Erskine Academy first trimester honor roll

(photo credit: Erskine Academy)

Grade 12

High Honors: Brooke Allen, Philip Allen, Isabella Bishop, Abbygail Blair, Everett Blair, Jane Blanchard, Christopher Bourdon, Nomi Bouwens, Samantha Box, Trevor Brockway, Ethan Cates, Anthony Chessa, Ashley Clavette, Joleigh Crockett, Cody Devaney, Jacob Devaney, Amelia Evans, Addison Gamage, Margaret Gamage, Avril Goodman, Avery Henningsen, Nathan Howell, Emma Hutchinson, Delaney Ireland, Madyx Kennedy, Kaylah Kronillis, Sierra LaCroix, Isabela Libby, Colby Lloyd, Emily Lowther, Chiara Mahoney, Jonathan Martinez, Michael Nicholas III, Ian Oliphant, Brian Ouellette Jr, Olive Padgett, Courtney Paine, Annaliese Patterson, Aiden Pettengill, Anna Pfleging, Sydni Plummer, Harry Rabideau, Kristin Ray, Allison Roddy, Joshua Tobey, Mollie Wilson, and Dylan Wing.

Honors: Mara Adams, Nicholas Barber, Paris Bedsaul, Rylee Bellemare, Johnathan Blair, David Bourgoin, Hailey Brooks, Eleanor Brown, Zoe Butler, Joshua Cowing, Nolan Cowing, Abigail Dumas, Phillips Gidney, Hailey Haskell, Braydon Hinds, Paeshance-Rae Horan, Bryan Joslyn Jr, Keith Knowles, Marina Lavadinho, Logan Lee, Joanna Linscott, Eva Malcolm, Hailey Mayo, Isaiah Michaud, Gavin Mills, Daniel Page, Isabella Parlin, Hayden Rowe, Hailey Sanborn, Paul Slimm, Hunter St. Jarre, Aarick Staples, Riley Sullivan, Logan Tenney, Jackson Tirrell, and Samuel York.

Grade 11

High Honors: Isaac Baker, Julia Barber, Maylien Beermann, Jacob Bentley, Autumn Boody, Lilian Bray, Emily Clark, Liberty Crockett, Gugliemi De, Isabella DeRose, Kaden Doughty, Abigail Dutton, Emma Fortin, Josette Gilman, Samantha Golden, Grace Hodgkin, Emma Jefferson, Grace Kelso, Tanner Klasson, Mallory Landry, Aidan Larrabee, Shawn Libby, David Martinez-Gosselin, Calvin Mason, Abigail Peaslee, Devon Polley, Sarah Praul, Letizia Rasch, Paige Reed, Riley Reitchel, Parker Reynolds, Mackenzie Roderick, Abbey Searles, Andrew Shaw, Hannah Soule, Hannah Strout-Gordon, and Lily Vinci.

Honors: Elliott Atwood, Alana Beggs, Gabriella Berto-Blagdon, Jack Blais, Evan Butler, Jasmine Crommett, Colby Cunningham, Luke Desmond, Alexander Drolet, Chase Folsom, Wyatt French, Ciera Hamar, Trace Harris, Larissa Haskell, Isaac Hayden, Timothy Hinckley, Hannah Huff, Rachel Huntoon, Taidhgin Kimball, Lili Lefebvre, Madison Lully, Hunter Marr, Wes McGlew, Kaden McIntyre, Christian Moon, Rebecca Morton, Adam Ochs, Brady O’Connor, Kaden Plourde, Lilly Potter, Julian Reight, Ely Rideout, Kadince Rideout, Shawn Searles, Natalie Spearin, Lily Thompson, and Emily York.

