Artist Rachel Gloria Adams created a mural in the Skillin Elementary School library in South Portland. Contributed

South Portland school feels the love with new artwork

The students at Skillin Elementary School can now enjoy a dynamic and colorful piece of artwork that was created just for their library.

Local artist Rachel Gloria Adams installed a mural called “To Skillin, with Love” in the story area using her signature geometric style that can be seen around Portland, including the new Children’s Museum of Maine at Thompson’s Point.

“We wanted something that would reflect the diversity and energetic spirit of our school, while also being child-centered and playful,” said librarian Jennifer Stanbro.

“It was important to us that all students be able to connect with the piece and Rachel worked with us to create a design that allows students to interpret art in their own creative ways,” Principal Bethany Connolly said.

This year the library also acquired the first permanent I’m Your Neighbor Welcoming Library collection designed to both reflect upon and educate about the modern immigration experience. Skillin has also begun a small multilingual library to help students leverage their home language as they also learn in English.

“We want to send a very clear message of belonging and inclusion to all students,” Stanbro said. “We want them to know that the world is full of possibilities and to cultivate their confidence in their ability to access all it has to offer.”

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Portland educator semifinalist for teacher of the year

Casco Bay High School social studies teacher Matt Bernstein is among eight County Teachers of the Year named as semifinalists for 2023 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Bernstein is among 16 teachers – one from each of Maine’s counties – selected from a pool of hundreds of teachers nominated by a member of their school community as part of the Maine Teacher of the Year Program.

Bernstein, who is the 2022 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year, and the seven other semifinalists will continue with the 2023 Maine Teacher of the Year selection process.

The next step for the semifinalists will be a “Presentations, Panels and Portfolios” session July 28 at the University of Maine. The teachers will give a mock keynote speech and participate in a panel discussion. They must also submit a portfolio that is based on the National Teacher of the Year application.

Interns serve state offices

Several local students were among the 52 undergraduate and graduate college students who have started working in state, municipal and county offices through the 2022 Maine Government Summer Internship Program.

Tessa Kilgore of South Portland, who is attending the University of Michigan, is a data research and GIS mapping intern at Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission.

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Other interns, their schools and internships are:

Rosalie Leonard of South Portland, Clark University, data analyst, Department of Labor, Center for Workforce Research & Information.

Ryan Harke of Portland, University of Maine School of Law, consumer credit examiner intern, Maine Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.

Shaylyn MacKinnon of Portland, University of Michigan, American rescue plan policy project manager, Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Grace Nichols of Portland, University of Maine School of Law, advocate assistant, Maine Workers’ Compensation Board.

Keiran Lorentzen of Yarmouth, Kenyon College, beverage container redemption program intern, Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Ashley O’Brien of Scarborough, College of the Holy Cross, junior compensation analyst, Judicial Branch, Administrative Office of the Courts.

Piper Strunk of Cape Elizabeth, Bates College, innovative education assistant, Maine Department of Education.

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