News About WOCSD

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

Children’s author makes appearance at Wells Elementary School library

posted Apr 15, 2015, 5:21 PM by Michael Richards

Children’s author and illustrator Ryan Higgins performed for five large groups of students in the Wells Elementary School library on March 18th.  Higgins, who has been writing and illustrating children’s books for six years, has had four books published with a fifth one to be released in January of 2016 by his new publisher, Disney-Hyperion.  

During his library sessions with all K-4 students, he read, drew characters and took questions from the audience.  

“We were so fortunate to have Maine children's author/illustrator Ryan Higgins come to our school," commented WES librarian Karen Westerberg. "His presentations were truly enjoyable as well as inspiring to the students."

This was Higgins’ second March visit to the school.  On March 6th he attended the Wells-Ogunquit CSD's Annual Celebration of Reading Day at WES.   During that visit he donated enough copies of one of his books so that each student could have a copy. 

Last year Higgins made 100 school appearances including one in Ohio.  “I do it because first it’s fun..,” said Higgins. “Second it’s a great way to connect with my target audience.”   He indicated that it is useful in writing a book to read from it to children before it is finished.  This allows him to experience firsthand which jokes make kids laugh and which ones don’t and should be discarded.   

Before drawing illustrations at WES, Higgins daringly asked his audience what kind of character they wanted him to create.   Higgins calls such an on-the-spot exercise, “great practice” as it is totally impromptu.

Higgins said that his studio is in his Kittery home.  “It’s fun to take a break from working by myself in my studio and then go hang out with kids because I can pretend to be a kid for a few hours.”

According to Higgins’ website he lives “…with his three dogs, three cats, two geckos, one tortoise, one son, one daughter and one wife.”   His wife teaches second grade at Wells Elementary School.   

Higgins, who knew he wanted to be a cartoonist by age four, attended the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor.  His published works include “Wilfred”, “Roger Goes Up” and “Twaddleton’s Cheese”.

Speaking before a group of kindergarten students at Wells Elementary School is children’s book author and illustrator Ryan Higgins.
Speaking before a group of kindergarten students at Wells Elementary School is children’s book author and illustrator Ryan Higgins.

At his laptop in the library at Wells Elementary School is children’s book author and illustrator Ryan Higgins.
At his laptop in the library at Wells Elementary School is children’s book author and illustrator Ryan Higgins. 

Las Olas goes to school

posted Apr 12, 2015, 3:43 PM by Michael Richards

Occasionally, Wells-Ogunquit CSD Nutritional Services Director Tyler Goodwin invites guest chefs into one of the District’s three kitchens to work alongside him and lunchroom staff to prepare and serve hot lunch.  On March 31st, Regional Operations Manager for Las Olas Taqueria Mexican restaurants Ken Wehry, was the guest chef for three lunch periods at Wells High School.  

Wehry teamed up with Goodwin and WHS senior and part-time Las Olas employee Emma Huber-Young to prepare a variety of ingredients for made-to-order beef, chicken and vegetable burritos created in the Las Olas style.   According to Goodwin, this celebrity chef lunch with Wehry drew the largest hot lunch crowd of the current school year at WHS.

"I want to thank Ken for being willing to come over to our cafeteria to cook for our students,” commented Goodwin.   “It is great that Las Olas Taqueria, a local restaurant, is willing to work with my staff.  They donated their time, delicious foods and Ken's excellent cooking and wrapping skills allowing us to be able to offer the students a truly special lunch like this. It was a great day in the cafeteria for students and staff alike."  Goodwin indicated that he plans such events largely to break up the routine and boredom of day-to day lunch periods.

Goodwin also served up praise for student Huber-Young.  “Emma did a great job producing burritos.  I would hire her to work in our kitchen.”  

Ken Wehry of Las Olas Taqueria serving up burritos for students at WHS on March 31st

Ken Wehry of Las Olas Taqueria serving up burritos for students at WHS on March 31st

Matt Chase wins Maine geography bee

posted Apr 9, 2015, 4:25 AM by Michael Richards

Wells Junior High School eighth grade student Matt Chase won the state level of the 27th Annual National Geography Bee at the University of Maine at Farmington on March 27th.   He becomes the first ever WJHS student to achieve this milestone. 

Despite all the pressure one might expect associated with a contest of this nature, Chase, who was diagnosed with autism at age two, answered the challenging questions posed to him about world geography and emerged victorious over 100 other 4th through 8th grade students. 

