June 15, 2018

Windham Christian Academy 2018 graduates

Jacob Morton

Jacob has been attending Windham Christian Academy on and off since the fifth grade. This year, he played soccer and was captain of the varsity basketball team. Jacob is hoping to continue to be involved in basketball in some way, whether coaching, journalism, or even sports medicine.

Katie Willard

Katie started attending Windham Christian Academy part time in the third grade and began full time in the fifth grade. Katie played soccer, was a flutist in our band, and was part of our SALT leadership team. Katie was named our Salutatorian and plans to attend St. Joseph's college in the fall.

Amanda Huang

Amanda started attending Windham Christian Academy in the fourth grade. Amanda has gotten involved in whatever she could from soccer to basketball, to band to acting in our play. Throughout all of this, her academic achievements earned her the title of Valedictorian. Amanda plans to attend Husson University in the fall. 

Tyler Homer

Tyler began attending Windham Christian Academy part time in the second grade. He enrolled full time in the sixth grade. He is looking for a career featuring machinery and has an interest in prop design. Tyler is considering attending Southern Maine Community College in the fall.

Windham High School graduates 121st class by Michelle Libby

On Sunday afternoon, June 10th at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland, 235 students from Windham High School crossed the stage to receive their high school diplomas.

“Today’s ceremony is a celebration for all of our graduates. This rite of passage is both a solemn and joyous occasion; it marks the successes and struggles that each student has met while at Windham High School,” was printed in the graduation program. This was exemplified in each student who sat on the stage with different colored stoles, a variety of pins signifying achievements and honors, colorful cords and medals earned at sporting events.

The guest speaker was George McCrillis, a volunteer, coach and mentor for many of the athletes at Windham High. He spoke about his experiences volunteering with various organizations and meeting important people there, including presidents.

Speeches were given by salutatorian John Burnell, Logan Cropper, Danielle Meader, Elizabeth McBride and valedictorian Dominic Agneta. They spoke of the past, present and future of the class of 2018. And Agneta, along with his three sisters, thanked Tony, his dog, for his support. In a moving number, the senior choir sang “Live for Tomorrow”.

Principal Christopher Howell, who was attending his last graduation as principal, before moving to the central office as assistant superintendent, presented the class of 2018 and distributed the diplomas. He was joined by superintendent Sandy Prince, RSU 14 School Committee vice-chair Diana Froisland, vice principals Deborah McAfee and Philip Rossetti.

The class of 2018 traveled to Thomas College for Project Graduation fun.

Windham Christian Academy begins disc golf team by Lorraine Glowczak

Six students in the seventh through twelfth grades at the Windham Christian Academy (WCA) participated in and competed for the first time in disc golf; a sport that is growing in popularity around the U.S. The students competed against two other schools, Grace Christian Academy in West Gardner as well as Pinetree Academy in Freeport. The six-week competition began on April 24th with the last game ending the season on May 29th.

The idea to incorporate the game into the WCA sports program was sparked by a post on the Maine
Zeb Cleaves, WCA student and disc golf player
Christian Schools Sports League website, asking area Christian schools if they would consider creating a league. “I asked the students if they might be interested in joining a disc golf league competition,” explained Jackie Sands, WCA Principal. “And, that is all it took. We had six interested students and it quickly became a reality.”

The words “disc golf” and “competition” used in the same sentence may seem like an oxymoron. “With this game, the competition isn’t so much about competing with others, but it is more about competing against yourself to improve your personal skill,” stated student and disc golf player, Elijah Seavey.

Seavey has some experience with the game as he often plays disc golf with his father and some of their friends. They have played at various disc golf courses in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, with their latest adventure in Limington, ME. “We mainly play for the fun of it,” he said.

According to the Professional Disc Golf Association, “Disc golf is played much like traditional golf. Instead of a ball and clubs, however, players use a flying disc or Frisbee®. The sport was formalized in the 1970s and shares with "ball golf" the object of completing each hole in the fewest strokes (or, in the case of disc golf, fewest throws). A golf disc is thrown from a tee area to a target which is the "hole". The hole can be one of a number of disc golf targets; the most common is called a Pole Hole®, an elevated metal basket.”

https://www.trufcu.com/Many of the six students have had some experiences playing the sport and thought that it would be a fun, low impact sport alternative to get involved in for extracurricular activities after school. “It is just like mini-golf,” explained WCA student and disc golf team member, Rachel Willard. “The onlydifference is you play with a Frisbee® and not with a ball. It was a lot of fun to play with my friends and to meet new people.”

The students played on courses at CR Farm Golf Course in Gardiner (Grace Christian Academy’s home course), Sabattus Disc Golf Course (Pinetree Academy’s home course) and the Pineland Farms Course in New Gloucester (WCA’s home turf). To practice their throws and to develop their own skills, WCA’s talented Wood Shop Instructor, Bob Berry built a Pole Hole®.

“There is not one way a person is expected to throw the disc in order to be the best you can be,” explained Seavey. “It’s really about finding your own ability and what works for you.”

It seems that the WCA disc players learned their own throwing capacity with the fewest throws to the target as they placed second in the league. “What amazed me the most about the players is how much they improved their skills in a matter of just six weeks,” stated their coach and WCA Physics Instructor, John Lancaster. “I was very impressed and proud of them.”
The disc golf team consisted of Molly Kramschuster; Rachel Willard; Gideon Richard; Mr. Lancaster; Zeb Cleaves; Adam Huang; Elijah Seavey

As with everything one partakes in life, you usually learn a few unexpected things. Most of the WCA participants were surprised to discover that there are approximately 75 various sizes of flying discs one can use to play the sport, unlike the maximum of 14 golf clubs in traditional golf.

Additionally, the students learned what type of shoe to wear. “Always wear boots when playing on a disc golf course,” WCA student and player, Molly Kramschuster suggested. “Many courses will take you into some very marshy areas and wearing boots is really important if you want to play a good game.”

Although a low-key sport, there are still challenges one must face. What is the greatest encounter in playing disc golf? “Trees in the way while you are trying to throw the disc to the target is the most difficult challenge,” stated Zeb Cleaves, WCA student and disc golf player.

The challenge, however, did not prevent the students from having a great time. When asked if they planned to participate in a disc golf league again next, WCA and disc golf participant Adam Huang exclaimed, “Oh yes, we will definitely do this again in the future.”

Air Race Classic makes final stop in Maine

June marks a historic event in women’s air racing right here in Fryeburg, Maine. On June 21 and 22, 53 teams of women pilots will be racing in this year’s Air Race Classic. Eastern Slopes Regional Airport in Fryeburg is the finish for the 2018 event, marking the end of a four-day cross country race over more than 2,656 miles from Sweetwater, Texas.

Starting on June 19, the race teams, each consisting of at least two women pilots, must fly in clear weather during daylight hours and make high-speed flybys at eight designated timing points along the route before landing in Fryeburg by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 22.

Women’s air racing is steeped in history. In 1929, Amelia Earhart and her contemporaries fought for and finally won the right to participate in an air race of their own called the Women’s Air Derby. That historic event spurred women pilots to take action and they formed an all-woman, licensed pilot-only group called the International Organization of Women Pilots, nicknamed “The Ninety-Nines” in honor of the 99 charter members.

Amelia Earhart was the organization’s first elected president. Today, The Ninety Nines have an international membership of over 5,500 women pilots from ultra-light flyers to airline captains and even astronauts and others associated with NASA.

Over the last several decades the Women’s Air Derby evolved into the All Women’s Transcontinental Air Race, better known as the Powder Puff Derby. The most recent incarnation of women’s air racing is now known as the Air Race Classic.

http://www.time4printing.com/The Air Race Classic is an event like no other — dedicated to promoting the tradition of the pioneering women that flew even during WWII as WASP’s. This 2,656-mile transcontinental race is a show of talent and tenacity for these teams of women pilots, who range in age from 17 to 90.
Fifty-three aircraft and 117 racers, from collegiate teams and first timers to veteran competitors, will be participating this year. These female racers are the new pioneers that highlight the roles of women in aviation today and will inspire the next generation of women pilots.

The local chapter of The Ninety-Nines, the Katahdin Wings, will be hosting the festivities in Fryeburg following the landing of the last race team. On Saturday, June 23, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Eastern Slopes Regional Airport will hold an open house, Aviation Youth Event, and Hiring Fair. Windham resident, Twyla Rogers has been a member of the Ninety-Nines.

The public is invited to this free event and welcome to stop by the airport to learn more about aviation. The Youth Event will have a hands-on display, active learning stations, static displays of aircraft and aviation-related activities, as well as an opportunity to meet the women air racers. Reservations are recommended for the Youth Event for planning purposes and may be made by calling Karissa Davan at 919-601-3566 or e-mailing 99skidsaviation@gmail.com.

For information about the events at Eastern Slope Regional Airport contact the Air Race Classic Stop Chair, Brenda Thibodeau, at brenda@greenthumbfarms.com or call 207-592-9342. More information about the Air Race Classic can be found at airraceclassic.org, and more information about The Ninety-Nines is at ninety-nines.org.

June 8, 2018

Windham High School Class of 2018 Top Ten Graduates

Dominic Agneta

My name is Dominic Agneta and I will be attending UMaine in the fall to major in mechanical engineering. I would like to thank all my science teachers at WHS, especially Mr. Rathbun and Mr. Hanaburgh, who have all helped to cultivate me as a learner. In my spare time, I enjoy fixing cars with my Dad, kayaking, dirt bike riding, and building robots with my physics class.

John Burnell

My name is Jack Burnell and I’ll be attending UMO this fall to study biochemistry. During high school, I participated in Spanish Honor Society and Interact Club. I’d like to thank my family, my hilarious friends and the fantastic teachers I’ve had at Windham High School for keeping me both focused and amused. Best of luck to everyone in the class of 2018!

Elizabeth McBride

My name is Elizabeth McBride and I’ll be attending the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in psychology. My goal is to work in the tech industry, helping to develop new media that is less harmful to mental health. There’s never been a dull moment these past four years, as I’ve kept myself busy with Young Life, Windham Chamber Singers, theater, and many other great extra-curricular activities, and am the proud recipient of this year’s Principal’s Award. I love my town and state but can’t wait for the adventures ahead of me in the golden state of California.

Danielle Meader

My name is Dani Meader and next year I’ll be going to the University of Vermont to major in business. While in high school, I’ve been a captain of cross-country, indoor track, and outdoor track, as well as the Vice President of National Honor Society. I’ve also participated in Windham Chamber Singers and Be The Influence Coalition. I would like to thank my wonderful teachers, coaches, friends, and family who have helped me grow as an individual and leader throughout these years. I hope to make them proud, wherever my future may take me.

Logan Cropper

My name is Logan Cropper and I have been involved in several extra-curricular activities, including the Windham Chamber Singers, National Honor Society, Be The Influence Coalition, and Theatre Tech. I am a three-sport varsity athlete, and compete with Science Olympiad, where I have been a two-event state champion. I enjoy being outdoors and adventuring with friends, creating music on various instruments and vocally, and working with computers and electronic systems. I will be attending Brigham Young University in the fall, majoring in electrical engineering. The following year, I plan to take a two-year service mission for my church, after which I will complete my education at BYU.

Elizabeth Lucas

My name is Elizabeth Lucas. In the fall I will be attending Rochester Institute of Technology majoring in biochemistry. I hope to one day work in the field of genetics and DNA. My dream would be to do work and participate in research that saves lives. I would like to thank my family for their endless support, and for listening to my countless “science facts.”

Grace Sawyer

My name is Grace Sawyer, and I will be attending Clark University in the fall. There I plan to become involved in various clubs, such as Clark’s Rapid Response EMS service, which I hope will help me earn a biology degree on a pre-medicine track. While you might (or hopefully won’t) see me in the emergency room sporting a white coat in the future, for now you can see me wearing a field hockey jersey on the Clark Turf.

Amanda O’Connor

My name is Amanda O’Connor and I will be attending Emerson College this fall for Creative Writing. I hope to one day become a writer. I want to stay in New England and look forward to spending the next four years, maybe even more, in Boston. I have enjoyed my time at Windham High School and cannot wait to embark on this new adventure.

Dylan Varney

In the fall I will be studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maine in Orono, as a member of the Honors College. I am forever grateful to my mother and father, who have supported me through all the highs and lows with the same constant and abiding affection. Without my family I would not be where I am today, thank you for giving me everything and helping me to pursue my dreams.

Noah Hall

My name is Noah Hall and I will be attending the University of Southern Maine next fall in pursuit of a music education degree. Throughout high school, I have been involved in many activities, including WHSXC, indoor/outdoor track, Portland Youth Wind Ensemble, and Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra (both of which I was principal trumpet). I also participated in numerous music festivals, including District 2 Honors Band, District 2 Honors Jazz Band, and Maine All State Orchestra. I would like to thank Dr. Trae Blanco, Betty McIntyre, and Hanna Flewelling for teaching me the importance of music and supporting me through my journey

Diverse Task Force to develop conservation roadmap

Twenty individuals and organizations have formed a Task Force to shape the next generation of Maine Land Conservation, coming on the heels of three decades of unprecedented accomplishments. The group, co-chaired by David Trahan, Executive Director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, and Tim Glidden, President of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, convened for the first time on Tuesday, May 29th in Augusta. They plan to meet at least five more times and solicit public feedback prior to developing a final report in early 2019.

