News About WOCSD

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

‘Farm to School’ celebrates 10th anniversary, student participation in local harvest reaches 5th year

posted by Fran Prentice

The 10th Annual ‘Farm to School Week’, was observed in the cafeterias of the Wells-Ogunquit CSD from September 22nd through the 26th.   All through the week during lunchtime students were served a large variety of locally grown fresh fruit, vegetables and beef.

Farm to School Week was introduced to the District in 2005 by Nutritional Services Director Tyler Goodwin.  It reinforces eating more nutritious food and highlights the ‘farm to school’ trend of mixing locally grown food into school lunch menus thereby lessening reliance on less nutritious, sodium-rich processed food.  Currently, the District purchases locally grown food from Chase Farm, Spiller Farm and Maine Family Farms.  

What makes the WOCSD participation in this Farm to School movement stand out among other Southern Maine schools is that Wells and Ogunquit students voluntarily help with the harvest during and after school hours thereby cutting costs and giving them experience laboring on an actual working farm.  Each year Spiller Farm in Wells plants several acres of vegetables exclusively for WOCSD.

On several occasions in September and early October seventh grade and fourth grade students traveled by bus to the fields of Spiller Farm and Laudholm Farm to pick potatoes, green beans, carrots and apples.   Corn on the cob comes to the District from Chase Farm but is not harvested by students.  However, the corn is shucked by the fifth grade class.

According to Goodwin, 900 lbs. of potatoes, 500 lbs. of carrots and 400 lbs. of green beans were picked this year.  But that is not where the work ended.  For example, green beans and carrots are snipped, cut, washed, steamed, boxed and frozen back at WJHS.  

Science teacher Saul Lindauer’s students participate in the harvest but also study aspects of the harvest in the classroom including an examination of sustainable food sources and practices in Maine.  He says that his students “conduct a variety of math and science related investigations connected to the food harvesting.”

The cooperation between Anna and Bill Spiller of Spiller Farm with the WOCSD is in its fifth year.   “I think it’s good to give kids an idea of where their food really comes from,” said Bill Spiller who added, “It doesn’t (just) come off the shelf at Hannaford.” 

Often the harvesting and processing of these foods was quite fast.  “These carrots will go from the field…and will be in the freezer within 24 hours, processed, steamed and ready to go,” said Nutritional Director Tyler Goodwin on October 14th when the carrots were being picked on Spiller Farm.

Goodwin said that buying locally is not always the less expensive alternative. “Spillers give us a competitive price. It’s not as much about saving money as about getting farm fresh foods into our lunch program and keeping our school lunch dollars local.” commented Goodwin who wishes to thank Spiller Farm, WJHS Principal Chris Chessie, WJHS teacher Brenda Brown, WES Principal Marianne Horne, WES Assistant Principal Ken Spinney, and WES Science teacher Henry Ingwersen for their support of Farm to School Week.  Goodwin also wishes to thank the students for their work in the harvest.


Caption:  WOCSD students picking potatoes at Laudholm Farm.


Caption:  Cutting and peeling carrots at WJHS are (l to r) students Kim Yurga, Gwen Wallingford, Sarah Lord, Sydney Perry and Abigail Legere and Darion Frasier


Caption: Harvesting carrots on Spiller Farm are McKaela Schiller (left) and Lily Heyland. 


Caption:  WJHS student Caroling Clarrage holding a very large carrot with student Jillian Evans at right.

Caption:  Bill Spiller (left) and Saul Lindauer at Spiller Farm in Wells on October 14th.


Local fire organization provides gift to families of WES students

posted Oct 23, 2014, 10:55 AM by Fran Prentice

In an assembly at Wells Elementary School on October 8th, representatives from the Wells Beach Hose Company, as part of their new Carbon Monoxide Program and in observance of Fire Prevention Week, donated 354 carbon monoxide detectors to students so that every family of a WES student could have a carbon monoxide detector in their home. 

Even though their fire station on Webhannet Drive in Wells is now closed, the Wells Beach Hose Company (WBHC) continues to be a not for profit organization for those (and their spouses) who used to volunteer at the former fire house until its closure in 1989 when WBHC had 60 members.

According to WES Assistant Principal Ken Spinney, the organization reached out to the school to initiate the distribution of these detectors worth $13,000.  Money for this significant donation was raised through fireman musters, fireman’s balls, and “Beano” (WBHC’s version of Bingo).

“I think it is just another neat example of community support of education of our students,” said an appreciative Spinney who labeled this gift a “great gesture”.  Spinney said that one of these detectors might someday help save the life of a child and their family.