Grade 10

High Honors: Carson Appel, Andrew Bentley, Abigail Beyor, Eve Boatright, Angel Bonilla, Katherine Bourdon, Breckon Davidson, Nicole DeMerchant, Lillian Dorval, MaKayla Gagnon, Loralei Gilley, Alivia Gower, Cooper Grondin, Elizabeth Hardy, Grady Hotham, Grace Hutchins, Olivia Hutchinson, Hallie Jackson, Beck Jorgensen, Kaiden Kelley, Meadow Laflamme, Dale Lapointe, Dinah Lemelin, Brenden Levesque, Malachi Lowery, Lily Matthews, River Meader, Nabila Meity, Angelina Ochoa, Timber Parlin, Kayla Peaslee, Jonathan Peil, Gabriel Pelletier, Casey Petty, Kathleen Pfleging, Sophia Pilotte, Kaden Porter, Ingrid Ramberg, Alexis Rancourt, Cadence Rau, Samantha Reynolds, Ally Rodrigue, Noah Rushing, Emmalee Sanborn, Aidan Tirrell, Mackenzie Toner, Emma Tyler, Lauren Tyler, Katherine Williams, and Damon Wilson.

Honors: Hailey Acedo-Worthing, John Allen, Molly Anderson, Zane Boulet, Samuel Boynton, Alexis Buotte, Emma Charest, Nicholas Choate, Courtney Cowing, Kayleen Crandall, Elijah Crockett II, Tianna Cunningham, Grace Ellis, Jacob Evans, Myra Evans, Hailey Farrar, Alyssa Gagne, Brianna Gardner, Reiana Gonzalez, Carson Grass, Ronald Haskell Jr, Kassidy Hopper, Acadia Kelley, Casey Kirkpatrick, Matthew Knowles, Emmet Lani-Caputo, Zephyr Lani-Caputo, Joseph Lemelin, Gwen Lockhart, Emily Majewski, Brady Mayberry, Brooklyn McCue, Gage Moody, Ethan Ouellette, Ezra Padgett, Maddison Paquet, Angelyn Paradis, Hannah Patterson, Michael Perez, Karen Potter, Sarah Robinson, Jarell Sandoval, Sophie Steeves, Daniel Stillman, Emma Stred, Jacob Sullivan, Paige Sutter, Hannah Toner, Colby Willey, and Joseph Wing.

Grade 9

High Honors: Abigail Adams, Isabella Boudreau, Robin Boynton, Elizabeth Brown, Kaleb Brown, Nolan Burgess, Eva Carlezon, Makayla Chabot, Elise Choate, Brielle Crommett, Noah Crummett, Hailey Estes, Ciara Fickett, Kaylee Fyfe, Caleb Gay, Nathan Hall, Tara Hanley, Stephanie Kumnick, Mackenzie Kutniewski, Sydney Laird, Kiley Lee, Aidan Maguire, Richard Mahoney III, Alexia McDonald, Holden McKenney, Austin Nicholas, Jazel Nichols, Jeremy Parker, Nathan Polley, Keith Radonis, Shae Rodrigue, Giacomo Smith, Kinsey Stevens, Lara Stinchfield, and Reese Sullivan.

Honors: Tristan Anderson, Austin Armstrong, Duncan Bailey, Lyla Bailey, Leah Bonner, Heather Bourgoin, Nathalia Carrasco, Timothy Christiansen, Simon Clark, Connor Coull, Thomas Crawford, Caleigh Crocker, Gavin Cunningham, Keira Deschamps, Hunter Foard, Cole Fortin, Brayden Garland, Aleigha Gooding, Bo Gray, Natalie Henderson, Bella Homstead, Hallee Huff, Kameron Kronillis, Carol Labbe, Logan Lanphier, Sophie Leclerc, Brody Loiko, Jack Lyons, David McCaig, Madison McCausland, Carlos Michaud, Cami Monroe, Royce Nelson, Hannah Oakes, Alejandro Ochoa, Alyssa Ouellette, Remy Pettengill, Evelyn Rousseau, Ryan Tyler, Baruch Wilson, and Brandon Wood.

STUDENT WRITERS: Negative Effects of Toxic Masculinity

STUDENT WRITERS PROGRAM
This week featuring: ERSKINE ACADEMY

by Autumn Boody
(from Washington, Maine)

“The constellation of socially regressive [masculine] traits that serve to foster domination, the devaluation of women, homophobia, and wanton violence.” That is the definition of toxic masculinity used by Journal of School of Psychology, but it is noted that this definition can change due to the complexity of the issue. Toxic masculinity is a phenomenon that plagues our culture and society. Toxic masculinity is negative because it can lead to aggression, repressed emotions, and psychological trauma.

