Portland High School seniors are ‘Olympia’s Leaders’

Five Portland High School seniors graduated this month from the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute, designed to develop the skills required to be leaders in their lives, careers and communities.

Casarra Abeasi, Achen Charles, Mariam Douale, Melissa Kaleka and Gloria Sanchez were among more than 150 young women leaders who graduated from the institute in ceremonies June 2 and 5. The seniors were the third class of program participants in the institute’s history. The class came from 36 high schools in all 16 Maine counties.

“Olympia’s Leaders” engage in unique programming blending statewide events, experiential activities in small groups, individual development and reflections, and tailored connections and networking with Maine’s business and community leaders. Throughout all three years, each Olympia’s Leader is supported by one or two trained volunteer advisors, who facilitate monthly activities and serve as a mentor and role model.

The Olympia’s Leaders at Portland High School were advised by Jill Sady, vice president and chief of staff to the president and CEO at the Council on International Educational Exchange, and Roxana Marrero, sales representative and cooking instructor at LeRoux Kitchen.

Catholic schools to open this fall

The Office of Maine Catholic Schools announced that schools under its umbrella will be open for the 2020-21 school year with a full schedule. Both before and after care at the schools will also reopen.

Local schools include Holy Cross School in South Portland, St. Brigid School in Portland, St. James School in Biddeford and St. John’s Catholic School in Brunswick.

“In conjunction with the Diocese of Portland, our administrative team has been and will continue planning for a safe and efficient opening in the fall for our schools,” said Marianne Pelletier, superintendent of Maine Catholic Schools. “Following CDC guidelines for reopening schools, we are in the process of modifying our classrooms and facilities to successfully comply. Additional cleaning supplies have been ordered and extra staff is being brought on to assist. We are confident that our schools’ health protocols and processes will keep our school environments as healthy and as safe as possible for all members of our communities.”

Local students accepted to military academies

Two recent local graduates have accepted offers to attend military academies after being nominated by Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, D-Maine.

John R. “Jack” Bassett of Cape Elizabeth will be entering the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland this fall, while Nathan P. Mars of Scarborough has enrolled in the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York.


“Attending the Naval Academy would allow me the opportunity to honor family tradition, challenge myself, and serve the greatest country on the planet,” Bassett wrote in his letter requesting a nomination. “Beyond this, it would provide me the chance to see the world, and make a positive difference in it.”

Bassett is the son of Kim and Joel Bassett and a graduate of Cape Elizabeth High School.


Nathan Mars, who is a graduate of Scarborough High School and the son of Christopher and Colleen Mars, said in his letter: “I want to serve the United States because of the vast amount of opportunities this country has provided me as a citizen, such as a great education, and because I would like to protect and uphold the values of the nation, such as freedom of speech and expression for all people.”

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