Local students named to Colby-Sawyer College dean’s list

Colby-Sawyer College, in New London, New Hampshire, recognizes 234 students for outstanding academic achievement during the 2019 spring semester. To qualify for the Dean’s List, students must achieve a grade-point average of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale while carrying a minimum of 12 credit hours in graded courses.

Haley Carver, of Sidney, a sociology major and member of the class of 2020.

Chelsea Perry, of Oakland, a business administration major and member of the class of 2021.

Carrabec High School announces honor parts

Timothy Richards, Principal, has announced honor parts for the Class of 2019 at Carrabec High School.

Lillian Johnson


Ms. Lillian Johnson, Carrabec’s Valedictorian, is a student who is a strong influential leader in our school. With a grade point average of 99.97, she has completed four Advanced Placement classes, three Honors classes and six dual enrollment classes. Lillian is a student who will be successful in any endeavor she chooses to pursue. Lillian will be attending the University of Maine at Farmington majoring in secondary education. Lillian is the daughter of Wayne and Kim Johnson, of Solon.

Lauren Rafferty


Ms. Lauren Rafferty, Carrabec’s Salutatorian, is a very bright and successful student, always willing to help those in need. Lauren has a grade point average of 99.72, completing five Advanced Placement classes, six honors classes, as well as, three dual enrollment classes. Lauren will be an asset to any organization of which she chooses to become a part. Lauren will be attending Kennebec Valley Community College, in Fairfield, to become a medical assistant. She is the daughter of Leonard and Shawna Rafferty, of North Anson.

Graduation is Friday, June 7, at 7 p.m., in the Carrabec High School gymnasium.

Pelletier named NESCAC softball pitcher of the week

Bates College, of Lewiston, junior Kirsten Pelletier won NESCAC Softball Pitcher of the Week honors recently from the New England Small College Athletic Conference, headquartered in Hadley, Massachusetts, after propelling the Bobcats to a 4-0 week, including a three-game series sweep of rival Colby.

Pelletier, of Sidney, threw back-to-back seven-inning shutouts on Saturday, a one-hitter and a two-hitter, as the Bobcats completed a sweep of Colby. She gave up three runs in a complete-game victory against the Mules in the series opener on Friday, and on Thursday she earned a save with three shutout innings of relief at Saint Joseph’s College, in Standish.

Superintendent satisfied with China schools condition

photo source: JMG.org

by Mary Grow

RSU (Regional School Unit) #18 Superintendent Carl Gartley is satisfied with conditions in China schools and the RSU as a whole.

Gartley talked about the proposed 2019-2020 budget at the next-to-last in a series of explanatory meetings in China on April 30. Voters from the five RSU towns (Belgrade, China, Oakland, Rome and Sidney) will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at the Performing Arts Center at Messalonskee High School to vote on the budget. A budget validation referendum will be held June 11 in each town.

Twenty-two people attended the China meeting. Gartley said only half a dozen of them are not connected with town government, China schools or the RSU.

The superintendent projects an RSU budget increase of 2.86%, a little more than $1 million, to more than $38.655 million. Of that amount, $28.8 million covers salaries and benefits, according to Gartley’s figures.

Because of the formula governing how each member town pays its share of the total, Gartley said China’s assessment will go up about 5 percent. That does not mean a 5 percent tax increase, he emphasized, since the town’s tax rate also depends on how much the state contributes to education next year and how much China’s valuation changes.

When an audience member mentioned the legally required 55 percent state contribution to education, people laughed. The state has evaded the obligation ever since voters approved it by referendum in 2003.

Gartley presented charts showing that:

  • Compared to 11 other area towns and RSUs, RSU #18’s per-pupil spending is fifth from the lowest, and below the state average.
  • In reading, as measured by standard test scores (which Gartley pointed out are only one way to assess progress, but are easy to compare), RSU #18 students rank next to the top in the area, and at the state average. • In math, by the same measure, RSU #18 scores are third from the top and above the state average.

Gartley mentioned the social workers, nurses, special education staff and others who help RSU #18 tailor its school system to meet all students’ needs. The member schools offer large and varied extracurricular programs; all RSU students may use the “gorgeous” new athletic facility in Oakland.

  • “The money is being spent where it should be, [and] our kids are getting a great education,” Gartley summarized.

