News About WOCSD

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

Students ‘Pay It Forward’ to emergency responders

posted Feb 27, 2015, 5:57 AM by Fran Prentice

In line with the school’s core values, students at Wells Elementary School this winter have been practicing what is known as “paying it forward”, selfless, random acts of kindness toward one another in the WES community.  To understand that it is often better to give than to receive, students, in class, have been giving gifts of appreciation; simple gifts that they have created including poems, drawings or something from a craft project.

To pay it forward in a wider community sense, WES held an assembly February 10th for several area police officers and firefighters from Wells and Ogunquit.   Students and staff wanted to show appreciation to these professionals for the work that they do to keep the communities safe.

“I thought this was a great opportunity to recognize the police and fire departments in both town,” said one of the assembly’s organizers teacher Melissa Stapleton.  “We are a community of both Wells and Ogunquit and it was important to recognize all organizations.”

Several students spoke to the guests and the officers, including Wells Police Chief Jo-Ann Putnam, took questions from the audience.

“I really think the ‘Pay It Forward’ project was a great idea for the kids to participate in,” commented Chief Putnam. “I am very pleased and would like to thank all of them for choosing the Wells and Ogunquit police and fire departments to recognize.  Any time we get the opportunity to interact with the young children in a positive manner like this it benefits all of us.”

Towards the end of the assembly, each guest received a white gift basket filled with items donated by parent volunteers from the classrooms of Melissa Stapleton, Beth Bush, and Amy Sevigny.   “We are so fortunate to have such generous parent volunteers,” commented Stapleton.

“Our students are naturally caring and giving,” commented Beth Bush.  “By teaching students to ‘Pay It Forward’, our hope is it will be a lesson they will remember for the rest or their lives.”


Caption:  Standing with students from left to right are Sgt. Mike Faia (Ogunquit Police), Ogunquit Fire Chief Mark O’Brien, Lt. Gerald Congdon (Wells Police), Sgt. Kevin Chabot (Wells Police), K-9 Jagger (Wells Police), Police Chief Jo-Ann Putnam (Wells Police), Patrolman Chris Baez (Wells Police) and Captain Dan Moore (Wells Fire Dept.)


Caption:  Wells Police Chief Jo-Ann Putnam fielding questions from students to other officers present at the “Paying It Forward” assembly at Wells Elementary School on February 10th.

WHS Project Graduation Presents Annual Raffle and Auction

posted Feb 27, 2015, 5:51 AM by Fran Prentice

Project Graduation for Wells High School’s senior class will hold their annual Basket Raffle and Silent Auction on March 13th at 5:30 p.m. in the Wells JUNIOR High School Ward Gymnasium.  The location is new for the event this year due to the construction at Wells High School.  The public is invited; doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and names of raffle prize winners will be drawn at 7:00 p.m.

This fundraising event consists of a silent auction and raffle for gift baskets of varying themes.   Raffle tickets will be sold at the door with ticket prices as follows:  $5 for 10 or $10 for 25.  Ticket holders will have about an hour to walk around the basket tables examining all of the prizes.  Buckets are arranged in front of the baskets and tickets are tossed into the buckets for the drawings that commence at 7:00 p.m. 

This year there will be 60 plus themed baskets to select from providing something of interest to everyone.  In addition, there will be over 40 silent auction items.   Both categories of prizes are donated by the families of seniors at Wells High School and area businesses.

Should inclement weather cause the event to be postponed, a snow date has been set for the next day, March 14th, with all event details remaining the same. 

All proceeds from this event will go to support the efforts of Project Graduation to provide a chemical-free celebration for all WHS graduates on graduation day in June. 

Project Graduation 2015 also announces two more upcoming fun fundraisers. 

On April 11th at 11:00 a.m. the Project Graduation Committee will hold the “Fools Rush In” Polar Plunge at the Drake’s Island Jetty.  All participants will receive a t-shirt with the payment of their participation fee of $10 for students and $20 for adults. 

On May 1st, Project Graduation 2015 will present an appearance by psychic medium and author Vicki Monroe at Jonathan’s in Ogunquit.  Tickets will be available via the Jonathan’s Ogunquit website at  Thank you to Jonathan’s and Vicki Monroe for their generous support of WHS Project Graduation 2015.

