For more information about News About WOCSD please contact Reg Bennett at email@example.com
or at 207-646-8331.
On November 21st, approximately 250
parents and K-4 students attended the second portion of Family Literacy Night
at Wells Elementary School (WES).
According to Literacy Specialist Nancy Colley, the
first half of this event occurred in September when parents were invited to
school to watch a video about children and adult interaction while reading a
book together. “The point was to model the value of ‘talk’ while
reading together in an effort to help children build their vocabularies,” wrote
Colley in an email.
In addition, K-4 students worked on decorating a
book basket for home, picked out a new book to read and/or completed a response
about a favorite book of theirs.
According to Colley, the intent of the second
evening on the 21st was “to provide literacy information for parents
to support their learners at home and to provide interactive activities that
The second night featured local children’s author
Matt Tavares who did an “interactive read aloud” with groups of young
listeners. Tavares read a couple of his books in the school library
including, “There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived” and “Zachary’s
In the computer lab, parents learned about two resourceful
reading websites, Scholastic.com and Lexile.com. They received
information on how to locate books that their child could read themselves and
how to find more difficult books that are ideal “read alouds”.
Parents, students and WES staff could also be found
in the gymnasium. In one half of the gym, students shared a book they
each brought with them to read with family members while sitting on a quilt on
the floor. Before they left this area, students picked out a book
to take home with them. In the other half of the gym, parents and
children explored literacy applications (apps) on school iPads.
They also received a list of additional apps to consider exploring on their own.
“Thanks to the research and planning of Literacy
Specialists, Nancy Colley and Bonnie Esty, and First Grade Teacher, Jennifer
Abbott, WES has found the right formula for drawing families to school for an
early evening event where they enjoy a meal together, read with one another,
and explore engaging iPad apps intended to both entertain and educate,”
commented WES Principal Marianne Horne in an email about the latest Literacy
Night at WES.
“In addition,” Horne added, “parents have the
opportunity to discover new ways to support their child's love for reading
while the children are focused on age-appropriate literacy activities with
teachers and community members. Both
Family Literacy events…supported the partnership of parents and teachers in
educating children. The evenings were so
successful, we plan to use the same model for a Family Math and Science Night
later this school year. These events couldn't happen without the support of
many dedicated WES staff members who generously volunteer their time and
talents to make a difference for children and their families.”
Colley, who thought the evening went well, wishes to
thank Matt Tavares and “the many WES staff members who have donated their time
and efforts to make these two events happen.”
Colley also acknowledged Erin Stearns, who along with REMAX, provided
food and drink for the evening. Colley
wishes to also thank Hannaford, Shields Meats and Produce, McDonalds and Wells
Urgent Care for the donation of food and drink for the first portion of
Literacy Night in September.
Local children’s author Matt Tavares reading one of his books ‘There Goes Ted
Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived’ to an attentive and interactive
group of WES students.
On November 17th, Wells Junior High School’s eighth
grade class presented their 19th Annual WJHS Thanksgiving Dinner for
area seniors. By 1:00 p.m. over 430 guests had been served a
traditional holiday meal. The dinner this year came a week earlier than
usual due to a school play planned for the following weekend.
Students made decorations, banners, napkins, baked pies,
decorated the dining room and set up tables and chairs. On the day of the dinner students greeted guests,
seated them at their tables, worked in the kitchen, waited on tables and helped
with clean-up. There was even a valet
service provided by several high school seniors.
“This is a great opportunity for our kids to give back to
the community and to serve community members,” said WJHS Principal Chris Chessie
who finds it wonderful to see kids serving relatives and neighbors.
The dinner also marks the end of a five-week Generations unit
in Language Arts class taught by Julie Esch and Matt Coleman. In this class students study issues related
to aging in society and produce oral histories from interviewing residents of
Sentry Hill at York Harbor. In regards to the dinner project this year,
Esch said that the “kids did an outstanding job as always. They’re so focused and dedicated.”
“The eighth grade teachers have worked hard to imbed this as
part of their curriculum in a big unit they do in studying generations,” said
Assistant Principal Robert Griffin who pointed out that the dinner is voluntary
for students. Besides noting how hard
students work Griffin also pointed out that students long remember their
experience on the dinner. “Folks who are
now in their twenties and thirties who participated in this talk of this. This is
what they remember as their ‘big thing’ in junior high school.
Dan Dickerson of Wells was one of the dinner guests on
Sunday. “I think it is fantastic what
these kids do,” said Dickerson. “They do it very well and it teaches them a
little responsibility.” Dickerson looked
over at students working and he said “that's the future right there.” Dickerson added that half of his church's
congregation was eager to come to this dinner.