Erskine Academy second trimester honor roll 2019

Grade 12

High Honors: Brenna Audet, Molly Babson, Gavin Blanchard, Madison Boynton, Jenna Butler, Joseph Clark, Cameron Falla, Madeline Geidel, Ashley Gillis, Sage Hapgood-Belanger, Samantha Heath, Eleanor Hodgkin, Kayla Hodgkins, Amber Rose Holmes, Andrew Jackson, Christopher Jamison, William Jones, Kyli Julia, Robert King, Morgaine Kmen, Olivia Kunesh, Caitlin Labbe, Noah Labbe, Milo Lani-Caputo, Rivers Malcolm, Tara Maltese, Joshua Peaslee, Jacob Praul, Seth Reed, Hannah Reid, Christina Roy, Jessie Sepulvado, Conor Skehan, Katherine Smith, Braden Soule, Briana Strout, Elizabeth Sugg, Willow Throckmorton-Hansford, Shay Tripp-Laliberty, Kassidy Wade, Hagen Wallace, Jacob Wright, Alana York and Peilin Yu.

Honors: Samantha Allen, Dominque Andrews, Alex Barney, Nina Boudreau, William Bourque, Justin Browne, Arthur Carey, Nicholas Cates, Shannon Cornett, ArizonaLee Crooker, Caitlyn Denico, Damien Doe, Keara Doughty, Travis Dow, Tiffany Doyle, Marshall Dugal, Dominic Durant, Samuel Falla, Courtney Gallagher, Phillip Gilbert, Regina Harmon, Alexis Haskell, Tristan Hawk, Russell Hoffman, Alicia Hotham, Peyton Houghton, Antonio Jacobs, Jack Jowett, Garrett Keezer, Dylan Keller, Paige Leary, Searra Lord, Maverick Lowery, Alexander Mahon, Mya Maxim, Desiree Mayo, Mireya Noa’Dos Santos, Myles Nored, Conner Paine, Dakota Peaslee, Zachary Plourde, Nicholas Rancourt, Saif Rifat, Cole Roberts, Austin Roderick, Hunter Rushing, Caleb Sacks, Anthony Sanborn, Seth Savage, Shaine Staples, Mercedes Tibbetts, Megan To, Jack Tobey, Caden Turcotte, Ashlyn Wing and Jiwei Jeff Ye.

Grade 11

High Honors: Lucy Allen, Jay Austin II, Alec Baker, Julia Basham, Derek Beaulieu, Haley Breton, Abigail Cordts, Lily DeRaps, Alyssha Gil, Annika Gil, Joshua Gower, Tori Grasse, Keimi Henry, Summer Hotham, Sarah Jarosz, Luke Jordan, Parker King, Benjamin Lavoie, Eleena Lee, Stephanie Libby, Jordan Linscott, Brandon Loveland, Reece McGlew, Adalaide Morris, Lyndsie Pelotte, Hunter Praul, Miina Raag-Schmidt, Benjamin Reed, Dominic Rodrigue, Alyssa Savage, Taylor Shute, Jacob Sutter, Brandon Tibbs, Cameron Tyler, Mary-Jane Williams and Richard Winn.

Honors: Adam Bonenfant, Faith Bonnell, Ashlee Bossie, Kole-Tai Carlezon, David Chubbuck Jr, Summer Curran, Colby Cyr, Devin Davis, Vincent Emery, Cheyann Field, Jada Fredette, Mitchell Gamage, Lydia Gilman, Boe Glidden, Bryce Goff, Alyssa Hale, Emma Harvey, Jesse Hayes, Gage Henderson, Nicholas Howard, Ashley Huntley, Emily Jacques, Cameron Johnson, Colby Johnson, Tristan Klemanski, Cole Leclerc, William Leeman, Madison Leonard, Lexigrace Melanson,Kaytie Millay, Jakob Mills, Jamara Moore, Krysta Morris, Nathaniel Mosher, Isaak Peavey, Matthew Picher, Mitchel Reynolds, Andrew Robinson, Katelyn Rollins, Shawn Seigars, Serena Sepulvado, Santasia Sevigny, Alissa Sleeper, Kayla Sleeper, Dominic Smith, Lily Solorzano, Alisha Stevens, MaKenzi Strout, Nicole Taylor, Katelyn Tibbs, Ashleigh Treannie and Matthew Veilleux.