For more information regarding any of the fundraising events, please contact Deb Taylor at 207-432-3830.

Caption: A file photo from a previous Project Graduation’s Basket Raffle and Silent Auction.

WHS becomes State winner in Samsung contest

posted Feb 27, 2015, 5:47 AM by Fran Prentice

Wells High School has been selected by Samsung Electronics America as winner for Maine in the state round of competition in the 2014/2015 Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest.   This recognition comes to WHS for the work of the school’s Hydrofoil Class currently in a nine-month process to create a hydrofoil craft from scratch.   

“Congratulations!” began a letter received by WHS earlier this winter from David Steel, Executive Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Communications with Samsung Electronics America.  “Your entry was chosen for its innovative approach to advancing interest in STEM among your students as well as making an impact in your community.”   Steel added, “Your commitment to your students and school as well as to advancing STEM education is evident through the great work that you are doing.”

The acronym STEM refers “to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The term is typically used when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools to improve competitiveness in technology development.”  (Source: Wikipedia)

During an assembly on February 11th in the Olenn Auditorium, William Dawe, a Field Sales Manager with Samsung Telecommunications America presented the class with a plaque.

“I think it is phenomenal,” said Dawe in an interview about the WHS project he compared to a huge puzzle.  “I am excited to see what’s going to be the outcome at the end.”

All state winners will receive $20,000 in technology from Samsung.   Each will have the opportunity to compete further and become one of five national winners.

The objective of the Hydrofoil class at Wells High School is for students of varying backgrounds to create a functioning, human powered two passenger hydrofoil boat, approximately 16 feet in length and capable of achieving lift over water, significantly reducing drag and increasing speed. 

Going forward, state winners have to produce a short video about their project and present their video at a gathering in March.   A process will reduce the 51 finalists to five who will receive technology packages worth between $35,000 to $120,000 plus recognition at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The $8,800 hydrofoil project at Wells High School is dependent solely upon donations. Individuals and/or area businesses interested in contributing to the project by making either a financial or material donation need to first contact Jason Hludik or Chrys Demos at Wells High School either by phone at (207) 646-7011 or email to: and 

Caption: Back row left to right: Ryan Marsh, Chrys Demos, Jason Hludik, Gavin Turnbull,     Jacob Wilson, Kyle Goodale and David Jacobs.   Front row (l to r): William Dawe of Samsung, Erskine Lothrop, Nathan Ouellette, Daniel Charpentier, and Zachary Pierce.  Present for the plaque presentation but not in the photograph is engineer Dave Hawk from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.  Hawk is one of the advisors to the hydrofoil project.

 Caption: WHS Hydrofoil project student David Jacobs displaying a computer model of the planned hydrofoil.

Lady Warriors raise 35K for hospital programs

posted Feb 11, 2015, 5:35 AM by Fran Prentice

On January 17th , the girls basketball programs at Wells Junior High School and Wells High School held the 6th Annual “Shootin’for a Cure”, an all-day free throw extravaganza to honor pledges previously garnered by team members raising thousands of dollars for breast cancer care at York Hospital.


This year, the ball players raised $35,000 for York Hospital’s Breast Cancer Living Well Fund and Heart Care for Women.  


From morning till evening, sixty-four 5th through 12th grade student athletes, all in pink uniforms, shot 50 free throws each.  According to Lady Warriors Coach Don Abbott, eighth grade student Mackenzie Foss was the free throw champ of the day scoring 43 out of 50 tosses at the basket.  Freshman Olivia Durfee was this year’s fund raising champion raising just under $1200.  In the evening a ceremonial check covering the amount raised was presented to representatives of York Hospital including York Hospital President Judd Knox.


It was closeness to a friend whose wife had breast cancer and knowing some team members whose relatives were suffering with the disease that inspired Coach Abbott to create Shootin’ for a Cure.  To date, Shootin’ for a Cure (along with a partnership between the Lady Warriors and the Wells Rotary Club in the sponsorship of the Chuck Cumming Memorial Golf Tournament) has raised over $160,000 for breast cancer care at York Hospital.