Aggression in males is not an unusual phenomenon. Men and boys of all ages can demonstrate different types of aggression including: physical aggression, verbal aggression, and sexual aggression. Toxic masculinity is a large contributing factor to this. Part of the stereotype of masculinity is being strong and unemotional. Trying to keep up with both of those can lead to bottling up your feelings and becoming aggressive.

Similar stereotypes are being dominant and assertive, which can easily lead to sexual aggression. When in a relationship, specifically heterosexual relationships, the male may feel that he cannot have emotions and that he has to be the dominant figure in the relationship. There are direct ties from this to sexual assault and harassment. Promundo, an organization that focuses a lot of their work on toxic masculinity, says, “Young men who believe in these toxic ideas of manhood most strongly were most likely to have ever perpetuated sexual harassment.” Some examples the young men said were, “Guys should act strong even when they’re scared or nervous,” and even said things like, “Real men would never say no to sex.” These extreme ideals have led to aggression in all forms, proving their toxicity.

One of the aforementioned stereotypes was suppressing one’s emotions. This has many side effects of its own. Not allowing yourself to feel and cry when necessary can lead to higher amounts of stress, larger depression rates in men, and substance abuse. While substance abuse is more visible, with about 9.4 percent of men over the age of 12 struggling with it, depression isn’t so easy to see. Men with depression are four times more likely to commit suicide. Along with the oppressive symptoms of depressions, suppressing your emotions can make it harder to deal with stress. When you never let out what you’re truly feeling it’s easy to let things bottle up. When you have all these things bottled up you implode much quicker.

The last of the effects of toxic masculinity is psychological trauma. The influence of toxic masculinity can not only come from society but also inside the home. Many men experience their first struggles with toxic masculinity from their parents or relatives. Fathers telling them to toughen up and not “act like a girl” or encouraging degrading words and ideals. This can be damaging to their mental health as they get older. They are faced with the conflicts of what they’re feeling and what they’re told to feel. As many studies and therapists will attest, it’s incredibly difficult to undo that damage that has been done. Once you’ve grown up with the pressure and toxicity it isn’t easy to reverse.

Toxic masculinity is a negative, oppressive phenomenon that not only affects men but also everyone around them. Toxic masculinity is negative because it can lead to aggression, repressed emotions, and psychological trauma.

Student Writer’s Program: What Is It?

The Town Line has many articles from local students under the heading of the “Student Writer’s Program.” While it may seem plainly evident why The Town Line would pursue this program with local schools and students, we think it’s worth the time to highlight the reasons why we enthusiastically support this endeavor.

Up front, the program is meant to offer students who have a love of writing a venue where they can be published and read in their community. We have specifically not provided topics for the students to write on or about, and we have left the editing largely up to their teachers. From our perspective this is a free form space provided to students.

From the perspective of the community, what is the benefit? When considering any piece that should or could be published, this is a question we often ask ourselves at The Town Line. The benefit is that we as community are given a glimpse into how our students see the world, what concerns them, and, maybe even possible solutions to our pressing problems. Our fundamental mission at the paper is to help us all better understand and appreciate our community, our state, and our nation through journalism and print.

We hope you will read these articles with as much interest and enjoyment as we do. The students are giving us a rare opportunity to hear them out, to peer into their world, and see how they are processing this world we, as adults, are giving them.

To include your high school, contact The Town Line, townline@townline.org.

VASSALBORO: Two annual activities successful despite disruptions

Vassalboro Community School (contributed photo)

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro School Board members again got upbeat monthly reports from school officials at the Dec. 15 board meeting.

Vassalboro Community School Principal Megan Allen said two traditional annual activities were successful despite the disrupted year. The Giving Tree program was so well supported that five more families were helped this year than last year. And the virtual December Viking Pride Assembly recognized honor roll students and those who exemplified the Pride virtues of respect, responsibility and kindness. Remote learners were included, Allen said.

She reported that the number of students choosing to learn entirely remotely increases gradually, and services to remote learners are increasing as well.

