

Wells High School senior Bennie McMinis has been selected Athlete of the Month for April 2014.   This award is in recognition of McMinis’s academics, sportsmanship, and participation on the WHS Warriors Boys Baseball Team.

“I was definitely surprised,” said McMinis about receiving this student-athlete award.  “It was nice to get some good news after last week (when) I tore my ACL,” McMinis said on May 28th.   The ACL or anterior cruciate ligament is a major ligament of the knee.   Tearing the ACL is a common sports injury.

McMinis started on the WHS Boys Baseball Team during his sophomore year.  In his first two games this season he pitched to just one hit in 13 innings striking out 25 batters. 

This year the Wells team played in the Western Maine Conference Class B playoffs.  According to WHS Activities director Jack Molloy, McMinis became the winning pitcher in a preliminary round game with Freeport which ended in a score of 8 to 3.  McMinis “struck out 11, walked three and didn’t allow an earned run in a three-hitter,” commented Molloy.

Presenting McMinis with an Athlete of the Month plaque on May 28th was Jack Molloy, John C. Kreie of Cole Harrison Insurance Agency and Pamela Moody-Maxon of Moody Maxon Real Estate.  

“Bennie McMinis is not just a great athlete on the baseball field but he also is a great person who leads by example,” commented Moody-Maxon.  “Even with a leg injury which would sideline most athletes, he continues to play and contribute to his team.  It is my pleasure to provide this award to Bennie.”   

The Athlete of the Month award at Wells High School is sponsored by Cole Harrison Insurance Agency and Moody Maxon Real Estate. Athletes picked to receive this honor are selected by WHS’s Activities Director Jack Molloy and Principal Jim Daly.

“He is passionate about not only baseball, but his academics and his community,” commented Kreie.  “He is the core of the Warriors pitching staff and I hope to see him play in college. He is simply one of the best well rounded kids I have met and I wish him luck with his future endeavors.”

In the fall, McMinnis plans to study Electrical Engineering at the University of Maine at Orono.

Caption:  From left to right is Jack Molloy, Bennie McMinis, John Kreie, and Pam Moody-Maxon

Olympian Accepts Invitation from Elementary Student to Visit School

posted Jun 11, 2014, 11:59 AM by Fran Prentice   [ updated Jun 13, 2014, 5:08 AM ]

On May 30th, Olympic swimmer Ian Crocker paid a visit to Wells Elementary School and spoke to an assembly of students in the school’s gymnasium. Crocker was introduced to the audience by a very excited third grade student, Isabella Bazata of Ogunquit, who had the vision and rather lofty goal to bring the three-time Olympic gold medal winner to her school as part of a school project.

This spring, for social studies, all third grade students were assigned to study a famous Maine person of their choosing.  Bazata, a swimmer at the Sanford-Springvale YMCA, selected Ian Crocker who once attended Cheverus High School in Portland.

“They had to have the visual,” said Isabella’s mother Jo-Ann Bazata about the third grade multi-phase, project.  “Her idea and her dream was ‘why not have Ian himself be my visual’ and how can we do it.”    Mrs. Bazata said that her daughter went on a four week search in trying to contact Crocker.  As a result, Crocker himself ended up calling to speak with Isabella.

In his talk Crocker mixed in the core values of WES including respect, trustworthiness, and honesty as he spoke about his 10-year dream to be an Olympian, his coach who laid out the steps needed to reach his Olympic goals, his rigorous training regimen, his three gold medals and future plans which include training those with similar Olympic dreams.   Crocker, who now lives in Texas, brought along his medals to show students during his presentation.  With the exception of the fourth grade which was at WJHS for orientation, the entire WES student body attended the assembly.

“I am still a kid at heart anyway so it’s a lot of fun for me to be able to talk to them and share my experiences,” said Crocker after the assembly. 

Isabella’s parents, Jo-Ann and Jerry Bazata, and Ian Crocker’s parents, Gail and Richard Crocker, were present at the special assembly.

Recognized before Crocker spoke were students who recently participated in the WOCSD Special Olympics.

Principal of Wells Elementary School, Marianne Horne thanked the PTSA for their financial support in making this special assembly possible.  “We would not have been able to hold this wonderful and enriching assembly for our students without their support,” said Horne.  

Caption:   Olympian Gold Medal winner Ian Crocker with the WES third grade class of Michelle Boucher (sitting at top left).   Isabella Bazata, holding three Olympic Gold Medals, is sitting below Ian Crocker.


Caption: Speaking to students at WES is Olympic Gold Medal winner Ian Crocker.  To his right is third grade student Isabella Bazata.

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