Denise McDonough, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine, right, presented medals to children who are enrolled in the Michael Phelps Foundation’s signature water safety and healthy living program, IM, at the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Maine’s Portland clubhouse. A grant from the Anthem Foundation will expand the program to more than 50 children at Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine clubhouses in Portland and South Portland. Contributed

Portland teacher lauded for STEM work

The National AfterSchool Association has selected Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance teacher Hannah Lakin as one of NAA’s 2020 Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders.


Lakin, who lives in Portland, is a STEM education specialist at the Augusta-based school and focuses on designing empowering learning experiences for youth, specifically in experiential STEM. The recognition draws attention to her leadership through Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM. Lakin’s blog post in PBLWorks highlights her commitment to student leadership and embedding community into math and STEM education.

“She is an outstanding member of the MMSA team,” Executive Director Ruth Kermish-Allen said. “Her ability to push the boundaries of innovation in math education and virtual learning is a asset to the entire state of Maine and beyond.”

In selecting the Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders 2020, the National AfterSchool Association highlights emerging young leaders who are active in the after-school community with a proven passion for professional development, efforts to elevate the field and persistence in their work to grow as leaders. Honorees were profiled in the Winter 2020 issue of NAA’s AfterSchool Today magazine.

OUT Maine has outstanding year

According to Rachel Albury, development and operations coordinator, 2019 was an incredible year for OUT Maine in its mission to make the state welcoming and affirming for LGBTQ+ youth.

For the first time, OUT Maine hosted the annual Rainbow Ball Weekend at Camp Wavus in Jefferson, with more than 200 LGBTQ+ and allied high school youth and teachers from across the state in attendance.

In the fall, OUT Maine joined forces with Haystack Mountain School of Crafts to hold the first biannual weekend of arts and crafts taught by LGBTQ+ artists and master crafters from around the country at the Haystack campus in Deer Isle. Over 60 LGBTQ+ high school juniors and seniors attended. OUT Maine also greatly expanded its reach with youth in rural Maine through regional youth overnights and weekend retreats and dramatically increased its safety net of trained providers across the state.

In addition, Haddie Tennenhouse, a Portland seventh grader, raised $130 to purchase formal wear for the prom-goers at the Rainbow Ball LGBTQ+ safe prom. Piper Charron, from Hancock County, created commissioned paintings and raised $300 for OUT Maine.

OUT Maine is also grateful to Midcoast Community Chorus, which raised $5,000 at its summer concert Spheres.

The Greely High School debate team with the spoils of war earned at the state debate competition. In front are Mia Netland, left, and Madison Dalton. In the back row are Ben Hall, Carson Bell, Grant Dresnok and team captain Zach Whiting. Coach Jason Curry is at the top. Contributed

Cumberland high students are top performers in state debate competition

Greely High School won four of Maine’s six slots for the Congressional Debate at the national qualifiers for Maine’s National Speech and Debate Association chapter, held in Augusta on Jan. 18 at the State House.

The Maine event was named in honor of the late Dale Denno, a well-liked and admired state representative for Cumberland and the surrounding area.

According to Greely coach Jason Curry, Yarmouth and Kennebunk teams earned the other two spots at the nationals.

“Other excellent schools that competed on that day were Brunswick, Scarborough, Bangor and Lincoln Academy,” said Curry, who added that the national finals will be held in June in Albuquerque, New Mexico.