Current President and former Fire Chief at the WBHC Reggie Chase plus Pam Moody-Maxon and Judy Moody attended.  Moody, whose husband is a WBHC member, coordinated the distribution of the detectors with assistance from members of the Wells High School INTERACT Club, a junior version of Wells Rotary.  These high school students sorted, counted and distributed the carbon monoxide detectors to classroom teachers.

Moody and Maxon each spoke during the assembly.  Moody explained what carbon monoxide is and set off one of the detectors to familiarize students with the sound of the alarm.  She also answered student questions. 

Maxon, who has two brothers that are WBHC members, spoke of the history of the Wells Beach Hose Company.  Her father Peter Moody served for 27 years as a paid firefighter, 63 years as an active member and, for 5 years, as Fire Chief at the now closed station. Maxon told the audience that she "grew up" at the fire station.  As a child she would spend lots of time staying at the station with her dad who worked 24 hour per day shifts. She said that she liked to play on the fire truck and would sometimes fall asleep on the truck’s hoses.  The students at the assembly loved this story.

A booklet compiled by Pam Maxon and Judy Moody consisting of copies of old photographs of Peter Moody was given to teachers for their students to view.  In the booklet were images of the old fire station and the fire trucks and ambulances it housed over the decades.

Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas. According to the U.S. Centers For Disease Control (CDC), unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning accounted for an average of 430 deaths each year during the period from 1999 to 2010. 


 Caption: First grade teacher Lynn McPherson (at right) receiving a bag of carbon monoxide detectors from WHS INTERACT member Anna Furness.   

School Committee praises volunteers and staff for hard work

posted Oct 9, 2014, 9:31 AM by Fran Prentice

At its October 1st meeting the WOCSD School Committee recognized several individuals for a variety of service to the Wells-Ogunquit CSD. 

Outgoing School Committee member Cory Thyng was recognized by Committee Chair Helena Ackerson for his service to the WOCSD School Committee.  Thyng, who was not able to attend the presentation, will receive his plaque that reads, “In recognition and appreciation of your service as a member of the WOCSD School Committee 2012-2014.

A group of six volunteers were recognized for maintaining the flower and shrub garden in front of Wells Junior High School.  In alphabetical order, they are Rita Coulton, Kathy Graham, Sally Morse, Bonnie Quint, Louretta Russell, and Julie Stevens.  

Accepting a certificate from Superintendent Ellen Schneider and School Committee Chair Ackerson on behalf of their group were Morse, Russell and Graham.  The plaque reads, “In recognition of your continual beautification to the grounds of Wells Junior High School”.

Also recognized was WOCSD Director of Technology Michael Richards for his stewardship of the WOCSD website,  His certificate reads, “for your unending upgrades and updates to the District’s website”.

Caption: From left to right are Superintendent Ellen Schneider, Kathy Graham, Louretta Russell, Sally Morse, and School Committee Chair Helena Ackerson.

Caption:   Presenting WOCSD Director of Technology Michael Richards with a certificate of recognition for his service is Superintendent Ellen Schneider (left) and School Committee Chair Helena Ackerson. 

Wells-Ogunquit CSD Holds Ground Breaking Ceremony for Wells High School Construction Project

posted Sep 26, 2014, 12:43 PM by Fran Prentice

Wells-Ogunquit C.S.D. officials, teachers, students, the WHS Band and various Wells and Ogunquit town officials assembled at noon on Friday, September 26th at Wells High School for a ground breaking ceremony to commemorate the start of the project to renovate and expand Wells High School.   As construction trucks rolled in and out of the school’s driveway, WOCSD Superintendent Ellen Schneider and seven other guest speakers spoke briefly to the audience just outside of the construction site.  The two-year, $26.85 million project was approved by Wells-Ogunquit voters last November.  The general contractor for the project is Arthur C. Dudley, Inc.

From left to right with shovels in hand are WHS teacher Steve Kayser, Building Committee Co-Chair Zak Harding, Wells Town Manager Jon Carter, WOCSD Superintendent Ellen Schneider, WHS student Ally O’Brien, School Committee Chair Helena Ackerson, State Senator Ron Collins, Building Committee Co-Chair Josh Gould, and WHS Principal Jim Daly. 


Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony at Wells High School on Friday is WOCSD Superintendent Ellen Schneider.   Seated from left to right is Wells Town Manager Jon Carter, Building Committee Co-Chair Zak Harding, Building Committee Co-Chair Josh Gould, School Committee Chair Helena Ackerson, State Senator Ron Collins,  WHS student Ally O’Brien, WHS teacher Steve Kayser, and WHS Principal Jim Daly. 