As a result, Chase, age 13, will represent the State of Maine in national competition with 53 others beginning May 11th in Washington D.C.  He will be accompanied there by his parents Sophie and Matthew L. Chase.  

According to a press release from the Maine Geography Bee, the "National Geographic Society, Plum Creek and Google generously support this event nationwide, and will be sending parents and contestants to Washington for the competition."

Teachers Bonnie Dill and Susie Dugovic witnessed Chase’s win at UMF.   Dill put her former student’s victory in proper perspective by pointing out the significance of it. According to Dill there are four million students who take part at the local school level of this contest leaving just 5,000 to enter state competition.  From state rounds across the United States, only 54 get to compete in Washington.  The student who emerges victorious there will receive a $50,000 college scholarship and a free trip to the Galapagos Islands.

“Matt is a very special young man…”commented Dill who, along with Social Studies teacher Susan Dugovic, have coordinated the WJHS Geography Bees for over two decades.    “It was one of the greatest moments ever to see him win,” commented Dill.  “We are so proud of him.”

Supporting and cheering Matt on with his interest in Geography have been his father and mother and sister Anya. According to Sophie Chase her son has enjoyed working with and creating maps from a very young age inspired further by Dill to develop what Mrs. Chase describes as “a more comprehensive sense of the world, including the people, their customs and history”.  

To the Chases their son’s autism makes this big win all the more special.  “As a parent of a child with autism, it is common to have a never ending feeling of worry,” commented Sophie Chase who describes her child’s memory for facts and dates as impressive.  “Thanks to our son's very hard work and an amazing team of educators and therapists (in the WOCSD and at Spurwink Therapeutic Preschool) over the years, he has come an incredibly long way.”             

At the winner’s ceremony on March 27th, Chase was awarded $100, a current edition “National Geographic World Atlas,” a CD collection of every issue of the magazine ever printed, and a special offer from UMF.  President of the University of Maine at Farmington Kate Foster offered Chase a letter of admission to the University of Maine at Farmington upon graduation from high school.  

Matt’s parents hope that their son’s State and local wins in the contest will inspire other parents of children afflicted with autism.  “We want to share that exciting prospect with every parent who has a child on ‘the Spectrum’, commented Sophie Chase.  “The reality is that our son is so unique, brilliant, happy and caring; we feel like the luckiest parents in the world.”

Once in Washington, D.C., the Chases will attend opening ceremonies and special events put on by the National Geographic Society including a boat cruise, and the preliminary competition to determine the top ten.  The finals will be televised and hosted by Soledad O’Brien. The National Geographic Bee is sponsored by the National Geographic Society in Washington.    The Society provides participating schools with questions, supplies, rules, guidelines and prizes.  

In addition to this contest win, Matt and his family have recently learned that he placed first in the eighth grade category in the 2015 WOCSD Literary Achievement Awards writing contest.  


Matt Chase celebrating his win
Appearing to hold up the World is Matt Chase at the State Geography Bee at the University of Maine at Farmington


Ms. Dill and Matt Chase
Matt Chase with WJHS Social Studies teacher and Geography Bee Coordinator Bonnie Dill in front of a very large wall map of the World at Wells Junior High School. 



Psychic’s May 1st Appearance in Ogunquit to Benefit Project Graduation

posted Apr 5, 2015, 1:15 PM by Michael Richards

Internationally renowned spirit messenger, psychic medium and cold case file investigator Vicki Monroe will make an appearance at Jonathan’s Restaurant in Ogunquit May 1st at 8:00 p.m.  

Tickets for the show are $35 with a significant portion of ticket proceeds going to Project Graduation to help with the parent organization’s efforts to provide a safe and chemical free night of celebration for graduating seniors in June. 

"Project Graduation is near and dear to my heart, and I do this not only for the senior class but in memory of my dad, Charlie, who graduated in the (WHS) class of 1959, and in memory of my sister Heather, who was a member of the class of 1982,” commented Monroe prior to a similar well attended appearance in March of 2014.   “We all had such wonderful stories to share and memories of Wells High were a very big part of our lives.”

Both Monroe and Jonathan West of Jonathan’s Restaurant are graduates of Wells High School.

According to Vicki Monroe’s website, vickimonroe.com, “Vicki has been seeing, hearing, and communicating with the spirit world since the age of three and has been providing her services as a psychic medium professional for over two decades.”   

Debra Taylor of Project Graduation indicated that several audience members at the Ogunquit show will be randomly selected for a psychic reading by Monroe.