Caption: In the photo are some of the members of the girls’ basketball teams in Wells-Ogunquit CSD.   In this December 14th photo, they are walking in the 29th Annual Wells Christmas Parade for 2014.  Coach Don Abbott is at right. 

High school pauses to say “Thank You”

posted Feb 11, 2015, 5:32 AM by Fran Prentice

It takes many working together in a variety of ways to help make a high school operate smoothly and efficiently.  In order to show appreciation to those who may go an “extra mile” in helping to make that happen, Wells High School holds a ‘Breakfast of Champions’ three times each school year.

On January 30th, the second Breakfast of Champions was held before the start of school in the school’s library.  Recognized by Principal Jim Daly, Activities Director Jack Molloy and teacher Jay Moore were 13 students and nine faculty and staff members.  Each received a light breakfast, a certificate and red t-shirt for their support in facilitating a positive learning, work and social environment at WHS.   

Those recognized included students Ryan Barber, Tyler Bartlett, Bethany Berger, Mary Berger, Sarah Berger, Mark Brewster, Chris Carney, Kent Kellar, Isabelle Sossei, Charlie Durfee, Ryan Marsh, Jesse Taylor and Nikolai Tomaszewski.  Faculty and staff members invited included Don Abbott, Pierce Cole, Chrys Demos, Tim Ericson, Kevin Fox, Tim Roche, Jeré Pierce, Becky Murphy, and John Murray.

“It's a great opportunity for our students, faculty, and staff to be recognized for going ‘far and above’”, commented WHS Principal Jim Daly.  “I appreciate all the support we get from the community for this event!”

Breakfast of Champions was instituted at Wells High School in 2007 by Principal Daly.  Each of these events is organized by Daly and Lil Lagasse.   To be invited, one has to be nominated by a coach, teacher or staff member.  

Caption: In the front row kneeling (from l to r) are Mark Brewster, Tyler Bartlett, Kent Kellar, and Isabelle Sossei.  Standing in the front row are Jesse Taylor and Nikolai Tomaszewski.  In the back row (l to r) are Tim Roche, Don Abbott, Jere' Pierce, John Murphy, Pierce Cole, Chrys Demos and Becky Murphy.

Chase places first in geography bee at WJHS

posted Feb 4, 2015, 6:30 AM by Fran Prentice   [ updated Feb 4, 2015, 8:07 AM ]

On January 22nd, Wells Junior High School eighth grade student Matt Chase became champion in the school’s annual geography bee, part of the first round in the 27th Annual National Geographic Bee sponsored by the National Geographic Society in Washington.    Another eighth grader, Spencer Poulin, became runner-up.  This marks the second time that Matt Chase has emerged victorious in this contest, the first time in January of 2013.

As in past years, there were ten student finalists taking on challenging and sometimes obscure questions about geography in front of a large audience consisting of students, parents and school staff in the Ward Gymnasium.  Other finalists included Hannah Chase, Covy Dufort, Tori Hayward, Garner Holdsworth, Guss Madsen, Samuel Norbert, Katie Plourde and Wyatt Rowe. The process creating these finalists began earlier this winter with bees held in classrooms followed by a semi-final round. 

At the end of March, after passing a national qualifying exam, Chase will be eligible to challenge other junior high schoolers in a state geography bee to be held on a campus of the University of Maine with a location and time to be announced.   

Winners of state level competitions are then invited to compete at the National Geography Bee held in May in Washington.  The national winner will receive a $50,000 scholarship plus a trip to the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific.

“Our whole school is wishing our school winner Matt Chase, ‘Good Luck!’, commented bee organizer and moderator Bonnie Dill, a Social Studies teacher at WJHS.   “I have great confidence in Matt.  He has the geographic enthusiasm, the desire, the brainpower and the special skills needed to climb this mountain.  Pardon the pun!" 

Added this year is a round about animals of the World and another called Pop Stars on Tour.  “The kids had fun relating their favorite animals and singers to their geographic knowledge,” commented Dill.

The National Geographic Society sponsors this contest from the local to the national level.  The Society provides participating schools with questions, supplies, rules, guidelines and prizes.  

