Zumba-thon for veterans a success

The Zumba-Thon for Veterans was held on April 21 at Madison Junior High School to benefit the programs for veterans at Togus. More than $1,100 was raised which will be donated to the programs such as the VA/VS which includes keeping the supply closet of comfort items for every veteran who is admitted, coffee and newspapers in the waiting room, gifts at Christmas and other activities. Below, the nine instructors who conducted the zumba-thon, from left to right, Christine Marie, Hillary White, Lisa Berry, Allison Marcoux, Tiara Nile, organizer, Lisa Doyon, Denise Delorie and Suzanne Lamb.

Contributed photos

Program on invasive plants set in Unity

On Wednesday, May 10, ecologist Aleta McKeage, of Belfast, will present on invasive plants, one of the primary threats to environmental health that we face today. Invasive plants take over natural areas, crowding out native species and changing wildlife habitats. We will learn which plants present the worst problems in our area, how to identify them, what they do to the ecosystem, and most importantly, how we can control them.  We will observe striking examples of invasive plant infestations as well as successful control management that is being employed to combat invasive plants locally.

McKeage specializes in land stewardship and restoration integrated with outreach and community building. She is an expert in invasive plant biology and control and restoration of native plant communities in natural areas as well as human-influenced landscapes.

The talk is part of the Sebasticook Regional Land Trust’s monthly speaker series, “Restoring Connections to Place,” featuring a wide variety of conservation topics of interest to Maine. The programs are free and open to the public at 6:30 p.m., the second Wednesday of every month at the café, 93 Main, located at 93 Main St., Unity.

Agility: Routines build confidence


by Carolyn Fuhrer

Most of us who compete have very good dogs in class, at home or wherever we go to play with them. Why then is it sometimes different when we go to a trial? Different sounds, different smells, different dogs and people – basically unfamiliar territory – can be distracting and stressful to the dog and this is why having routines that are familiar to both of you can help your dog gain confidence.

A new environment can overstimulate your dog’s brain. In a new situation that, to your dog, is over stimulating you may feel he is not giving you the attention you want, but in reality he probably cannot handle all that stimulation. And since a dog’s first instinct is survival/safety, his brain may not be able to handle both attention to you and the environment. Survival skills will override attention to you. This dog needs familiar routines to feel safe and which will enable him to build mental stamina.

Overstimulated dogs will react differently. Some will get the “zoomies” and do all the obstacles as if you did not exist. Others will perform very slowly, trying to do the correct behavior in spite of the overwhelming environment and others may shut down and not even jump. Handler pressure here or loud cheerleading can be disastrous. Familiar routines can help these dogs.

Plan on arriving early to any new venue. Leave your dog in the car and set up his ”home” – a crate, x-pen, mat, or whatever is familiar and appropriate. When you get your dog out of the car, don’t just go inside. Let your dog see where he is. A dog’s natural way to check the environment is to sniff – and what do most handlers say immediately? Leave it – no sniff! Your dog needs to know where he is so just hang out by the car for a moment and let him look around and sniff. When he seems relaxed, find a place where he can relieve himself if necessary and go inside.

Once inside, move away from the door and just relax again. Let him see where he is, then go to his crate which can have a toy or bone inside. Sit by your dog and let him relax again. When I feel that my dog is comfortable, I like to go for a walk around the area with a toy. The toy is available to the dog, but I do not ask my dog to play. This can be too hard for a “green” dog – “I can’t play if I don’t feel safe.”

When I see that my dog is relaxing, I may start some very easy play and if my dog buys into the game I will play to the level my dog can handle in this environment. It may not be what you can do at home. If I can get play, then I might ask for “speak” and tricks and then go back to play. Then I put my dog away and let him rest. Each time you take your dog out of the crate, play should come easier and be stronger.

