Art Abelmann

Art Abelmann

The kayaks were no longer stacked on every other vehicle, I was just beginning to understand the yield signs, one-way streets and no left turns, together with all the pedestrian walkways.

School had started and I, as the new principal of Brunswick High School, was feeling great about the start of school, with positive feedback from faculty, students and parents.

My summer transition had gone well. Names and faces were making sense and I was expressing my appreciation and gratitude for being welcomed to a community that showed such politeness, kindness and commitment to its students and their education.

I have learned that in life there are “if” times and “when” times. Being a motorcycle enthusiast with 20 years of experience and more than 100,000 miles, I always knew that motorcycle mishaps were not an “if” proposition, but rather a “when.”

My “when” came early one day in the second week of September.

The details of the accident really are not important. What is worth commenting on is the appreciation and gratitude I wish to extend to the Brunswick High School community.

It actually all begins with the highest of praise for the Brunswick Fire and Rescue’s Adam Cafro and Deane Stanton. From the quick response to the first-rate emergency medical care I was given, I can honestly say with appreciation and gratitude, you saved my life.

I was in trouble and had no idea how much trouble I was in. What seemed minor turned major when my body basically said “game over” and I was in critical condition at Maine Medical Center. The paramedics made sure I was cared for and got me to where I needed to be. Nothing more than luck had me being under the best of care during each step of my medical condition from near death to getting back to work. Thank you, Brunswick Rescue, with appreciation and gratitude.

Additional appreciation and gratitude goes to the entire Brunswick High School community. Five weeks after my “when” moment, I was back to work, albeit on a shortened schedule. The support from the Office of the Superintendent, from the administrative offices, from the faculty, students and parents, has been nothing shy of incredible. Shortly, I will be back to a full schedule as the principal of Brunswick High School.

Okay, so I have a few names to relearn and I have to start over with my understanding of yield signs and no left turns.

But truly the support shown and given prove to me that Brunswick High School is where I belong. And for that I am full of appreciation and gratitude.

ART ABELMANN is principal of Brunswick High School.

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