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WHS music students participate in high school music fest

posted Feb 15, 2019, 9:35 AM by Michael Richards

Five music students from Wells High School participated in the 2019 MMEA District 1 High School Honors Festival held at York High School on  January 18th and 19th.  Participating in various performance groups were Tim Martell and Sam Norbert in Mixed Chorus, Zoe Angelakis and Delaney Bailey in Treble Chorus, and Isabelle Martin in Concert Band.   

According to WHS Band Director Larry Downing, this festival occurs every January at a site determined by the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA).  Interested students first practice on music they are given then audition in October with results determined by how well they audition, the cut-off score, and the needs of the ensemble that forms to perform in concert on the festival’s last day.  

MMEA’s District 1 is generally composed of 17 York County high schools.  The highest scoring musicians from these schools are invited to attend the weekend event which begins with rehearsals to learn new music on Friday and Saturday mornings.  The festival ends later Saturday afternoon with a concert for the public.  In this festival, students have the honor to rehearse with a guest conductor selected by the managers of the three performance groups: Treble Chorus, Mixed Chorus, and Concert Band.

All five students indicated that they had a great time at this year’s festival, a non-competitive event.  “It’s always a lot of fun,” said Zoe Angelakis about her fourth year attending. “You make a lot of new friends.”   

In contrast, this was the first year at the festival for Delaney Bailey.  “(This is) something I would recommend to other kids who would really enjoy choir or even band,” said Bailey.  “It’s just so nice to find people who enjoy (attending this) as well.”  
WHS Musicians
From the left are:  Zoe Angelakis, Delaney Bailey, Tim Martell, Sam Norbert, & Isabel Martin.  

WHS athletes Bartlett and Bridge receive WMC Citizenship Award

posted Feb 15, 2019, 9:32 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School student-athletes Lauren Bartlett and Tyler Bridge were selected by Principal Eileen Sheehy to receive the Western Maine Conference Citizenship Award for 2019.

This award is presented annually to two senior athletes at high schools in the WMC area.  On February 27th Bartlett and Bridge, along with many other student-athletes, will be honored at the WMC awards banquet held at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland.

Lauren Bartlett is a well-rounded student and athlete who is described as a true leader on an off the field and a positive role model for WHS’s younger students.  She currently ranks 11th in the Class of 2019 with a GPA of 95.4.   Lauren has been recognized with multiple book awards, a Coaches Award, Student of the Trimester, and has earned high honors for all trimesters of high school.  She is Vice-President of her class, a member of the Student Council, member of the National Honor Society, and a lead member of the drama department’s tech team.  She is a four-year member of the WHS soccer, basketball, and Lacrosse teams and has received All-Academic Team and Honorable Mention from the Western Maine Conference in soccer.   Lauren devotes many hours to volunteering in the community.  In her involvement with Shootin’ for a Cure during the past four years, she proved to be a valued member helping to raise over $110,000 for the Living Well Center at York Hospital.  Additionally, Lauren volunteers with “Soups On” through the Wells Congregational Church and assists with the Little Dribblers youth program.  

Tyler Bridge is an exceptional member of the Class of 2019.  Currently ranked 5th in his class, with a GPA of 98.3, Tyler has consistently earned high honors throughout his high school career.  He is also a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, the Philosophy Club, and is treasurer of the Interact Club. Tyler also excels outside the classroom as a three-season athlete, earning 1st and 2nd Team status as a WMC All-Star in basketball and 2nd team in baseball.
As a member of the varsity football team, Tyler is a two-time Campbell Conference All-Star; was named Campbell Conference Football Player of the Year, the Portland Press 
Herald Player of the Year, USA Today Player of the Year, and the Journal Tribune Co-Player of the Year.  He is also the recipient of the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy, awarded to the top high school football player in the state.  Additionally, Tyler volunteers his time with local recreation programs assisting with youth programs and other community events.