Warm up routines should be familiar and fun – entering the ring, how you take off the leash and go to the start line and how you set up and lead out or begin, should all be a well known routine. When your dog knows what to expect, he can then put effort into focus. End routines should also be established routines – with the dog coming to you, putting on the leash, praising, exiting the ring, celebrating and rewarding.

Routines build confidence through familiarity. Work on the routines your dog needs.

Carolyn Fuhrer has earned over 80 AKC titles with her Golden Retrievers, including 2 Champion Tracker titles. Carolyn is the owner of North Star Dog Training School in Somerville, Maine. She has been teaching people to understand their dogs for over 25 years. You can contact her with questions, suggestions and ideas for her column by e-mailing carolyn@dogsatnorthstar.com.

Obituaries, Week of April 27, 2017


FAIRFIELD––Joseph Albert Lizotte, 75, passed away in Zephyrhills, Florida, on Thursday, March 16, 2017, following a brief illness. Joseph was born in Waterville, on September 24, 1941, the only child of Albert J. Lizotte and Marie (Clementine) Bolduc Lizotte.

Joseph attended Winslow High School, graduating on June 9, 1960. Immediately following graduation, Joseph enlisted in the United States Air Force, stationed in Alaska as a freight traffic specialist. He was honorably discharged on September 12, 1963, shortly after his transfer to Dow Air Force Base, Bangor.

He held many different jobs in the Waterville/Winslow area, to include delivery driver for Harris Bakery, mill worker for both Keyes Fibre and Scott Paper Co., and finally engineer for the Maine Central Railroad Company, a job he held until his retirement in 1996.

He enjoyed many different hobbies, including camping and ice fishing. He was a member of a local bowling league and he was an avid cribbage player. He really loved traveling, and after his retirement, spent 12 winters in Florida to enjoy the warmer weather.

While in Florida, he enjoyed playing shuffleboard with his park friends, earning a championship trophy. Joseph was a wonderful cook, spending many holidays entertaining for his family and friends. It didn’t take long for the members of his local church in Florida to notice his cooking abilities, as he began volunteering for the church suppers each Friday night. His spaghetti with meat sauce and shepherd’s pie were quite a hit. Joseph also enjoyed experiencing many eateries with his wife, working on his computer with his grandson, helping to build his daughter’s house, attending his granddaughter’s sporting events, and watching all the New England sports teams.

He was predeceased by his parents, Albert and Marie Lizotte.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Carol Lizotte, of Fairfield; son Alton Lizotte and wife Lisa, of Bay Minette, Alabama; son Dennis Lizotte and wife Karen, of Biddeford; and daughter Heather Johnson and husband Jeremiah, of Clinton; five grandchildren: Gary Lizotte, Samantha LaBrecque, and Gage, Jazmin and Jorja Johnson; and two great-grandchildren: Ethan and Olivia LaBrecque; one sister-in-law, Patricia Marquis, of Garland; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

To share condolences, memories and tributes with his family, visit: www.veilleuxfuneralhome.com.


NORTH VASSAL­BORO –– Theodora Anne Chaykowsky, 71, passed away Tuesday, March 28, 2017, in Jackson, Tennessee. Most people knew her as Teddi. She was born May 3, 1945, the daughter of Daniel and Theresa Spaulding.

She was a nurse’s aide for several years. She cared for the elderly with so much love. Her last job was a dispatcher for Elite Taxi, in Waterville.

She enjoyed collecting anything related to elephants, making crafts, and doing craft fairs At one time she owned and operated a craft shop, The Rocking Chair, in North Vassalboro. She also enjoyed movies and TV: John Wayne, MacGyver, Walker Texas Ranger, Murder She Wrote, Westerns, and then some.

After retiring, she moved south to Lexington, Tennessee, to be closer to her daughter.

She was a loving, giving person and would do anything for anyone, and anything to get a smile on your face.