All ten participants in the bee at WJHS received a certificate and a Toblerone Swiss chocolate bar.  In addition, Chase and Poulin each received a hard cover copy of “Nat Geo Wild Animal Atlas”.                                                  

Caption:  At left is Matt Chase with teacher Bonnie Dill following this year’s school competition at WJHS in the National Geographic Bee at WJHS.


Caption: From left to right are contestants in the WJHS Geography Bee for 2015:   Wyatt Rowe, Covy Dufort, Garner Holdsworth, Katie Plourde, Spencer Poulin (1st Runner-up), Matt Chase (Champion), Tori Hayward, Hannah Chase, Samuel Norbert, and Guss Madsen.

A “Gentle Giant” Awarded Athlete of the Month for December at WHS

posted Feb 4, 2015, 6:26 AM by Fran Prentice

Wells High School’s Activities Director Jack Molloy has announced that senior, two-time State champion and ‘All American’, Michael Curtis has been selected Athlete of the Month for December 2014.   Curtis, a member of the school’s wrestling and football teams, received this distinction from a combination of his academics, sportsmanship and extraordinary accomplishments with the WHS Wrestling Team. 

According to WHS Wrestling Coach Scott Lewia, Curtis’ accomplishments include being named Atlantic Invitational Champion, Noble Invitational Champion and a Warrior Clash Champion.  Lewia pointed out that Curtis reached his 100th career ‘pin’ in a semi-final wrestling match at Noble High School.  In wrestling, a ‘pin’ is when one completely pins an opponent’s shoulder to the mat preventing them from getting up thus ending and deciding the match.  In other words, a ‘pin’ is also a match win.

Presenting Curtis with the WHS Athlete of the Month on January 21st was Jack Molloy, John C. Kreie and Pamela Moody-Maxon.

“Mike is a great kid who works very hard,” commented Kreie.  “With wrestling he is a ‘take no prisoners’ kind of kid on the mat.  More than 100 ‘wins’ in a high school career is an accomplishment, but Mike has more than 100 ‘pins’ which is unheard of.”  

Curtis said that he was “honored” about receiving Athlete of the Month. “It means a lot,” he added.   He indicated that he has been wrestling since first grade and has been a member of the WHS team since freshman year.  On the 21st he indicated that that he was at 36-0, match wins versus losses, this season bringing his career total to over 163.  Moody-Maxon predicted that Curtis will likely end the season breaking a previous WHS wrestler’s record of 174 career wins, the current record at WHS.

“He is probably the best wrestler I have ever seen come out of Wells High School, he is by far the strongest,” said Moody-Maxon who surmised, “He is very humble and it is just a great honor to provide this award to him.  The biggest thing is that he is a gentle giant.”  

Athlete of the Month is sponsored at WHS by Cole Harrison Insurance Agency and Moody Maxon Real Estate.  WHS athletes picked to receive this honor are selected by WHS’s Activities Director and Principal.

Michael Curtis says that he is planning on attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall to study Engineering.

Caption:  In the photo from left to right are John Kreie, Pamela Moody-Maxon, Michael Curtis, and Jack Molloy.

WHS students recognized for their art work at state level in annual contest

posted Jan 21, 2015, 10:54 AM by Fran Prentice

According to Wells High School Art teacher Vanessa White-Capelluti, seven of her students (six seniors and one junior) have placed and/or received honorable mention in the annual Region 1 Scholastic Art Awards Contest for 2015, a contest sponsored and hosted at the state level by the Maine College of Art in Portland.  

Senior Brooke Nucci received two Silver Key awards, one in the Digital Art category and the other in the Printmaking category.   Her work, along with the art work of other Silver and Gold Key winners from Maine, is now on display at the Maine College of Art in Portland until February 7th.

“It is always nice to have students' work recognized by an outside panel of artists,” commented White-Capelluti.  “These awards will give them confidence and direction moving forward toward their AP exams.”

The WHS students receiving the distinction of Honorable Mention include Brooke Nucci in the Portfolio category (photography and design), Allison Beecher “Drawing”, Bethany Berger “Digital Design”, Sarah Berger “Portfolio (photography and design)” and “Digital Art”, Briauna Doughty “Portfolio (photography)” and “Photography”, Olivia Holdsworth “Printmaking” and “Drawing” and Reed Norton “Portfolio (photography)”.