High school student sets out early on career path

posted Sep 26, 2014, 9:26 AM by Fran Prentice

Like most high school seniors, Brandon Cox, a student at Wells High School, is focused on life after high school and excited about what may come.   But Cox is not just studying and thinking about the coming years, he is creating a foundation for a career as a first responder by being a volunteer firefighter with the Wells Fire Department.  However, that is not all Cox is doing in his ‘spare time’.

In March of 2014, he added ‘police cadet’ to his growing resume by becoming a cadet with the Portsmouth Police Department in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.   On top of all that, he is studying to be an emergency medical technician (EMT) at Sanford Regional Technical Center.

“As a police cadet, we are exploring the law enforcement field,” continued Cox.  “It's a great experience for me to learn what the duties of a police officer are.  We do many things while we are there, both hands on and classroom learning.”  Cox added that he is with the Portsmouth PD for three and a half hours a week.   At the PD, Cox and other cadets spend time exercising studying and training.  The cadets also do volunteer work in the Portsmouth community.

Cox spends a lot of his free time from school each week at the Wells Fire Department taking in a variety of information and learning new skills.   He proudly carries a pager on his side that links him to the fire department as he is now a volunteer firefighter that can go out on any alarm call with some restrictions.

“Ever since I was around the age of four, I have looked up to firefighters,” commented Cox.  “It was always my life goal to become a firefighter and a Maine state trooper.  Finally, I'm able to become active in the fire department as a junior firefighter and a police cadet.”    

“I have gotten to do many things with the fire department,” stated Cox, who is in the Junior Firefighter Program and has been reporting to the Wells FD since August of 2013.  “Since I have been there, I have been to one fire in town.  It was a good experience and I can't wait to see where I will be at in the future with the fire service.”

“Brandon is a real asset to the department with his skills of setting up a rehab station whenever needed,” commented Administrative Assistant to the WFD Chief Debra Nolette.  According to Nolette, Cox has logged 470 hours at the WFD doing a variety of tasks including hose testing and inspection activities.  Cox has also responded with the Department to 67 incidents and attended 45 training sessions covering a variety of topics including CPR certification.

When asked, WFD Chief Dan Moore described Cox as a “great person” who is quiet, polite and cheerful.  “We sometimes call him the Ninja, he is so quiet and when you turn around he is right there and you never hear him. He brings humor and happiness to the guys around him.”                        

By the summer of 2015, Cox hopes to have not only his high school diploma in hand but his EMT Basic Certification and Fire Fighter 1 & 2 Certification.  At that time he plans to apply to work as a corrections officer at the York County Jail with an eye on studying Criminal Justice at Southern Maine Community College.   Then, at age 21, he plans to enroll at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy to train to reach his ultimate goal of joining the Maine State Police as a trooper.  During all of this time and beyond, Cox still wants to be an active volunteer firefighter for the Wells Fire Department.                              

Brandon Cox lives in Wells.  He is the son of Tabitha Bergeron, step dad Andre Bergeron and dad Michael Cox.  Some of the activities he has been involved with as a student in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD include being a member of the WHS Marching Band, a volunteer at Wells Elementary School and a sound technician for plays and musicals at WHS. 

Caption:  Brandon Cox 

Wells Elementary School PTSA to Hold ‘ALL-4-KIDS Consignment Sale’ at Wells Elementary School on October 4th

posted Sep 26, 2014, 9:23 AM by Fran Prentice

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

Items for sale include girls’ and boys’ fall and winter clothing with sizes from newborn to size 18, children’s shoes and boots, toys, books, games, sports equipment, baby items and children’s furniture. 

This is a great opportunity to get some great kids’ fall/winter items at very reasonable prices while supporting Wells Elementary School. Those who plan on attending should consider shopping early for the best selection. 

With funds generated from events like the ALL-4-KIDS Consignment Sale, the PTSA is able to sponsor popular annual events at WES including Colors Day and Starz for Broadway.  PTSA money is also granted to teachers for requested classroom items not covered in the District’s budget.

Wells Elementary School is located at 276 Sanford Road (Rte.109) in Wells.  For more information, please contact the PTSA at 646-5953 EXT 4330, or e-mail 

Photo caption:  File photo:  ALL-4-KIDS Consignment Sale at Wells Elementary School. This is where the next sale will be held on Saturday, October 4th.  

Student’s Self-Portrait Exhibited at PMA

posted Sep 22, 2014, 11:45 AM by Fran Prentice

In early 2014, Wells Elementary School fourth grade art student Auguste Ciorra had a self-portrait that he created exhibited in the Portland Museum of Art as part of the Maine Art Education Association’s celebration of National Youth Art Month.   For the month of March, Ciorra’s artwork was displayed along with representative art from many other students from across the State of Maine. 

Ciorra’s work was selected from a pool of 105 art students at Wells Elementary School to represent the school at the PMA by Art teacher Sandy Brennan.

"His self-portrait was well done and the background was creatively designed,” commented Brennan.   “During class, he demonstrates enthusiasm and strong focus on the quality of his work."   Auguste Ciorra is now a fifth grade student at Wells Junior High School.

Caption:  WES Art teacher Sandy Brennan with Auguste ‘Auggie’ Ciorra and his self-portrait.

WOCSD adds interactive photo feature to its website

posted Sep 18, 2014, 12:12 PM by Fran Prentice

According to Wells-Ogunquit CSD Technology Director Michael Richards, the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District (WOCSD) now features a way where the District can post digital photos and accompanying written commentary about events happening within the District using the social media service Instagram.  People can track the account through Instagram from most mobile phone devices with a camera or home computer with a connection to the Internet.

Richards’ hope is that the new photo sharing feature will motivate many to like, follow, share and utilize the District’s social media pages like Facebook and Instagram.

“We look forward to being able to showcase great events in a mobile fashion as people have lots of great things going on in the District,” said Richards.  “We’re just trying to capture them and be able to share them.” 

For legal reasons concerning student privacy, snapshots of students in classrooms or other educational settings within the District’s schools would not be allowed unless parental permission to post such photos is granted in writing to the particular school that that student is attending.

Richards stressed that only those 13 years or older can have an Instagram or Facebook account. 

To see photos posted thus far please visit the WOCSD site,, and click on the blue “view on Instagram” button on the bottom of the home page or go to

Caption:  A view from the WOCSD’s new Instagram page,   Visitors to this page can make comments about the various photos found there. 

Wells High School to Cull Student Records for Class of 2013

posted Sep 18, 2014, 11:40 AM by Fran Prentice

Wells High School Guidance Office will begin culling student records for the Class of 2013 by the end of October.  Records that reflect Kindergarten through 12th grade activity that are not required to be archived will be destroyed.  Records retained will be transferred to microfiche. 

Any student wishing to have their cumulative folder sent to them should send a request in writing stating their name and address before October 15th to:  Wells High School; Attn: Karen Quint; 200 Sanford Road; Wells, ME 04090.  Your request for your cumulative folder may also be sent by e-mail to  Please be sure to include the address that you want your folder sent to.  For more information please call the WHS Guidance Office at 646-8185

Students begin hydrofoil project with guidance from PNSY staff

posted Sep 15, 2014, 6:00 AM by Fran Prentice

On September 3rd, one day after the start of the new school year, a small group of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PSNY) personnel plus a member of the U.S.S. Scranton, a Los Angeles-Class submarine currently dry docked for an engineering overhaul at PNSY, visited with students of a newly formed class at Wells High School called Hydrofoils Engineering, a year-long class co-taught by Jason Hludik and Chrys Demos.

The objective and centerpiece of this class is for students to create from scratch a functioning, human powered hydrofoil boat approximately 16 ft. long. The water craft will be capable of achieving lift over water, thereby significantly reducing drag and increasing speed. 

The advisers from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard are mechanical engineer Trevor Thompson, mechanical engineer Dave Hawk, PSNY Outreach Program Manager Rick Cecchetti and MM2(SS) Steven Weston of the U.S.S Scranton.

These guests introduced themselves then spoke about their day-to-day work at the shipyard.  They also discussed how they can assist the students with their project as the design and construction moves forward.  The four plan to be available for email questions and to make weekly visits to the class.   Later this fall, these students and their teachers will be invited to tour the PNSY facility in Kittery.

The hydrofoil project will require design, creation, and integration of a hull, propulsion, stabilization and foil systems.   It is the foil system that ultimately, will allow the craft to elevate over the water’s surface.  Hludik said this class will combine math, technology, engineering and science.  The project will require students (with diverse ages and skill levels) to study chemistry, physics, Newton’s Laws, engineering design process,  3-D design and printing as those subjects pertain to the design and function of a hydrofoil.    

The hydrofoil project is expected to be completed and successfully tested in Wells Harbor in late May or early June of 2015.  Teachers Hludik and Demos also plan to have the students create a power point presentation for District students and the School Committee documenting the ‘start to finish’ of the nine month endeavor.

Caption:  Back row from left to right: Trevor Thompson, Rick Cecchetti, Dave Hawk, Steven Weston, Kyle Goodale, Ryan Marsh, Jason Hludik, Chrys Demos and Gavin Turnbull.   Front row (l to r): Zack Pierce, Nate Ouellette, Erskine Lothrop, Dan Charpentier, Jake Wilson and David Jacobs.

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