News About WOCSD

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

Kindergarteners plant for spring while social-distancing

posted Jan 4, 2021, 5:40 AM by Michael Richards

Since the fall of 2003, kindergarten students at Wells Elementary School have left their classrooms for a brief period on a day in November, often in the cold, so that each could receive a tulip bulb and plant it on school grounds.  Despite the ongoing pandemic, the tradition was able to continue for 2020 on November 10th. 

As in past years, the bulbs were provided by the school’s Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA).  The event was organized by Wells-Ogunquit CSD Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley.

Assisting students that day were parent volunteers, Jodie Woodworth, Danielle Charlonne, and Amanda Graves who, the day before, had dug over 100 holes, six feet apart, so that the students could socially distance from one other while planting. 

The kindergarteners planted their bulbs one class at a time in anticipation of seeing their flowers appear and bloom in the spring.  Kindergarteners who are remote-learners came to school on a separate day with their families to plant their bulbs.  

“We have had every kindergartener plant a bulb each fall since the new WES opened 17 years ago, and I didn’t want the pandemic to put an end to that tradition,” commented Foley.  “I’m glad we could figure out a way to organize it safely, and give all students, in-person and remote learners a chance to participate.”


Miss Duggan's class planting bulbs
Planting tulip bulbs are from left to right: Andrew Nadeau (facing the camera), Natalie Dickerson, and Caroline Miller.  They are students in Miss Duggan's kindergarten class. 


Kinder students planting bulbs
Kindergarten students planting tulip bulbs with Wells Elementary School in the background. 

With a pandemic in the background, summer reading program continues through the fall

posted Dec 8, 2020, 4:36 AM by Michael Richards

The summer of 2020 saw the Wells-Ogunquit CSD’s Summer Reading Program enter its fifth year.  Over time it has helped many students stay motivated to read throughout the long summer months.  However, this year, with a pandemic altering school routine and normalcy, its function and importance has expanded.   Instead of ending in early September, it has continued into the fall of this unusual year.
 
The reading incentive program, the idea of WOCSD Superintendent Jim Daly, began modestly at Wells Junior High School in 2016 under the direction of WJHS Librarian Lynn Mercier.  It has since expanded to reach into all of the District's schools.  Normally, as summer recess approaches, students are able to select two books that they want to read for the summer.  These books are from a wide selection of new paperbacks that they can take home and keep for free.  This year, distributing two books to each student at WJHS began again in the fall and, according to Mercier, will be completed in January.  Since the school’s library is now closed to students due to COVID 19, Mercier travels around the school with her book cart visiting students in each English language arts (ELS) classroom where she distributes the paperbacks.   
 
“I think it's a tremendous opportunity to encourage reading for our kids!” commented Superintendent Daly recently. “Ms. Mercier has done an outstanding job promoting literacy throughout our district.”
 
Local bookseller Francine Tanguay of Annie's Book Stop in Wells has also been instrumental in the success of this reading program since its beginning.  Her knowledge of books mixed with an understanding of what kids really like to read for pleasure when away from school has proved pivotal.  Tanguay recommends, orders, and provides the books at a discount.  She also donates many books whenever possible.  
 
“Compiling the lists for the Summer Reading Program is a group effort between the three school librarians with special attention paid to fun reading for the students,” commented Tanguay in an email.  “Given the number of students involved and (the) varied interests of the student body, the book selection ranges from picture books (for) early readers to various types of fiction and nonfiction for all age groups and abilities.”  

Librarian Mercier says she finds Tanguay to be very supportive, flexible and a great mentor.  “She has helped to put lots of books in students’ hands over the years,” said Mercier who added that “Francine helps us stretch our dollar!”  With the exception of 2020, Tanguay estimates, that 1,000 books are now provided yearly for students.   
 
“In this pandemic year, books are more important than ever to relieve the sense of isolation we all are experiencing but especially for our kids,” noted Tanguay.  “The program is an investment in our future as a community because these kids are our future.  
 
The principal of WJHS Josh Gould concluded, “We are thrilled to be able to put copies of books into our student's hands in a safe manner.  Reading activates the imagination.  During a pandemic, the imagination is a great friend!”                  