Grade 10

High Honors: Philip Allen, Isabella Bishop, Abbygail Blair, Jane Blanchard, Samantha Box, Trevor Brockway, Eleanor Brown, Zoe Butler, Cody Devaney, Jacob Devaney, Abigail Dumas, Amelia Evans, Addison Gamage, Margaret Gamage, Avril Goodman, Patrick Hanley, Nathan Howell, Emma Hutchinson, Muzzammil Iqbal, Delaney Ireland, Bryan Joslyn Jr, Madyx Kennedy, Sierra LaCroix, Isabela Libby, Emily Lowther, Chiara Mahoney, Jonathan Martinez, Michael Nicholas III, Ian Oliphant, Brian Ouellette, Courtney Paine, Sydni Plummer, Harry Rabideau, Kristin Ray, Acadia Senkbeil, Hanna Spitzer, Emma White, Samuel York and Kelby Young.

Honors: Mara Adams, Brooke Allen, Nicholas Barber, Rylee Bellemare, Everett Blair, Christopher Bourdon, Hailey Brooks, Emma Burtt, Ethan Cates, Anthony Chessa, Adrianna Cook, Joleigh Crockett, Katelynn Dubriel, Jake Emond, Luciano Giampetruzzi, Cameron Gifford, Hailey Haskell, Avery Henningsen, Braydon Hinds, Paeshance-Rae Horan, Keith Knowles, Kaylah Kronillis, Haley Laird, Joanna Linscott, Colby Lloyd, Eva Malcolm, Hailey Mayo, Riley Mayo, Mikala McIntyre, Isaiah Michaud, Gavin Mills, Alicia Nelson, Tyler Ormonde, Olive Padgett, Isabella Parlin, Annaliese Patterson, Lexis Perry, Aiden Pettengill, Allison Roddy, Colby Rumpf, Hailey Sanborn, Paul Slimm, Alessandro Smith, Carly Spencer, Hunter St. Jarre, Aarick Staples, Ariel Stillman, Joshua Tobey, Jake Williams, Mollie Wilson and Dylan Wing.

Grade 9

High Honors: Isaac Baker, Jacob Bentley, Jack Blais, Lilian Bray, Evan Butler, Emily Clark, Tabitha Craig, Colby Cunningham, Isabella DeRose, Luke Desmond, Emma Fortin, Samantha Golden, Trace Harris, Isaac Hayden, Grace Hodgkin, Rachel Huntoon, Emma Jefferson, Grace Kelso, Taidhgin Kimball, Aidan Larrabee, David Martinez – Gosselin, Hayden McMurtry, Adam Ochs, Devon Polley, Lilly Potter, Sarah Praul, Mackenzie Roderick, Abbey Searles, Shawn Searles, Hannah Soule, Natalie Spearin and Lily Vinci.

Honors: Anastasia Ames, Griffin Anderson, Julia Barber, Alana Beggs, Joshua Bonsant, Wyatt Brann, Austin Campbellton, Nathaniel Collins, Hunter Colson, Liberty Crockett, Jasmine Crommett, Daniel Cseak, Caleb Cyr, Madison Devine, Tiana Dingwell, Kaden Doughty, Alexander Drolet, Abigail Dutton, Kelsie Fielder, Jacob Fisher, Chase Folsom, Jenna Gallant, Josette Gilman, Ciera Hamar, Larissa Haskell, Skye Havey, Hayden Hoague, Hannah Huff, Mallory Landry, Lili Lefebvre, Madison Lully, Isavel Lux Soc, Calvin Mason, Robert McCafferty, Wes McGlew, Christian Moon, Rebecca Morton, Brady O’Connor, Abigail Peaslee, Garrett Peebles, Kaden Plourde, Paige Reed, Riley Reitchel, Parker Reynolds, Kadince Rideout, Natasha Ryder-Lewis, Andrew Shaw, Hugo Smith, Hannah Strout – Gordon, Hannah Torrey, Brennen Wade, Samuel Worthley, Emily York and Hannah York.

Thompson inducted in Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society

Katherine Thompson, of Waterville, was inducted into the Emmanuel College chapter of Sigma Beta Delta, the international honor society in business, management and administration, on Tuesday, March 26th.

Sigma Beta Delta, founded in 1994, was established to honor students who have attained superior records in business programs in schools and colleges with regional accreditation.

