Achievements and Recognitions
Two of the district’s most noteworthy recognitions in April involve students from more than one school. The first of these is Greely’s Special Olympians, who competed in the Cumberland County Swim Meet at Cape Elizabeth. The team swam impressively, bringing home many ribbons. Swimmers also represented Greely proudly, demonstrating excellent sportsmanship. Congratulations to the following swimmers for their participation and performance: Payton Brown, Andrew Hall, Adam Jacobson, Anne McIntyre, Lance Rose, Colbey Rose, Syndey Pitts, Charlie Saffian, Lukas Twomey, Nick Twomey, Jack Rosenblum, Elena Johnson and Conner Hines. Thanks go out to Todd Sharp, Andrea Piela, Adam Foster, Alicia Fent, Jenna Segal and Kristin Obery for helping our athletes in the pool.
Every month school and community groups work to contribute needed food and supplies to the Community Food Pantry, and April was no different. Bill Shane shared enthusiastically that MIW and NYMS “once again saved the day!” The North Yarmouth Memorial School held a food drive and in less than one week collected over 250 pounds of food. Mr. Shane shared that at the time, the Pantry was in a difficult place as its shelves were only at 40% capacity and he was ready to purchase additional supplies. Thanks to the food drive, it wasn’t necessary. Their donation put North Yarmouth Memorial School solidly in first place as school food drives go. (Greely Middle School was the previous top collector with a 125 pound food delivery.) There was no rest for the shelf stockers, as one hour after the Memorial School bombarded the pantry with food donations, students from Mabel I. Wilson arrived with supplies from two different neighborhoods. One of these neighborhoods, the Salamander wing, brought in over 50 pounds of food, by far the biggest drop off from any neighborhood all year. To complement the work of our school groups, the Girl Scouts are stuffing backpacks with food, and developing recipes and sample baskets for Pantry customers. Mr. Shane’s final thoughts shed light on the wonderful contributions: “The kids in our schools are amazing compassionate and truly care about the people of their community. Thank you to all the school teachers, administrators, parents and most of all the students, for “paying it forward” right in your own backyard.”
Mabel I. Wilson:
Ask many students, teachers and administrators what was most distinctive about school during the month of April, and they will respond it was Beijing Day, when for seven hours students immersed themselves in Chinese culture. Grouped with students from their neighborhoods but across the grade levels, kids moved from one class to another, performing ribbon dances, making dragons and sipping traditional Chinese tea. The day exposed children to Chinese food, music, dance, writing, language and history. Not only did students learn a lot during a very memorable day, Beijing Day followed a well developed plan that aligned with Common Core and MSAD #51’s Strategic Thinking goals. Leaders Linda Collins and Rachael Whitmarsh designed the curriculum to create connections and community, as family members, teachers, administrative staff and Ed techs all learned together. Community members helped with the preparations and the lessons. Importantly, this model is replicable for future years and we look forward to watching how World Culture Days integrate in our curriculum. Thanks to the PTO, which sponsored Beijing Day, Linda and Rachael, for their amazing vision and energy, and all the community and school members who contributed to make the event such a success.
Mabel I. Wilson students also completed class performances in April, and rehearsals and preparations are ongoing for more to come in May. Teachers and students work hard to practice their lines and songs, putting together fun performances for the parents and families, and in some cases, other classes. We appreciate the teachers and students efforts as well as the parents support, knowing how much these activities enrich our students.
North Yarmouth Memorial School
In April staff and students at NYMS focused on the theme of being Caring Community Members. Major highlights included a whole school assembly recognizing and celebrating the kindness within the school community and the effect that has on others. As mentioned above, the Caring Community theme included a two-week food drive for the Cumberland Food Pantry which yielded over 250 pounds of food! The events and participation were a heartwarming success!
Greely Middle School/Greely High School
Ten students from Greely Middle School’s Civil Rights Team and 15 students from Greely High School’s Civil Rights Team and Student Government, participated in The Anti-Defamation League’s 19th Annual Youth Congress in Boston. Accompanied by five chaperones, the students joined 1500 others from across New England to address issues of prejudice and to develop strategies that build safer and more respectful school communities. In commemoration of ADL’s centennial, this year’s program featured Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine, whose courageous actions in Little Rock, Arkansas championed school integration and helped define this country’s civil rights movement. Through student-led workshops, participants identified the types of prejudice that are still found in their schools. We look forward to learning from these students and staff about how Greely can become an even more tolerant and accepting community.
Congratulations to Maura Perry for receiving the first-place award at the state level in the 2012 Letters About Literature contest. The Maine Humanities Council received over 1000 entries from students in grades 4-12 this year, and Maura earned the top award given to secondary students. Maura's letter has been submitted as one of Maine's representatives in the national competition. Also to be commended is Breanna Gari, who was a semi-finalist in the Letters about Literature contest. Please congratulate both girls if you see them, as they are both to be commended for their amazing writing. Good luck to Maura in the upcoming national competition!
The Maine Principals Association (MPA) Honors Luncheon is held each year in Bangor to honor the outstanding high school senior from each MPA member school. It is truly one of the more memorable events the MPA sponsors during the year. Each student in attendance is presented the MPA Principal's Award by the principal of their school. The criteria for this award are academic excellence, outstanding school citizenship, and leadership. This year's recipient is Nina Oberg. Congratulations Nina!
Jordan Ouellette and Nathan Madeira were awarded the Western Maine Conference Citizenship Award. One boy and one girl were chosen from the senior class from each school in the Western Maine Conference.
The Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association awarded the Scholar Athlete award to Monica Howland and Jonah Normandeau.