Students who participating in summer reading program
Caption:  From left to right is Hayden Williamson, Amelia Connor, CJ Douglas and Lynn Mercier.  

Additional Students who participated in the summer reading program
Caption:  From left to right is Ben Brown (with arms crossed), Lynn Mercier, Emmett Gagne and Devyn Woodman.

High School students create an obstacle course for K-2 students

posted Nov 18, 2020, 4:29 AM by Michael Richards

In October, a small group of Wells High School art students and their teacher Meredith Radford began creating a colorful and permanent “motor skills” obstacle course painted onto a large section of pavement on the playground at Wells Elementary School.    

“The course includes pathways, directional movements, loco-motor skills and balance skills, all which are developmentally age-appropriate, especially for K-2,” commented Radford in an email.   She and the Foundations Arts and Alternative education students were invited by WES Principal April Noble to create the course.

Earlier in the fall, Radford and students focused on creating several sidewalk chalk murals at various locations around Wells High School.   This was to get her students working outside more in a school year overshadowed by a pandemic, spruce up the campus with some color and provide designated spots where students could safely take a brief face mask break. 

The interactive course at Wells Elementary was seen as a way to get the younger students engaged in an activity that, with its unique design, helps them exercise while maintaining a safe distance from one another at recess.   In addition, the course requires no equipment to be shared and can be duplicated at home with a piece of chalk.   

“We are thrilled to add this motor course to our playground,” commented April Noble. “Upon its completion, the students instantly were engaged!  A motor course provides an opportunity to learn and experience different sensory input. This engaging, fun experience improves strength, balance, motor planning and coordination.  We are so thankful for the time and effort the high school put in to provide us with this course!”  

HS Student and Art Teacher working on the project
WHS student Nathan Bolduc and teacher Meredith Radford begin working with a design for WES's new motor skills course on October 21, 2020. “Its pretty cool,” said Bolduc.  “All the little kids can be able to use it.”

Obstacle Course Laid Out
Newly completed motor skills course at Wells Elementary School features  spins, star jumps, squats, toe touches and five arm circles, which, according to Radford, “are developmentally appropriate for K-2.” 

Elementary students vote in Maine student mock election

posted Oct 30, 2020, 4:36 AM by Michael Richards

Wells Elementary School held a simulated voting exercise on October 19th.   Third and fourth grade students including multi -3rd and -4th grade classes voted for presidential,  congressional and senatorial candidates using voting booths on loan from the Town of Wells.  This voting exercise was their participation in the Maine Student/Parent Mock Elections coordinated by the Maine Secretary of State’s Office in Augusta. 

The results from student voting at WES are as follows.  President:  Biden/Harris 116 votes (59%), Trump/Pence: 66 votes (34%) and “other” 14 (7%).   U.S. House of Representatives-Maine 1st Congressional District:  Chellie Pingree 73 votes (44%) and Jay Allen 91 votes (56%).   U.S. Senator Maine:  Susan Collins 87 votes (45%), Sarah Gideon 92 votes (48%) and “other” 13 votes (7%). 

The voting took place in the school's second floor foyer.   Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic there were no parent volunteers present this year to assist students with the process and tally up voting results.  However, School Resource Officer Scott Long managed the voter registration table and long-term substitutes Jen Hicks and Kaitlyn Tufts helped with sanitation requirements between voters.  Wells-Ogunquit CSD Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley organized this school event.

"We tried to give the students the experience of voting, even if it was during a pandemic year,” commented Foley. “Everyone sanitized before and after entering the voting booths, and stood in line socially-distant.  It was great to see the third and fourth graders so excited about the voting process. "   WES students currently attending school at home were allowed to vote absentee. 
According to the Maine Student/Parent Mock Election web page, “Participating ...is an excellent way to encourage young people to become interested in voting and involved in candidate campaigns and state and national issues.”

The voting results from WES were compiled with those of other participating Maine schools and can be viewed at:   maine.gov/sos/kids/mockelection/index.html


Student casting ballot in mock election
WES student Abby Bolduc casting her ballot during WES's 2020 mock election.  