She also said that Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) Master Specialist Victor Esposito and Guidance Counselor Meg Swanson organized a school-wide door decorating contest that resulted in a variety of creative additions.

Superintendent Alan Pfeiffer said the listing of a coronavirus outbreak at Vassalboro Community School during the Dec. 14 briefing by Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Nirav Shah was old news; CDC is no longer investigating.

The CDC epidemiologist who gave Pfeiffer and Allen advance notice of the public mention praised their handling of the situation and their overall policies, Pfeiffer said. He, too, offered thanks and congratulations to everyone involved, school personnel, students and parents.

School Nurse MaryAnn Fortin seconded Pfeiffer’s report. “Things are looking pretty good right now, fingers crossed,” she said.

(In his Dec. 18 report to the media, Shah said there are few if any cases of in-school transmission in Maine or nationally, and praised school personnel, students and parents for their efforts.)

Given the success so far, board members agreed to continue what they’ve been doing, including leaving winter sports canceled “out of an abundance of caution,” Pfeiffer said.

The board also approved continuing the current school schedule through February. The schedule has different groups of students alternately in the building and learning from home, and Wednesday afternoons set aside for teachers’ preparation time and extra connections with students at home.

When board member Jessica Clark asked when students could return to in-school classes full time, Allen said not until social distancing requirements are removed. She and Assistant Principal Greg Hughes are monitoring space use, looking for a chance to bring students who most need in-school work – some in special education programs, for example – into the building more often.

Pfeiffer added that the administration’s goal is to get students back into the building, but doing so safely is the priority.

Finance Director Paula Pooler said the business office that serves Vassalboro, Waterville and Winslow school departments is still extremely busy with the necessary paperwork for extra federal and state funding. But, she said, the additional aid has kept the budget in balance so far, and Vassalboro is about to add four new buses to the one acquired earlier this fall.

Board members approved appointment of Tanya Thibeau as new special education director for Vassalboro Community School (not to be shared with Winslow, as former Director Amy Benham was). Allen said Thibeau was the selection committee’s unanimous choice from four candidates, and she looks forward to having her full-time in the school.

The meeting was followed by an executive session. Afterward, Pfeiffer said he and board members agreed he will serve as superintendent for another year. He prefers one-year terms, to give the school department and himself flexibility.

The next Vassalboro School Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday evening, January 19, 2021.

Vassalboro Community School honor roll

Vassalboro Community School (contributed photo)

HIGH HONORS

Grade 3: Aliyah Anthony, Sophia Brazier, Grace Clark, Xainte Cloutier, Twila Cloutier, Wyatt Devoe, Dekah Dumont, Mariah Estabrook, Riley Fletcher, Camden Foster, Dawson Frazer, Lucian Kinrade, Sarina LaCroix, Isaac Leonard, Arianna Muzerolle, Olivia Perry, Elliott Rafuse, Juliahna Rocque, Cassidy Rumba, Isaiah Smith, and Cameron Willett. Grade 4: Emily Clark, Keegan Clark, Basil Dillaway, Harlen Fortin, Tess Foster, Fury Frappier, Baylee Fuchswanz, Allyson Gilman, Kaitlyn Lavallee, Cheyenne Lizzotte, Elizabeth Longfellow, Mia McLean, Elliot McQuarrie, Kackenzy Monroe, Weston Pappas, Emma Robbins, Grace Tobey and Ava Wood. Grade 5: Benjamin Allen, Tristyn Brown, Dylan Dodge, Jasmine Garey, Drake Goodie, Zachary Kinrade,, Drew Lindquist, Paige Perry, Judson Smith and Reid Willett. Grade 6: Madison Burns, Ryley Desmond, Josslyn Ouellette and Taiya Rankins. Grade 7: Emily Almeida, Jacob Lavallee, Ava Lemelin, Mylee Petela and Hannah Polley. Grade 8: Sofia Derosby, Allison Dorval, Ava Kelso, and Greta Limberger.