The Western Maine Conference area includes the counties of York, Cumberland, Oxford, and Androscoggin.  Students are selected by their own school based on their contributions in academics, athletics, leadership, attitude, and good deeds for others. 
WMC Citizenship Recipients
Tyler Bridge and Lauren Bartlett.

WJHS students participate in music festival in York

posted Feb 8, 2019, 5:43 AM by Michael Richards

Seventeen Wells Junior High School band and chorus members had the honor of performing in the York County Junior High Honors Music Festival held at York High School on February 1st and 2nd.   Following auditions, these musicians were nominated to attend the festival by WJHS (and WHS) Band Director, Larry Downing and WJHS Chorus Director, Bailey Smith.  Twelve of the students performed in the Honors Chorus while five played in the Honors Band.  These students, alongside with many other area top middle school musicians, rehearsed and performed under guest conductors.  This challenging, non-competitive, learning event concluded with a public concert in the auditorium at York High School. 
WJHS Singers and Band Mates
Wells Junior High School Band and Chorus members who performed in the York County Junior High Honors Music Festival are (from the left) Om Patel, Isabella Bazata, Delaney Noldan, Rylan Noldan, Josh Hicks, David Patnaude, Hunter Roberts and Belle Norton.  In the middle row (l to r) are Katarina Hoffman, Catie Kaszubinski, Samantha Price, Meagan Towne and Samuel Coleman.  Seated on the floor (l to r) are Teigan Olsen, Logan Blanchard, Precious Nickless, and Jackson Meagher. 

Clough is WHS’s Student-Athlete of the Month for December

posted Feb 4, 2019, 3:47 AM by Michael Richards   [ updated Feb 5, 2019, 4:28 AM ]

Wells High School sophomore Lily Clough was recognized recently as Student-Athlete of the Month for December of 2018.   She received this award for her academics, sportsmanship and performance playing “center” position on a multi-school girls’ hockey team that practices and plays at the Biddeford Ice Arena. 

"Lily Clough has centered the first line for the Biddeford/Thornton Academy/Wells Tigers, creating the majority of the offensive production,” commented team coach Adam Flynn. “Her team-leading 6 goals in the month of December, along with her workhorse mentality defensively, have made her a truly deserving recipient of this award.”

Presenting a plaque to Clough on January 24th was Wells-Ogunquit CSD Director of Athletics 6-12 Pierce Cole, Pamela Moody-Maxon of Moody Maxon Real Estate, and John C. Kreie representing the Cole Harrison Insurance Agency.  Both firms are sponsors of the Student-Athlete of the Month Award at Wells High School.  

“Lily is a very polite, studious young lady that works very hard both on and off the ice,” commented Moody-Maxon who added, “I think it is wonderful that Wells students have the ability to now play hockey with other towns to form teams.”  

“It’s an honor,” said Clough after receiving the award.  “I just really enjoy sports…”  She said that at two and a half years of age she was skating and has been playing hockey for “as long as I can remember.”

As of January 31st, Clough’s statistics included 11 goals scored with 5 assists.  The team’s total goals scored by then was 24. 

“(She was) a ‘Rising Star’ award winner on the team last year,” commented Coach Flynn. “Lily is living up to high expectations and showing the state why Wells very well could be the next powerhouse in girls’ hockey.”

Student-Athlete for December
From the left are Pam Moody-Maxon, Lily Clough, Pierce Cole and John Kreie.

The Spindrifters captivate a K-4 audience in Wells

posted Jan 31, 2019, 4:27 AM by Michael Richards

On January 24th, Wells Elementary School welcomed the South Bristol Spindrifters to perform rope-jumping routines for the student body assembled in the gym.  The team is sponsored by the American Heart Association (AHA) and performs throughout Maine to entertain and motivate elementary students to get involved and participate in the annual AHA’s “Kids Heart Challenge” (formerly “Jump Rope for Heart”), a fundraiser in support of heart research.  

Over a 30 minute period, a mix of 4th through 8th-grade students performed a series of basic and complex jumping routines that dazzled students and staff.  They performed individual and partner synchronized jumping with a long rope and beaded rope.  There were routines performed with such names as Double Dutch, the Triangle, and the Egg Beater.  There was even a student who tap-danced as part of a jumping routine. 

The team is coached by Liz Giles-Brown, a retired physical education and health teacher from South Bristol Elementary School.  Giles-Brown said that she formed the Spindrifters 21 years ago making it the first AHA Demonstration Jumping team in Maine.  The group has performed at schools from southern York County to northern Aroostook County.  

For the past 32 years, students at Wells Elementary School have participated in the former Jump Rope for Heart under the direction and guidance of physical education teacher Kathy Calo.  From gathering pledges and skipping rope, thousands of WES students have raised $230,000 overall for the American Heart Association.

“It brought our building together,” said Calo of the Spindrifters’ performance.  She believes the show provided an incentive for students to participate in the upcoming Kids Heart Challenge to be held at WES on March 7th and 8th.
Spindrifters in action
The current line-up of the South Bristol Spindrifters with Liz Giles-Brown at left holding a microphone.  Also present at WES (but not in the photo) was Erin Michaud who is learning from Giles-Brown to be the next Spindrifters’ coach.

Spindrifters running through a routine
Out front and performing a short rope synchronized routine are Maya Redonnett (at left) and Freya Drum.  

Mackenzie Foss receives MPA Principal’s Award

posted Jan 29, 2019, 5:46 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School Principal Eileen Sheehy has announced that senior Mackenzie Foss has been selected to receive the Maine Principals Association’s Principal’s Award for 2019.  This award is given in recognition of a high school senior’s excellence in academic achievement and good citizenship.  Annually, Maine high schools belonging to the MPA select one outstanding senior for this recognition.

According to Principal Sheehy, Foss has maintained high honor roll status throughout high school and received numerous academic awards from faculty in all areas of study.  Foss contributes to her school in the classroom, on the athletic fields, and in the community. As a result of being a key member on the Student Council and in the Interact club, Foss has been at the forefront of numerous volunteer events.  She has distinguished herself as the type of student who values every opportunity to learn.  In addition, she is a member of WHS’s soccer, basketball and softball teams.  

“As a recipient of this award, Mackenzie is among a select group of very talented, dedicated and motivated students from WHS.  She is an outstanding example of scholarship and leadership,” commented Sheehy and Assistant Principal Josh Gould.  
Foss accepting her award
Josh Gould, Mackenzie Foss and Eileen Sheehy

David Patnaude wins WJHS Geography Bee

posted Jan 25, 2019, 3:47 AM by Michael Richards

Before a large audience of excited students and staff assembled in the Ward Gymnasium at Wells Junior High School on January 23rd, seventh-grade student David Patnaude became the school’s champion in the local portion of the National Geographic Bee.  Jackson Koh, another 7th-grade student and a good friend of David’s, became runner-up.  
For a little over an hour, the ten contestants responded to challenging geography questions in the school-level of competition for thousands of the nation’s 4th through 8th-grade students in the 31st National Geographic Bee sponsored by the National Geographic Society in Washington D.C.  According to this organization, the contest is “an annual competition designed to inspire and reward students' curiosity about the world.”

The other eight competing were Tad Allaire (grade 6), Owen Clarke (grade 8), Matt Gahagan (grade 7), Spencer Carpenter (grade 7), Nick Olsen (grade 8), Eli Potter (grade 6), PJ Fortin (grade 6), and Ryan Chase (grade 8).  All of these students were the highest scorers from the classroom-bees held earlier in January.  This process allows for every student, grades 5-8, to have a chance to compete.
“This year's competition was really fun to organize,” said social studies teacher and contest moderator Bonnie Dill.  “The contestants were all very motivated to compete and have always been highly interested in geography as students in class over their years at WJHS.”

“This (event) engages the student body audience because they all know what it is like to be answering questions,” said Bonnie Dill.  “Kids can relate to the notion that you have to know your stuff but there is still an element of luck-of-the-draw with a bee format."  
In the final championship round, with just Patnaude and Koh remaining, the two continued on with nine tie-breaking questions until Patnaude broke the stalemate successfully by answering a question that Koh missed.  "Making it to the championship round was well-deserved for both of these boys; they have great work ethics," commented Dill.  Patnaude, who is in line to represent WJHS at the state bee on March 29th at the University of Maine at Farmington, must now pass a brief written test.
Judges for the bee included teachers Susie Dugovic and John Covino.  The timekeeper was Dan MacLeod.  Prizes for the 10 finalists included a Toblerone chocolate bar, a puzzle ball keychain and a certificate.  Patnaude and runner-up Koh each received a state quarters’ collector map.  In addition, the champion received a quality atlas provided by the Wells-Ogunquit CSD and a medal provided by the National Geographic Bee.
Winners at the state level will be invited to the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington to compete in the National Geographic Bee Championship May 19th through May 22nd.   The top prize is a $25,000 scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.    
Geo Bee Participants
(left to right) Tad Allaire, Owen Clarke, Matt Gahagan, Spencer Carpenter, David Patnaude, Jackson Koh, Nick Olsen, Eli Potter, PJ Fortin, and Ryan Chase.

Dill with the finalists
(l to r) Bonnie Dill, David Patnaude and Jackson Koh

WHS Music Boosters to hold 4th annual “Winter Weed-Out” collection in February

posted Jan 23, 2019, 4:31 AM by Michael Richards

For the whole month of February, the Music Boosters of Wells High School will hold their fourth annual textile fundraising drive to raise funds for the WHS Music Boosters and the Epilepsy Foundation of New England.   The fundraiser, called a “Winter Weed-Out”, is a great way for one to make a non-monetary donation to two worthy causes plus accomplish some ‘weeding out’ of closets.

Over the past three years, the Boosters group has gathered 57,000 pounds of textiles and raised $11,000.  During that time the drive has become a multi-community effort with many looking forward to contributing.

The following is a list of what can be accepted for the drive: clothing (gently used or new clothing without any attached price tags is preferred however any clothing will be accepted), clothing accessories (ties, scarves, belts, shoes/boots), linens (towels, bedding, tablecloths, etc.), curtains, purses, fabrics, uniforms, costumes, slipcovers, handbags, and backpacks.  (Please note that wet items, household items and books are not allowed in this textile drive.)  

If you have any of these items that you would like to donate, please bag them up in new garbage bags and deposit them in the designated blue Epilepsy barrels located at Wells Town Hall, the Wells-Ogunquit CSD Superintendent’s Office, Wells High School, Wells Junior High School, Wells Elementary School, Matt’s Barbershop in Wells or the office of Prime Storage in Wells during regular business hours.  

Please note the hours of operation for each of the above locations and please do not leave bags outside any of these donation drop spots. Tax donation receipts and extra bags will be available with the blue barrels.  

In addition to the above locations, this collection drive also includes a “Stuff-the-Band-Truck” event and “Personal Pick-Up” on February 16th and 23rd from 8:00 am until noon.  On those days the Wells-Ogunquit Music Booster white truck will be parked and ready for donation bags at the Wells Transfer Station.  Or, one can schedule a personal pick-up if one has three or more 30-gallon bags or six or more 13-gallon bags.   To schedule a pick up for either of these days, contact Ashley Breton at 646-7240 or email her at:  The last day to donate to this textile drive is February 28th.

Textile Bucket
File photo of a blue Epilepsy textile collection barrel with extra bags and tax donation receipts.

Student entrepreneurs operate a mall of craft stores and learn basic economics

posted Jan 23, 2019, 4:26 AM by Michael Richards

Multi-grades 3 & 4 students in Ms. Stapleton’s and Ms. Bush’s classes at Wells Elementary School were busy in the weeks prior to the holiday season creating crafts and gathering other items to sell in their craft fair for the school community on December 20, 2018. 

As in the past three years, students stocked and managed their own stores.   Customers included fellow students, staff members, parents, and others who used teacher provided “checks” as currency. 