Like his classmates, eighth grade student Liam Bell dressed
for the day in black slacks and a white shirt.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Bell after most of the dinner guests had
left. He said he didn't expect as many
people to show up as eventually did. According to him, the attendance at this
dinner was the largest ever for the school. Bell said he was able to interview a resident
at Sentry Hill at York Harbor when he and his classmates paid a visit there as
part of their Generations unit.
School Secretary Vicki Aldridge, who has worked on and
helped organize these dinners for 19 years, provided a list of people and
businesses that WJHS wished to thank for help with the 2013 dinner. That list included Mr. and Mrs. Hunter of The
Wells Super Food Market IGA (for donating the 24 turkeys), Gary Leech of
Congdon’s Doughnuts (for cooking the turkeys), Wells-Ogunquit Center at Moody, Wells
Dunkin’ Donuts, Chase Farm in Wells (for the donation of pumpkins for the
tables), several WHS seniors who provided valet parking, and several members of
the WOCSD Nutritional Services staff: Tyler Goodwin, Jan Tessier, Betsi
Johnson, Hugette St.. Pierre, and Meredith Hatch.
A dinner scene at WJHS on November 17, 2013
Teachers Julie Esch (at
center, smiling) with eighth grade students and Matt Coleman (at far right)
standing just inside dining room.
and human rights activist El Fadel Arbab of the Fur Cultural Revival (FCR): Darfur Community Center
of Maine in Portland spoke to a group of about 150 students and staff at Wells
High School on November 15th.
Arbab spoke to the sophomore class and a few juniors and freshman about his
experiences as a 12-year old boy fleeing genocide in the region of Darfur in
Sudan on the continent of Africa.
now 30, was invited to speak by sophomores Caterina Richmond and Anna Furness
whose presentation of Arbab was part of their project in a Genocide unit from their
class, The World After 1945. Arbab also showed
a music video about life today in a typical village from which he came.
this speaker to WHS, Richmond and Furness had to raise $300. According to both students, they spent about
20 combined hours at the Dunkin Donuts in Wells and Moody where they would set
up a table and greet people as they entered the restaurants. The students provided information about their
project to those who wanted to listen and make a donation.
have done this without their (Dunkin Donuts) help and the help of our teacher,
Kevin O’Shaughnessy,” wrote Furness in an email.
Arbab lives in the Sudanese Community of Portland, Maine. He campaigns against and educates about the genocide
he witnessed and the ongoing genocide in his native land.
lighter side, students found some of Arbab’s comments about coming to America
amusing; comments about flying in a plane for the first time, experiencing snow
and watching cartoons on television.
his talk, Arbab met with students in a World After 1945 class taught by
amazing to hear about Arbab's life and how different it is from mine,” wrote Anna
Furness. “The most important thing I got out of this project was hearing the
tragic stories that he told. I believe that no person should ever experience
that as their childhood. Your childhood is meant to be filled with good
memories, not memories of running for your life every day, hiding away from
death as a child. It really shocks me
that no one has put a stop to the horrific things that are happening in the
With El Fadel Arbab are WHS sophomores Caterina Richmond (left) and Anna
Caption: Speaker and human rights activist El Fadel
Arbab (left) meeting with students at WHS on November 15, 2013. Also standing up near the stage at far right
are Caterina Richmond and Anna Furness.
Maine Game Warden Eric Blanchard spoke to several
classes at Wells High School on November 15th. This is Blanchard’s third year visiting with
WHS students to lecture and answer questions about his profession.
Blanchard, who has been with the Maine Game Warden
Service for fifteen years, spoke to science students about a part of his job
that sometimes requires him to reconstruct off-road accident scenes to determine
the causes of such accidents.
Speaking to the Physical Science classes taught by
Emily Neville and Pierce Cole, Blanchard spoke of reconstructing a snowmobile
accident that happened at Thomas Pond near Casco. In order to complete his accident report he
needed to determine the speed the vehicle was traveling when it hit a boat lift
on the shore. Using Forensic Math and
Physics, Blanchard demonstrated how he used variables such as the lengths of
skid marks on the ice to determine the speed the vehicle was traveling.
“…I actually enjoy coming in (to WHS),” said
Blanchard after speaking to one group of students. “Kids seem pretty receptive
of it.” Blanchard indicated that he is
a state certified accident re-constructionist and can reconstruct highway vehicle
accidents as well as accidents involving off-road recreational vehicles.
Warden Blanchard is a former police officer in
Concord, New Hampshire and has appeared numerous times on Animal Planet’s
popular program, North Woods Law.
