Greely teacher elected president of MEA

Grace Leavitt, a Spanish teacher at Greely High School, has been named the next president of the Maine Education Association.

Leavitt, along with Vice President-elect Jesse Hargrove of Hermon High School and Treasurer-elect Beth French of Regional School Unit 71 (Belfast) were elected during the MEA’s 90th Representative Assembly, held in South Portland May 19-20.

“While it is very difficult to leave the classroom and my students where I teach Spanish at Greely High School, I am ready to lead this association into the future,” Leavitt said in a news release. “I am the daughter of a public school teacher. As a child, and growing up, my father placed a high value on education, and my belief in the power and promise of public education is deep.

“I vow to work to create public schools where our students have equal opportunities and our educators work in schools where they are supported and respected,” Leavitt added.

Leavitt, who was MEA’s vice president for the last six years, will serve two, three-year terms. She and the other newly elected officers take office July 15.

The Representative Assembly elects the MEA’s president, vice president, treasurer, and one National Education Association director “to represent the MEA, work with the Board of Directors, and ensure the smooth functioning of MEA programs,” according to

Mid Coast United Way awards community-builders

Community Builder Awards were presented by the United Way of Mid Coast Maine on May 17 to organizations and individuals who have made “an outstanding contribution to the Mid Coast community.” 

Bath Housing Authority was honored for going beyond its work providing safe and affordable housing to developing successful initiatives such as “Comfortably Home.”

“Since the start of Comfortably Home in 2015, they’ve made 100 homes a safer place to stay …,” United Way Executive Director Barbara Reinertsen said. “Working in partnership with Mid Coast Hospital, Maine Housing, and Habitat for Humanity, this program has grown become so successful that Maine Housing now works with five additional Housing Authorities around the state to duplicate this model.”

The Merrymeeting Gleaners and Lincoln County Gleaners received United Way’s Community Builder Award for a coalition or initiative. Both groups established relationships with local farmers to go into fields after they’ve been commercially harvested, gathered the leftover crops, and distributed them to people in need.

Giving Back

Northeast Delta Dental has contributed $15,000 to USM-coordinated SmilePartners, raising their total support for the initiative to $47,000.

SmilePartners began in 2013 as a work group of the Greater Portland Refugee and Immigrant Health Collaborative. The funds donated by Northeast Delta Dental will help people establish preventive dental care. SmilePartners, a collaborative initiative coordinated by USM, provides oral health literacy education by community health workers. 

New Ventures

Southern Maine Community College, in partnership with Maine Medical Partners and Southern Maine Health Care, is launching a new medical assisting apprenticeship program. Students will learn medical assisting skills in the classroom and apply them on the job while employed by MMP and SMHC. 

Funeral Alternatives has purchased the former Sunray Animal Clinic and moved into the 46 Bath Road location in Brunswick on May 15.


Opera Maine has received a $2,500 grant from Macy’s to launch a new initiative, “Opera for All!” to underwrite 100 tickets to nonprofit agencies to distribute to young and New Mainers and veterans for “The Marriage of Figaro” this summer. 

Hires, promotions, appointments

E2Tech officially announced Melissa Winne as the organization’s new Executive Director. Winne will formally lead E2Tech (Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine) and move the organization’s vision forward by directing initiatives to build connections, provide valuable information and resources, and continue growing Maine’s cleantech economy.

Maine Medical Partners announced the following new hires: Karen Dmytrasz, M.D., geriatric medicine; Claudia Picone, M.D., hospital medicine; Forest R. Sheppard, M.D., acute care surgery; Nathan J. Aranson, M.D., surgical care; and Toby Fitzgerald, D.O., maternal fetal medicine.

The Maine Mariners hockey team announced the addition of Mark Riepe as equipment manager for the Mariners’ inaugural season. Riepe has been named SPHL Equipment Manager of the Year for the Peoria (Illinois) Rivermen.

Maine Life Real Estate Co. has hired Marnie Coleman as the new director of Operations and Client Services. She was previously director of Operations for Cardente Real Estate in Portland.

Katahdin Trust recently announced the promotion of Matthew M. Nightingale to executive vice president, treasurer & CFO; Bonnie C. Foster to executive vice president, Retail Services; and William P. Lucy to executive vice president, Commercial Services.

Several Southern Maine police departments welcomed Maine’s newest police officers, who graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro on May 18: Officer Christopher P. Wolongevicz, Brunswick Police; Deputy Evan A. Rea Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office; Officer Ryan M. Pynchon, Cumberland Police; Officer Steven A. Milton Jr. Freeport Police; Emily J. Lopez, Alexandre S. Michaud and Nicholas S. Stilwell, Maine Marine Patrol; Officers Geoffrey T. Edwards, Cody E. Forbes, Alexander P. Joyce, Kyle T. McIlwaine and Matthew E. O’Connor, Portland Police; Deputy Zachary D. Kindelan Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office; Officer Daniel T. Donovan II, Scarborough Police. Michael Latti, from Brunswick, is one of the state’s five newly graduated game wardens.

Portland-based Illustration Institute has hired Ellen Mahoney of Peak’s Island as its new development director to engage in development and donor relations.


ColemanBath Housing Authority received United Way of Mid Coast Maine’s Community Builder Award for a business or organization at the UW annual meeting May 17. From left are Board Chairwoman Mary Terry, Jessica Irish, Amy Babb and Executive Director Deb Keller.