She is survived by her husband James Chaykowsky, of 37 years; three children, Steven Fitzgerald, retired Marine of 15 years, and wife Helena, of Galesburg, Illinois; Kathleen Charles, of Lexington, Tennessee, and Theresa C. Fitzgerald Williford and husband Chris, of Lexington, Tennessee; brother Lebanon Spaulding and wife Betty, of Winslow; sister Maryjane Hunt and husband Royden, of Island Falls; and three grandchildren, Ricky, Kimber, and Luke.


WINSLOW––Robert Francis O’Reilly, 51, of Winslow, passed away on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. He was born in the Bronx, New York, on June 4, 1965.

He was the son of the late Dorothea Hurley O’Reilly and James J. O’Reilly, formerly of Bronx, New York and Morrisville, Pennsylvania. He was the father of Kathryn O’Reilly, of Husson University, in Bangor, brother of James O’Reilly with Sherry McCullough; Eva O’Reilly Wagner, wife of Peter Wagner uncle of Phoebe and Heron Wagner, Oisin McCullough and Seamus O’Reilly.

Robert was a welder and member of the International Brotherhood of boilermakers.

Bob’s father, Robert Owens, died before Bob was born. His mother, Dorothea, was 19 at the time. Fortunately Bob developed a close bond with his father’s immediate family, Jimmy, Geraldine, Stephen, Karen, Sean and cousin John Owens and Karen’s husband Richard Bertolacci who all acted as guides throughout his life. Dorothea married Jim O’Reilly, who adopted Bob and loved him as much as the children who followed, Jimmy and Eva. Unfortunately, Jim died when Bobby was 11 years old. Although Bob suffered a lot of loss early in life, he had an enormous family of aunts and uncles and cousins who loved him dearly.

Bobby graduated from the community School, in Camden, a place where he learned many life and survival skills and met people who would shape his life forever. He served honorable in the U.S. Marine Corp.

In 1998, he fathered a daughters, Kathryn Rose O’Reilly, with Jody Lambert. Katie remained the love of his life. They were a team to his final day.

Bob loved each and every one in his family with a loyalty that was unmatched and all those who encountered Bob knew this to be true.

Bob was loved by many for his generosity, sense of humor and courage. He was a fabulous cook, he loved music, and he took great care of his mother during her long battle cancer.

An online guestbook may be signed and condolences expressed at www.gallantfh.com.


WINSLOW––Arthur D. Sylvain, 92, of Waterville, passed away on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Waterville. He was born in North Anson on February 8, 1925, son of Paul and Homerine C. (Michaud) Sylvain.

Arthur was raised in Skowhegan and graduated from Skowhegan Senior High School, class of 1943.

He immediately entered the Army Air Corp serving in the European Theater and received an honorable discharge in 1946. Arthur worked in the construction field for 45 years as a supervisor of construction with Sanders Construction Corp., Industrial, Inc., and Consolidated Construction & Builders, Inc. Most of his work was at paper mills and power plants around the Northern New England States.

Arthur was a life member of the Waterville Elks Lodge #905, Bourque-Lanigan American Legion Post #5, Waterville and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #8835, Winslow.

He was predeceased by his parents; and wife, Emily M. (Parent) Sylvain on November 27, 2011.

Arthur is survived by one son, David Sylvain and wife Jane, of Lincolnville; two daughters Cynthia Gilbert and husband Gary, of Winslow, and Denise Carpenter and husband Jeffrey, of Largo, Florida; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; three sisters and two brothers, Theresa, of Leesburg, Florida, Albertine, of Hinckley, Annette Boardman, of Madison, Ernest, of Rochester, New Hampshire, and Paul, of Skowhegan.

An online guestbook may be signed and condolences expressed at www.gallantfh.com.

Memorial donations my be made to: MaineGeneral Hospice, P.O. Box 828, Waterville ME 04903-0828.


FAIRFIELD––Marjorie Edna Starbird, 58, passed away on Saturday, April 15, 2017. She was born on November 16, 1958, to Carl and Marion Adams, in Island Falls, and married her husband of 39 years, Philip Earl Starbird Jr., on August 27, 1977.

