Casco Bay High’s longtime principal, Derek Pierce, ended his 19-year career at the school on Friday with a win, coming in first place in the school’s annual boat races at Willard Beach.  The race marks the end of each school year and was Pierce’s last official event as principal.

Pierce and Casco Bay are almost synonymous – he was its first and only principal, and the community-focused school was born of a vision he shared with an adventurous crew of founding educators.

Pierce and the school’s other founders opened Casco Bay’s doors to 75 ninth-grade students almost two decades ago. Since then, the school has expanded to serve 100 students per grade and has educated almost 2,000 students.

The school uses an expeditionary learning model, which centers on curiosity, autonomy and service. Students learn core subjects, but they also can direct their own education and dive into topics they find most interesting. One of expeditionary learning’s main goals is for students to discover what they can achieve.

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