“The students take complete ownership in the project,” said teacher Beth Bush. “The best part is that they participate multiple times during their years in multi 3 & 4 so they understand the subtle changes they can make for a successful business.”

In this bi-annual project, students get to experience cooperation, planning, budgeting, balancing a checkbook, saving money, spending earnings wisely and accountability in keeping sales and expense records. The project also presents opportunities for parents and students to work together.   The currency students accumulate from the sales can be used at the school store, a concept created several years ago as a motivational component in a behavioral program.  

“The Holiday Craft Fair is a fun and learning filled event!” described teacher Melissa Stapleton in an invitation to school staff to this event.  “Students are asked to bring in 20 items that they have made, bought, or repurposed. Each student opens their own ‘shop’ within our classrooms. We are always amazed with their creative and entrepreneurial talents.”

Along with homemade crafts that included tree ornaments, snow globes, small snowmen, and hand warmers, some merchants also offered candy and cookies. 

“Students took the lead with this creative learning opportunity which aligns with our teaching philosophy,” commented Stapleton.  “The craft fairs, held twice during the school year, are special events that our students and families look forward to.”

Student running his store
Operating his store “Jolly Christmas” is third grade student Arlo with his assistant and mother, Eilean Worcester

Officer Long checking out a student store
WES School Resource Officer Scott Long making a purchase at the store of 4th grader Jak Loughlin who has created numerous white tree ornaments for his store

Wells High School students receive 19 awards in regional portion of national art contest

posted Jan 18, 2019, 5:01 AM by Michael Richards

The Wells High School Art Department announced on January 15th that 12 students have received a combined total of 19 awards in the 2019 Maine Region Scholastic Arts Competition.  Students won awards in the categories of Art Portfolio, Ceramics, Mixed Media, Painting, and Photography.  These students are taught by art teachers, Vanessa White-Capelluti and Emily Knight.  This year 1,100 pieces of art work from students from 50 schools around Maine were submitted for judging. 

WHS recipients include: Braeden Baston (Silver Key in Painting and Honorable Mention in Photography), Hannah Bradish (Honorable Mention in Photography), Hannah Davis (Honorable Mention in Ceramics), Paul Ersing (Silver Key in Ceramics), Natalie Hannagan (two Honorable Mention awards in Painting), John Keniston (Gold Key for Portfolio with a collection of 8 works plus a Silver Key for Mixed Media and two Honorable Mention awards in Mixed Media), Chaya Lord-Rozeff (Silver Key and Honorable Mention for Photography), Isaac Michaud (Silver Key in Ceramics), Rylie Perron (Honorable Mention in  Photography), Roslyn Soper (Gold Key in Photography), Savanah Wilder (Silver Key in Painting), and Sophia Zurlo (a Gold Key and Honorable Mention in Ceramics).

Three of these students, John Keniston, Roslyn Soper and Sophia Zurlo, along with many other Gold and Silver Key recipients, will now have their art work advance to the national level of competition in this contest.  The work of these students will also be displayed in the Maine Region Scholastics Exhibition at the Maine College of Art (MECA) at 522 Congress Street in Portland from January 25 to February 9, 2019.   Students represented in the exhibit and their art teachers will be honored at an awards ceremony at the college on February 9 from noon to 2pm for grades 7-10 and from 2-4pm for grades 11-12. 

As part of Portland’s First Friday Art Walk, MECA will host a reception for the school’s student exhibition on Friday, February 2, 2019 from 5-7pm.

“The Scholastic Arts Competition is a very prestigious and competitive art competition,” commented a very pleased White–Capelluti.  “Congratulations to our student award winners!”
Self Portrait Keniston
A self-portrait from a Gold Key winning portfolio by John Keniston.

Photo by Sopher
A Gold Key entry in Photography by Roslyn Soper titled “The Strings”.

Ceramics piece Zurlo
Gold Key entry in Ceramics by Sophia Zurlo titled “Elephant”.

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