Renaissance awards at Erskine

Seniors of the Trimester recipients, from left to right, Jack Tobey, Milo Lani-Caputo, Willow Throckmorton-Hansford, Will Bourque and Morgaine Kmen. (Contributed photos)

On Friday, March 29, Erskine Academy students and staff attended a Renaissance Assembly to honor their peers with Renaissance Awards.

Recognition Awards were presented to the following students: Robert Cade King, Isabella Bishop, Justin Browne, Sam Worthley, Jenna Butler, Kaytie Millay, Tara Maltese, Sam Falla, Alyssha Gil, Annika Gil, and Seth Reed.

Faculty of the Trimester recipients, Darrin Wood, left, Marcia Coffin. (Contributed photos)

In addition to Recognition Awards, Senior of the Trimester Awards were also presented to five members of the senior class: Jack Tobey, son of Amy and Christopher Hayes, of China, and Corey and Cheryl Tobey, of Palermo; Willow Throckmorton-Hansford, daughter of Mary Throckmorton, of Somerville; Will Bourque, son of Michelle and Joseph Bourque, of China; Morgaine Kmen, daughter of Christine Little and Mark Kmen, of China; and Milo Lani-Caputo, son of Andrea Lani and Curry Caputo, of Whitefield. Seniors of the Trimester are recognized as individuals who have gone above and beyond in all aspects of their high school careers.

In appreciation of their dedication and service to Erskine Academy, Faculty of the Trimester awards were also presented to Marcia Coffin, attendance secretary; and Darrin Wood, EA community member.

Mallory Beane receives a scholarship from Husson University

Husson University announced today that Fairfield, ME resident, Mallory Beane, will receive a $3000 Provost’s Leadership Scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Beane is a first-year student who is currently enrolled in Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science/Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Merit scholarships at Husson University, like this one, are awarded on the basis of academic achievement.

Local man’s latest adventure: Teaching in China

China, Maine’s Ron Maxwell, left, taking a selfie while on a field trip in China. (Photo courtesy of Ron Maxwell)

by Ron Maxwell

I had never properly left the United States until this last summer. I did go to Tijuana in high school and honeymooned in New Brunswick, but as neither of them was off the continent and both were brief visits to places less than an hour or two into their respective countries, I never really counted either of them. I have, however, taught middle school in rural Maine for 20 years so I am not a stranger to danger and intrigue.

When I tell people I teach at China Middle School, they always ask if the trip back here took a long time. I tell them it is an easy commute to Maine and we both laugh a little at how clever we are. But in all the years of pretending to teach in China, I never once thought I would get there. Until Bernie.

I hope there is a Bernie in your life. Someone whose good nature is never forced. Someone who genuinely is interested in the answer to his/her question, “How are you?” Someone who knows that s/he has an opportunity for you that would do you good and at which you would be good and doesn’t listen when you make silly excuses to say no.

Bernie told me he taught in China and I said I’ve taught in China for years, cleverly countering. Later, Bernie told me he taught in China during Christmas break and I said I’d never be able to make a break trip work, cleverly stalling. Later, Bernie told me I’d be good at it and I told him I had never traveled abroad, cleverly distancing. What I wasn’t ready for was when he was done playing nice. Last year, Bernie came back from China and said he had given my name to the people he worked with and I should email them. I did, and before I knew what was happening, I was on a plane to Shanghai, China.

Ron Maxwell in his classroom in Shanghai, China. (photo courtesy of Ron Maxwell)

Bernie was right about everything. Teaching in mainland China was an exciting adventure in a land truly foreign to me on many levels. One that challenged my craft in unforeseen ways and rewarded me in ways I cannot explain. I am going to share with you three things I brought away from my latest adventure, teaching in China.

1) Teaching in China was familiar and challenging to my understanding of the craft of teaching. I worried about how well it would go and prepared for months beforehand, but in the moment I stood in front of the class in China I realized that children are children wherever you find them. I realized that, for all the worry that they would be an unknown, I was looking at the same general personality types that I had seen for years in the States and that it was going to be all right.  My ideas, techniques, and mannerisms that worked to motivate and inspire my Maine students worked in China.