“As a competition, it’s a little different because it is not just about the merits of their work,” commented White-Capelluti about the uniqueness of the contest.  “In some cases they (her students) might have been competing against each other.”  White-Capelluti added that the categorization of an entry is based upon the media used and that only seniors are eligible to enter a body of their work into the Portfolio category. “Several of the students were recognized in this category. I think that is a real accomplishment.”

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards were founded in 1923.   “…the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the longest running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers in the U.S.”   (source:

According to White-Capelluti, the Maine College of Art picks a panel of judges to determine Gold and Silver Key winners plus honorable mentions.

Caption:  In the front row (l to r) are Brooke Nucci, Reed Norton, and Allison Beecher.  In the back row (l to r) are Sarah Berger, Olivia Holdsworth, Briauna Doughty, and Bethany Berger.

Airing date for WES kindergarten concert

posted Jan 12, 2015, 5:45 AM by Fran Prentice

The 2014 Winter Kindergarten Concert at Wells Elementary School was held on December 18th before a standing room only audience.   The production was video recorded and has been airing on Time Warner Channel 3 in Wells and Ogunquit.  For those who may have missed this program, it will be shown one more time on these channels on Friday, January 16th at 7:00 p.m.

The concert featured holiday and patriotic songs performed by students from the classes of Jen Abbott, Sue Bastille, Roni Johnson, Marcia Millian, Sandy Robinson and Maureen DeFelice (begindergarten teacher).   Assisting teachers with this production included substitute teacher Kim Blanchard and Ed Techs Carol Gilblair, Kelly Brown and Deb Erskine.

Between songs, each class, under the direction of their teachers, recited a poem in unison.  Songs and poems were introduced by students.

“It was a community event supported by many of our wonderful WES staff,” described Karen Taylor from the music program at WES.  “Students were all dressed up and the stage was decorated as a winter scene.”


Caption:  Preparing to depart the stage after their annual winter concert are the kindergarten students of WES for 2014-15.   

‘Giving Thanks’ fourth grade style

posted Jan 12, 2015, 5:42 AM by Fran Prentice

The fourth grade class of Pamela Lear at Wells Elementary School held its annual two-day celebration of Thanksgiving November 24th and 25th starting with a class luncheon on the first day followed by a gathering of all fourth graders for a slice of homemade pie on the next. 

According to Lear, this observance of Thanksgiving in her class is really about helping students realize a deeper meaning of the holiday, a time to focus less on one’s self and more on others, being thankful for what one has and the unselfish act of giving to others. 

In preparation for the luncheon, students learned about bread making, table etiquette, and a proper table setting.  They also made placemats and turned paper plates into tree ornaments.  Parents and grandparents also attended the luncheon.

The sixty small loaves of bread baked were wrapped and secured with a ribbon.  One was given to each student to give to someone special in their life as a gift of ‘thanks’.  

The following afternoon, all fourth grade students with teachers and staff gathered in a common area adjacent to the fourth grade wing for what could easily be labeled a ‘pie festival’.   A large variety of pies with fillings ranging from apple to pumpkin cheesecake made by parent volunteers were pre-sliced and served by guest servers including Superintendent Ellen Schneider. 

After dessert, several of Lear’s students plus students from other classes went to one of several “Thanks ‘Giving’ Trees” decorated with paper plate ornaments inscribed with individual messages of what each student was thankful for.  They pulled off their own ornament and read what they were thankful for. Some of what kids expressed thanks included, their house, mom, family, life, freedom and money.  One boy, Emerson Clark, said he was simply thankful for his cat.

Along with Lear, other staff assisting with the pie festival included Mirna Davila, Michele Guerrette, Donna Longley, and Intern Rachel Purgiel.


Caption: Students with a slice of their favorite pie wait for fourth grade teacher Pam Lear to cover the dessert with lots of whip cream.

Caption: Standing next to a “Thanks Giving Tree” (l to r) are Ethan Ordway, Riley Bolton and WES Intern Rachel Purgiel.  These students are displaying their placemats and holding loaves of bread that they helped create and will give as a gift of thanks.

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