September 2012

posted Jan 4, 2013, 10:53 AM by Dawna Green   [ updated Jan 4, 2013, 10:54 AM ]

MSAD #51

Achievements & Recognition

September 2012

The 2012-2013 school year is off to a strong start, with schools working on both combined and individual initiatives.  We celebrate the work of the staff and students, who have started the year
off with energy and enthusiasm, and administrators and teachers, who are providing strong leadership in prioritizing the goals for the upcoming year. The following are a few highlights from each school community:

Mabel I. Wilson School
Mabel I. Wilson School formed a new wellness team.  The group met in the spring and has already added a few new members this fall.  At this time, the team’s goals are focused on staff wellness, yet the group hopes to extend those goals to the students once it gets up and running. This month, the wellness committee is encouraging staff members to drink more water.  The group plans to meet regularly to determine how to support people with their wellness goals.

Another group that has been working hard at Mabel I. Wilson are the math mentors.  This group consists of grade level representatives who form a math leadership team.  The mentors have spent many hours this summer and already in September having discussions around curriculum and instruction.  They are working on ways to support teachers with personalized learning through differentiation opportunities.

Lastly, many staff members have been working on the teacher evaluation system this summer and fall.  As a highlight, one of the components of the system is peer observations.  Mabel I. Wilson has had a significant number of teachers step forward to be endorsed as peer observers. This willingness to participate at that level is indicative of the teachers' dedication to improving teaching and learning. 

North Yarmouth Memorial School
All fourth grade classes at NYMS are participating in an Adventure-Based Learning Program through Sweetser.  Students and staff will focus on team building, communication, cooperation, and decision making throughout the year.  Current fifth graders participated last year, so
school-wide NYMS is utilizing the High Five of Respect developed from this program, to provide common language to build its school culture. Elements of the High Five of Respect are:
- I will include others  
- I will take responsibility      - I will take care of myself- I will tell the truth    - I will show compassion

Special thanks to the PTO and Foundation 51 for their support of this initiative.

The Wellness Committee is eagerly planning activities for students and staff to guide and support healthy living.  The group looks forward to engaging the greater community to help support its efforts.  The Wellness Committee is currently seeking volunteers to assist with its
recess-walking group, The Memorial Milers. 

Greely Middle School
Greely Middle School is off to a great start.  Both Katahdin and Merrymeeting students enjoyed outstanding days on Cow Island participating in the Ripple Effect program.  The team building that occurs during this adventure learning opportunity fosters relationships and supports a healthy climate all year at Greely Middle School. 

Kim Brandt spent a week in September in Washington, DC with Principals of the Year from around the country.  She had the opportunity to meet with Senator Collins, Senator Snowe and Congresswoman Pingree to discuss the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and to advocate for the importance of the LEARN Act (Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation) and the Success in the Middle Act.  Brandt enjoyed the networking and collaborative opportunities with other principals, and felt affirmed by the work Greely Middle School is doing in regards to literacy, technology integration and school climate.

The Library Media Center received 50 new iPads for 6th graders this year, which will be integrated with the technology department.  Students will receive two information literacy classes, one which focuses on library media and one on library skills. Twenty new 6th graders signed up as tech volunteers, joining eight remaining students from last year.  A Student Tech Team will be created later in the year.

Thomas Gonye, a 7th grader in Team Sentinel, is to be congratulated for reaching his goal of reading all the books nominated for the Maine State Book Award.  Not only did Thomas read all the books, he logged and rated all of them on his Goodreads account.  He even wrote reviews of many. Keep up the good reading Thomas!

Greely High School
Greely High School has enjoyed a strong start to the year, having begun a number of new initiatives.  These initiatives include ongoing school climate work, and expanding its leadership structure to include the review of its advisory and technology plans.  Greely is also working on a comprehensive review of its SAT data, and is devoting regular professional development time to improving its instructional practices.

Mollie Braley, Shane Del Bianco, Jacob Isaacson, Evan Morrison and Duncan Routh were named Commended Students in the 2013 National Merit School Program.  They are among 34,000 students nationally being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Commended students placed among the top 5% of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2013 competition, by taking the 2011 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Liam Campbell and Katie Ventre qualified as Semifinalists in the 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program. Congratulations Katie and Liam!

John Hayward is to be congratulated for winning both showmanship classes, grand champion market lamb, and overall best ram at the Cumberland Fair this year.  He was featured on channel 6 WCSH program, 207 for his agricultural accomplishments.

Jon Carlson pulled off another successful Harvest Lunch at each of the schools on Thursday, September 27th.  Jon served local beef, fish, fruits and vegetables, in a meal that is always popular among students and staff.  The appreciation is demonstrated in the fact that lunch participation was 45% higher than on a typical day.  The lunch is one indicator of the district’s increased commitment to serving local food when possible, and many thanks go to Jon and the kitchen staff for providing such a delicious and healthy meal.

Ann Dillon, Music Teacher at North Yarmouth Memorial School and Greely Middle School, qualified to compete in August in the sprint distance USA National Age Group Triathlon in Burlington, Vermont.  The sprint distance includes a half-mile swim, 12.4 mile bike and 5K run. The top athletes in each age group qualify for the World Triathlon which will be held in London in September 2013 and Ann qualified! She will swim, bike and run where the Olympics took place last summer.  Ann reports to being honored and grateful for her health, having learned to run at age 60.  She invests a significant amount of time in her training, not only swimming, biking and running on an almost daily basis, but also doing strength and circuit training.  She hopes that the stories she shares with her students serve as an example of how perseverance pays off. Congratulations Ann and good luck in London!