The challenge came in that I no longer had my greatest tool, the command of the native language of my students. Now, I consider a common language with my students a teacher’s greatest and most “taken-for-granted” tool. I never realized how important it was until it was not there for me to fall back on. All the clever banter I thought I had was useless. All the Disney references I cultivated over the years were not there (except for “just keep swimming,” which worked). My students in China distilled my technique for me, forcing me to speak directly and obviously and to draw or show whenever possible. Being forced to do those things that are good teaching is making me a better teacher.

A street in Shenzhen, China. (photo courtesy of Ron Maxwell)

2) Being immersed in a foreign culture is a good experience.  When I wanted to buy sugar at the local store the clerk looked at me and bruskly said, “No English,” while walking away. So, I went back to the WiFi of my room and looked up sugar in my dictionary, played the word several times, wrote it down and went back to the store. I showed the writing to the same clerk and made an attempt at saying sugar. The effect was magical as the disinterested man of before disappeared to be replaced by someone who was so pleased by my attempt to be understood that he took me to a bag of crystals I had walked by earlier. He did laugh at my pronunciation and corrected it for me, but it started a working relationship that I came to consider a “home” in this world I did not know. Every day I tried a new phrase or word, and every day he would patiently correct while smiling. I won’t claim proficiency, but now I can manage a couple of phrases that sound vaguely correct, though I do still get corrected with a smile some of the time.

I never felt lonely, because the many teachers I worked with in China formed a group that did things together and had adventures during the off hours in a camaraderie that was another “home” in China. The wandering together led to wandering alone and I found myself walking and smiling and buying things while speaking terrible Chinese and enjoying learning everything. Giving something to someone else in China can be done as a polite gesture by using both hands. Walking in the wrong lane, the bike lane, for example, leads to being honked at by scooters. Not the brash cussing out that I heard from car horns in the States, but a gentle tap or two that reminded me of where I should not be. Being forced to learn a new culture is making me more appreciative of the similarities between our cultures and more at ease in learning a new one.

Dinner is being served for Ron Maxwell during his teaching stint in China. (photo courtesy of Ron Maxwell)

3) The challenge of navigating a foreign culture places you at the mercy of strangers, which teaches humility and patience. Teaching in the same school for 20 years leaves one with a sense of security that can lead to pride. Everything is predictable and known. Procedures are simple because of practice. When I sat at breakfast on my first day in China I was completely captivated. Everything was new and I understood none of it. On the left of the room were steam tables filled with magical smells of exotic food. On the right were tables where people sat in various and unfathomable groupings. The language that flowed musically in my ears meant nothing to me: I had looked and thought about Chinese but I knew next to nothing. All my ears heard was the magic of tones which combined to make breakfast music. But to get there I had needed a kind greeter who took my breakfast card and pointed me toward a stack of plates and chopsticks with an open hand wave, a small head bow, and a smile.

Being helped reminds one, both of what one doesn’t know and what a blessing it is to be shown the right way to do things. It wasn’t until I was balancing plates that I realized there were no empty tables. The challenge became that I had to find a seat with complete strangers. Imagine my joy when none of those who I joined moved or forbade my sitting. I was greeted with smiles and nods of welcome. That reception was not unique. I cannot recount the number of times a kind stranger assisted me while I was overseas. In many different places, I humbly accepted help in day to day life from complete strangers. Humility is a difficult lesson to learn, and it took time and repeated exposures.

The second part of the lesson came on return to the States where I was at home. I started to see the same lesson from the other side and was able to assist others. It is very easy to be proud and demand, both when you are at home and when you are a visitor. Seeing this interaction from both sides has made me better. Seeing it at middle age brings thoughts of how young and old interact and can look after each other.

I have now gone to China twice in a calendar year, with the first being to Shanghai during last summer break and the most recent to Shenzhen during Christmas break. I enjoyed both experiences in more ways than I can recount. I did come home willingly both times, but I am still new to travel and 20-plus years of marriage has me rootbound in Maine.  I will go back every summer session the MAST Stem Academy will have me because the experience is worth it for my own growth and for the joy that each trip brings. If you are a science teacher and need a new challenge to your ability and notions and complacency, I can suggest a place in China you can grow. I will be your Bernie.

Erskine Academy announces School calendar change April 2019

(photo credit: Erskine Academy)

Parents and students should be advised of a change to Erskine Academy’s school calendar. Due to excessive snow days, Friday, April 12, will now be an early release day for all Erskine Academy students. Students will be dismissed at 11:30 a.m.