Ogunquit Opens up Window on Town Government for Students

Post date: Feb 06, 2014 4:44:54 PM

A proposed cooperative program between the Town of Ogunquit and Wells High School to motivate student interest in career opportunities with local town government took an important step forward January 24th as town officials met with seven Wells High School students and two WHS staff members in Ogunquit.

Department heads and staff sat down with students in the Dunaway Center for a ‘meet and greet’ and a discussion about the inner workings of town government and the people who head the various departments within the municipality.

Following the round table session, students and town staff broke off into groups for more discussions and tours of town facilities and departments. There was also a tour included of the former Ogunquit Village School where one of the student visitors said he attended about 10 years ago.

This is all part of an idea generated by Ogunquit Town Manager Tom Fortier and Town Recording Secretary Maryann Stacy to interest students in job shadowing and possible internships and summertime employment.

“It is our hope that this program will be a way of keeping residents who have grown-up locally to build a future here,” commented Fortier. “It is our goal to provide students with an opportunity, a path some students may never have considered otherwise. This is at the root of maintaining the history, culture and relationships we believe are key for a close, connected and dedicated community. It’s all very exciting.”

“We were very pleased with the size of the group that came,” commented Stacy. “All of the kids were wonderful, they showed enthusiasm and insight with the questions they asked, and the Town department heads were all very impressed. According to Stacy, this program will be ongoing.

Other officials and staff present included Code Enforcement Officer Scott Heyland, Assistant Assessor Barbara Kinsman, Police Officer Anthony Dumont, Fire Chief Mark O’Brien, Firefighter/Paramedic Scot Bourque, Firefighter/Paramedic Brian Roy, Transfer Station Manager John Fusco, and Harbor Master Fred Mayo.

“I think it was a tremendous opportunity for our students,” commented WHS Principal Jim Daly. “Our students enjoyed hearing the Ogunquit town leaders talk about leadership and town programs. Mr. Fortier and his staff did an outstanding job providing opportunities for our kids. We look forward to expanding these programs in the future.”

Accompanying the students to the meeting in Ogunquit were faculty members Jay Moore and Tim Roche. Students attending included (in alphabetical order) Chris Arsenault, Tyler Bartlett, Kasey Bullard, Chris Carney, Dan Charpentier, Nicholas Cousins, Brandon Cox, and Ryan Shackford.

Ogunquit occupies just four square miles with an assessed property value of $1.4 billion. The town’s population varies from 1,200 in winter to 30,000 in summer. There are eight town departments including Police, Fire, Public Works, Transfer Station, Land Use, Harbor Master, Visitor Services, General Government (Town Clerk/Treasurer).

Caption: Front row (l to r) are: Nicholas Cousins, Ogunquit Town Manager Tom Fortier, Ryan Shackford, Tyler Bartlett, Chris Carney, Brandon Cox. Back Row: Dan Charpentier, Kasey Bullard, Chris Arsenault.

Caption: Pictured are some of the Town of Ogunquit officials and staff who met with WHS students in the Dunaway Center on January 24th. They include (l to r) Harbormaster Fred Mayo, Town Manager Thomas Fortier, Recording Secretary Maryann Stacy, Firefighter/Paramedic Brendan Walker and Assistant Assessor Barbara Kinsman. Standing is Firefighter/ Paramedic Scott Bourque.