Wells-Ogunquit CSD hosts its 30th Literary Achievement Awards Ceremony and recognizes the program’s past and present organizers

Post date: May 10, 2016 10:37:6 AM

The Wells-Ogunquit Community School District featured its 30th Annual Literary Achievement Awards Ceremony at Wells Elementary School on April 28th. Fifty-nine Kindergarten through twelfth grade students were recognized for their writing, previously judged anonymously to be the best out of 260 entries submitted in February.

The top prize of $500 was awarded to Wells High School Senior, Seamus McDonough, for an untitled and inspirational essay reflecting upon a childhood toy--a purple dinosaur named Barney--originally belonging to his deceased brother. Since McDonough was unable to attend, his essay was read by Ryan Liberty from the Wells Rotary Club. About 250 were in the audience including members of the Wells and Ogunquit Rotary Clubs. Both of these community service organizations and the Steakhouse in Wells are sponsors of the Literary Achievement Program.

“I found all of the stories well written and engaging,” commented Liberty. “In particular, the winning 12th grade story that I read was a powerful and profound story of a family’s tragedy turned inspirational. Many in the audience remarked that it touched them.”

In 1986, Ocean National Bank President David Page along with then WOCSD Superintendent Bob Kautz, and then District Business Manager William Dionne Jr. created the program. Mr. Page, now deceased, was represented at the 30th anniversary by his wife Barbara, a former teacher at Wells Elementary School now currently a supervisor in the University of Southern Maine’s ETEP program.

“I am just so proud to be here tonight,” said Barbara Page. “And I know my husband would be so proud to know this has been carried on for 30 years and it doesn’t look like there is any end to it at all.” Page stressed that this writing, non-athletic event is a “wonderful program”.

Some of those who worked on the Literary Achievement Awards at one time or another during its 30-year history were mentioned at the ceremony including Diana Abbott, Audrey Grumbling, Tari Matthews and Lynn Mercier. Current Co-chairs of the LAA program Maryanne Foley and Reg Bennett were recognized formerly for their 14 years of work with this program at the District’s School Committee meeting on May 4th.

Among Rotary Club members present at the ceremony were Cassie Mosher and Ryan Liberty from the Wells Rotary Club plus Erin Haye, Ed Seppa and Joe Boyle from the Ogunquit Rotary Club. Liberty and Seppa helped with handing out prizes and Haye greeted guests at the door.

The LAA ceremony was video recorded for cablecast on Time Warner Channels 3 in Wells and Ogunquit for times and dates to be announced.

Students who placed first in their respective grade categories in the 2016 Literary Achievement Awards.