“Despite the many conservation successes realized in recent years, traditional public access to the outdoors continues to be threatened and the loss of habitat remains a challenge to the health of deer, brook trout, waterfowl, and other important wildlife species,” explained Sportsman’s Alliance Executive Director David Trahan; “I look forward to joining other task members as we identify the state’s future conservation priorities and develop a roadmap to ensure outdoor recreational activities remain a vibrant component of Maine’s culture.”

The Task Force has embraced an ambitious agenda, including the following issues:

Identifying land and water conservation initiatives that reflect the evolving priorities of Maine people and communities, improving public access to existing conservation lands, enhancing collaboration between economic development organizations, recreational groups, land trusts, municipalities, businesses, and other civic organizations, maximizing ways in which land and water conservation activities benefit local and regional economies, and proposing funding, strategies, and policy options to support the Task Force’s recommendations.
“Following voter approval of the Land for Maine’s Future Program in 1987, our state enjoyed a remarkable thirty-year period of land conservation, with achievements touching all corners of the state and all facets of life for Maine people,” shared Maine Coast Heritage Trust President, Tim Glidden. “However, there has been a growing realization that the state needs to complete a fresh assessment of current ecological challenges, community needs, and economic opportunities in order to lay the groundwork for a new chapter of land conservation activities in Maine.”

Sponsored by the individuals and organizations that have agreed to participate, the composition of the 20-member Task Force, reflects the many ways land conservation positively impacts Maine people with representatives from land trusts, sportsmen organizations, outdoor recreational groups, municipalities, the State Legislature, businesses, and others. Members include the following:

John Banks, Penobscot Indian Nation
Adam Bishop, Maine Farmland Trust
Cathy Breen, State Senator
Jen Brophy, Red River Camps
John Bryant, American Forest Management
Patrick Corey, State Representative
Hugh Cowperthwaite, CEI
Lee Dassler, Western Foothills Land Trust
Tim Glidden, Maine Coast Heritage Trust
Doug Kane, ATV Maine
Dennis Keschl, Belgrade Town Manager
Don Kleiner, Maine Professional Guides Association
Alex Koch, Unity College Student
Janet McMahon, Ecologist
Austin Muir, Chewonki Foundation
Nancy Smith, GrowSmart Maine
Alison Sucy, Maine Tourism Association
Wolfe Tone, Maine Huts & Trails
David Trahan, Sportsman's Alliance of Maine
Chris Winstead, Piscataquis County Economic Development Council

“Maine has a unique, natural beauty that provides amazing experiences for its citizens as well as visitors,” said Alison Sucy, Director of Government Affairs for the Maine Tourism Association. “Tourism, which generates nearly $9 billion in sales, contributes $600 million in taxes and supports 107,000 jobs, is one of the top economic drivers in the state and, therefore, it is critical that we ensure that conserved lands are open for public use and enjoyment.”

“This Task Force is poised to build upon the long track record of success that land conservation activities have had in making Maine a more welcoming state to live, work, and raise a family,” said Sen. Cathy Breen of Falmouth. “It is no wonder that land trusts and the Land for Maine's Future Program have enjoyed broad bipartisan support for over 30 years. We must continue to evaluate our land conservation efforts and develop a smart plan moving forward to ensure Maine people can continue to benefit from all the rich natural resources our state has to offer.” 

“It has been more than 20 years since Maine has embarked on a similar effort to assess the state’s existing protected landscapes and to prioritize future investments in conserving these special places,” commented Representative, Patrick Corey of Windham. “As a legislator, I’m especially interested in helping future policymakers make better-informed decisions when it comes to conserving natural resources that are vital to our economic prosperity and sense of who we are as Mainers.”

Information about the Task Force and its work can be found at maineconservationtaskforce.com.  The public is invited to share their viewpoints with the Task Force through the website, at upcoming meetings, or at public listening sessions which will be scheduled later in the year. Consultants Jerry Bley and Liz Petruska will be jointly coordinating the Task Force’s efforts.

Third annual gala and film festival enjoyed by all at Jordan-Small Middle School by Briana Bizier

A red carpet; dozens of actors and actresses dressed in resplendent attire posing for photographers,
golden statues for the winners, and emotional acceptance speeches. I can only be talking about one event: The Raymonds.

Raymond, Maine’s third annual student film festival, The Raymonds, took place at Jordan Small Middle School last Friday night, June 1st. Hosted by the eighth-grade class, this gala celebrated student films from kindergarten through the eighth grade.

Sorcha Salom (Grade 8) with Music Teacher Alex Adams 
Just like certain other motion picture award ceremonies, The Raymonds had a generous amount of witty banter between the hosts, short clips of the films, and golden statuettes for all the winners. Each group of first, second, and third place award winners had the chance to make an acceptance speech, typically thanking their teachers, their parents and, yes, the hosts of The Raymonds. This celebration even featured a “green screen” for photographs that made the winners look like they’d been transported to Hollywood, another epicenter of fine filmmaking.

With nineteen films in the running, many fingers and toes were crossed as the eighth-grade hosts asked for envelopes announcing the third, second, and first place prizes in categories ranging from Best Film, Kindergarten through Second Grade Division to the coveted McIntosh Award for Best in Show. Clips were shown from the second and third place winners, and the first-place films were played in their entirety. Every group of award winners also had the chance to give acceptance speeches as they held their golden statuettes on the stage.

The awards and acceptance speeches were interspersed with musical performances, from impressive solo vocal recitals by Alice Morrison and Sorcha Salom both eighth grade students, to a performance by Jordan Small Middle School’s rock and roll band that had many young actors and actresses literally dancing in the aisles.

http://www.armstrongadvanced.com/The films featured in The Raymonds, many of which were made in the classrooms at Raymond Sledding Party,” the winning film in the K-Second Division, is a humorous documentary made by Mrs. Pelletier’s second grade class detailing their adventures creating their own sleds with cardboard and duct tape. “The Magic Biome Packet,” the winning film in the Third-Fourth
Elementary and Jordan Small Middle School covered a wide and creative range of genres. “
Grade Division, presents a fantastical adventure where Mrs. Brackett’s fourth grade class finds themselves magically transported to biomes across the world. The winning short film in the Fifth-Sixth Grade Division, “Hands On,” is an adventure in filmmaking featuring a vanishing robot and mysterious pair of hands.

In the Seventh Grade Division, the winning film, “Laura 1.0,” is a suspense-filled, science fiction thriller with a cliffhanger ending. And, while it’s unusual for a sequel to perform as well as the original film, the winner of the Eighth Grade Division was an exception. “Losing Bubby,” the sequel to last year’s winner “Finding Bubby,” gave the evening a nice infusion of comedy. Finally, the winning film in the High School and Independent Division, “On the Eve of Her Arrival,” is a suspenseful, artistic film inspired by magical realism. A full list of all the award-winning films can be found below.

The first of the two People’s Choice Awards went to “What Do the Letters Say?” which is a film created for the K-Two Division, featuring young actors and actresses wearing fox masks and learning their letters while singing and performing to a variation of the 2013 hit song “What Does the Fox Say?”

Sarah Hare and Amanda Foss (8th graders)
 The second People’s Choice Award went to “Chef Delightful,” a film from the Eight Grade Division
which is as delightful as its name.

Finally, as the night drew to a close, only the largest trophy remained on the stage: the McIntosh Award for Best in Show. This acclaimed award went to “Laura 1.0.”

Once the last awards were claimed, photographs taken, and younger actors and actresses pulled from the playground, the movie stars of Jordan-Small Middle School and Raymond Elementary headed home as the stars of the night sky began to shine overhead.

Nominated Films for The Raymonds:

Kindergarten to Second Grade Division
 “What do the Letters Say?” (People’s Choice Award Winner)
“Sledding Party” (First Place Winner)

https://www.egcu.org/homeThird to Fourth Grade Division
“Classroom Takeover”
“Sean's Gone Mything”
“The Magic Biome Packet” (First Place Winner)

Fifth to Sixth Grade Division
“Hands On” (First Place Winner)
“Ski Movie”

Seventh Grade Division
“The Magician and Nerd Show”
“Back to the Finals”
“Laura 1.0” (First Place Winner, McIntosh Award Winner)

Eighth Grade Division
“Freckle Chemists”
“Haunted Halls” “
“Chef Delightful” (People’s Choice Winner)
“Losing Bubby” (First Place Winner)

High School and Independent Division
“The Saturday Wizard and the Wednesday Witch”
“On the Eve of Her Arrival” (First Place Winner)
“Graduation Movie”