To know Marjorie was to love her. She rarely raised her voice in anger and never held a grudge if someone were to upset her. She was quick to forgive and just as quick to forget, all the while keeping a smile on her face. She wore that smile even in the toughest or darkest of times and was a shining example of how a person should treat other people in life. She didn’t care who a person was on the outside or what they did behind closed doors, she loved everybody the same just as she knew Jesus would.

Marjorie loved animals of all kinds, but had a special place in her heart for horses, dogs, and cats.

She was predeceased by her sisters, Carlene Ginter and Carol Sholler.

She is survived by her husband Philip; daughter, Tiffany Marie Starbird, son, Eric Michael Starbird and wife Samantha; sisters, Joan White and Marilyn Burpee; brothers, Carl Adams and Kilburn “Kippy” Adams; many nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws.

For an online memory book and to leave condolences please visit www.bowersfuneral.com.


WINSLOW––Ruth V. Fredette, 90, of Winslow, died Monday, April 17, 2017. She was born in Waterville on Decem­ber 7, 1926, the daughter of Gustave and Eva (Boulette) Veilleux.

She was educated at St. Francis de Sales School, in Waterville, and graduated from the Academy of St. Joseph, in South Berwick, on June 17, 1944, and The New England Institute of Mortuary Science, in Boston, in 1947. She and her husband bought Veilleux Funeral Home in 1962, which they owned and operated until retiring in 1997. She was active in the parish and a Euchristic Minister for many years. She and her husband both joined The Maine Funeral Directors Association in 1953. Ruth was the oldest licensed lady Funeral Director in Maine.

Ruth was predeceased by her husband Edward; her parents; sister Lorraine Rousseau and her husband Francis; brother Germain John Veilleux and wife Jacquiline.

She is survived by her two sons, Paul Fredette and wife Shari, of Pemaquid, John Fredette, of Winslow; two grandchildren, Jessica McQuillan, of Waterville; Jeremy Fredette, of Albany; two great-grandchildren, Matthew Jolicouer, of Waterville, and Oliver Fredette, of Albany.

Memorial donations may be made to: Servants of the Blessed Sacrament, 101 Silver St., Waterville ME 04901.


SOMERVILLE––Fern Collins Clark, 87, of the Hewett Road, passed away at home, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, following a brief illness. She was born December 20, 1929, in Gardiner, the daughter of Evelyn and Bertie Collins.

Fern had a love for animals. She enjoyed ceramics, knitting and sewing, often making gifts for family and friends.

She was predeceased by her husband Walter; son Leo; and several siblings.

She is survived by her sons, Andy, of Somerville, Matthew, of Thomasville, North Carolina, David, of Augusta, and Roger, of Windsor; daughters Rose Jackson and Laura Castle, both of Whitefield; sisters, Angie Strand, of Washington, Pauline Castle, of Augusta, and Jeanette LeClaire; brother, Larry Collins, of Greene; several grandchildren; nieces and nephews.


WINDSOR––Douglas Tyler, 74, passed away Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at Maine Veterans Home in Augusta. He was born October 15, 1942, the son of Manley and Helen Tyler.

Douglas graduated from Gardiner Area High School in 1961, and went on to the Wentworth Institute of Technology. After graduation, he joined the Navy. He worked for the Maine department of parks and recreation for 30+ years before retiring in 2007.

He was a longtime member of the Gardiner American Legion where he enjoyed marching in the color guard during parades, and Gardiner Eagles. He also enjoyed golfing, hunting trips to the Allagash, camping, exploring Downeast Maine, playing pool, his dogs and pets, and always a good cigar and Manhattan. His favorite pastime was spending time with his family.

He was predeceased by his parents.

He is survived by his wife Marianne; sons, Ian and Shawn; grandchildren, Mitchell, Charlotte, Kayla and Brady; brother Greg and his wife Judy; nephews, John and Jeff Tyler; grandnieces, and nephews.