HONORS

Grade 3: Zander Austin, Lukas Blais, Samantha Carter, Kaylee Colfer, Samantha Craig, Branson Fortin, Peter Giampietro, Aubrey Goforth, Landon Lagasse, Jade Lopez, Agatha Meyer, Addison Neagle, Bruce Sounier, and Haven Trainor. Grade 4: Mason Brewer, Ariyah Doyen, Isadora Duarte, Zoe Gaffney, Bayleigh Gorman, Jack LaPierre, Aiden McIntyre, Kalyee Moulton and Naseem Umar. Grade 5: Bentley Austin, Logan Cimino, Zoey, DeMerchant, Jennah Dumont, Ryleigh French, Cooper Lajoie, Caleb Marden, Katherine Maxwell,Brandon Neagle, Ryder Neptune-Reny, Trinity Pooler, Kayden Renna, Landon Sullivan, Leigha Sullivan, Hannah Tobey, William Trainor, Jade Travers, and Alana Wade. Grade 6: Sophie Day, Eilah Dillaway, Wyatt Ellis, Scott Fitts, Caspar Hooper, Jack Malcolm, Natalie Rancourt and Bryson Stratton. Grade 7: Quinn Coull, Mckenzie Duenne, WilliamEllsey, Madison Estabrook, Paige Littlefield, Alexandria O’Hara, Daniel Ouellette, Leahna Rocque and Addison Witham. Grade 8: Noah Bechard, Brooke Blais, Brady Desmond, Ellie Giampetruzzi, Kaylene Glidden, Brandon Hanscom, Kailynn Houle, Kaelyn Pappas, Seth Picard, Ava Picard and Emma Waterhouse.

HONORABLE MENTION

Grade 3: Chanse Hartford, and Meadow Vaney. Grade 4: Caylie Buotte, Gabriella Duarte, Jaziah Garcia, and Jaelyn Moore. Grade 5: Dominick Bickford, Lucas Cornier, and Bentley Pooler. Grade 6: Kiley Doughty, Madison Field, and Adalyn Glidden. Grade 7: Elisha Baker, Moira Bevan, Saunders Chase, Mason Decker, Leigh-Ann Gagnon, Kaiden Morin, Taylor Neptune, Lilian Piecewicz, and Leah Targett. Grade 8: Landen Blodgett, Evan Brochu, Bodi Laflamme and Alysha Opacki.

Making spirits bright

Contributed photo

In years past, Erskine Academy, in South China, has held an annual “Wish List Drive” for the Home for Little Wanderers, in Waterville. This year, because of their cohorts’ schedules and social distancing, the student council felt it would be best to make a monetary donation. Once again, the students and faculty proved that by many giving just a little, they are able to make a donation that will serve hundreds of children. Many thanks to all the students and staff members who donated to this event. Because of them, Erskine is “making spirits bright” in 2020.

China Middle School honor roll

photo source: JMG.org

GRADE 8

High honors: Ashlee Carrillo, KennanClark, Lauren Cowing, Lillian Crommett, Kali Duvall, Chloe French, Clara French, Serena Hotham, Abigail McDonough, Shannon McDonough, Colin Oliphant, Noah Pelletier, Justin Reed, Laney Robitaille, Avery Ross, Carlee Sanborn, Aislynn Savage and Parker Studholme. Honors: Haileigh Allen, Jayda Bickford, Carter Brockway, Dylan Cooley, Lucas Farrington, Parker Hunter, Walker Jean, Adrian Mayo, Emma Mills, Kaeleigh Morin, Sadie Pierce, Kyle Scott, Larissa Steeves, Myra Trott and Dalorice Vires.

GRADE 7

High honors: Cassandra Bessey, London Castle, Madeline Clement-Cargill, Claire Davis, Sylvia Davis, April Dutilly, Madison Gagnon, Willow Haschalk, Kasen Kelley, Bayley Nickles, Ruby Pearson, Elijah Pelkey, Desirae Proctor, Christian Salvadori, Jaelyn Seamon, Benjamin Severance, Nichala Small, Madelynn Spencer, Kayla Stred, Abigail Studholme and Kamryn Turner. Honors: Kylie Bellows, Lucas Berto, Brock Bowden, Logan Breton, Brittney Dunton, Faith Futrell, Brandon Haley, Colby Hardy, Easton Houghton, Laylah Leach, Nathaniel Levesque, Hayden Little, Aurora Litrell, Jeremy McKay, Jack Murray, Michael Richardson, Benjamin Severy, Phoebe Taylor, Alexander Walker and Ella Winn.