Speaking to a class at Wells High School on November 15, 2013 is Maine Game
Warden Eric Blanchard.
Speaking to a class at Wells High School on November 15, 2013 is Maine Game
Warden Eric Blanchard.
On a cold, blustery November
13th, Wells Elementary School kindergarten students, dressed in
winter outdoor clothing, were thinking spring when they planted tulip bulbs
around the school’s large courtyard area much like their predecessors have done
each fall at Wells Elementary School for the past 10 years.
According to Community
Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley there are different locations around the
school picked each year for planting including the bus loop area and areas
where the school borders Route 109.
Since 2003, the year the
current WES opened, kindergarteners have been planting tulips at the school in
anticipation of seeing “their” flowers appear in the spring. They have also planted daffodils, alliums,
crocus and hyacinth along with tulips during some of those years.
Each year the Parent Teacher Student
Association (PTSA) at WES, has purchased the bulbs for the students.
For about an hour on the
afternoon of the 13th, eighty plus students left recess or class in
small groups to walk to the courtyard where they received some brief direction
on planting and one bulb each to place in a hole dug earlier by a school
Assisting Foley and students were
school volunteers Matt Cox, Amy Cyr, Diane Johnson, Lori Butters, Lauri Godin
and Lorraine Randall.
“It gives them an
introduction to growing plants; to see something come up in the soil after they’ve
planted it,” said volunteer Johnson about the kindergarteners planting tulip
bulbs. “It’s just a good intro. In the
spring, when they have forgotten all about it…all of a sudden they say, ‘Oh
wow. I did that’.”
Caption: At center is WOCSD Resource Coordinator
Maryanne Foley holding up a tulip bulb for a group of kindergarteners about to
plant tulip bulbs in the courtyard area of Wells Elementary School. To the left of Foley is school volunteer Lauri
Caption: WOCSD Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley speaking
to a group of kindergarteners about to plant tulip bulbs in the courtyard area of
Wells Elementary School.
Two kindergarten students planting tulip bulbs at Wells
Elementary School on November 13, 2013.
Wells High School senior Kyle
O’Brien of Wells has been named a Semifinalist in the 2014 National Merit
Scholarship Program. He achieved this
status by scoring highly on the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship
Qualifying Test or PSAT/NMSQT® in his junior year.
According to a press release from the National Merit
Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), approximately 1.5 million high school juniors from
over 22,000 high schools took the PSAT/NMSQT® in 2012. Based upon test results, 16,000 were selected
to become Semifinalists.
“It’s definitely pretty cool
to know that I am the only one in the school,” responded O’Brien when asked
what it was like to become a Semifinalist.
According to NMSC, Semifinalists have the opportunity
to compete over the coming months to be among the 15,000 Finalists selected in
the spring to qualify for roughly 8,000 National Merit Scholarships, worth
around $35 million.
“About 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to
attain finalist standing, and more than half of the Finalists will win a
National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar® title,” stated the NMSC press
O’Brien says he plans to study Engineering when he graduates
from high school but is undecided as to what college he will attend. When
asked what he would eventually like to do after college he indicated that that
time was too far away to know but added, “I am excited to see where I am
The National Merit
Scholarship Program is administered by the National Merit Scholarship
Corporation of Evanston, Illinois. It is a non-profit corporation established
in 1955. Scholarship money awarded by
the NMSC comes largely from corporate and college sponsorship.
During his high school career
O’Brien has run on the WHS Cross Country Team every year and has been the Captain
of the Team for the past two years. He
has also been on the WHS Indoor and Outdoor Track Team and has played Ultimate
Frisbee at WHS.
O’Brien was recognized for
becoming a Semifinalist by the WOCSD School Committee at their regular meeting
on November 6th. Kyle
O’Brien is the son of Donna O’Brien.
Caption: Kyle O’Brien
standing outside of Wells High School recently.
Alcohol Awareness Day is recognized by high
schools throughout Maine during the month of December. However, Wells High School will observe
Alcohol Awareness Day this year on Monday, November 25th with a
combined alcohol and substance abuse program.
This event will feature Charles “Chuck” Rosa from Seabrook, New
Hampshire who will speak to students about his experience with substance abuse
and the loss of two sons to drug overdoses.
Rosa will speak to 9th and 10th grade students at
8:30 a.m. and to 11th and 12th grade students at 9:30
a.m. Parents and guardians are welcome
to attend. Rosa plans to stay through
lunch periods for students who wish to attend a group discussion supervised by a
WHS staff member. For more information
on this event please call the WHS Nurse Pat Endsley at 641-6967. For additional information visit Mr. Rosa’s website
at www.chuckysfight.com. If you are the parent or guardian of a
student who will need an alternative activity during this presentation, please
contact the Main Office at WHS at 646-7011.
