News About WOCSD

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

Chase named Student-Athlete of the Month for April

posted by Michael Richards

Wells High School sophomore Anya Chase has been selected Student- Athlete of the Month for April 2016.  This award is in recognition of her academics, sportsmanship, on and off the field, and excellence in school sports including her role as pitcher and her impressive batting record with the WHS Girls Softball Team. 

Presenting a plaque to Chase on June 15th was WHS Director of Student Activities Jack Molloy, Pamela Moody-Maxon of Moody Maxon Real Estate and John C. Kreie of Cole Harrison Insurance Agency.    

"Anya is the epitome of what I believe a scholar athlete should be,” said Moody-Maxon.  “She is a great kid with a lot of work ethic both on and off the field.  She plays softball year-round and is very driven to be the very best at what she does.  We are proud to present this award to such a fine, deserving scholar-athlete.” Moody-Maxon also praised Chase for routinely receiving high honors in high school. 

“It’s just nice to be recognized by my community,” said Chase when asked for a comment.  “We had a great team season.  Softball is a team sport but it was really nice to be recognized for my accomplishments.”  Chase said the team had a record this past season of 10 wins and 6 losses for the regular season.  She added that the team went on to the Class B playoffs where her team won one game but lost another.

Kevin Fox is the WHS Girls Softball coach, “Anya is a fantastic choice for Student-Athlete of the Month,” said Fox. “She is one of the top players in the league and has set many individual records while her focus is always on team goals and successes.  She is a strong pitcher and one of the best hitters I have ever seen on any team.”  

Fox continued, “Anya had a .690 batting average with 49 hits, 15 doubles, 5 triples, 13 RBI, 37 runs, and only struck out once.  Her outstanding stats have all been accomplished with a humble, unselfish attitude.  Anya is the perfect teammate, always supportive, encouraging, and ready to take on anything.”

Director Molloy commented that “Anya (in April) went 14 for 17 with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 3 rbi and 11 runs scored.  She had an .824 batting average and an .833 on-base percentage.”   

The Student-Athlete of the Month award program at Wells High School is sponsored by Cole Harrison Insurance Agency and Moody Maxon Real Estate.  The Student-Athlete of the Month Award has recognized student-athletes at WHS since 2007.
Student-Athlete of the Month
On the softball field at WHS is (left to right) John C. Kreie, Anya Chase, Pam Moody-Maxon and Jack Molloy.

Winning participants in “Bikes for Books” program receive their bikes

posted Jun 27, 2016, 9:32 AM by Michael Richards   [ updated Jun 28, 2016, 10:52 AM ]

On June 15th, Wells Elementary School held an assembly to draw winners in the “Bikes for Books” reading incentive program sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Maine and the Maine Masonic Charitable Foundation.   In the drawing, nine boys and nine girls each went home for the summer with new Huffy bicycles plus helmets and t-shirts.  

Since April, WES students from nine first and second grade classrooms participated in the two-month program coordinated by Literacy teacher Bonnie Esty and Dr. Claire Tusch of Ocean Lodge #142.

According to a program brochure, Bikes for Books is a statewide initiative “to foster literacy programs in schools and encourage healthy exercise.”  Since 2007, the program has awarded 1,200 bicycles.  

Over a two-month period, WES students read books, filled out accompanying tickets and wrote brief book reports then deposited their entries into a box in their classrooms.  The more books they read, the greater the chance they had for winning a bike  

“The children were very excited and very enthusiastic,” commented Assistant Principal of WES Ken Spinney after the drawing.   “When they had their names called, they had big smiles on their faces.”  According to Principal Marianne Horne the books read by the students totaled 2,090.

Representing Wells Ocean Lodge #142 at the drawing were Ben Davis, John Howarth, Claire Tusch, Ken Creed, Danny Fink, Jake Wiggin, and Wayne Smith.  

“I think it speaks for itself,” said Smith when asked about the success of the reading incentive program that has generated numerous heartwarming stories.  Smith added, “It is a fantastic program.”  
Adults in the back row of the photo are (l to r) Bonnie Esty, Ken Creed, John Howarth, Wayne Smith Jake Wiggin (Master at Wells Ocean Lodge #142), Ben Davis, Dr. Claire Tusch (past Grand Master of the Masons in Maine), and Marianne Horne who drew the names of students in the Bikes for Books drawing at WES.  

Jenkins becomes ‘Exemplary Volunteer of the Year’

posted Jun 21, 2016, 12:05 PM by Michael Richards

The Wells-Ogunquit CSD held its Annual Volunteer Appreciation Strawberry Shortcake Social on June 9th.  This event is held near the close of school for summer recess to thank school volunteers for their service throughout the school year.   In addition, one person from the volunteer group is recognized at the social for being Exemplary Volunteer of the Year.  This year, Barbara Jenkins received the Exemplary Volunteer Award for 2015-2016.  

Approximately 40 volunteers attended the event hosted by Maryanne Foley, Community Resource Coordinator for the District.  According to Foley, volunteers as a whole contribute “thousands” of hours of time assisting teachers and students in the District’s schools. 

At one point, Jenkins was presented with a strawberry plant from Foley as a token of appreciation.  “Barbara has been a volunteer at Wells Elementary School since the fall of 2012,” commented Foley later.  “Her background in special education, and experience with struggling readers was valuable assistance to teachers at WES. Her dedication to the School Volunteer Program and willingness to support children’s learning has benefited many students and teachers.”  

Also speaking to the group of volunteers on the 9th was WOCSD Superintendent Jim Daly and retiring Principal of Wells Elementary School Marianne Horne. 

Anyone interested in becoming involved in the WOCSD School Volunteer Program in the fall of 2016 should contact Maryanne Foley at her school email address  The District’s website is at;
Volunteer Award
From left to right is Marianne Horne, Barbara Jenkins and Maryanne Foley

WOCSD Recognizes Retiring Staff and those with 20 Years of Service

posted Jun 21, 2016, 3:30 AM by Michael Richards

The end of the 2015-2016 school year in the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District (WOCSD) finds five staff members retiring.  In addition, one staff members has reached the 20-year milestone in service to the District.  

All of these individuals were honored in a ‘Celebration of Service to Education’ ceremony on June 17th at the end of a staff luncheon at Wells Junior High School.   

At the ceremony, WOCSD Superintendent Jim Daly, two of the District’s three school principals Marianne Horne (WES), and Eileen Sheehy (WHS) plus others recognized the following individuals with comments and gift bags. 

Retiring is Sue Brown (33 years of service), Pat Cilley (14 years), Nancy Garrick (3 years), Marianne Horne (16 years) and Bob McCormick (12 years).  Andy Lopez was recognized for his 20 years of service to the District.
Recognized staff at WOCSD
WOCSD staff are (l to r) Sue Brown, Nancy Garrick, Bob McCormick and Marianne Horne.  Pat Cilley and Andy Lopez were not present for this photograph. 

WJHS students have poems published in anthology

posted Jun 1, 2016, 1:48 PM by Michael Richards

Six, eighth-grade students at Wells Junior High School have recently become published authors by having selections of their poetry published in The Telling Room’s 10th Anthology: Once; 40 Stories and Poems About Time, a collection of work that ponders the concept of time itself.   The Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center in Portland, Maine that holds workshops for writers ages 6 to 18 and conducts an annual writing contest in Maine.

According to ELA teacher Julie Esch, the full story about this originated months ago. “This fall, a group of 8th-grade students worked with Telling Room staff in an in-school residency, twice a week for 3 months crafting poems around various themes.  Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, currently Portland's Poet Laureate, led the writing sessions, which proved to be a really incredible experience for all of us.  At the end of the residency, six students were asked to continue to rework their pieces for possible publication in the annual anthology,” summed up Esch. 

“Imagine our surprise and delight when all six ended up being chosen for publication!   I can't speak highly enough of Gibson, the Telling Room staff, and the dedicated student writers,” remarked Esch. 

According to their mission statement, the Telling Room “…is dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers.  We believe that the power of creative expression can change our communities and prepare our youth for future success.”

On May 12th, all six were honored at the Telling Room’s annual Big Night event held at Hannaford Hall on the University of Southern Maine’s campus.  The Wells students signed autographs in the anthology books of others and received free copies of the book for themselves.  

The anthology Once will be available for sale in local bookstores and online at the  To hear poems from the WJHS students, visit:  All proceeds from the sale of the anthology support free writing programs for Maine youth.  

8th Grade Poets
WJHS students from left to right are  Katie Plourde, Jordan Belanger, Matt Riegel, teacher Julie Esch, Alexis Howes, Brian Roberts, and Wyatt Rowe

Students’ work displayed at Barn Gallery

posted May 31, 2016, 5:06 AM by Michael Richards

The 38th Annual Student Art Show was held on May 6th, 7th and 9th at the Barn Gallery on Shore Road in Ogunquit.   This event, according to Wells Elementary School Art teacher and coordinator of the show Sandy Brennan is the “highlight” for the school year for those students selected by their Art teachers to display their work in public.

The show opened with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. to introduce the exhibit and mark the opening of the Barn Gallery’s summer season.  Students, parents, artists and teachers were present to view a variety of artwork.  

“This year over 740 people visited this exciting and impressive show of K-12 students from local schools,” commented Brennan.  “This is a special honor for students who are selected to exhibit their work in this beautiful, professional gallery.  The Ogunquit Art Association starts their season off with this spectacular show!”

Four hundred and fifty drawings, paintings, sculptures, prints, masks, and more were arranged and displayed by nine art teachers including Brennan, Chris Milliken (Wells Junior High School), Vanessa White-Capelluti, (Wells High School), Emily Knight (Wells High School), Tara Morin (Coastal Ridge Elementary School in York), Jenne Larochelle (Village Elementary School in York), Amy Donovan (Mitchell School in Kittery). Beth Nowers, (York High School) David Shenett (YHS) and Ashley Norman (YHS). 

Brennan wishes to thank the Ogunquit Women's Club for sponsoring refreshments and Congdon's Donuts, in Wells for donations.   Brennen noted that this annual student exhibit traditionally remains open to the public for two days following the opening which includes Mother's Day.  

The Barn Gallery is the home of the Ogunquit Art Association.

Students at the Barn Gallery
From left to right are Wells Elementary School students Carolyn  Nichols (kindergarten), Elizabeth Nichols (Multi 3rd grade), Helen Lee (2nd grade) and Ella Ciorra (2nd grade)

McDonough named semifinalist in U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

posted May 27, 2016, 3:29 AM by Michael Richards

Earlier this spring, Wells High School senior, Seamus McDonough was designated a semifinalist in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program.  He was one of 689 semifinalists chosen by a panel of educators from over 4,700 candidates nationwide.  

According to a press release, the “U.S. Presidential Scholars Program was established in 1964 by Executive Order of the President to recognize some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating seniors for their accomplishments in many areas: academic success, leadership, and service to school and community.”   

In May, semifinalists were narrowed down to 161 Presidential Scholars. Two students from Maine (one from Bangor High School and one from Greely High School) were selected to be Presidential Scholars.  

In high school, Seamus McDonough developed a strong interest in government and politics.  To explore that interest further, he applied for and was selected by U.S. Senator Collins to participate in the United States Senate Page Program in Washington D.C. from January to June of 2015.   

In the program, he attended US Senate Page School taking high school courses in the early morning hours and working a longer time, sometimes into the evening, with other pages on the floor of the Senate for Republican Senators.   

McDonough best summed up his experiences in Washington as “…the experience that kind of matured me”  “The Page Program really opened my eyes to the working world, the adult world…like going from a child to an adult,” he added. 

In July of 2015, McDonough attended Dirigo Boys State at Thomas College and was elected Governor of Dirigo Boys State.   Later that summer, he represented Maine as a Senator at Boys Nation at Marymount University in Virginia.  

In the fall of 2016 McDonough will be attending Princeton University to study Economics.  Seamus McDonough is the son of Eduard and Pamela McDonough of Wells.
Seamus McDonough
A photo of Seamus McDonough in October of 2015 in the old WHS Library

Wells-Ogunquit CSD hosts its 30th Literary Achievement Awards Ceremony and recognizes the program’s past and present organizers

posted May 10, 2016, 3:37 AM by Michael Richards

The Wells-Ogunquit Community School District featured its 30th Annual Literary Achievement Awards Ceremony at Wells Elementary School on April 28th.   Fifty-nine Kindergarten through twelfth grade students were recognized for their writing, previously judged anonymously to be the best out of 260 entries submitted in February.

The top prize of $500 was awarded to Wells High School Senior, Seamus McDonough, for an untitled and inspirational essay reflecting upon a childhood toy--a purple dinosaur named Barney--originally belonging to his deceased brother.  Since McDonough was unable to attend, his essay was read by Ryan Liberty from the Wells Rotary Club.  About 250 were in the audience including members of the Wells and Ogunquit Rotary Clubs.  Both of these community service organizations and the Steakhouse in Wells are sponsors of the Literary Achievement Program.

“I found all of the stories well written and engaging,” commented Liberty.  “In particular, the winning 12th grade story that I read was a powerful and profound story of a family’s tragedy turned inspirational.  Many in the audience remarked that it touched them.”

In 1986, Ocean National Bank President David Page along with then WOCSD Superintendent Bob Kautz, and then District Business Manager William Dionne Jr. created the program.  Mr. Page, now deceased, was represented at the 30th anniversary by his wife Barbara, a former teacher at Wells Elementary School now currently a supervisor in the University of Southern Maine’s ETEP program.