GRADE 6

High honors: Isaac Audette, Delia Bailey, Emma Casey, Connor Crommett, Isabella Farrington, Danica Ferris, Collin Fletcher, James Goodwin, Kaylee Grierson, Chase Hester, Johanna Jacobs, Peyton Kibbin, Kate McGlew, Wyatt Michaud, Molly Oxley, Bryson Pettengill, Caylee Putek, Jessika Shaw, Colby Spry and Sabrina Studholme. Honors: Mason Carillo, Khloe Clark, Landen DeCosta, Kelsie Dunn, Delaney Dupuis, Bella Dutilly, Connor Hardesty, Lilyanna Holmes, Cassidy Liberty, Gage Miller, Annie Miragliuolo, Hadleigh Morin, Madeline Oxley, Natalie Peaslee, Dylan Proctor, Mason ReedProsser, Emma Rodrigue, Dylan Saucier, Lucas Short, Blake Spry, Gabriel Studlholme, Olivia Vashon and Matthew Vernesoni.

GRADE 5

High honors: Mackenzie Bowden, Alexxander Catassi, Trevor French, Tyler Gagnon, Myla Gower, Landon Larochelle, Bella Lefferts, Madison Levesque, Lainey McFarland, Ava Miragliuolo, Reed Pilsbury, Liam Ross, Keegan Sears, Maxine Spencer, Amelia Spry, Ethan Studholme, Dalton Stufflebeam, Kallie Turner, Brian Walker and Leah Watson. Honors: Dawson Baker, Jackson Bryant, Kaylee Dunton, Dante Farrell, Taylor Gagnon, Marcus George, Mason Mattingly, Alexander Mayo, Clara Monroe, Nolan Pierce, Camryn Prosper and Braelyn Waters.

Carrabec High School first quarter honor roll

Carrabec High School

GRADE 12

High honors: Natalynn Deuble, Ethan Johnson, Chantelle LaCroix, Adam Lawrence, Dakota Libby, Autumn Morrill, Mikayla Oliver, Sarah Olson, Courtney Peabody and Anastasia Quimby. Honors:  Jasmyne Coombs, Andrew Davis, Elizabeth Manzer and Gavin Tsoukalas.

GRADE 11

High honors:  Emma Baker, Cheyenne Cahill, Alexander Cloutier and Shyanne Holmes. Honors: Lilly Augustine, Julia Baker, Abigayle Ballard, Erin Clark, Xavier Cloutier, Thomas Courtney, Charlee Davis, Tyler Edwards, Kiera Goodale, Aliyah Grunder, Brianna Kimball, Jacob Lawrence, Abigail Luce, Sean Olson, Logan Reichert, Courtney Rollins, Cassidy Smith, Devon Spencer, Drake Whittemore and Garrett Wilson.

GRADE 10

High honors:  Jessica Benedict, Zebadiah Burnham, Luke Carey and Hunter Sousa. Honors: Lindsay Hamilton, Garrett Karwanski, Robert Lindblom, Jr., Gabriella Manzer, Caitlyn Oliver, Connor Peabody and William Price II.

GRADE 9

Honors:  Dakota Cahill, Kolby Carpenter, Jayden Cates, Riley Crocker, Devyn DeLeonardis, Cooper Dellerma, Kayliy Folco, Nevaeh Holmes, Emma Junkins, William Lawrence and Isaiah Longley.

Unity College earns national honor for sustainability in its curriculum

Association for the Advancement for Sustainability in Higher Education recognizes America’s Environmental College in its Sustainable Campus Index

As America’s Environmental College, it’s important for Unity College to establish itself as a leader in sustainability — to not only talk the talk, but to also walk the walk, doubling down on its mission. As Unity College leans into curricular excellence in sustainability — a key contributor to the College reaching record enrollment, which has more than doubled over the past five years — the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has recognized the College for its contributions to sustainability in its undergraduate and graduate curriculum.

