Portland schools hire summer school administrator


Molly Myers has been named the Portland Public Schools’ new Academic Supports and Transition coordinator. Her role will include overseeing the summer school program for more than 1,300 students and supporting the district’s Barr Foundation work to collect data on how the district supports students across the system.

Myers previously served as the district’s summer program coordinator in 2019 and also taught social studies in Lewiston and Wiscasset. Before moving to Maine, Myers taught social studies for 16 years in the Chicago Public Schools and started a freshman academy to support students transitioning to high school, leading a student voice committee and supporting teachers in proficiency-based teaching practices.

CBHS senior wins microgrant

Casco Bay High School senior Siri Pierce is one of just 11 students nationwide chosen as a 2020 Rep My City Microgrant winner. Pierce won for her advocacy for solar panels at the Portland Public Schools.

The grants were awarded in the Rep My City Challenge, a campaign in which Pop-Tarts, Kellogg and United Way partnered to spotlight young people who have the vision to create the change they want to see. Each winner gets a $5,000 grant and may work with their local United Way to promote and implement their ideas.

The Rep My City Challenge asked young people ages 13-22 to develop a creative way to address issues in their communities. Submissions included ideas to provide beds for the homeless, support translation for immigrants and reduce neighborhood crime.

The Portland Board of Public Education in August approved a plan to develop a 3,500-kilowatt solar project that could cover 60%-80% of the district’s energy needs and result in an estimated $50,000 per year in savings.


The board unanimously passed a resolution directing Superintendent Xavier Botana to pursue a power purchase agreement for an offsite, metered solar project. The resolution credits SolaRISE – an organization of students from all three of the district’s high schools, of which Pierce is an organizer – with leading the effort to build support for a solar energy program.

S. Portland Scouts announce Pinewood Derby winners

South Portland Pack 22 held its annual Pinewood Derby on Feb. 29, the highlight of the year for pack members in kindergarten through fifth grade from South Portland and surrounding towns.

Cub Scout Pack 22 in South Portland announced Gabby Gratton was this year’s first-place winner of the Pinewood Derby. Bill Gratton

This year’s winners were: first place, Gabby Gratton; second place, Ryleigh Smith; third place, Sebastian Buck; fourth place, John Pugatch; fifth place, Kayle Mukono; and sixth place, Robert Lewis.

The guest of honor was South Portland Mayor Kate Lewis, who kicked off the first race of the morning and judged cars in the superlative categories.

Thirty-two Scouts and 12 parents and siblings competed for the fastest car. According to Cubmaster Dan Pugatch in a press release, the cars travel down the track at an average speed of 20 mph.

“To put this into perspective, if these cars were life-size this would be in excess of 200 mph,” Pugatch said.

Using a computerized track with timers and photo sensors revealed the difference between first and last place was a mere 1/600th of a second.

Pack 22 will be sending the first to sixth place winners, along with Most Scout Spirit winner Walter Simpson, to the Casco Bay District Race on April 18 at Scarborough High School.

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