Maine Catholic schools to re-open for in-school learning

photo: mainecatholicschools.com

Distance learning Option to also be provided

The Office of Maine Catholic Schools is pleased to announce that schools will be open for in-school learning for the 2020-21 school year. Barring unforeseen developments, classes will be held five days a week with a full day schedule. Both before and after care at the schools will also reopen.

“In conjunction with the Diocese of Portland, our administrative team has been and will continue planning for a safe and efficient opening in the fall for our schools,” said Marianne Pelletier, superintendent of Maine Catholic Schools. “Following CDC guidelines for reopening schools, we are in the process of modifying our classrooms and facilities to successfully comply. Additional cleaning supplies have been ordered, and extra staff is being brought on to assist. We are confident that our schools’ health protocols and processes will keep our school environments as healthy and as safe as possible for all members of our communities.”

The schools overseen by the Office of Maine Catholic Schools are All Saints School (St. John Campus/St. Mary Campus) in Bangor, Holy Cross School in South Portland, St. Brigid School in Portland, Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn and Lewiston, St. James School in Biddeford, St. John’s Catholic School in Brunswick, St. Michael School in Augusta, and St. Thomas School in Sanford. If you would like to enroll or learn more about Catholic schools in Maine, visit www.mainecatholicschools.com.

In March, Catholic schools, along with all public schools across Maine, closed their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two days later, Catholic schools in Maine successfully opened their virtual doors, providing a high-quality, distance learning program for all of their students across the state, efforts that were lauded by both school families and the wider community.

“Our Catholic schools continued to nurture the souls of our students while providing a comprehensive academic plan, building on their tradition of excellence,” said Pelletier. “The excellence was visible in both our attendance data and parent surveys. On average, 96% of our students participated daily in direct instruction offered virtually by their classroom teachers.”

Administrators at the schools believe and recognize that learning and formation are at their best when occurring in a classroom, but in acknowledgement that some families might not be comfortable sending their children to school during this academic year, Maine Catholic Schools is offering a solution.

“The Diocese of Portland is assisting each of our schools in developing a virtual, distance-learning option where interested families will still be able to receive instruction for children in core content areas while remaining connected to their local school community,” said Pelletier.

Due to social distancing requirements that will be in place in classrooms, families are encouraged to enroll their student or students soon.

“We recognize that parents are the first teachers of their children, and we fully understand that they are making a cognizant choice to offer their child a Catholic education,” said Pelletier. “Though there are many alternatives to Catholic education, there are no substitutes, and we thank everybody for their continued support and prayers.”

Congratulations to area graduates — Class of 2020

Carrabec High School

Emily Avery, Hunter Avery, Cassidy Ayotte, Anthony Berube, Isaac Boucher, Annika Carey, Ashley Cates, Summer Cole, Jacob Copeland, Caitlin Crawford, Shay Cyrway, Caroline Decker, Dominic Falk, Olivia Fortier, Joshua Foss, Paige Giroux, Olivia Gonio, Ricky Gordon, Ariel Guinn, Olivia Hassell, David Houle, Cheyanne Howard, Madison Jaros, Lemuel Kimball, Dylan Leach, Riley Maheu, Scott Mason, Mabel Mouland, Mary-Jenna Oliver, Colby Paquette, Kira Parent, Roy Pierce, Jasmyne Pray, Elijah Quimby, Abby Richardson, Damon Rogers, Cheyenne Sirois, Jayme Stafford, Sydney Steward, Cheyeanne Stubbs, Brandi Thibodeau, Ebony Walls, Dalton Way, Skye Welch, Jesiah Wilcox-Quimby, and Cameron Wooster.

Cony High School

Alimira Abdullah, Zina Ahmad, Nada Al Hoshan, Mohammad Al Jendi, Peter Allen, Hadeel Alsaleh, Abdulmajeed Al-Tameemi, Dakota Andow, Marian Arthur, Ashleigh Audet, Alexander Audette, David Barley, Sebastian Barron, Federico Barzasi, Hannah Beeckel, Gage Bernstein, Katherine Boston, Jordan Brooke, Jillian Brown, Logan Butler, Gabriella Campbell, Kaaleb Carey, Tyler Carr, Alexis Carter, Haylee Casey, Salemn Chapman, Paige Coaty-Neff, Sarah Cook-Wheeler, Riley Coombe, Jillian Coull, Joshua Crocker, Kaylee Cushing, Calvin Dacus, Jasmine Daly, Dakota Dearborn, Kody Demerchant, Isaiah Dodge, Anthony Donnarumma, Emily Douglas, Molly Dutil, Thomas Farris-Chason, Chloe Fleck, Jasmine French, Evan Galego, Jada Genest, Ian Gervais, Isaac Gichel-Curtis, Leighton Gidney, Ian Gifford, Crystal Gilber, Elsie Gin, Ashton Glockler, Kiara Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Megan Greaton, Cecilia Guadalupi, Jessica Guerrette, Mouaoeih Halwah, Ian Harden, Linda Hodgkins, Wyeth Houle, Emily Houston, Justin Huntley, Nathaniel Ieng, Timothy Johnson, Stephen Labbe, Benjamin LaPierre, Sophia LaPointe, Adrian Larrabee, Ryan Lathe, Faith Leathers-Pouliot, Cameran Letendre, Aaron Lettre, Carly Lettre, Emma Levesque, Meredith Lewis, Willow Longeree, Caleb MacFarland, Roger Mackbach, Joshua Martin, Iain McCollett, Lucas McCormick, Simon McCormick, Caleb McDougal, Courtney McFarland, Audrey McLaughlin, Samantha Melland, Abigail Merrill, Kameron Michaud, Gerald Moody, Caroline Mosca, Josephine Nutakki, Collin Osborne, Ayanna Osman, Renee Ouellette, Micayla Paquette, Marissa Parker, Abigail Pelletier, Nhasino Phan, Jillian Pion, Storm Plummer, Myles Quirion, Shakeera Radel, Ashleigh Redmond, Miranda Reichard, Mickayla Rheimer, Madison Riggs, Nathan Rivera Ayala, Jordan Robertson, Alexander Robinson, Natalie Rohman, Hannah Rouleau, Rebecca Smart, Aidan Smith, Karittha Sopasiri, Nathan Surette, Christopher Taylor, Devon Thomas, Kaley Trask, Mallory Turgeon, James Van Doren-Wilson, Sabrinna Vawter, Atlantis Veilleux, Jessy Veilleux, Linelys Velazquez, Arianna Vinal, Yasmine Wadleigh, Isaac Wallace, Proscha Ware, Nicholas Waterhouse, Haley Weston, Julie White, Sophia Whitney, Zachary Whitney, Joshua Wroten, Ayden Wyman and Devin Young.

Erskine Academy

Pedro Albarracin Nunez- Mera, Lucy Allen, Lucas Anderson, Jay Austin II, Alec Baker, Julia Basham, Derek Beaulieu, James Berto, Adam Bonenfant, Faith Bonnell, Zyashia Borrero, Ashlee Bossie, Yanic Boulet, Haley Breton, Alexander Buzzell, Kole-Tai Carlezon, Jacob Cater, David Chubbuck Jr, Bridget Connolly, Abigail Cordts, Samantha Couture, Summer Curran, Colby Cyr, Norah Davidson, Sean Decker, Dominic Denico, Lily DeRaps, Joshua Donahue II, Joshua Duggan, Michael Dusoe Jr, Dominick Dyer, Jacob Elsemore, Vincent Emery, Nathan Evans, Cheyann Field, Jasmine Fletcher, Jada Fredette, Mitchell Gamage, Alyssha Gil, Annika Gil, Lydia Gilman, Ella Giroux, Boe Glidden, Bryce Goff, Joshua Gower, Clara Grady, Tori Grasse, Ian Gundberg, Alyssa Hale, Emma Harvey, Nicholas Hayden, Jesse Hayes, Gage Henderson, Brayden Hill, Summer Hotham, Nicholas Howard, Julianna Hubbard, Ashley Huntley, Emily Jacques, Sarah Jarosz, Ricker Jean, Cameron Johnson, Colby Johnson, Kyle Jones, Luke Jordan, Zaria Kelly, Marisa Klemanski, Tristan Klemanski, Riley Kunesh, Brandon LaChance, Benjamin Lagasse, Benjamin Lavoie, Cole Leclerc, Eleena Lee, William Leeman, Desiree Leighton, Madison Leonard, Gabriel Lewis, Stephanie Libby, Jordan Linscott, Colby Loden, Sydney Lord, Brandon Loveland, Shawn Manning, William Mayberry II, Haymanot Maynard, Reece McGlew, Marissa McGraw, Lexigrace Melanson, Kaytie Millay, Grady Miller, Jakob Mills, Jamara Moore, Adalaide Morris, Krysta Morris, Nathaniel Mosher, Alecia Paradis, Joseph Peaslee Jr, Shelley Peaslee, Isaak Peavey, Chloe Peebles, Chandler Peele, Lyndsie Pelotte, Matthew Picher, Jareth Pierpont, Jasmine Plugge, Hunter Praul, Dalton Pushard, Miina Raag-Schmidt, Benjamin Reed, Hailei-Ann Reny, Jennifer Reny, Mitchel Reynolds, Andrew Robinson, Dominic Rodrigue, Michael Rogers, Katelyn Rollins, Alyssa Savage, Shawn Seigars, Serena Sepulvado, Santasia Sevigny, Nicholas Shelton, Danielle Shorey, Taylor Shute, Ryan Sidelinger, Alissa Sleeper, Kayla Sleeper, Dominic Smith, Samuel Smith, Lily Solorzano, Makenzi Strout, Matthew Stultz, James Sugden, Jacob Sutter, Audrey Swan, Nicole Taylor, Kobe Thomas, Courtney Tibbetts, Brandon Tibbs, Katelyn Tibbs, Kaitlyn Tims, Ashleigh Treannie, Hailee Turner, Cameron Tyler, Tanner Watson, Andrew Weymouth, Curtis Weymouth, Kayleigh Winam, Richard Winn, Wesley Wood and Amber Wysocki.

Lawrence High School

Ashley Allen, Mackenzie Allen, Raygen Alley, Colby Anderson, Alexis Armstrong, Riley Avery, Lindsay Bagley, Dakota Batchelder, Wyatt Belmont, Mathew Berry, Rilee Bessey, Brody Bickford, Nathan Bickford, Hannah Bilodeau, Hailey Bolduc, Tyler Bolduc, Alan Bourget, Colby Brann, Aaron Breton, Sydney Bridger, Eva Brisk, Lauren Buck, Brooke Butler, Ethan Caldwell, Kendra Campbell, Deleyni Carr, Madison Carrero, Journey Champagne, Abigail Charland, Alfred Cochrane, Ethan Cochrane, Samuel Coro, Evan Craig, Megan Curtis, Cody Dixon, Parker Doane, Dylan Donnell, Bryson Dostie, Dawson Drew, Victoria Dubay, Dylan Eldridge, Annabelle Emery, Abigail Fisher, Wyatt Fortin, Samantha Fuller, Victoria Fye, Kieara Garland, Skylah Grivois, Paige Hale, Tyler Hall, Harley Hamlin, Jacob Hamlin, Ricky Hamlion, Dylan Hardenburg, Alaina Haywood, Caitlin Hedman, Carson Jersey, Haley Hersey, Alaina Hood, Silvia Hoover, Sophia Hoover, Mackenzie Huard, Sumner Hubbard, Jeremiah Hunter, Kristin Jackson, Camron Jordan, Donovan Knapik, Miranda Lambert, Julie Lane, Kyle Languet, Storm Lavway, Nicholas Lawler, Allison Leary, Grace Leary, Tyler LeClair, Austin Leighton, Aubrey Levesque, Alexis Lewis, Erica Maillet, John Manzo, Cassandra Martin, Dylan Martin-Hachey, Joshua McFarland, Joseph McKinley, Kristin Morneau, Paul Morneau, Destiny Mulholland, Morgan Niles, Cassandra Noyes, Bailey Parlin, Jacob Patterson, Benjamin Pierce, Gabrielle Pierce, Isaac Plourde, Cheyenne Poulin, Benjamen Pressey, Brian Pressey, Kassey Pressey, Chase Quimby, Nathaniel Regalado, Brianna Rice, Mackenzie Roberts, Gain Robinson, Mary Robinson, Lydia Rogers, Hunter Roy, Michael Roy, Tucker Roy, Jacob Ryder, Emma Salisbury, Ranea Sapienza, Hailey Sargent, Colby Shorey, Isaish Shuman, Riley Sinclair, Breanna Sirois, Melaina Smith, Paul Southwick, Jayden Stephenson, Elsie Suttie, Jacob Suttie, David Thurlow, Abigail Towne, Lydia Townsend, Haley Trahan, Jacob Turlo, Cody Veilleux, Abbie Vigue, Kyle Walch, Amber Wescott, Savannah Weston, Liberty White, Emily Whitney, Haley Wilkie, Cassondra Wood and Gabriel York.

Madison Area Memorial High School

Chance Allen, Katrina Barney, Shelby Belanger, Graham Briggs, Nevaeh Burnham, Reid Campbell, Autumn Cates, Olivia Clough, Aaron Corson, Caleb Cowan, Isaiah Cyr, Stacy Depoala, Dawson Eanes, Emily Edgerly, Todd Edgerly, Caden Franzose, Aliya French, Dakota Hall, Glen Harrington IV, Chandra Holt, Lauria LeBlanc, Grace Linkletter, Carolyn McGray, Riley Merrill, Cianan Morris, Aidan O’Donnell, Izaiah Perkins, Lucy Perkins, Luke Perkins, Isabella Petrey, Roger Picard, Roland Picard, Evelyn Pisch, Skyelar Pollis, LeiLani Rexford, Abigail Spaulding, Jared Tozier, Mikayla Violet and Daxton Winchester and Kathryn Worthen.

Messalonskee High School

Alyson Albert, Nicholas Alexander, Connor Alley, Ava Ardito, Austin Arsenault, Abigayle Barney, Jennessey B aylis, Madison Beaulieu, Austin Bedsaul, Sami Benayad, Brianne Benecke, Taylor Bernier, Lauren Bourque, Rebecca Bourque, Lydia Bradfield, Andrew Brann, Sydney Brenda, Alexa Brennan, Ethan Burton, Hannah Butler, Salvatore Caccamo, Kaiya Charles, Tucker Charles, Patrick Chisum, Sadie Colby, William Cole, Connor Collins, Emma Concaugh, Bradley Condon, Abitail Corbett, Anne Corbett, Breanna Corbin, Ainsley Corson, Shiela Corson, Hunter Cote, Cameron Croft, Emily Crowell, Hannah Cummins, Dylan Cunningham, Lydia D’Amico, Austin Damren, Zachary Davis, Cassidy Day, Hannah DelGiudice, Jordan Devine, Kristen Dexter, Emma Di-Girolamo, Zachary DiPietro, TaylorJefferey Doone, Cooper Doucette, Haley Dunn, Benjamin Edman, Cade Ennis, Connor Evans, Andrew Everett, Nicolas Fontaine, Lauren Fortin, Joseph Fougere, Brennan Francis, Alexis Furbush, Amelia Gallagher, Austin Garrett, Sydnie Gay, Sara Getchell, Molly Glueck, Joshua Goff, Martin Guarnieri, Juliana Gudaitis, Jayde Gurney, Gavin Haines, Danielle Hall, Benjamin Hellen, Shelby Hoffman, Toni Holz, Maxwell Hopper, Travis Hosea, Gage Hughes, Elizabeth Hume, Alexander Jackson, Madison Jewell, Maya Johnston, Lucas Jolin, Shane Kauppinen, Gregor Keimel, Christopher King, Kody King, Nathan Kinney, Dawson Kitchin, Konnor Koroski, Grace Kroeger, Tabitha Lake, Dominique Lamontagne, Chance Languet, Isabelle Languet Joshua Languet, Hanna Lavenson, Jimmy Lemlin, Jayden Lenfestey, Benoit Levesque, Daimian Lewis, Eve Lilly, Addison Littlefield, Sarah Lowell, Sydney Lucas, Caleb Luce, Isabella Luce, Katie Luce, Ashlynn Lund, Christopher Mairs, Jayden Martin, Alyssa Methieu, Samantha Matthews, Mackenzie Mayo, Connor McCurdy, Aislinn McDaniel, Leighara McDaniel, Garrett McKenna, Kassie McMullen, William McPherson, Meghan McQuillan, Dylan Mercier, Nathan Milne, Ella Nash, Andrew Needham, Mattea Ogden, Joselyn Ouellette, Makayla Ouellette, Alexandria Pearce, Kailey Pelletier, Nathan Perkins, Jacob Perry, Rosemary Peterson, Francis Petrillo, Alexnader Pierce, Adam Pooler, Melayna Porter, Nathalie Poulin, Rylee Poulin, Brian Powell, Brian Powell, Colby Prosser, Valerie Quirion, Alysan Rancourt, Joshua Raymond, Kyera Ripley, Kaylee Rocque, Sean Rodrigue, Elijah Ross, Dharani Singaram, Lindsey Sirois, Emily Smith, Hunter Smith, Makenzie Smith, Taylor Staples, Hart St. Clair, Damian Taylor, Victoria Terranova, Richard Thompson, Deklan Thurston, Chloe Tilley, Eliza Towle, Sydney Townsend, Casey Turner, Brandon Veilleux, Jade Veilleux, Maria Veilleux, Matthew Veilleux, Kaitlyn Vigue, Carter Violette, Isaac Violette, Makayla Violette, Mason Violette, Aran Walker, Keith Warman, Elizabeth Webb, Gabrielle Wener, William Wentworth, Rebekah White, Mary-Jane Williams, Kaley Wolman and Joshua Zinkovitch.

Waterville High School

Halah Al Subai­hawi, Devin Andreozzi, Trent Andreozzi, Emilee Arbo, Maryah Audet-Gagnon, Estaphanie Baez Vazquez, Jess Bazakas, Jacqueline Bean, Timara Bell, Kristen Bickford, Taylor Bielecki, Abigail Bloom, Hallee Brunette, Bryn Burrows, Elizabeth Campbell, Damien Carey, Amaryllis Charles, Katie Chase, Kevin Chen, Hope Cogswell, Jacob Cornforth, Logan Courtois, Remy Courtois, Mickayla Crowley, Maggie Didonato, Hannah Dillingham, Gavin Dorr, Duncan Doyon, Keegan Drake, Lauren Endicott, Jaimee Feugill, Sadie Garling, Daniel Gaunce, Chloe Geller, Trafton Gilbert, Ryan Gilman, Devin Goldsmith, Benjamin Combos, Emma Goodrich, Sierra Grant, Joseph Gray, Cierra Guarente, Jacob Gerrerro, Kylee Hamm, Madison Hanley, Alexis Hawkins, Shantylane Hubiak, Keona Jeror, Miranda Juliano, Madaya Kavis, Sadie Labbe, Ethan Ladd, Peter Lai, Michael LeClair, Jordan Lesiker, Dakota Libby, Jasmine Liberty, Emelaine Llanto, Hannah Lord, Olivia Lovendahl, Joseph Macarthur, Rebecca Maheu, Christopher Manigat, Madeleine Martin, Shane Martin, Isaac McCarthy, D’Nell McDonald, Maxwell McGadney, Zaharias Menoudarakos, Luquis Merrithew, Alana Monk, Mckayla Nelson, Flesha Paradis, Jelani Parker, Lauren Pinnette, Sophia Poole, Katlin Prat, Barry Preble, Nikkia-Lynn Pressey, Colby Quinlan, David Ramgren, Dasia Roberts, Corinne Rogers, Lily Roy, Kira Sencabaugh, Amanda Shirley, Anthony Singh, Jared Sioch, Keisha Small, Simon Smith, Isabella Sousa, Joey Stanton Jr., Alisha Stevens, Catherine Tracy, Brady Vicnaire, Natalia Von Leigh, Cole Welch, Wayne Williams, Alysia Wilson, Erin Winkley and Cairlyn Young.

Winslow High School

Haneen Ali, Carly Anderson, Alika Andrews, Kathryn Bailey, Lily Barkdull, Rylee Batey, Devin Bettencourt, Eric Booth, Sebastian Bouchard, Cameron Brockway, Brandon Campbell, Lydia Carey, Briell Carter, Gabriella Chambers, Garrett Choate, Jessey Cloutier, Silver Clukey, Abigail Cochran, Brooke Cochran, Brady Corson, Camden Dangler, Alexander Demers, Micah Dickson, Willa Dolley, Katie Doughty, Ronan Drummond, Hannah Dugal, Brennan Dunton, Summer Eyster, Cloe Fecteau, Sophie-ann Gerry, Isaiah Gidney, Christopher Girard, Isaiah Goldsmith, Hannah Goodine, Cameron Goodwin, Cody Green, Bryce Gunzinger, Dawsen Gurski, Aaron Harmon, Gabrielle Hatt, Wyatt Hood, Landon Hotham, Jacob Huesers, Ross Hughes, Sadie Irza, Cody Ivey, Savannah Joler, Caleb Joseph Lagasse, Kaelyn Lakey, Juliann Lapierre, Nicholas Lemieux, Felicia Lessard, Alexee Littlefield, Riley Loftus, James Mason, Ronnie Mason, Ethan Matthews, Caleb Mills, Christopher Mills, Brandon Moore, Haylee Moore, Madison Morin, Mariah Morrison, Shaylie Morrison, Gabriel Moumouris, Skylar Nye, Elena O’Hara, Wesley O’Neal, Chase Pelkey, Leah Pelotte, Christopher Phair, Madalyn Phillips, Justice Picard, Faith Pomerleau, Colby Pomeroy, Alexis Porter, Christopher Poulliot, Morgan Presby, Anthony Proulx, Ashley Quirion, Kristen Rancourt, Braden Rayborn, Miranda Raymond, Zachary Real, Jackson Reynolds, Jenna Rodrigue, Taylor Rodriguez, Cheyne Salvas, Nevaeh Schuchardt, Carrie Selwood, Mallory Sheridan, Grace Smith, Austin Soucy, Alison Stabins, Bryanna Stanley, Hannah Stevens, Katherine Stevens, Nicholas Sweeney, Kaleb Thomas, Sage Vance, Gage Vaughan, Austin Veilleux, Abigail Washburn, William Weiss, Caleb Welsh, Austin Williams and Abigail Wright.

Free invasive plant management plans available

Surveying several large, invasive autumn olive shrubs at the edge of a field, in Sidney.
Photo courtesy of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

Farm and woodland owners and operators in five Maine counties may be eligible to receive a free invasive plant survey and management plan, prepared by a natural resource professional from the local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). Staff of SWCDs serving Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Somerset, and Waldo counties are looking for landowners or operators who would like to learn more about the invasive plants on their farms and woodlands.

Invasive plants like Asiatic bittersweet vines, thorny multiflora rose shrubs, sprawling Japanese barberry, and others can create dense tangles in forests, wetlands, and fields, crowding out native plants and young trees. Along forest edges and hedgerows, thickets of invasive shrubs can reduce the area of productive fields. Some invasive plants create habitat for ticks, cause skin rashes, or are harmful if eaten by livestock.

Many farmers and woodland owners know that invasive plants are present but aren’t sure what to do about them. Others may not know how to recognize invasive plants. Having a site visit and survey from the local SWCD is a chance to talk with a natural resource professional, learn to identify harmful plants, and get guidance on how to manage them. Survey data also help scientists understand invasive plant distribution in Maine because data are contributed to the online mapping tool iMapInvasives (imapinvasives.org), the central repository for invasive plant data in Maine.

This service is free to farm and woodland owners or operators thanks to a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA NRCS) administered by the Maine Natural Areas Program (maine.gov/dacf/mnap) in the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The project is also funded in part by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund (maine.gov/ifw/mohf), in which proceeds from the sale of a dedicated instant lottery ticket are used to support outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation. Space is limited and landowners/operators must meet basic USDA – NRCS eligibility requirements. Site visits will be conducted during the growing season, but sign ups are open now.

Participating landowners and operators are encouraged to act on the management plans they receive by implementing invasive plant treatments. Treatment funding may be available by applying to the USDA NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program through the local USDA NRCS office (nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/me/contact/local/).

To learn more and sign up for a free survey and management plan, please contact the SWCD in the county where the farm or woodland is located:

Somerset County: Joe Dembeck at jdembecksc15@gmail.com or 207-474-8323 ext. 3.

Kennebec County: Dale Finseth at dale@kcswcd.org or 207-621.9000.

Knox and Lincoln Counties: Rebecca Jacobs at rebecca@knox-lincoln.org or 207-596-2040.

Waldo County: Aleta McKeage at aleta.waldosoilandwater@gmail.com or 207.218.5311.

Walk-a-thon becomes Exercise-a-thon at St. Michael School

Travis Mills, center, with students at St. Michael School, in Augusta. (contributed photo)

For five years, the St. Michael School and Travis Mills Foundation Walk-A-Thon has steadily grown into a heart-warming fundraiser that annually displays the importance placed on service and kindness at the Augusta school. Students walk laps around the block of the school, located on Sewall Street, raising money for the foundation and the school through pre-obtained pledges. The event also features an inspirational speech from Mills before the walking begins, and a barbecue lunch at its conclusion.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent distance learning, changes were needed to ensure the event would flourish once again.

“Students will be challenged to perform designated exercises for four days, from Tuesday, May 19 through Friday, May 22,” said Kevin Cullen, principal at St. Michael. “Travis and I will kick off the Exercise-A-Thon on Tuesday morning with a Zoom call on Facebook Live at 9 a.m.”

The four-day challenge will have a different theme each day, both in exercise and attire, with the amount of exercise time increasing with the ages of the students:

Tuesday: jumping jacks and star jacks while wearing St. Michael School colors.

Wednesday: sit-ups and dancing while wearing “crazy outfits.”

Thursday: students’ choice for exercise while wearing the uniform of their favorite team.

Friday: run/walk while in patriotic clothing.

“Each day, students are asked to take pictures or videos of themselves doing the exercises and post them on the St. Michael School Facebook page,” said Cullen. “The suggested donation for each video and picture is a minimum of $5. We are asking school families to share the videos with friends and family and support our students in raising money for this amazing cause. All donations will be split 50/50 between the school and the Travis Mills Foundation.”

Mills, a retired United States Army Staff Sergeant of the 82nd Airborne, is one of only five quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was wounded by an improvised explosive device during his third tour in Afghanistan in 2012. During his recovery, Mills discovered a passion for inspiring fellow wounded servicemen and women. He founded the Travis Mills Foundation, a nonprofit organization, formed to benefit and assist wounded and injured veterans and their families. He has traveled around the country as a motivational speaker, inspiring thousands to overcome life’s challenges and defy odds. In 2015, his book, Tough as They Come, was published.

“We will have so much fun this week exercising our bodies and showing support for our veterans,” said Cullen. “I’m so grateful that everyone was enthusiastic to find a way to continue the fundraiser during the pandemic.”

To donate to the Exercise-A-Thon, visit https://stmichaelmaine.weshareonline.org/ws/opportunities/TravisMillsExercise-a-Thon.

Who is that masked man?

Masked Father John Skehan

Father John Skehan, pastor of St. Michael parish, in Augusta, brings smiles to those attending drive-through confessions with his special face mask. Drive-through confessions are being offered at many Maine parishes. To see the list, visit www.portlanddiocese.org/drive-through-confessions. The schedule is updated frequently.

Maine French Heritage Language program to hold fundraiser

Students at the program’s Mardi Gras celebration eating les crêpes. Front left, Charlotte Shargo; back left, Libby Grant; back right, Evan Pitcher; middle right, Callan Grant. (photo source: Charlie Hicks)

The Maine French Heritage Language Program (MFHLP) sixth annual Springtime in Paris fundraising soirée is scheduled for Saturday, May 9, at Le Club Calumet, in Augusta, from 5 – 9:30 p.m. Last year’s event raised over $7,500 and it is their goal that this year’s program will continue to support the learning of French and emphasize the importance of the Franco-American culture within our community.

Springtime in Paris features dinner and music, as well as silent and live auctions. There are some extra surprises for everyone attending.

MFHLP is a nonprofit, after-school French language program that is offered by the Augusta Recreation Department and is based at Buker Community Center. Classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays for lively lessons whose mission is to immerse children in the French language, its rich Franco-American heritage in Augusta, in Maine, and in different French countries all over the world. Watching children gain competence in French is amazing. We offer a second language to younger students at a time when many language programs have been eliminated. What these students learn today can help them achieve success in an increasingly multilingual world!

To keep this important program alive in our community, they need your help and support. Purchasing tickets for the soirée or donating items for the live or silent auctions will contribute to the success of this fun-filled evening.

Tickets cost $50 per person or $400 for a table of eight. Please make checks out to “City of Augusta.” For more information, please call Wendy Somes, at Buker Community Center, 22 Armory Street, Augusta, (207) 626-2350.

Tickets are also available online through www.brownpapertickets.com.

Venez célébrer avec nous notre héritage Franco-Américain. Merci, beaucoup.

Kennebec Historical Society presents the Spool Mills of Western Maine

(Editor: We’re sorry, this event has been canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak!)

In the late 18th century, patrons of James Clark’s cotton thread shop in Paisley, Scotland, first found that they could buy thread wound on wooden spools made by a local wood turner. The convenience caught on and the thread spool industry was born, first in Scotland and Finland, then in the United States. Initially Maine birch wood was shipped to cotton mills in New Jersey and Rhode Island, but it became more economical to turn the spools in Maine, eliminating heavy transportation costs.

Maine had the country’s largest supply of white birch, grown as a succession crop to massive forest fires. Oxford, Franklin, and Piscataquis counties led in the amount of birch available. Following the passage of tariffs on spool created overseas, the spool mill boom was on. Peter Stowell’s ancestors were early to the expansion of these mills as, almost accidentally, they grew the industry from a single mill in Dixfield to dominance in the industry. His presentation traces the history of this now vanished industry in Western Maine.

This month’s KHS speaker, Peter Stowell, grew up in Andover and Bethel. He was entranced early by the majesty of Oxford County’s mountains and rivers and began exploring its history and geography as a child. He is now focused on recovering cultural information long lost to present generations through assiduous research in Maine’s defunct newspapers, official state and federal directories and reports, and informed sources.

This KHS presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted). The presentation will be followed by some light refreshments and take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at Hope Baptist Church, located at 726 Western Avenue, in Manchester.

China Middle Schoolers tour Kennebec Technologies

Submitted by Ryan Sweeney

On January 14, China Middle School JMG had the opportunity to tour Kennebec Technologies, in Augusta. Eighth graders walked the shop floor with Shawn Arbour, director, sales and marketing, and Harvey Smith, director of quality, learning about the variety of machinery and jobs. Students then had an in-depth question/answer session with Shawn and Virginia Fletcher, human resources manager. Shawn and Virginia emphasized the importance of soft skills like work ethic, teamwork and cooperation. Student Sydney Laird commented that hearing Shawn and Virginia emphasize that you don’t need to be the smartest person to be successful. Instead, working hard and being committed are most important in terms of success. I feel like I always try to work hard, which gives me confidence that my effort it will pay off.”

Kennebec Technologies prides itself on a safe and professional workplace. Shawn Arbour added, “I think it’s a valuable experience for both the students and Kennebec Technologies. Kennebec gets to explain and show off to the next generation what we do every day and how it applies to the world we live in. The students get to see what’s out there in the real world and get exposure to a manufacturing environment first hand. It also gives them the opportunity to ask us questions about the work place that we don’t always see from our perspective.” It was a valuable opportunity for all involved.

Ryan Sweeney is JMG Specialist at China Middle School.

Kennebec Historical Society to present “Lost Indian Tribes of Western Maine”

Hopelessly caught between the colonial aims of several European nations, primarily England and France, Maine’s native population never stood a chance. Dozens of tribes in western Maine were decimated by an endless series of war, disease, trauma, and displacement from their homelands. Their cultural presence has been lost to the world; their histories are told by white men. This presentation locates the tribes along western Maine rivers and identifies the forces that sealed their fates. Learn of the names of Wawenocks kidnapped by George Weymouth and Capt. Henry Harlow, of the murder of Squanto, and of the western Maine Indians who were tricked into capture at Dover, New Hampshire, and later imprisoned, hanged, or sold into slavery never to be heard from again.

Our KHS speaker, Peter Stowell, grew up in Andover and Bethel. Educated at Gould Academy, the University of Maine, and Tulane University in New Orleans, he was entranced early by the majesty of Oxford County’s mountains and rivers and began exploring its history and geography as a child. He is now focused on recovering cultural information long lost to present generations through assiduous research in Maine’s defunct newspapers, official state and federal directories and reports, and informed sources. For his presentation to the Kennebec Historical Society, Stowell has collected information on Maine’s Indians from more than 100 sources, some of them dating back to the early 1600s and most of them dating before 1900.

This KHS presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted). The presentation will be followed by some light refreshments and take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 19, at Hope Baptist Church, located at 726 Western Avenue, in Manchester.

Two local graduates receive Maine Dental Association scholarship

Two local graduates were selected to receive the 2019 Alva S. Appleby Scholarship from the Maine Dental Association Charitable Foundation.

Jenna Fongemie, a graduate of St. Dominic Academy, in Auburn, who attends the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and Stephanie Watson, a graduate of Cony High School, in Augusta, who attends the University of New England College of Dental Medicine, were two of 14 students that were selected for the scholarship.

Each of the students was awarded $3,500. To be considered for the annual Appleby Scholarship, a student must be from the state of Maine, have completed their first year of dental school, and be currently enrolled in a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association.

Fongemie is the daughter of Jeffrey and Joline Fongemie of Augusta, and Watson is the daughter of Thomas and Lisa Beeckel of Augusta.