Designations such as these have garnered attention from students nationally, contributing to the unprecedented growth the College has seen in recent years. Many adult, place-bound learners are seeking a degree rooted in sustainability, and receiving this honor reaffirms for them that Unity College is on the right track with its Path Forward.

The AASHE 2020 Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing colleges and universities from across the country overall and in 17 distinct aspects of sustainability, measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Criteria include sustainable learning outcomes, immersive experiences, internships in sustainability fields, and sustainability courses and topics within courses.

“We here at Unity College take pride in developing the next generation of environmental leaders, and being recognized by AASHE reassures us that not only is our mission more relevant than ever, but that our curriculum and our students are thriving,” said Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury. “Through Hybrid Learning and Distance Education, we’ve taken strides to reach more students where they are, so now they can put our sustainability-minded education right to use in their own hometown. So it’s not only a win for our students, but for their communities as well. And a win for the environment, as it reduces the carbon emissions that students generate to receive a Unity College education!”

Unity College incorporates sustainability into every aspect of its functions, from academics to operations and planning. In fact, every single graduate program has at least one sustainability learning outcome, and all research-producing units are engaged in sustainability research. The College has also realized a reduction in building energy of more than 25 percent through efficient construction and retrofits. Meanwhile, 15 percent of electronic purchases, 80 percent of janitorial products, and 100 percent of copy paper meet recognized sustainability standards

“Sustainability is ingrained in our culture,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Jennifer deHart. “From orientation on, all of our students and staff understand the role that we all play in protecting our environment, and are aware of just how important it is to make the right decisions to limit our carbon footprint. And, sometimes changing the smallest habit can make a significant difference, like diverting 45 percent of our waste from landfills, including our food waste that is recycled into energy. If you do the math over years, it’s quite an accomplishment.”

The College’s sustainability curriculum is clearly both timely and desirable. Congratulations to all the Unity College students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have helped in leading the College’s sustainability efforts.

STUDENT WRITERS – Examining “The Social Dilemma”: The real impact on young people

STUDENT WRITERS PROGRAM
This week featuring: ERSKINE ACADEMY

by Olivia Bourque of Vassalboro, Maine
Erskine Academy Junior

It is truly paradoxical that a generation has been raised to be enthralled by inventions detrimental to their mental health and wellbeing. A Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, addresses the evolution of and dangers of social media, an enigma and issue growing exponentially along with the minds of young adults. Simply stated, exposure to harsh and unfiltered content on social media harms teens’ self esteem, while captivating them with unlimited information tailored to their wants and interests. Software smarter than anyone and worth millions of dollars generates a feed of suggested content to keep everyone mindlessly engrossed, though this software was never created to improve the mental state of the person behind the screen, but rather to make some people an enormous amounts of money.

An embellished version of this enchantment is demonstrated with a teenage boy, a standard social media app, and a fictional group of people controlling his suggested feed (replacing the job of designated software for this purpose). At the beginning of the documentary, this group of people keeping the teenage boy actively swiping seems innovative, although the boy’s family and friends blatantly express their concern and frustration with his obsession. Any parent of a child with a smartphone would likely wholeheartedly confirm this aggravation, as these apps truly are addicting. This is expected, however, especially with the knowledge that machines present users with content hand-selected for their amusement.

As the film continues, the people controlling the teenage boy’s suggested feed and notifications slowly come to the epiphany that their job is not in the best interest of the user whom they’re supposed to keep engaged. Though this was a satisfying ending, it is unrealistic, as these groups of people are actually machines, incapable of understanding human emotions, actually observing how its work affects their users, and finally does not have the power to discontinue their work. With this, society does not have anyone to rely on to contain this mass craze, and therefore we must come to this revelation on our own.

In a smaller part of The Social Dilemma, a teenage girl represents a massive demographic of those whose mental health and self esteem is at jeopardy; she is also spending far too much time scrolling through content tailored to her, and along the way she begins to compare herself to others, instilling unrealistic expectations for herself. Like this girl, many young adults question their worth once they see what the ideal woman or man should look like through a series of heavily edited pictures.

This can often lead to numerous mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Instead of taking away social media’s power to contort self-image, the girl responds to this insecurity by fixing her hair, makeup, and lighting, finding the perfect filter, and posting a picture of herself attempting to conform with current beauty standards.

This backfires on her when she receives mean comments online about her ears. From this, her self-esteem plummets, and she does everything in her power to cover her ears. Not only does this teenager unknowingly succumb to temptation of handpicked material online, but she also alters her emotional state as a result. This enforces the idea that a generation of self-destructive slaves to the internet are being created, and it’s almost unavoidable.

Student Writer’s Program: What Is It?

The Town Line has published the first in what we hope will be many articles from local students under the heading of the “Student Writer’s Program.” While it may seem plainly evident why The Town Line would pursue this program with local schools and students, we think it’s worth the time to highlight the reasons why we enthusiastically support this endeavor.

Up front, the program is meant to offer students who have a love of writing a venue where they can be published and read in their community. We have specifically not provided topics for the students to write on or about, and we have left the editing largely up to their teachers. From our perspective this is a free form space provided to students.

From the perspective of the community, what is the benefit? When considering any piece that should or could be published, this is a question we often ask ourselves at The Town Line. The benefit is that we as community are given a glimpse into how our students see the world, what concerns them, and, maybe even possible solutions to our pressing problems. Our fundamental mission at the paper is to help us all better understand and appreciate our community, our state, and our nation through journalism and print.

We hope you will read these articles with as much interest and enjoyment as we do. The students are giving us a rare opportunity to hear them out, to peer into their world, and see how they are processing this world we, as adults, are giving them.

To include your high school, contact The Town Line, townline@townline.org.

PHOTOS: Fall 2020 Winslow travel soccer teams

Members of the Winslow U10 fall girls travel soccer team include,front row, from left to right, Ashleigh Hussey, Lily Brown, Madalynn Loubier, Emma Duplessie, Adyson Lessard, Luna Meak and Clair Dunton. Back, Leah Fate, Callen Pooler, Emma McCaslin, Hazel Sheridan, Kaitlyn Lavallee, Sumire Page, Addisyn Willette, Jorga Sharp, Savannah Calvo, Head coach Ryan Loubier, Asst. Coach Brian Dunton. Absent from photo, Sadie Snell and Asst. Coach David Page. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff)

Members of the Winslow U12 fall girls travel soccer team include, from left to right, Coach Joshua Giroux, Olivia Coldwell, Kera Bilodeau, Michayla Richard, Alex, Davanee Kimball, Reese Siodla, Isabella Loubier, Kayla Giroux, Mirra Meak, Madison Cochran, Tenley Nadeau, Julia Ortins, Elena Rioux and Coach Sim Meak. Absent from photo, Johanna Jacobs and Coach Brian Kimball. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff)

Members of the Winslow U11 fall boys travel soccer team include, front row, from left to right, Jackson Bailey, Scott LeClair, Eban Barbeau, Weston Pappas, Basil Dillaway and Nixon Souviney. Back, Coach Candice Flaherty, Andrew Pronto, Jack Flaherty, Frank Farnham, Quincy Morin, Rex Morin, Freddie Ouellette and Coach Nick Souviney. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff)

Members of the Winslow U9 fall boys travel soccer team include, kneeling, from left to right, Deegan Grenier, Preston Bailey, Chase Reynolds and Eli Nadeau. Standing, Coach Wayne Doughty, Ander Bell, Walker Johnson, Jack Calvo, Landon Curtis and Coach Jarrod Carnrick. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff)

Members of the Winslow U14 fall boys travel soccer team include, front row, from left to right, Jared Burbank, Seth Price, Logan Baron, Alex Beckwith, Tom Labbe, Brody Willette, Logan Caldwell and Dillon Whitney. Back, Kyri Meak, Coach Brad Rodrigue, Doug HIllman, Braden Rodrigue, Max Spicer, Ethan McCaslin, Jacob Lavallee, Brady Poulin and Coach Jesse Beckwith. Absent from photo, Coach Bruce Poulin. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff)