Waynflete Wins Maine Science Bowl

PORTLAND

Two upper school student teams from Waynflete competed against 20 schools from around the state on March 7 at the Maine Regional Science Bowl Competition. The tournament was held in a round robin-style STEM trivia competition that tested their knowledge in categories including: Earth and Space Science, Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics and Energy.

Waynflete’s A Team, captained by senior science phenom Valerie Geldenhuys, was undefeated through seven rounds, moving the team into the finals.

Geldenhuys was supported by team members Andrew Johannen ’20, Selina He ’21, Levi Lilienthal ’21 and Henry Wagg ’22. The team defeated last year’s winner, the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in the semifinals and went on to defeat Falmouth in the finals.

The team won an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C., to represent Maine in the National Science Bowl competition April 30–May 4. Teams were coached by science teachers Carol Titterton and Wendy Curtis.

• AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, the nation’s largest free, volunteer-based tax preparation and assistance service, has suspended tax preparation services at all sites until further notice due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

The program’s website, www.aarpfoundation.org/taxaide and toll-free number 1-888-227-7669, are the best resources for information and updates regarding changes in service availability.

Tax-Aide will continue to assess whether some or all sites can reopen during this tax season as regularly scheduled, or during a longer tax season if it is extended.

While Tax-Aide provides free tax preparation and filing services to all taxpayers, many of its clients are over 60, a group considered by health experts at higher risk for the coronavirus.

WATERVILLE

The Harold Alfond® Foundation has awarded The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers (MCH) a $250,000 grant to support the adoption agency’s Sustainability and Strategic Growth Project.

Founded in 1899, MCH is a nonprofit agency that annually reaches out to more than 3,000 families and children throughout the state to build and strengthen families and their children.

The grant funds have already helped MCH assess its current programs and operations; strengthen development, stewardship and marketing programs; and will provide support in developing the long-term vision and strategies to assure that the Maine Children’s Home continues to respond thoughtfully and effectively to emerging and existing challenges facing Maine families and their children.

A long-term strategic analysis is being undertaken for the organization’s Dorothy ‘Bibby’ Alfond campus and physical plant in Waterville.

A portion of the funds will be used to support The Connected Community @ MCH: resiliency training, development of expanded community and family resources, as well as to expand Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) programming at the organization and in the community.

Another portion of the funds will be used to explore restructuring and expanding the Sharon Abrams Teen Parent School Program by working with local partners to offer strong, integrated support services for teen parents and their children in their home communities.

“We are thrilled with the continued support and investment of the Harold Alfond® Foundation to provide increasing guidance, resources, and assistance to meet the evolving needs of the families across our communities. The needs we are encountering are more diverse and demanding than ever before,” said Richard Dorian, The Maine Children’s Home executive director. “This gift will allow us to better prepare for our unique response with tools and resources to build safer, happier and healthier homes for many more Maine families.”

The competition was sponsored by the Department of Energy.

AUGUSTA

Maine TREE Foundation announced the planned retirement of executive director Henry Whittemore of Readfield. The board has begun searching for a new executive director for the Augusta-based nonprofit that focuses on environmental education, organization and advocating for the sustainable use of forests and the ecological, economic and social health of Maine’s forest community.

Now in its 31st year, Maine TREE is the sponsor of Project Learning Tree, an award-winning nationwide environmental education curriculum; owns and funds research at the 300-acre Holt Research Forest in Arrowsic; sponsors two summer Teachers’ tours of Maine’s Forests and Mills; and hosts the Maine Tree Farm Committee and Certified Logging Professional Program.

When Whittemore accepted the position in January 2018, his assignment was to make a strategic assessment of the organization and create opportunities to build upon its strengths within 2 to 2 1/2 years.

“With the support of the dedicated board and our talented staff, we have new energy, new connections among all our programs, and stronger relationships within our key forestry, research, environmental education, and logging constituencies,” notes Whittemore. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve as executive director of the Maine TREE Foundation. We have accomplished so much in the past few years, and I am pleased to be able to hand over the organization to its next leader in a very healthy condition.”

The organization expects to review applications in April, conduct interviews in May, and complete the hiring process sometime in June, allowing for some overlap between Whittemore and the new executive director, during the organization’s Teachers’ Tours in July.

Alexander Ingraham, President of Pingree Associates and chair of the Maine TREE Foundation board of directors commented: “This is an exciting time for the Maine TREE Foundation. Although the staff, board, and our many constituencies will miss Henry and his many remarkable talents as a leader in forestry and environmental education, we’re looking forward to finding another stellar executive director to guide us through our next period of growth and new program development.”

Applications (cover letter, resumé, and references) are due by April 15. A full job description is available: http://mainetreefoundation.org/careers.

For more information or to apply for the position, contact the Maine TREE Foundation at [email protected], or call 621-9872.

• Graphite and charcoal is what Alek Gideon chose to capture the personality of his friend, Gus. A sophomore at Freeport High School, Alek had little idea at the time of creating the portrait that Gus’ face would be displayed prominently in the halls of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

Such is the honor of being named the winner of Maine’s 1st District in the 2020 Congressional Art Competition. In Maine’s 2nd District, for the second consecutive year, Carolyn Adams of Lewiston High School was also named the competition winner. Focusing on the medium of photography, Adams said capturing a moment in something as simple as a picture is what sparks her love for still photography.

Gideon and Adams winning art works were selected by a panel of jurors from the Maine Arts Commission and Maine College of Art. Jurors Beth Wilber Van Mierlo and Lin Lisberger represented the Maine’s First District. They described Gideon’s portrait as containing a “delicateness to it that is exquisite,” and “a willingness to go ‘outside’ the frame that shows great artistic courage.”

Gideon received a congratulatory note from Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, who said “Year after year, I am continuously impressed by the quality and creativity of the Maine students’ work being judged for the Congressional Art Competition. This year was certainly no exception. We are so lucky to live in a state where the arts flourish and creativity is encouraged.”

Adams, a senior, said she was humbled that the judges saw something special within her work. Second District jurors Myron Beasley and Wade Kavanaugh said of Adams’ work: “The light in her image tells a beautiful story. Her work communicates a sensibility and humanity that captures what it means to be human.”

Gideon and Adams will be invited to attend the opening ceremony for the exhibit at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington D.C. All award-winning student artwork will be on display at the Maine State House from April through May 2020. A reception also will be held May 18 at the Blaine House to honor all the student award recipients, including runners-up and honorable mentions recognized in each district.

The other winners and honorees include:

1st District – First runner-up: Jacob Smith of Winthrop, Second runner-up: Reagan Davis of Durham. Honorable mentions: Magnolia Sinisi of Freeport, Eliza Goodwin of Freeport and William Gordon of Brunswick.

2nd District – First runner-up: Lilly Hallock of Lewiston, Second runner-up: Jasmine Weiang Li of Hebron. Honorable mentions: Lauren Farmer of Rangeley, Sophia Carson of Auburn, and Cassie Cielinski of Rangeley.

To view all the submissions visit mainearts.com.

SOUTH PORTLAND

A $7,000 donation from the Casco Bay Bluefin Bonanza to the Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges will provide scholarships to students in a trade or marine science program at each of Maine’s seven community colleges.

The funds were raised through the Casco Bay Bluefin’s inaugural tuna fishing tournament in August 2019. The event raised enough funds to provide scholarships to one student at each of the seven Maine community colleges.

The event replaced the Sturdivant Island Tuna Tournament which, after 21 years, held its final tournament in 2018. The final tournament was a bittersweet and fitting tribute to founder Phil Grondin, but its absence left a huge hole in tournament fishing opportunities in Maine. Several local fishermen got together and agreed to keep the tuna tournament tradition alive.

The 2019 tournament included 17 boats that landed 22 fish, the largest weighing 742 pounds. More than 75 individuals and businesses generously supported the event that raised the funds for Maine’s community colleges.

For more details, go to maineccfoundation.org.

CARRABASSETT VALLEY

The Carrabassett Valley Public Library & Community Center will be closed to the public until further notice.

Weather permitting there will be a box or cart outside with books from our used book swap so help yourself. WiFi will still be available 24/7.

NORTH BERWICK

Noble High School Principal Joseph Findlay announced that Jackson Hett has been selected to receive the 2020 Maine Principal’s Award for his academic achievement, community service and service to the school.

Jackson is the son of Daniel and Susan Hett of North Berwick. The award, sponsored by the Maine Principals’ Association, is given in recognition of a high school senior’s academic achievement and citizenship.

Counselor Ryan Kelsey said, “(Jackson) has made a lasting impression here at Noble High School that is filled with goodwill and academic achievement. As a student, Jackson has excelled and accomplished an incredible amount of work. He is a student who has always been self-motivated, leaping at new opportunities and never falling short of doing his best. He appears to love a challenge and has shown that through his academics and exploring his interests.”

Jackson is a mentor to 8th graders at the school, coming in during his free time to help them with their school work. He continues his work with the school and community through student government, mission trips, playing basketball and volunteering at the Berwick Recreation Center and at a local summer camp.

Jackson’s mission trips have brought him to cities like Washington, D.C, and Detroit, Michigan, where he worked with the Salvation Army and helped to build a community garden.

His abilities, maturity and kind demeanor are well known throughout Noble High. Adina Hunter, Noble’s Gifted and Talented Coordinator, said “Jackson has used his natural leadership abilities in a positively beneficial way here at the school. He has devoted countless hours to Student Council initiatives, Project SEARCH seminars, pep rallies, and class-officer responsibilities while serving as Class President for many years. He cares deeply about those around him and wants the best for his school community. Jackson has tremendous initiative. He is a self-starter, highly motivated, and takes his academics and future seriously.”

Jackson and other award winners and administrators will attend an Honors Luncheon in Brewer on April 6 that recognizes their outstanding achievements with the presentation of an individual plaque and the awarding of 10 $1,000 scholarships.

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