“I am just so proud to be here tonight,” said Barbara Page. “And I know my husband would be so proud to know this has been carried on for 30 years and it doesn’t look like there is any end to it at all.”  Page stressed that this writing, non-athletic event is a “wonderful program”.

Some of those who worked on the Literary Achievement Awards at one time or another during its 30-year history were mentioned at the ceremony including Diana Abbott, Audrey Grumbling, Tari Matthews and Lynn Mercier.  Current Co-chairs of the LAA program Maryanne Foley and Reg Bennett were recognized formerly for their 14 years of work with this program at the District’s School Committee meeting on May 4th. 

Among Rotary Club members present at the ceremony were Cassie Mosher and Ryan Liberty from the Wells Rotary Club plus Erin Haye, Ed Seppa and Joe Boyle from the Ogunquit Rotary Club.  Liberty and Seppa helped with handing out prizes and Haye greeted guests at the door. 

The LAA ceremony was video recorded for cablecast on Time Warner Channels 3 in Wells and Ogunquit for times and dates to be announced.
2016 Award Winners
Students who placed first in their respective grade categories in the 2016 Literary Achievement Awards. 

Wells High School honors its newest champions

posted May 3, 2016, 11:51 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School hosted its third Breakfast of Champions of the 2015-2016 school year on April 8th.  Seven staff members and 13 students were recognized for excellence in their positive contributions to Wells High School.  Those selected to receive this honor are generally nominated by a coach, teacher or staff member based upon a variety of criteria including accomplishments, academic progress, positive contributions and demonstrations of excellence in school.  Those nominated include students, teachers, secretaries, custodians, and others.

Those invited included Isaac Henry Michaud, Ben Campbell, Brooke Verge, Matthew Healey, Sam Sayward, Madison Szczygiel, Olivia Durfee, Joshua Yee, Ivy Pevear, Macy Austin, Olivia Clay, Mitchell Hanagan, and Jacob Jarman.  Staff recognized included Pat Casey, Sandra Hewitt, Kelsey Tessier, Cindy Roche, Eileen Sheehy and Josh Gould. 

After the breakfast, each of the above received a certificate, plaque and a t-shirt with lettering reading “Recognized for Excellence”.  Presenters were Principal Eileen Sheehy, Assistant Principal Josh Gould, and Director of Student Activities, Jack Molloy.  This event is held in honor of students, staff and community members whose service and /or generosity has enriched Wells High School.  Likewise, students who have gone above and beyond or contributed to the positive culture of Wells High School are also honored. 

Breakfast of Champions was started in October of 2007 by then WHS Principal and now WOCSD Superintendent James Daly.
Breakfast of Champions
In the photo are those recognized on April 8th as “Champions” at Wells High School

Szczygiel named Student-Athlete of the Month for February

posted Apr 28, 2016, 10:43 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School sophomore Madison Szczygiel has been selected Student- Athlete of the Month for February 2016.  This award is in recognition of her academics, sportsmanship on and off the field and excellence in school sports including her running performances at the State Class B Indoor Track Meet at Bowdoin College and at the New England Championships in February.

Presenting a plaque to Szczygiel on April 6th was WHS Director of Student Activities Jack Molloy and Pamela Moody-Maxon of Moody Maxon Real Estate.   Szcygiel’s coach for the WHS Girls Indoor Track and Field Team is Jennifer Lewia.

"Madison is a very talented, hardworking and focused athlete and a joy to have on the team," commented Coach Lewia recently.

According to Lewia, Szcygiel, placed 4th in the 800mm run with a time of 2:27.36 at the Class B State Meet.  Finishing with that time qualified her for the New England Championships at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury Massachusetts.  There, Szcygiel ran the 1000mm Run and placed 23rd with a time of 3:15.15.   In doing so, she set a new WHS record for running the 1000mm.  Szcyzgiel also plays soccer and runs outdoor track for WHS.

Since there were no competitive sporting events scheduled for Wells High School athletes in March, school administrators decided to recognize “two” student athletes for Student-Athlete of the Month for February.   The first selected, and already reported on, was Nathaniel Hayward who received this distinction for winning the Class B State title for the 1-Meter Diving competition.

Cole Harrison Insurance Agency and Moody Maxon Real Estate are sponsors of the Student-Athlete of the Month award program at Wells High School.  It is the WHS administration that selects the recipients for this award.  Student-Athlete of the Month has been awarded to student athletes at WHS since 2007.
Athlete of the Month
From left to right is Jack Molloy, Madison Szczygiel, and Pam Moody-Maxon

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