Tickets for this event can be purchased at Jonathans Restaurant at 92 Bourne Lane in Ogunquit or by calling Jonathan’s at 207-646-4777.  Ticket information for this show is also available at www.jonathansogunquit.com.

ALL-4-KIDS Spring/Summer Consignment Sale

posted Apr 5, 2015, 12:21 PM by Michael Richards

The Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) for Wells Elementary School is holding their ‘All-4-Kids Consignment Sale’ on Saturday, April 11th from 8 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Parents and others in the general public are invited to browse and shop for great bargains. The sale will take place inside the Wells Elementary School gymnasium, rain or shine.

Everything for sale is appropriately tagged and sorted by size and gender, so shoppers can quickly find what they are looking for.  All items are inspected for the sale by PTSA members and everything is in great condition.  Clothing is spring and summer, both girls’ and boys’, with sizes from newborn to 18.  There will be children’s shoes, sneakers and sandals; pool and beach items; toys; books; games; CD’s and videos; sports equipment; baby items and children’s furniture. This is a great opportunity to get kids’ spring and summer items at very reasonable prices while supporting the Wells Elementary School PTSA. 

The PTSA is able to sponsor popular annual events at Wells Elementary School like Colors Day and Starz for Broadway. They also grant money to teachers for special classroom needs, field trips and other items not covered in the District’s budget.

The All-4-Kids Consignment Sale has been steadily gaining recognition and popularity throughout the area, so those who plan on attending should consider shopping early for the best selection.  This sale, which occurs in the fall and spring, has become an anticipated community event. In the past, much of the merchandise was sold in the first two hours of the sale. 

All leftover and unclaimed items from the sale are donated to various charities to further help those in need.  Wells Elementary School is located at 279 Sanford Road (Rte. 109) in Wells. 


WHS Project Graduation to hold polar plunge

posted Apr 1, 2015, 9:16 AM by Michael Richards

Do you feel like taking an early spring dip in the Atlantic Ocean to help a good cause?  Project Graduation at Wells High School is offering you and other brave souls the chance to do so by participating in their “Fools Rush in Polar Plunge” fund raising event April 11th  at 11:00 a.m. at Drake’s Island Jetty Beach.   All you need to do is register and bring a towel. 

Registration can be made ahead of time or on the morning of the event with a fee of $10 for students and $20 for adults.    Those who want to participate may sign up early at Wells High School Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m.to 2:00 p.m. with Terre Webster or register on the day of the event.  Who knows, you may even wind up on television as WMTW Channel 8 is planning to be there to cover the event. 

The plunge will also include a participation competition between various Wells High School classes for a trophy that will be displayed at WHS.    For more information contact Gail Moulton at 207-646-3745.


Musical ‘South Pacific’ coming in early April to the WHS stage

posted Mar 31, 2015, 11:12 AM by Michael Richards

From April 8th through the 11th, the Wells Players at Wells High School are presenting Rogers and Hammerstein’s musical “South Pacific” in the school’s Olenn Auditorium.   The musical is based on James A. Michener’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 book, “Tales of the South Pacific”.  

Seating for Wednesday’s 3:30 p.m. matinee and Thursday’s 7:00 p.m. performance is general admission.  Tickets for Wednesday’s show are $5 with free admission for senior citizens.  Admission for Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s performances is $5 for students and senior citizens and $8 for adults.  Please note that Friday and Saturday’s performances are reserved seating only.   Tickets for Friday and Saturday shows can be purchased beginning April 1st at the main office of Wells High School.

For this production, George Perkins returns as Artistic Director.  He is assisted by Musical Director Larry Downing and Technical Director Andrew Lopez.   Bailey Smith is the show’s choreographer and Judi Dion is the costumer.  The production which began rehearsals in February includes a cast of thirty-two students, nine pit band members including accompanist Karen Mathews, and a technical crew of fifteen.   

According to Wikipedia “South Pacific” premiered on Broadway in 1949 and ran for 1,925 performances winning 10 Tony Awards.  The story revolves around an American nurse Nellie Furbush (Seana Grealey) stationed on a South Pacific island during the Second World War.  Furbush falls for a middle-aged expatriate French plantation owner Emile Du Buque (Tyler Robichaud) but struggles to accept his mixed-race children.  There is a secondary romance between a U.S. Lieutenant (Richard Patenaude) and a young Tonkinese woman (Adrienne Perron).  The plot explores the Lieutenant’s fears of the social consequences of his marrying his Asian sweetheart.  The supporting cast is led by senior Zach Pierce and junior Anna Libby. (Source: Wikipedia) 

The musical will run two hours and 15 minutes with one intermission.  This timeless musical includes several memorable songs including “Bali Ha’i’, “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair”, “Some Enchanted Evening”, “There is Nothing Like a Dame” and “I’m in Love with a Wonderful Guy”.