Wells Junior High School students and staff will
present their 19th Annual Turkey Dinner for area seniors on November
17h from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.
The dinner will be turkey with all the fixings plus coffee and dessert. This popular event is not only a gesture of
goodwill offered to the community by the school but a ‘service learning’
project for all eighth grade students. For more information please call WJHS at
Wells High School hosted its first “Breakfast of Champions” for
the current school year on Friday, November 1st. Five students and ten staff members were
invited to attend the 7:00 a.m. event.
Invitees gathered before the start of school in the library to
be recognized for their contributions to the learning and social environments
of WHS. Principal Jim Daly and
Activities Director Jack Molloy presented each with a certificate and red
“It’s our way of giving back; saying thank you for doing
great deeds,” said Principal Daly of Breakfast of Champions. “Everybody here was recognized by somebody
else. We’re lucky. We got great kids, we got staff members that
are dedicated and the reason why our high school is doing as well is because of
the folks that are in it. I appreciate
everything that they’re doing.”
Those recognized as school ‘Champions’ included: Ms. Sherri Anderson-Wormwood, Sierra Daney,
Emilie Dow, Coach Kevin Fox, Coach Jennifer Lewia, Coach Mark Lewia, Charles
Mahar, Mrs. Tari Matthews, Mr. Jay Moore, Mr. John Murray, Chad Newcomb, Mr.
Jeré Pierce, Mrs. Karen Quint, Coach Tim Roche and Ryan Shackford.
To be honored at this breakfast one has to be nominated by a
coach, teacher or staff member. There
are three of these breakfast events held each school year.
Breakfast of Champions was instituted at Wells High School
in 2007 by Principal Daly. Each of
these events is organized by Mr. Daly and Mrs. Lagasse.
Photo caption: Students
and staff that attended the first Breakfast of Champions for the 2013-2014
school year at Wells High School on November 1, 2013. In the back row (l to r) is Jay Moore, Mark
Lewia, Tim Roche, and Kevin Fox. In the
front row (l to r) is Jen Lewia, Karen Quint, Charles Mahar (student), Sierra
Daney (student) and Ryan Shackford (student).
Two Wells High School seniors
competed in the Maine State Individual Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Championships in
Vassalboro on October 19th.
For the second year in a row, WHS Golf Team members Nicki Moody and Nick
Audet qualified for and attended this annual state competition.
Moody competed with 34 other girls
from Class A, B, and C schools on the Natanis Golf Course’s Arrowhead
Course. She came in 13th
place with a 98 score. Audet competed
with 31 boys from Class B schools on the Tomahawk course. He came in 15th place with an 84
score. Originally Moody qualified to
attend this competition by shooting a 98 at the Western Maine Girls Qualifier
at Willodale Golf Club in Scarborough on September 30th. On October 7th, Audet qualified
with second best score of 77 also at Willodale.
WHS teacher Jay Audet is the WHS Golf
Team Coach. According to Coach Audet the
team qualified for the State Team Championship this season “by posting the
third best team medal score at the Western Maine Conference Team Qualifier on
August 7th”. On October 12th
team members Nick Audet, Connor Pease, Seamus
McDonough, Shawn Ramsey and Michael “Mikey” Stivaletta, competed against 12
other teams and finished 9th.
The entire team for the 2013 season consisted
of Nick Audet, Anthony Crawford, Katie Goodale, Seamus McDonough, Bennie
McMinis, Nicole “Nicki” Moody, Connor Pease, Shawn Ramsey, Mitchell Reese, and Michael
Stivaletta. The school golf season in
the Western Maine Conference begins in mid-August and is considered a fall
sport. The season ends with the State
Individual Championships in Vassalboro.
According to Coach Audet the team
practices at the Cape Neddick Country Club.
“We are so fortunate as a team to be able to call Cape Neddick Country
Club our home course,” commented Coach Audet. “The staff and membership
are very accommodating and welcoming to our players. They give us full
use of their facility every weekday from August 19th until our
season concludes.” Audet has coached the
WHS Golf Team for 7 seasons.
Both Nicki Moody and Nick Audet will
be recognized for their performance in Vassalboro at a fall sports assembly at
WHS later this fall. Moody is planning
to study for a nursing degree and Audet believes he would like to study
business after high school but, like Moody, is undecided about where he would
like to go to college.
Caption: Nicki Moody and Nick Audet