December 2012

posted Jan 9, 2013, 1:04 PM by Susan Conley   [ updated Jan 9, 2013, 1:19 PM ]
MSAD #51
Achievements & Recognition
December 2012

December was a whirlwind of musical performances, athletic contests, academic culminations and community service projects. There were a few classroom, neighborhood and school celebrations as well! The following is a brief compilation of highlights from each school.

Mabel I. Wilson:

At Mabel I. Wilson, Connie Russell was one of thirty-eight public school educators to receive the California Casualty Award for teaching excellence. Connie and the other award recipients will be honored at the NEA Foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Gala to be held in Washington, DC on February 8th, 2013. Known as the Academy Awards of public education, the gala attracts more than 850 of the nation’s leaders from public education, philanthropy and the private sector. President and CEO of the NEA Foundation Harriet Sanford stated: “We give these awards annually to honor and promote excellence in education and to elevate the profession.” Mabel I. Wilson will receive an award of $650 from California Casualty. Congratulations Connie!

Also to be congratulated are two groups of teachers who received awards from Berlin City Motors Drive for Education, in the form of $2,000 grants. The kindergarten team will use the grant money to create a Science Supply Closet. The Supply Closet will be equipped with four to eight class sets of various tools, as well as teacher resource books with ideas and lessons that will support teaching and learning in areas such as life science, physical science, engineering and technology. The goal is to implement science instruction in a more meaningful way for kindergarten learners. The first grade team will use their funding so that all first graders can have an experience learning about and playing new instruments, writing a song and performing in front of an audience. Jud Caswell will spend two forty-five minute blocks with each classroom, and will follow up to lead and support the students on their performance day.

North Yarmouth Memorial School

Congratulations to the 5th Grade Math Team. The six-member team, including Toby Kany, Joseph Gilbert, Kristin Kendall, Jay Philbrick, Aaron Howell and Emma Raven, placed first at the Southern Maine Elementary Math League Meet on December 6th. The team competed against 34 other schools from Southern Maine. Special recognition goes to Jay Philbrick who took 1st Place in the Individual round of arithmetic and geometry.

NYMS students recently participated in a variety of events to support our local and global communities.

• Students took part in the 7th annual Read-A-Thon by collecting pledges for the amount of time they read outside of the school day. The money raised was used to support families in our community with groceries, winter clothes, fuel assistance and holiday gifts for children. Thanks to the hard work of our 4th and 5th grade students, our school raised $3,263.57!

• Mr. Brookes' class sponsored their annual Bruce Roberts Toy Fund Penny Drive. The contributions donated from both Wilson School and NYMS totaled $790. These funds are used by the organization to purchase age-appropriate toys for children during the holiday season.

• Mrs. Gervais' class used half of their class winnings from the PTO's Close Buy contest to purchase a CD player to donate to our sister school in Chikumbuso. The CD player is being used in a 2nd grade classroom to play music in English to help the students learn the language.

• Mrs. Staszko's and Mrs. Lane's classes held a food drive during the month of December. Their classes collected donations from NYMS families & staff. They were able to bring nearly 30 boxes and bags of food to the Cumberland Food Pantry.

NYMS is proud of students and staff. Thanks to all who participated in and contributed to these activities!

Greely Middle School

Eight students from Greely Middle School were accepted into the District II Honors Chorus Festival. Congratulations to Laura Arsenault, Sarah Beretich, Lizzie Brown, Claire Davis, Brian Sidders, Rachel St.Pierre, Caleb Thurston and Rachel Thurston.

Baxter and Merrymeeting neighborhood students collected canned goods and other daily living necessities throughout the month of December, and donated them to the Cumberland Food Pantry before the break. The students measured their collections throughout the GMS hallways, and the items contributed were significant!



In a new initiative at Greely Middle School, staff are organizing an extended day program. Educational technicians will provide student assistance from 2:30-4:00 on Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The sessions will be structured so that the instruction will be focused. Areas of concentration are mathematics, language arts, general homework completion, and executive functioning assistance. Students may attend each session for the full 1.5 hours or attend for part of a session. The new extended day concept is in response to the recognition that all students learn differently. The program will provide students with additional time and instruction as they work to navigate their way through middle school.


The last day of school before break, teachers and staff gathered in the GMS lobby at 7:20 AM to sing Jingle Bells and Frosty. Students were generous with their applause and as reported by Kim Brandt, a little light-hearted fun was exactly what was needed that day.

Greely High School

Greely High School held its annual Spirit Week assembly on December 7th, when students from each class created skits to demonstrate school spirit. Another highlight of the assembly was when Mr. Tureff donated his ponytail to charity. In exchange for Mr. Tureff’s ponytail, students raised over $300 to support cancer research.

On December 4th and 11th respectively, the GHS community enjoyed the sounds of the season at its annual chorus and band concerts under the direction of Sarah Bailey and Kevin Rollins. The chorus concert was held at the Congregational Church in Cumberland and the band concert was held at the high school auditorium.

The Lions Club Student Service Award recipients for November and December were Tracy Calder & Caitlin Croce. Tracy received the award for her work with the therapy dog program and the Cumberland Fire Explorers program. Caitlin was recognized for her volunteer work on Chebeague Island with the school and other programs.

Congratulations to the following students who were accepted into the All State music festival:

Duncan Routh, Oboe, concert band
Will Silvers, Tenor Sax, concert band
Libby George, Percussion, orchestra
Rachel Rivera, Soprano, chorus
Julia Ramseyer, Alto, chorus

The All-State festival will be held on May 16, 17, and 18, 2013 at USM in Gorham. The concert will be on May 18th.
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