For more information please call Wells High School at 646-7011.


Tyler Robichaud who plays Emile Du Buque in WHS’s production of South Pacific
Tyler Robichaud who plays Emile Du Buque in WHS’s production of South Pacific


Seana Grealy who plays Nellie Furbush in WHS’s production of South Pacific
Seana Grealy who plays Nellie Furbush in WHS’s production of South Pacific

Wells High School Alumni Association Annual Scrapbook Crop at Jonathan’s on April 4th

posted Mar 31, 2015, 4:15 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School Alumni Association will hold its 8th Annual Scrapbook Crop this Saturday, April, 4th from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. at Jonathan’s Restaurant in Ogunquit. 

Admission is $50.00.  This price covers ‘your own table’ with lots of room to spread out and work, hourly drawings, lunch, dinner and snacks including doughnuts and coffee.   Extra snacks brought to share will earn an extra entry into a grand prize drawing.  Dinner includes a choice between steak tips, baked stuffed haddock and chicken picatta.  

Please make your reservation along with providing a $10.00 deposit as soon as possible as space is limited.  For more information and/or to reserve space contact Vicki Tufts at 207-646-5619 or email her at vtufts@maine.rr.com.  Those planning to attend are encouraged to bring along a friend.  

Ryan Marsh Named Athlete of the Month for January

posted Mar 26, 2015, 6:14 AM by Michael Richards

In March, Wells High School selected senior Ryan Marsh Athlete of Month for January 2015.  This award is in recognition of Marsh’s academic abilities, sportsmanship, on and off the field, and athletic skills as displayed on the combined Noble High School/Wells High School hockey team, the Noble Knights.   

During his four year career with the Knights, Marsh scored 126 points, a combination of goals and assists.  This year there were eight WHS students playing on the Noble Knights which practices and plays home games at the Rochester Ice Arena in Rochester, New Hampshire. 

Presenting Marsh with a plaque on March 16th was WHS Activities Director Jack Molloy, John C. Kreie and Pamela Moody-Maxon.  The Athlete of the Month award at WHS is sponsored by Cole Harrison Insurance Agency and Moody Maxon Real Estate.

“It is an honor to be recognized as athlete of the month from a community so full of talented athletes,” commented Marsh later.  “Without the support of my teammates, coaches, and family it would be impossible to have become the athlete and person that I am today.  I hope that this recognition will inspire my teammates to strive to be the best they can be at everything they do.”  

WHS student athletes picked to receive this honor are selected by WHS’s Activities Director Jack Molloy and Principal Jim Daly. 

Ryan Marsh Athlete of the Month

In the photo from left to right are John Kreie, Ryan Marsh, Pamela Moody-Maxon and Jack Molloy.


A winter wonderland at WES

posted Mar 25, 2015, 12:30 PM by Michael Richards

No doubt that the evening of March 21st marked the social event of the year at Wells Elementary School as over 150 elementary school girls along with dads attended this year’s Girls Gala.   The theme of this year’s ball was definitely in line with the outside moonscape of lingering snow and cold, aptly called “Winter Wonder Land.”

Under strings of lights cascading down from the ceiling in a winter themed decorated gymnasium, couples in formal attire danced the evening away to a variety of music provided by Mike’s Music Mix.  

The school’s cafeteria was also decorated.  Couples took breaks there to sit and socialize while enjoying cupcakes and other snacks provided by parent volunteers.

PTSA members Jen Olin and Kim Woodward were the organizers of this large event.  According to Olin the final tally of guests attending this year reached 314.  Woodward added that there was a great selection of raffle prizes donated by local business.

During the night each girl and dad had the opportunity to have a professional portrait taken of them by photographer Marina DeMarco of Angel DeMarco Photography.  As a result, each girl’s family will receive a 5 X 7 portrait to remember this special night. 

On behalf of the PTSA, Olin and Woodward wish to give special thanks to Naviina Hair Salon and Day Spa, Bella Tress Hair Salon Inc. and Flowers by Christine. 


Winter gala setup
Behind the Girls Gala registration desk is WES teacher Pam Lear assisting her daughter Emma Grace with her dress. 


Girls Gala Posing

In gala dress are WES students (left to right) Maya Olin, Amelia Rider, Lucy Breton, Molly Tavares and Camille Decato.


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