Student posting his ballot in mock election
WES student Zachary Jenkins casting his ballot during WES's 2020 mock election 2020.

(This photo courtesy of Maryanne Foley)

Wells High School preparing to cull the Class of 2019’s student records

posted Sep 16, 2020, 5:01 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School will be culling student records for the Class of 2019 beginning in early October of 2020. Any student wishing to receive their cumulative folder, should submit their request in writing, including their name and mailing address, to guidance secretary Erin Sanborn. One can either email the request to her at esanborn@wocsd.org or mail the request addressed to Erin Sanborn, Wells High School Guidance Office, 200 Sanford Road, Wells, ME 04090. The culling process will continue as time permits throughout the 2020-21 school year.

Jackson selected as new Assistant Principal for Wells High School

posted Aug 31, 2020, 5:59 AM by Michael Richards

Wells-Ogunquit CSD Superintendent Jim Daly has approved the recommendation of an interview committee and appointed Kevin Jackson as the Assistant Principal at Wells High School, effective August 1, 2020.

Mr. Jackson has been an IEP Coordinator and Special Education teacher at Noble High School since 2011.   He graduated from New England School of Communications and earned his teaching certification requirements through the University of Maine system completing his administrative certification at Endicott College.   During his nine years in education, Jackson has developed and implemented curriculum and instructional practices, facilitated professional development, developed programming for students, managed supervisory roles, delivered special education services, and managed a wide array of day-to-day school procedures.  

“Kevin's professional experience enables him to join our strong culture for excellence at Wells High School,” said WHS Principal Eileen Sheehy.

Committees composed of teachers, parents, and administrators facilitated the interview process.   A screening committee reviewed applications and selected five strong candidates.  After reviewing these final candidates the interview committee unanimously expressed their strong support for Jackson. 
K Jackson new WHS Assistant Principal


Gould appointed Principal of Wells Junior High School

posted Aug 31, 2020, 5:55 AM by Michael Richards

At the start of school in September, incoming and returning Wells Junior High School students will find a new school leader at the helm.   In late June, former Wells High School Assistant Principal Joshua Gould was selected to be the next WJHS principal.  This according to WOCSD Superintendent James Daly who approved a selection committee’s unanimous recommendation to hire Mr. Gould to fill this position beginning July 1st. 

“Josh has done a tremendous job at WHS over the years!” commented Superintendent Daly in an email.   “He has been an outstanding teacher, coach, and administrator throughout his career.”  

“I am excited to join Wells Junior High School in an outstanding community school district (that) serves the students and community members of the towns of Wells and Ogunquit,” said Gould.  

Mr. Gould has served as Wells High School’s assistant principal for the past five years.  Prior to that, he taught English for 16 years at Noble High School in Berwick.   He has also been an Instructor of Education at the University of New Hampshire.

“He will be a great addition to the team, WJHS, and the community,” added Superintendent Daly. 
J Gould - new JHS Principal


Wells-Ogunquit CSD recognizes retiring staff and those with 20 years of service

posted Jul 2, 2020, 1:25 PM by Michael Richards

At the end of each school year, the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District (WOCSD) recognizes retiring staff members and those reaching the 20-year milestone of service to the District.   This recognition typically takes place during a special luncheon on the last day of school. However, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the “Celebration of Service to Education” luncheon at Wells Junior High School in June was not possible. 

WOCSD Superintendent James Daly has presided over these luncheons for several years.  Recently, he offered words of appreciation for the current group of departing staff members. “These folks have done a tremendous job for our students and community over the years,” commented Daly.  “We will miss them dearly!  We wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”

Those retiring (years of service in parenthesis) are Mary Angelini (22 years), Brenda Brown (20 years), Christopher Chessie (16 years), Nancy Colley (38 years), Charlotte Collins (35 years), Carroll Crouch (14 years), Lawrence Downing (41 years), Debra Erskine (34 years), Linda Gaidimas (41 years), Kerry Georgitis (11 years), Saul Lindauer (39 years), Edward McDonough (27 years), Marcia Millian (24 years) and Karen Valliere (36 years).   Those with 20 years of service include Sherri Anderson-Wormwood, Gale Bernard, Dianne Bowen, Susan Dugovic, Carol Gilblair, Robert Gilpatric, Cindy Mitchell, Myra Richard, and Greg Trzaskowski.  

“WOCSD is saying goodbye to a tremendous group of educators as they retire from their careers,” commented Director of Instruction and Special Services Stacey Schatzabel who wishes the group “health and best wishes.”   Considering the unusual times that finds these 14 staff members retiring, Schatzabel observed,   “It feels strange to not celebrate (in person) our employees who have served Wells-Ogunquit students and families.  Their dedication to the District goes above and beyond.  We are grateful for their service.”  

In recognition of this service and their contributions to the District, each retiree received an engraved glass clock.  Staff members who completed 20 years of service received an engraved glass apple.

WHS freshman makes All-State Band

posted Jun 24, 2020, 3:56 AM by Michael Richards

Wells High School student Hunter Roberts was selected this past school year by the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) to be part of the Association’s annual All-State Band.  The fourteen year-old freshman, who plays clarinet, is the first WHS Band member to have been selected for this honor in some time.

If this had been a typical school year, the All-State Band would have played in the All-State Music Festival at the University of Maine in Orono.  This annual event also features Orchestra, Mixed Chorus, & Treble Chorus performances.   However, this year, as with so many other public events, the Festival was canceled as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of coronavirus.  

Fortunately, all was not lost as Roberts and the other student musicians selected were able to feature their musicianship by participating at a distance in the production of a virtual concert.  Thanks to the MMEA, students were able to record their individual performances onto a common track to be assembled later for a special recording of what their concert performance might have sounded like had they been able to perform all together live before an audience.  

“Having the honor of qualifying for the Maine All-State Band feels amazing!” commented Roberts. “When I started playing the clarinet, I could have never expected to make it this far. Although participating in a virtual band was not the ideal experience I was hoping for, it was still worth it after all the hard work I had to put in to make it into such a Band.”

Larry Downing is the recently retired musical director at WHS.  “He is the first WHS Band member to be accepted in a number of years,” commented Downing about Roberts’ acceptance into the All-State Band.  “It is certainly a major accomplishment to be accepted as a freshman.”  Downing noted that Hunter was also active in Marching Band, Jazz Band, the WHS 2019 fall play, and the school’s annual spring musical for 2020 which was postponed.   

According to its website, the mission of the MMEA “…is to promote and advance Music Education by providing a voice and venue for advocacy and advancement of Music Education in Maine.”
All State Band Recipient-Hunter Roberts
WHS All-State Band 2020 student Hunter Roberts

Top Ten list for Wells High School Class of 2020

posted May 12, 2020, 4:22 AM by Michael Richards   [ updated May 14, 2020, 11:49 AM ]

Wells High School has released the “Top Ten List” for the Class of 2020.  Gwen Wallingford is the Class of 2020 Valedictorian and Kaitlyn Chrisemer is the Class Salutatorian.  What follows is an alphabetical listing of the top ten students with mini high school biographies.  Graduation is planned for Saturday, August 1st at 1:00 pm at Wells High School.

Ashleigh Bolduc is the daughter of Deidre and Kevin Bolduc of Ogunquit.  This fall Ashleigh will attend Bentley University majoring in Business/Marketing.  She is president of her class and vice-president of Interact and Student Council.  Ashleigh has been a member of our cheerleading and volleyball teams and has served as captain of our field hockey team.  She has also been a member of the Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Teams becoming a State champion and setting a school record in the Girls 1 x 400-meter relay.  Academically, Ashleigh has achieved various accolades, including WHS book awards, Breakfast of Champions, Student of the Trimester, as well as being a recipient of the Saint Michael’s College Award.  She is a member of the National Honor Society and has been honored with the MPA’s Principal’s Award.
Top 10-Bolduc


Grace Bradish is the daughter of Amanda and Jamie Bradish of Wells.  Grace plans to attend the University of Maine at Orono to study Civil Engineering.  Grace has achieved High Honors all four years of high school and has been a solid, committed member of the Cross Country team, serving as captain.  She has been involved in multiple extracurricular activities including the Math team.  Grace is currently serving as president of the National Honor Society, as well as being chosen for a teacher’s assistant position in our Studio Art classroom acting as a mentor for our younger students.  
Top 10- G Bradish


Hannah Bradish is the daughter of Amanda and Jamie Bradish of Wells.  She plans to attend the University of Maine at Orono with a major in Business.   Hannah is a quiet leader, often leading by example.  She is a member of the National Honor Society and recipient of numerous book awards.  Hannah is also a phenomenal diver - often putting in hours and hours in the pool - earning a trip to the State competition all four years of high school.  She is the school record holder for multiple dive categories.  Hannah has been a committed member of the Track and Field team becoming Western Maine Conference League Champion in the pole vault during her sophomore year placing 4th at the State meet.  
Top 10 - H Bradish


Kaitlyn Chrisemer, Class of 2020 Salutatorian, is the daughter of Susan and William Chrisemer of Wells.  Kaitlyn plans to attend Emmanuel College to study writing, editing & publishing in the fall.  Since 2009, Kaitlyn has been a member of the Brixham Danceworks in South Berwick and has currently achieved the highest level in every style of dance.  In addition, she is a member of the National Honor Society, has achieved numerous book awards, Breakfast of Champions, and has been involved in set building, tech and student choreographing for school plays and musicals.
Top 10 - Chrisemer


Tyler Evans is the son of April and Jason Evans of Ogunquit.  Tyler plans to attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the fall to major in Computer Science.  He is a member of the National Honor Society, designated an AP Scholar and recognized as a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program. Tyler takes great pride in being a key member of his family’s restaurant, The Lobster Shack in Perkins Cove, working hard throughout the summer months helping the family business grow.
Top 10 - Evans


Guss Madsen is the son of Kelli and Benjamin Madsen of Wells.  Guss plans to attend Brigham Young University this fall to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering.  He serves in the National Honor Society, is a founder of the Wells High School “Fans in the Stands” program and is a leader on the WHS Math Team.  He was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar nominee and was recognized by the Town of Wells for the attainment of his Eagle Scout and two Eagle Palms. Guss is the recipient of numerous book awards at Wells High School, including the St. Anselm Award.  
Top 10 - Madsen


Givon McLean is the son of Christina Barrett of Wells and Trevor McLean of Arundel.  Givon will be attending St. John’s University to pursue a doctoral degree in Pharmacy.  Givon was instrumental in the formation of the Environmental Club, co-president of the Philosophy Club and a member of the Student Council.  He is an active volunteer within our community, particularly within veteran organizations.  Givon has received numerous academic awards including the Phi Beta Kappa Award and is a member of the track team.
Top 10 - McLean


Samantha Jones is the daughter of Beth and Travis Jones of Wells.  Samantha plans to attend Emmanuel College in the fall with an undecided major.  Samantha has been a member of Wells High School’s A Capella Chorus and has held numerous roles in WHS plays & musicals.  Samantha has achieved many accolades including Breakfast of Champions, Students of the Trimester, and an AP Scholar.  
Top 10 - Jones


Gwen Wallingford, Class of 2020 Valedictorian, is the daughter of Brian and Jennifer Wallingford of Wells.  Gwen will be attending the University of New England to study Animal Behavior.  She dedicates much of her time to various community service projects including volunteering at the local animal shelter, serves in our Environmental Science Club, and mentoring younger children in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD.  Gwen is the recipient of book awards in numerous fields of study as well as the Dartmouth College Book Award, Breakfast of Champions, Scholastic Art and Writing Honorable Mention Awards.
Top 10 - G Wallingford


Alyssa Wallingford is the daughter of Brian and Jennifer Wallingford of Wells.  Alyssa plans to attend the University of New England.  She volunteers her time in our community and is a member of the WHS performing arts technical crew, the Philosophy Club, and the Environmental Club.  She has been honored through our Breakfast of Champions and Student of the Trimester programs. She has received faculty awards in French, English, Social Studies, Math, and Science.  Alyssa also received the Scholastic Silver Key award for her artwork.
Top 10 - A Wallingford


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