Memorial donations may be sent to: Maine Veterans Home, Attn: Melanie Bridges, 320 Cony Rd., Augusta ME 04330.


WINSLOW––Renald Joseph Lachance, 85, died on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, at Brentwood Rehab & Nursing Center, in Yarmouth, following a brief illness. He was born in Waterville on August 31, 1931, the son of Gustave and Alexina Lachance.

He attended Winslow schools and began working as a millwright at Huhtamaki (Keyes Fibre) retiring in 1992 after 27 years of employment. Ren enjoyed woodworking and was very gifted in varied forms of carpentry. He will be remembered for his love of family and music, as well as his sense of humor.

He was predeceased by his parents; two brothers, Reginald and Leon; his sister Adrienne; and nephew Dana Lachance.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Marlene Veilleux Lachance; two daughters, Linda and Larry Hamlin and Terri and David Althenn, all of Waterville; four grandchildren, Holly (Hamlin) Carpenter and Brent Carpenter, Darcy (Hamlin) Gurney and partner Chris Sears and her two children, Jordan and Jayden Gurney, and their father, Doug Gurney, Jason and “Samantha Evans and their two children, Michael and Alysa, and Jamie and Amy Evans and their son Connor; a sister, Annette and Ernie Bake, of Winslow; sister-in-law, June Lachance, of Arizona; stepchildren Brenda and Scott Paquet, of Portland, and their son Marc and Renee Paquet, of Stockton, California, Melissa Duval, of Scarborough, Diane and Jeff Paquette and their daughters Elizabeth and Hannah, of Durham, New Hampshire, and John and Joanne Ducal and their daughters Stephanie and Courtney and fiance Sam Butler, of Biddeford; first wife, Beatrice Giroux, of Waterville; cousin, Roland and Colette Lachance, of Winslow; Nieces, as well as many, many cousins from Canada, Maine and Connecticut.

Memorial donations may be made to the: Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter, 383 US Rt. One, Suite 2C, Scarborough ME 04074, or Brentwood Rehab & Nursing Center, Dementia Unit, 370 Portland Street, Yarmouth ME 04096.

Vassalboro school board to hold special budget meeting

by Mary Grow

The Vassalboro School Board holds a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday, May 1, at Vassalboro Community School to put the 2017-18 budget request in final form. The Budget Committee is scheduled to review the proposed school budget and municipal policies at a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, in the town office meeting room. Both meetings are open to the public.

University of New Hampshire’s dean’s list for the fall 2016 semester

The following students have been named to the dean’s list at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham, New Hampshire, for the fall 2016 semester.

Bayleigh Logan, of Augusta, honors; Michaela Hinckley-Gordon, of Benton, highest honors; Kyle McLain, of Fairfield, high honors; Carly LaRochelle, of Fairfield, high honors; Jessica Hosea, of Oakland, highest honors; Hannah Duperry, of Oakland, highest honors; Taylor Ferguson, of Sidney, high honors; Kelly McCormac, of South China, highest honors; Adam Bovie, of Vassalboro, high honors; Kellie Bolduc, of Waterville, high honors; Luke Violette, of Waterville, highest honors; Sarah Wildes, of Winslow, highest honors.


Vassalboro News: Public hearing set for two articles

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro selectmen scheduled public hearings for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 4, on two of the currently 68 articles on the June 5 town meeting warrant.

  • Art. 24 asks voters if they will approve amendments to the town’s Shoreland Zoning Ordinance. Voters rejected the changes in November 2016 on a written ballot by a little over 200 votes, 981 in favor to 1186 opposed.
  • Art. 25 asks if voters will approve a revised Sanitary District Charter.

Copies of both documents are available at the town office and on the Town of Vassalboro web site.

Selectmen reviewed a draft of the town meeting warrant at their April 20 meeting. The warrant is still incomplete, because the budget committee has not finished its review; a budget committee meeting was scheduled for Tuesday evening, April 25. Selectmen agreed with appropriations recommended by the budget committee earlier in April, including changing some of their previously-recommended amounts and deleting the article that would have asked voters to buy a police vehicle.

They are scheduled to sign the final warrant on May 4, during the selectmen’s meeting that follows the public hearings.

The deadline for submitting signed nomination papers for elective positions on the board of selectmen, school board and sanitary district board of trustees is 4 p.m. Monday, May 1, for candidates’ names to appear on the June 13 ballot.
The June 5 open town meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Vassalboro Community School. June 13 written-ballot voting will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the town office.

In other business April 20, selectmen discussed requesting a state-approved handicapped parking space in front of Hairbuilders on Oak Grove Road with owner Beth Morse, Public Works Director Eugene Field, Police Chief Mark Brown and David Allen of the Maine Department of Transportation.

Morse explained that drivers ignore her unofficial sign, making access difficult for her customers who use wheelchairs, walkers or canes. Selectmen wondered how many other town businesses might need handicapped spaces on public ways, how much additional street painting would cost and how the restriction could be enforced. They plan to get more information and return to the topic at one of their May meetings.

Selectmen signed a proclamation designating May 7 through 13 as Municipal Clerks’ Week. According to the International Institute of Municipal Clerks’ web site, the week “will feature a week-long series of activities aimed at increasing the public’s awareness of municipal clerks and the vital services they provide for local government and the community.” Town Manager Mary Sabins said Vassalboro town office staff will “continue to provide service to the public as we have always done,” with no special events planned.

CHINA NEWS: TIF group to ask for RFP to replace Causeway bridge

by Mary Grow

China’s TIF (Tax Increment Financing) Committee members plan to ask China selectmen to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for replacing the current Causeway Street bridge at the head of China Lake’s east basin, once they decide what the RFP should say.

At their April 24 meeting, committee members started by trying to specify measurements and materials. They moved toward a more general statement of goals, with the intention of leaving specifics to the selected contractor.
Currently proposed goals include a bridge that is high-quality and safe; enough wider than the present one to allow fishing plus a handicapped-accessible walkway on one or both sides; and enough higher to allow canoes and kayaks to go under it.

Committee member Dale Worster volunteered to draft an RFP for review at the next committee meeting, scheduled for Monday evening, May 8.

Committee members made two other decisions:

  • Rather than scheduling a formal public hearing or public information session on plans for the head of the lake, they will ask Town Manager Daniel L’Heureux to publicize the May 8 meeting as an opportunity for interested residents to get information.
  • After May 8, they will reduce their meetings from every two weeks to once a month, except when business requires additional meetings.

L’Heureux emailed committee members that acquisition of the Bailey lot where people using the boat landing just east of the bridge usually park has been delayed by an unexpected mortgage on the property. He expects the issue to be resolved soon, Selectman and committee member Joann Austin said.

There was consensus that if selectmen issue the RFP promptly and get prompt replies, work will still not start in the summer, because state permits are needed to work near the water and, committee member H. David Cotta said, state officials are likely to forbid work until the lake level is drawn down in the fall.

Since the bridge work will use up a good part of the $750,000 voters at the March town meeting approved for the next three years, committee members disagreed on whether they should go ahead with other plans for the head of the lake or with additional TIF projects.

They briefly discussed three other land acquisitions, one proposed by selectmen for voters’ action on June 13 and two entirely speculative.

Selectmen have added an article to the June 13 local ballot asking voters to appropriate $12,000 from surplus (Unrestricted/Unassigned Fund Balance) to buy a lot on Alder Park Road between two other town-owned parcels. Although TIF funds are not involved, committee members weighed in on the issue, asking what the town would do with the land if acquired and wondering why the lot already has a Sale Pending sign.

Two other suggestions briefly discussed were acquiring land adjacent to the Four Seasons Club beach off Lakeview Drive opposite the town office to provide more parking and better lake access (Austin’s idea) and acquiring land at the north end of the lake west of the causeway for a town beach there (Worster’s idea).

Jim Wilkens and Bob MacFarland said China’s Lake Access Committee should look for a town beach and request TIF money if needed. Ronald Breton and Worster said the Lake Access Committee is inactive.

Worster said he met one of the homeowners in the area he is interested in. He reported that he took several other initiatives, including talking with representatives of Reny’s department stores about the FairPoint building on Route 3; talking with local contractor Robin Tobey about adding gravel at the boat landing parking lot (once the town owns the property); learning from the state Department of Transportation that the type of guardrail at the head of the lake is a town decision, because Causeway Street is a town road; and getting cost estimates for imitation granite benches that could be installed near the causeway.

Benton resident Abigail King returns following intensive research project

Abigail King, left, of Benton, with a fellow student, who participated in the Assessing Sustainable Bio-construction Alternatives program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, at the Cajas National Park, in Ecuador.
Contributed photo

Abigail King of Benton, a member of the class of 2018 majoring in civil engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), in Worcester, Massachusetts, was a member of a student team that recently completed an intense, hands-on research project in Ecuador. The project was titled Assessing Sustainable Bio-construction Alternatives. In their project outline, the students wrote, “Our goal was to cooperate with the Azuay Prefecture, San Rafael administration, and community members to contribute to sustainable bio-construction designs that are locally appropriate to the parish of San Rafael. We incorporated a human-centered design approach to this project to ensure desirability, feasibility, and viability of our materials assessment.”

At WPI, all undergraduates are required to complete a research-driven, professional-level project that applies science and technology to addresses an important societal need or issue. About two-thirds of students complete a project at one of the university’s more than 40 off-campus project centers, which are located around the world. A signature element of the innovative undergraduate experience at WPI, the project-based curriculum offers students the opportunity to apply their scientific and technical knowledge to develop thoughtful solutions to real problems that affect the quality of people’s lives-and make a difference before they graduate.

“The WPI project-based curriculum’s focus on global studies brings students out of the classroom and their comfort zones and into the global community to apply their knowledge to solve real problems,” said Professor Kent Rissmiller, interim dean of the WPI Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division. “Students are immersed in all aspects of a different culture, from the way people live and work to the values they hold to the foods they eat-all valuable perspectives for surviving and thriving in today’s global marketplace. They also learn the meaning and magic of teamwork; make a real and meaningful difference in their host community; and gain a competitive edge for any resume, or graduate or professional school application.”

Honor guard welcomes home a number of World War II veterans

Mount Merici Academy Honor Guard, from left to right, Evan Vigue, Miranda Troy, Sarah Hellen, Owen Harris, Emma Lavenson, Olivia Saucier, Naomi McGadney, Alayna Morneault and Ethan Hobart. U.S. Army veteran Joel Lavenson guided the students. Photo by Mark Huard, Central Maine Photography

by Mark Huard
Central Maine Photography

On April 2, the Mount Merici Academy honor guard took another trip to the Portland Jetport to welcome home a number of World War II veterans as they returned from their Honor Flight to Washington, DC, where they viewed the national memorial to their indescribable courage in World War II, a time in their lives when they were barely older than Mount Merici’s eighth graders.

With respect and immense gratitude, the Mount Merici Academy Honor Guard, led by United States Army veteran Joel Lavenson, (a Mount Merici parent), welcomed each veteran home with a salute, and then carried their flags proudly in a “welcome home” parade, escorting them past a throng of respectful citizens representing a grateful nation.

World War II veterans were so impressed with Mount Merici’s Honor Guard, that two of them requested to join their formation, an immensely significant honor for these Mount Merici junior high school students.

All Mount Merici Academy students from Pre-K (age 4-5) through eighth grade made thank you cards for all of the veterans, which they received during an in-flight mail call, reminiscent of the mail calls they experienced more than 70 years ago. It is reported that there was not a dry eye on that flight as the veterans embraced the gratitude of the grateful young students.