Wells Junior High School students recently assisted their younger peers with book choices during a National Read a Book Day at their local library. This group also is representative of WJHS students who participated in the Wells Ogunquit Community School District’s 2019 Summer Reading program. Photo courtesy Reg Bennett


Junior high students celebrate literacy

Wells Junior High School students started the school year by celebrating their achievements as participants of the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District’s Summer Reading Program.

The reading program was begun in 2016 to help motivate and support students to continue reading throughout the summer months and beyond. Originally proposed by WOCSD Superintendent Jim Daly to the district’s school librarians, students select the books that they want to read from a wide selection of titles.

“It’s a great opportunity for our kids over the summer,” said Daly who expressed satisfaction over the reading program completing its fourth year. “Anytime we get a chance to encourage our students to read is a good thing,” he added.

Lynn Mercier, the WJHS librarian, agreed, saying “While some students are more excited about reading than others, the program is something the students look forward to and enjoy, especially since they can keep the books.”

Mercier also credited Annie’s Book Stop and owner Francine Tanguay for supporting the program through book orders and making the paperbacks available to students. “Francine has helped immensely with the Summer Reading Program by providing generous discounts and donating many of the books over the years,” added Mercier.

Student participants of the program received another boost to continue reading outside the classroom when WJHS recently celebrated National Read a Book Day. Nearly 250 students participated by visiting and reading in their school’s library.

The day began with grades 7 and 6 ELA teacher Laney Yeomelakis encouraging students to check books out of the library and begin reading. Grade 6 ELA teacher Sarah Downs followed suit along with many other teachers keeping the library filled to capacity throughout the school day.

District seeks coaches, substitute teachers

The Wells-Ogunquit Community School District is seeking substitute teachers and athletic coaches to fill needed roles at all three of its schools.

At the start of the day, substitutes will confer with an administrative assistant, who will address questions and concerns. In the classroom, substitutes should find easy-to-follow lesson plans, drawn up in advance by the regular teacher who is absent.

Wells High School and Wells Junior High School substitute teacher hours are from 7:20 a.m. to 2 p.m. While Wells Elementary School substitutes work from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The pay rate for substitutes is competitive with other area school districts.

Applications are available online at www.k12wocsd.net or at the WOCSD superintendent’s office, 1460 Post Road.

For more details, call 646-8331 between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Teacher visits Germany on fellowship tour

Wells High School social studies and psychology teacher Kevin O’Shaughnessy joined 12 other U.S. and Canadian teachers this summer to visit Germany and become fellows in the Goethe-Institut USA’s Transatlantic Outreach Program, Year of German-American Friendship.

After an orientation in Washington, D.C., the group flew to Munich, where they attended a formal state dinner with the German Foreign Office and were provided with a seminar in German cultural norms and history.

Over a two-week period, the group toured cities, visiting schools and businesses to bring the countries together to enhance the global competence of students and bridge the “skills gap” between education and workforce development.

Germany has a two-track educational system with an apprenticeship model: a “Reality Track” that involves vocational training mixed with regular instruction and internship in subjects like accounting, robotics and computer technology, with internships that allow students to alternate work with in-school study, and a “University Track” for students who wish to earn advanced degrees.

“Where we tend to have a ‘one size fits all education’ (in the U.S), they tend to let kids create pathways to get certificates,” said O’Shaughnessy who indicated that older German students mentor younger students and that most speak two or three languages. And, that studying the arts also plays an integral role to enhance classes in science, tech, and math in German education.

“We need to provide more opportunities for our high school students to explore more apprenticeship and vocational opportunities,” said O’Shaughnessy who has taught at WHS since 2001. “Germany has excellent partnerships between employers and schools and that is a major reason why it has the lowest youth unemployment rates in the world.”

The visiting educators also participated in a walking tour around Berlin, where they visited the Brandenburg Gate, Munich where they visited the enormous Olympiastadion, and Dachau where they visited school models of the two teaching tracks. They also had a sobering visit to the former Nazi Dachau concentration camp. And, the group stayed in a medieval castle remade into a modern hotel.

These teaching fellowship tours are funded by the Goethe Institut Washington, Deutsche Bank, Robert Bosch Stiftung, and Siemens.


Bank donates $500 to kids cancer program

Partners Bank recently awarded the Maine Children’s Cancer Program with a $500 gift from its monthly employee donation program.

A specialty-care practice of Maine Medical Partners, Maine Children’s Cancer Program provides a complete range of clinical services that addresses the unique needs of children and their families who are diagnosed with cancer and blood diseases. Located in Scarborough, Maine Children’s Cancer Program also conducts ongoing research, including participation in clinical research trials sponsored by the Children’s Oncology Group.

For more details, visit: mainehealth.org/maine-medical-partners/practices/maine-childrens-cancer-program.


Water district gets award for budgeting

The Portland Water District recently was awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association.

The award represents a significant achievement and reflects a commitment to the highest principles of governmental budgeting.

For more details, call public relations manager Michelle Clements at 774-5961 Ext. 3050 or go to www.pwd.org.

Harvest Ball taking reservations by phone

Reservations are being accepted to attend the 13th annual Harvest Ball, set for Oct. 25 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay.

Bishop Robert Deeley will host for the fundraising event, which features dinner, dancing and silent auction tables.

The ball begins at 6 p.m., with a social hour and hors d’oeuvres. Dinner will be served at 7:15 p.m., followed by dancing to the music of The Carmine Band.

All proceeds support the evangelizing mission of Harvest magazine, which is sent to nearly 40,000 Catholic households across Maine.

Tickets are $60 per person, $440 for a table of eight, $495 for a table of nine and $550 for a table of 10.

To register, call 773-6471.


Panera Bread raises $13,000 for food bank

PR Management Corp., the leading franchisee of Panera Bread in New England, presented $13,000 to Good Shepherd Food Bank as part of its Feeding America initiative.

The money will help provide hunger relief to people throughout Maine. Over the past month, PR Management has donated a total of $171,000 to different food banks in Maine,  New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

The bakery-cafes of Maine operated by PR Management, including those in South Portland, Augusta, Westbrook, Biddeford, Auburn and Topsham, collected funds from customers through in-store canisters. Panera Bread/PR Management then matched a percentage of all funds donated by its customers.

filed under: