June 30, 2023

Bridge replacement nearing in Windham

By Ed Pierce

Through decades of use, the 26-foot steel girder bridge on William Knight Road has served its purpose of carrying people and vehicles over the Pleasant River but like all good things, the life span of Varney’s Bridge has about reached its end.

About $1.5 million to replace Varney's Bridge over the 
Pleasant River on William Knight Road in Windham has
been allocated by the Maine Department of Transportation
and another $700,000 for the project was approved by
voters during the Annual Windham Town Meeting on
June 17. A Request for Proposals for the project has been
issued and the bridge replacement is expected to start
sometime next year. PHOTO BY ED PIERCE    
While making repairs on the bridge in 2015, engineers from the Maine Department of Transportation recommended that the town explore options for closing or replacing the bridge because of ongoing structural deterioration.

Typically, size, complexity and increasing age are key elements in making the decision to replace a steel girder bridge. Capacity issues can dictate faster and heavier loads that stress this type of bridge past its original design parameters. Steel girder bridges can be more expensive than other types of bridges because of the rising cost of materials and in construction and this type of bridge may not be suitable for very heavy loads and may not be able to support the weight of heavy vehicles.

Because Varney’s Bridge had been upgraded and repaired numerous times over the past three decades and its structural issues have persisted and continued to worsen, members of the Windham Town Council chose to replace the existing bridge as the most cost-effective method to ensure the safety of the community upon the recommendation of the Windham Town Manager Barry Tibbetts.

In June 2021, Windham residents approved spending $25,000 for a study at the Annual Town Meeting about how to best move forward to replace the aging structure. That study was completed last summer and the results were forwarded to the MDOT.

Using the MDOT Bridge Program Design Guide, a preliminary design report was created, and it mandated that any survey work necessary to define right-of-way and bridge layout and alignment be performed and any geotechnical engineering evaluations required to design a new bridge support structure be initiated.

When the new MDOT Three-Year Plan of upcoming projects was released in January, $1.5 million in

funding from the MDOT was authorized for a $2.2 million project.

The Town of Windham then developed preliminary and final design plans in accordance with standards in the latest editions of MaineDOT’s Bridge Design Guide and followed Standard Specifications and Standard Details requirements. Those design plans included a specific plan for the project, a bridge profile including cross-sections, and geometry for approach design.

The plan also featured design computations, load ratings, and evaluation information for the new structure meeting MDOT specifications.

It also meant development of an engineering estimate of construction costs and creating a final plan for review by the state.

During Windham’s Annual Town Meeting on June 17, a warrant item authorized the town to contribute $700,000 to complete the bridge replacement project.

A public meeting will be conducted in the future to obtain community feedback about the project and the town will coordinate the project with all utilities. The MDOT and the town will prepare a set of Design Plan Impacts with all design features, topographical details and impacts associated with the project.

MDOT will conduct and document quality control design checks and provide engineering support during the competitive bidding process and any other additional services as requested by the town.

The bridge replacement project is now out for bidding, and a preliminary structural examination of the existing Varney’s Bridge was conducted this past week. Once a contractor has been approved by the Windham Town Council for the project, work will begin that will involve fabrication of the bridge components all the way through demolition and replacement of the existing Varney’s Bridge structure.

Work on replacing the bridge is expected to begin next year and be completed no later than January 2025 with minimal traffic disruption to the public. <

Raymond composer seeks help in bringing Ukrainian family to Maine

By Masha Yurkevich

We often take our peaceful and safe lives for granted, which makes it difficult to picture what is happening on the other side of the world. Marilyn Redegeld Ross of Raymond has decided to do what she can to help those who are being affected by the war and it all started when she began writing songs about the war. Now she’s looking to assist a family in relocating to Maine.

A Raymond composer is seeking a
co-sponsor to bring this Ukrainian family
to Maine from the war-torn nation. The family is
seeking peace and medical treatment for the
father while looking to re-establish their
lives in America but needs help to do that.
“I have been a musician since childhood,” says Redegeld. “I have been writing and composing music for two years and started writing for Ukraine when the Russian invasion began. I have written and recorded seven songs for Ukraine so far. I am getting ready to make and release a CD that will have eleven songs total.”

Over time, her passion for Ukraine became greater and she wanted to do more. Last summer, she read an article in The Windham Eagle about a Ukrainian family that a Windham family sponsored. After contacting some people, Redegeld found and chose a family who she wanted to sponsor and worked every day preparing an apartment for them in her basement.

“I sponsored an 18-year-old last November and a family with two children who arrived in February,” says Redegeld. “My son and I picked them up at Logan Airport. Both days were magical and inspiring. They are such humble and grateful people. And it has been so humbling to be able to help them.”

Now, the family has decided to move to the city where their new jobs will be closer.

“There were so many Ukrainians that reached out to me, and there was one family in particular that I wish I could have sponsored sooner, but I could only do so much. I have been talking to them via Facebook since last fall. Just a couple weeks ago, Andri, the son of the family, wrote to me and said that things were getting worse and asked me if I could help.”

After finding out that the family she sponsored earlier was moving out, she told Andri that she could try to sponsor him and his family.

Andri, his sister, and their parents all had jobs before the war began, but now they are only working for pennies.

“We don’t look forward to the next day as life is scary to think about, not knowing if our village will be hit by rocket shelling or drones,” said Andri. “Food is scarce and expensive. We are growing a vegetable garden that we are depending on and have chickens.”

They are anxious to make a fresh start, work again and live in peace.

“People live in poverty, prices are high, salaries are low, there are few jobs, people live on pennies, living one day at a time,” said Andri. “Nobody here thinks about the future because no one knows if it will be. The chaos, fear, and shock is indescribable; you don’t know where the rocket will fall. I hope that when we move to America, we will start everything from a clean sheet; America is a country of opportunities. The only dream is to live in peace and in peace to earn money for a house or a car, and to live in safely and in abundance.”

Natalia, Andri’s sister, works in the social protection of people in Ukraine.

“The first month when we thought about moving, it was very scary,” said Natalia. “I work for the city, and we received people around the clock, those who had lost their homes, and the army also had to help, send aid. But then we learned about our father’s illness — thyroid disease — and that he immediately needed surgery and rehabilitation.”

Redegeld is looking for a co-sponsor that can help her get this family to Maine.

“I am trying to do it on my own, but they require strong finances on paper,” she says. “The application is

on a government website through USCIS called Uniting for Ukraine. It does not require a credit check and it is mainly to show that people will be watching out for them and making sure they don’t sink while they are getting established and settled in their new community.”

She is hoping that some members of our community will help with co-sponsoring, as well as donating some items which they will need. This family will also need jobs and are motivated and speak some English.

“Helping these Ukrainians is the most rewarding and humbling thing I’ve ever done,” says Redegeld. “I know if you are willing to open your heart and help in some way you will feel the same joy that I feel every day I see their smiling faces.”

For more information or if you can help, please contact Marilyn Redegeld Ross at Robin.maryilyn68@yahoo.com or 207-310-3653. <

Collins announces nearly $30 million for Southern Maine infrastructure projects

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has announced that Maine will receive nearly $30 million through the federal RAISE grant program to fund two projects: $25 million to implement several safety and mobility improvements along U.S. Route 302 and State Route 35 and State Road 115 in North Windham, and $4 million to develop two sections of the Eastern Trail running through York County.

In 2022, Collins authored the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill. This bill includes $800 million for RAISE grants, which provide federal assistance for vital transportation projects across the country and is in addition to the $1.5 billion for RAISE grants provided by the bipartisan infrastructure law in Fiscal Year 2022.

“This funding will improve Maine’s infrastructure, bolster our economy, and enhance the quality of life for residents across our state,” said Collins. “Throughout the Appropriations process, I strongly advocated for these projects, which will deliver substantial benefits to both York and Cumberland Counties.”

Earlier this year, Collins sent two letters to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg advocating her support of both the North Windham and Eastern Trail grant funding requests.

The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity, or RAISE Discretionary Grant program, provides a unique opportunity for the U.S. Department of Transportation to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives. The RAISE program was previously known as the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grants.

Since 2009, when Collins first became a member of the U.S. Senate’s Appropriations Committee, she has been able to secure more than $1 billion in competitive transportation grants for the State of Maine. <

Legislature unanimously advances Fay bill to support family caregivers

AUGUSTA – Last week, the Maine Legislature unanimously advanced legislation sponsored by State Rep. Jessica Fay, D-Raymond, that would allow the parents of children with disabilities who are MaineCare eligible to be paid to provide personal care services.

State Rep. Jessica Fay
Currently, parents of eligible MaineCare recipients with disabilities over 18 years old can be paid through a financial agent for providing approved personal care to that MaineCare member. However, this option does not exist for parents of children under 18 years old.

“Parents in Maine are struggling to find personal care for their children with disabilities and are often forced to leave the workforce to provide care themselves,” said Fay. “If we had a program that would offer financial support to parents, we would create an opportunity for children to receive the support they need while, simultaneously, helping their families stay afloat financially.”

As amended, Fay’s bill, LD 346, requires the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to file a state plan amendment to the MaineCare section governing home care in order to allow parents to provide care for their disabled children through a fiscal intermediary.

“Parents whose children have severe disabilities are struggling to find caregivers to provide the hours of care they are allotted,” said former Maine State Rep. Tina Riley, a parent of a child with disabilities who previously sponsored this policy proposal. “Those unfilled hours of care are covered by the parents, who sometimes find it impossible to hold down a job outside of the home because their children's needs are so great. It makes no sense that we're willing to pay someone else to care for these kids, but when no one steps up to do the job, the children's parents are expected to sacrifice their livelihoods in order to care for them. Rep. Fay's bill addresses that problem elegantly, providing benefits to families and taxpayers alike.”

The bill faces further votes in the Maine House and Maine Senate in the coming days.

Fay, the Maine House chair of the Government Oversight Committee and a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs, is serving her fourth term in the Maine House of Representatives. She serves the community members of Casco, Frye Island, Raymond, and part of Poland. <

Voting opens for Eagle Choice Awards

For the ninth consecutive year, The Windham Eagle newspaper is sponsoring the Eagle Choice Awards and the popularity of the annual competition continues to grow.

Voting opens July 1 and continues through Sunday, July 23 at midnight, with winners announced in August.

Launched in 2015 by, the Eagle Choice Awards recognizes local businesses in the area through popular vote. This honor is evidence that residents do take notice when they receive outstanding service and find superior products offered by local merchants.

Melissa Carter, advertising director for The Windham Eagle said that the awards established a new record last year by receiving nearly 10,000 ballots cast across 85 different categories, and she expects that number to rise again in 2023.

“There are so many wonderful businesses in the Lakes Region of Maine,” Carter said. “These awards salute those who the public thinks exceed the norm for their products, services, and overall customer satisfaction. The votes are heartfelt and come from the people who use the goods and services provided by these outstanding local businesses.”

According to Kelly Mank, owner and publisher of The Windham Eagle newspaper, the Eagle Choice Awards are a great way for the public to learn about a business they may not be familiar with and to discover the very best services, food and products that are available in the community.

“The Eagle Choice Awards give the community trusted options and a unique way to connect residents and visitors here with area businesses in meaningful ways,” Mank said. “Best of all, every vote comes from the readers and is based upon how they feel about local businesses.” 

Carter said a few categories for this year’s voting have been updated. Voters can now cast ballots in both heating and plumbing categories unlike previous years when heating and plumbing was combined into one category and computer repair has been eliminated as a category for this year due to lack of competing local businesses that would fit into it.

While they do their best to keep current on adding new businesses and deleting those that are closed and including everyone, they welcome feedback to help improve ballot choices for the upcoming years. There is always the option to use the write-in option to nominate a business that is not already listed.

Eagle Choice Award voters must cast ballots in at least 10 categories or more and must also include their email address when uploading or turning in a ballot for it to be valid and to ensure that only one vote is cast by an individual. Email addresses collected during the Eagle Choice Awards competition are not sold or distributed to a third party.

Ballots are available in The Windham Eagle newspaper’s print edition this week on page 9. You can either mail in the physical ballot or take a picture and upload via email to: office@thewindhameagle.com. The easiest and most popular way to vote is online at www.thewindhameagle.com/awards. <





June 23, 2023

Voters approve municipal budget during Windham's Annual Town Meeting

By Ed Pierce

Windham residents approved a municipal budget of $40,418,346 for 2023-2024 and other associated warrant articles during the annual town meeting on June 17 at the Windham Town Hall High.

Some members of the Windham Town Council raise cards
indicting their approval of warrant items in the 2023-2024
municipal budget during the annual town meeting at the
Windham Town Hall on Saturday, June 17. From left are
councilors William Reiner, Brett Jones, Nick Kalogerakis,
and Jarrod Maxfield. PHOTO BY ED PIERCE  
Warrant Articles also approved included authorizing up to $462,728 in recreation program fees, applying $3.6 million in excise tax receipts against the budget, spending up to $675,499 in user fees for operations of the South Windham Sewer Fund and applying $11,747,309 of varied revenue against the total municipal budget. Some of that varied revenue comes from state reimbursement for Homestead Exemptions, Veterans Exemptions and Local Road Assistance Funding, along with boat, snowmobile, and ATV registration fees.

Town voters attending the meeting also agreed to apply $500,000 of unappropriated fund from the Town Fund Balance against the Municipal Budget for the coming year.

A total of $30,898,911 for 2023-2024 was authorized by town voters including $7.2 million for general government; $4.6 million for Public Works Services; $3.7 million for Police Services; $3.2 million for Fire-Rescue Services; $1.1 million for recreation and cultural services; $777,635 for property and inspection services; $645,545 for development and conservation services; $386,535 for health and welfare; $7.8 million for capital, debt and other charges; $462,728 for the Recreation Program Fund; and $675,499 for the Sewer Fund.

Voters also authorized the Windham Town Council to transfer any unencumbered appropriation balance between any offices, department, or agencies during the new fiscal year and to accept any state grants or other anticipated funding toward budgetary needs in 2023-2024. The town council also was authorized to appropriate any Tax Increment Financing not allocated in the municipal budget.

Another warrant article was approved by voters for road improvements and sidewalks for the River Road/Route 202 intersection; South Windham sidewalks from Blue Seal Feeds to Depot Street; paving for the Collingwood and Running Brook developments; repairs for the William Knight Bridge; and $700,000 for the purchase of trash carts and receptacles for town residents as Windham converts to a new trash collection system in the coming year.

During the meeting, Windham Town Manager Barry Tibbetts told those in attendance that the town will combine funds allocated in the 2022-2023 budget for the transition to the new trash system and that he expects the rollout to be sometime in the spring of 2024. Tibbetts said the trash contractor is waiting for new trucks to be ordered and delivered and that is why he does not anticipate the new trash system to launch until next spring.

Tibbetts said that town residents will be issued separate bins for trash and recyclables which can be emptied mechanically by a single truck operator.

"My staff and I thank the town, residents and businesses for being able to serve them," Tibbetts said. "We look forward to this coming year in continuing that service in this upcoming budget."

Compared to last year, Windham Town Council William Reiner said he thought the budget process ran smoothly.

“There was much more discussion about the budget than it seemed in previous years,” he said. “This year we added a staffing template which will be used going forward for new town hires.”

With the approval of the town budget, Windham is expected to contribute to funding a School Resource Officer from the Windham Police Department for students in lower grades and to create the position and hire a new communications officer for the town.

Windham Town Council Chair Mark Morrison said voter approval of this budget is the culmination of a long process that town departments, town managers and staff and town councilors went through to formulate a budget that kept a close eye on keeping tax increases to a minimum.

“With the challenges of rising inflation, we had to go through the budget process slowly and carefully to be justified,” Morrison said. We did our best to keep the mill rate low and using state and federal monies for items such as acquiring open space.”

Morrison said that tabulating the new budget was done with the finances of town residents in mind.

“This budget will have very little impact for taxpayers,” he said. “We are trying to balance what makes sense and the upcoming fiscal year and position us for the future.”

During the town meeting, Windham resident and former state legislator Gary Plummer was elected as moderator to preside over the gathering. <

In the public eye: Marcotte’s work as reference librarian stirs the imagination

Editor’s note: This is another in an ongoing series of Windham and Raymond town employee profiles.

By Ed Pierce

If public libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination, Ray Marcotte has a front row seat to the future of the Windham community.

Ray Marcotte, Windham Public
Library's Reference Librarian, finds
a 'phone booth library' while visiting
Freistadt, Germany during a recent
As Windham Public Library’s Reference & Technology Librarian, Marcotte serves the public by overseeing the library’s Help Desk, working with Adult Programming, and providing technology assistance to those in need of help.

He’s worked for the library for the past five years and during that time has found the most challenging aspect of his work to be a common one for library workers.

“The most challenging aspect of what I do in my job is figuring out how to use an unfamiliar device so that I can help a patron better understand how to use it,” Marcotte said.

According to Marcotte, the best thing associated with his job is working with the library’s adult programming and helping to host a wide range of interesting programs there. Windham Public Library’s adult programming includes book discussion groups, movies, appearances at the library by local authors and offering free tech help services for patrons such as understanding email, downloading applications, printing online pictures, navigating websites, laptops, eReaders, tablets, and more.

Marcotte is originally from Laconia, New Hampshire and he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Plymouth State University in Interdisciplinary Studies, which is combined majors in English, Art History, and Philosophy. He also received a master’s degree for Teaching Secondary English from the University of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Rhode Island.

During his career, Marcotte has also taught High School English and worked as an academic librarian.

He initially applied to work at the Windham Public Library when he was seeking part-time employment at a public library while helping his wife run a small business.

“The part-time position later morphed into a full-time position,” he said. “My wife loves what I am doing at the Windham Public Library. She gets introduced to interesting books to read from my suggestions.”

As a reference librarian, Marcotte faces interesting challenges every day.

The unique challenge of reference work in a public library includes dealing with a wide range of library patrons with diverse needs, being able to provide accurate and up to date information and maintaining a comprehensive collection of resources for everyone who walks in through the library door. As a public librarian, Marcotte must always be courteous, demonstrate problem solving skills and be able to effectively promote the library’s services and programs to members of the community.

His role also means Marcotte must have expertise and capabilities in all forms of technology so he can help library patroons with different inquiries. And, Marcotte must stay up to date with current trends and get to know library patrons better to be able to provide more personalized and knowledgeable services.

The library accomplishes the effectiveness of reference services by tracking the number of reference questions asked and comparing it to questions answered to give the library administrators an idea of how reference services are meeting the needs of the public and through patron satisfaction surveys.

As a reference librarian, Marcotte must also know how to evaluate new reference resources because it helps ensure that the library is providing the best possible service to its patrons. By knowing how to properly evaluate new reference resources, Marcotte can help ensure that the Windham Public Library is stocking the most relevant and up-to-date materials for its patrons.

“One thing that the public may not know about your job is that I learn something new practically every day,” Marcotte said. “The biggest misconception people may have about my work is that libraries are places where you should only whisper.”

During his time working at the Windham Public Library, Marcotte said he’s experienced many unforgettable moments, but one stands out to him above all the rest.

“My most memorable moment came when I witnessed how moved the audience members were by an Author Talk,” he said.

Of everything he’s learned while working for the Windham Public Library, Marcotte said the most important thing is actually very simple.

“I believe that public libraries are an essential part of any vibrant community,” he said. <

Windham Center 5K Run/Walk pays tribute to beloved school janitor

By Nicole Levine

Windham Town Hall will be hosting its annual Windham Center 5K Run/Walk at 5 p.m. July 9 at 5 p.m. in memory of Windham’s beloved Elliot P. Fogg (1929-1999). The event includes a free dinner sponsored by Corsetti’s and money raised from the run/walk will be donated to the American Lung Association of Maine.

The late Elliot Fogg is shown with his horse,
Speedy Michael. The annual Windham Center
5K Run?Walk is dedicated to the memory of
Fogg, who died of lung cancer shortly after
he retired from working as a janitor at
Windham High School. COURTESY PHOTO 
Fogg was a World War II veteran, horse racer, and a custodian at Windham High School from March 1974 until June 1999. He died of lung cancer on July 24, 1999.

He was born Oct. 17, 1929, and discovered his passion for horses as a young boy. He began racing when he was 16 with Sulkies, his first horse, and continued to be involved with horse racing until the early 1960s. Fogg grew up in Windham and graduated from Windham High school. He served our country during World War II with the U.S. Army as a member of the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Corps and was stationed in Detroit, Michigan.

After his time in military service, Fogg returned to Maine where he began working as a custodian at Windham High School on March 12, 1974. He served in that job at WHS for 25 years until his courageous battle with lung cancer ended in 1999.

Kim Bartholomew, WHS’s health and physical education teacher, described Fogg as having an incredibly bubbly character.

“He worked on the second floor in the evening, and you could hear him from all over the school,” Bartholomew said. “He would sing and his laugh was infectious.”

Fogg was also known to bring Christmas presents for many of the staff. Bartholomew said that everyone seemed to have a deep sense of fondness for him. The little things Fogg did from cleaning the halls of the high school, to putting a smile on someone’s face, demonstrated his authenticity and the meaningful impact he had upon those around him.

The Windham High School yearbook staff had dedicated the 1999 issue to Fogg a couple of months before his death. Yearbook staff members wrote about Fogg that “He is kind, generous, and always willing to offer a smile” and he was also known for bringing a sense of friendliness to the halls of Windham High.

After his death, a Run/Walk for the American Lung Association was created in his memory.

The cost for entering this year's race will be determined by the purchase date. The Wicked Early Bird Pre-Registration, which was through Oct. 17 (Elliot’s birthday), was $22 and now is $28 until race day. The cost of registering will be $35 on the day of the race from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Runner’s shirts will be provided as available upon registration.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the Overall Male and Female Winners. There will be additional opportunities to win prizes in a few different categories, such as Top Running Club, Corporate Team, and Open Teams of four or more members.

Refunds for payments will not be offered. In the event of poor weather conditions, a public health crisis, or any other events that race management is not in control of, the race will be switched to an alternate date or held virtually.

The Overall Male and Female Winners for the past couple of years were Theodore Lebryk, with a time of 18:56, and Kristine Guaraldo, timed at 23:08 in 2021. The winners for 2022 were Colbe Lewis, with a time of 20:23 and Kristine Guaraldo, timed at 27:02. Lists of past winners and participants are located on the sign-up website and can be accessed through the Windham Public Library Facebook page.

The Windham Center 5K Race is a beautiful way to honor a local hero, Elliot P. Fogg, who provided a friendly face within the halls of Windham High School for so many years. If you have any questions regarding the race, please contact Tony Myatt at Tonedog86@aol.com. <

Jordan-Small students place first in Maine in Spring 2023 National InvestWrite® Competition

“Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team,” Apple Founder Steve Jobs once said. Jordan-Small Middle School students Cadence O’Brion and Kaleb Fitch couldn’t agree more.

Jordan-Small Middle School athletic director Jack Fitch (left),
fifth grader Cadence O'Brion, sixth grader Kaleb Fitch and
Sifma Foundation's Liz Reidel gather at the school in 
Raymond on June 6. Kaleb Fitch and Cadence O'Brion were
awarded first place in the 2023 InvestWrite competition.
O’Brion, a fifth grader, and Fitch, a sixth grader both attend Jordan-Small Middle School in Raymond, and they understand how teamwork can translate into building a diversified portfolio geared for long-term financial success. Their exceptional approach led to an extraordinary achievement in the SIFMA Foundation’s Spring InvestWrite competition.

O’Brion competed among thousands of other students around the country to write the best essay about long-term investing and the capital markets in the elementary school division. Fitch competed among thousands of other students around the country to write the best essay about long-term investing and the capital markets in the middle school division. Along with their teacher, Jack Fitch, the students were honored by the SIFMA Foundation during a classroom presentation on June 6.

SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite national essay competition bridges classroom learning in math, social studies, and language arts with the practical research and knowledge required for saving, investing and long-term planning. It also serves as a culminating activity for The Stock Market Game™, a curriculum-based financial education program that challenges students to manage a hypothetical $100,000 online portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and cash over a semester or school year.

SIFMA Foundation’s programs are proven to increase participants’ test scores in math and economics, encourage students to think more about budgeting and financial planning, enable them to work in teams to build their interpersonal social-emotional learning and better prepare them for college and careers. The SIFMA Foundation is committed to closing the opportunity gap by fostering greater knowledge of the financial markets for young people of all backgrounds, with a focus on underserved youth.

“I am delighted to congratulate Cadence, her teacher and their school,” said Melanie Mortimer, President of the SIFMA Foundation. “The research is clear that social and emotional learning is a critical component to students’ motivation, achievement and wellbeing. By participating in the Stock Market Game and InvestWrite, Cadence has learned how working with a team can offer insights and increase confidence to make informed financial life decisions and achieve better life outcomes.”

O’Brion found great inspiration working as part of a team: “Helen Keller once said, ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.’ In this quote, she shows that teamwork will always be better than working alone. Teamwork provides many different perspectives on the same thing, causing us to change our views and learn new things. This information is especially helpful in the stock market, where many views are often needed to create an excellent portfolio.”

The Spring 2023 InvestWrite competition presented the following challenge to 4th-12th graders; “What are some benefits of working on a team versus on your own? Give examples from your Stock Market Game team or other examples of teamwork. Teaming up investments in a diversified portfolio also has benefits. If you could invest $10,000 now for a long-term goal, what team of investments, including stocks, bonds and/or mutual funds, would you choose and why?”

O’Brion impressed the panel of thousands of expert judges from across the financial services industry with a thoughtful and insightful essay.

But her achievement wasn’t the only one for her school.

“I am delighted to congratulate Kaleb, his teacher and their school,” Mortimer said. “The research is clear that social and emotional learning is a critical component to students’ motivation, achievement and wellbeing. By participating in the Stock Market Game and InvestWrite, Kaleb has learned how working with a team can offer insights and increase confidence to make informed financial life decisions and achieve better life outcomes.”

Kaleb Fitch said that he was confident about the competition:

“Thanks to the SIFMA Foundation and the different programs they offer to students I have learned a lot about the stock market and how it operates,” he said. “This is my third time that I have participated in the InvestWrite competition, and I found this writing prompt to be an easy one to write about.”

Fitch impressed the panel of thousands of expert judges from across the financial services industry with a thoughtful and insightful essay. <

St. Ann’s Episcopal Church celebrates 50th anniversary

By Masha Yurkevich

It has been quite a journey for the St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Windham and as the church celebrates its 50th anniversary, there is much to be told.

The original St. Ann's Episcopal Church on Windham Center
Road was built on five acres donated by the Ogg Family.
This year the church is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
“We are excited to celebrate what God has done here during these years and want to embrace all that He has done,” says Rev. Tim Higgins. “It’s about celebrating God’s activity here over the past 50 years. The theme of our celebration is ‘50 years of Faith.’ One example of that faith is that the original building was zoned and built as a residence, with the thought being, if we don’t make it, we can sell it as a residence for someone. Four expansions later, we are here celebrating God’s activity and our faith in this God who has and continues to lift us up.”

The church started in 1971 when a group of Episcopalians gathered around a dining room table in the home of Bob and Kit Ogg. After some time, having outgrown the Oggs’ home, the Oggs family donated five acres of land for the St. Ann’s Episcopal Church on Windham Center Road.

Rev. Higgins has served as the church’s rector since 2007 and prior to joining St. Ann’s, he was a Roman Catholic priest for eight years, then left in 1995, went to see an episcopal bishop in 2001, and was received in 2004. He is happily married with three kids and is very happy to be at St. Ann’s.

“In early 2010-2013, God blessed us with a surge of growth with several new members; all this credit goes to God. Years later, the pandemic made it very difficult for us to gather and for people to decide whether they should attend or not. It was very challenging for us to continue on with normal services. It felt like we aged several years in that timeframe. After Covid, all our morning services are live streamed through Facebook, and continue to be so,” says Higgins. “Folks are reestablishing their spiritual lives and are making their way back to church. It’s nice to have a cup of coffee in your pajamas and watch a Church service online, but it's not the same as connecting with other members and experiencing fellowship. Within the past six months, we’ve had a resurgence of folks because we believe God wants this place to be around for a long time.”

St Ann’s is very active with its outreach programming.

“We have a pantry that is open once a month, 40 households that receive free essential items,” Higgins said. “We also take part in Christmas stockings, backpack programs, and church development in the community.”

Every Thursday, there is a community meal available for any and all sponsored by local churches, including St. Ann’s and the Wayside Soup Kitchen in Portland.

St. Ann’s is part of the Windham Clergy Association and works closely with all the churches in the area.

“July 1, we begin a new partnership/collaboration with Faith Lutheran Church in Windham and we will be sharing resources and other ministries. We are very excited to be part of the Christian community in the Lakes Region,” Higgins says.

According to Higgins, some of the greatest accomplishments of St. Ann’s include its ability to embrace and welcome children and its ongoing response to young families. He said God continues to bless the church with many new young families and one of the biggest challenges for the church today is to make it and God relevant in the lives of the community.

“There are 27 percent of people in the state of Maine that have a church that they attend regularly. Many people say that they are spiritual, not religious, saying that they can find God on a mountainside but haven't been to church in years. We try to offer programming and opportunities to connect to others so that folks feel a draw to the church,” says Higgins.

One of the longest church members, Becky Carr, has been a part of St. Ann’s for more than 40 years. Born in the south, she said that there was always a stigma of church being a place for the upper class.

When Carr first came to St. Ann’s, one of the members said to her, “We are known as ‘the come as you are church.’ You know Becky, if you come to St. Ann’s on a Sunday morning with a new pair of sneakers or Bean Boots, you’re considered dressed up.”

Higgins said that one of the most profound moments he’s experienced at St. Ann’s is meeting with those who are grieving.

“When someone loses a loved one, a part of me dies, too. Relationships are critical and I’m very relational. Watching all of our little kids and seeing the young people grow up and remain active in the church is also something that I love,” he says."

St. Ann’s will be celebrating their 50th anniversary with a worship service at 9 a.m. and live music, food, and games from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 25 at 40 Windham Center Road. <

‘Trek Across Maine’ riders weather storms to reach goal

By Ed Pierce

Overcoming long stretches of torrential rain and a 60-mile stretch by bicycle, riders in the 39th Trek Across Maine accomplished their goal by making it safely to Saint Joseph’s College on Saturday, June 17.

Riders participating in the Trek Across Maine arrive at the
finish line at Saint Joseph's College wrapping up the second
of three 60-mile segments on Saturday, June 17. Riders started
the day in Lewiston and rode through heavy rain to reach the
stopover at Saint Joseph's College before departing the
following morning for a 60-mile ride to Brunswick.
The annual event raises money for the American Lung Association and this year more than 600 bikers participated by pedaling from Brunswick to Bates College in Lewiston to St. Joseph’s College in Standish, then riding back to Brunswick ending at Thomas Point Beach on Father’s Day.

Participants raised more than $1 million during this year’s ride for the American Lung Association with riders ranging in age from 8 to 82. Many riders came from Maine, but several other New England states were represented among participants as well. All riders were sponsored by those pledging money to the American Lung Association on their behalf.

George Eastman of Pittston rode in his 24th consecutive Trek Across Maine this year and was joined by his wife, Lynette.

“The most important thing you will take away from this year’s Trek Across Maine is the same thing we take away every year, there are too many people that have lung disease be it lung cancer, COPD, asthma, and breathing is something that most healthy people take for granted,” he said. “Doing this ride and volunteering we feel that we are making a difference and giving back for those that have a hard time breathing for whatever reason. Over the years my wife and I have lost six family members to lung cancer or other types of lung disease, so this is personal, but we don’t do it just for our family but for anyone with lung issues.”

Eastman said the most challenging aspect of doing this every year is Mother Nature.

“Besides the fundraising, I think the weather, we have ridden in hot humid, cold, rain, windy, everything except snow, each one presents its own set of challenges,” he said. “Sometimes we get a combination of conditions such as cold, rain and wind are not a fun combination, but we must plan for it and dress accordingly.”

According to Eastman, he originally decided to ride in the Trek Across Maine because he had wanted to get back into cycling as an adult.

“My wife and I were out to breakfast one weekend and ran into a friend that had a bike for sale, so my wife told him I was interested, and I bought it,” Eastman said. “He had been doing the Trek for a few years and his wife had worked at the American Lung Association, so he invited me to join him, and I did, basically because we have a son with asthma and at that time, I had lost my mother to lung cancer. She never smoked. My wife had lost her father to the same. I did my first Trek in 2000 and my wife, Lynette, joined me in 2021 and has been volunteering since, and the rest is history. Basically, we are a team. Lynette received the ‘Dana Dutton Volunteer of the Year Award’ for the American Lung Association in Maine while at Saint Joseph’s College.”

The American Lung Association’s mission to research, educate, and advocate to prevent lung disease and promote lung health and funds raised during the Trek Across Maine each year support laws protecting clean air, and asthma and COPD research, lung education, education, advocacy, and research to help prevent and treat lung-related afflictions.

Volunteer Stephanie Lamont of Portland served as a volunteer photographer at the finish line for the riders’ segment from Lewiston to Saint Joseph’s College.

Lamont was taking photos of participants while trying to keep raindrops off her camera lens.

“It’s not nearly as bad as I anticipated,” she said. “It’s all for a good cause and it’s great to see so many people out here today supporting these riders.”

A couple from Roxbury, Connecticut, Dave and Cathy Wolfe, rode in the Trek Across Maine for the second time this year.

“We’ve done other rides like this,” Dave Wolfe said. “We were up at 5 a.m. even though the official start time was 7 a.m. We left early just to try and beat the rain.”

Cathy Wolfe said the ride from Brunswick to Saint Jospeh’s College was scenic, although it rained the entire way.

“One thing I’ve learned from doing this today is that my bicycle jacket is not waterproof.

The couple complimented event organizers and volunteers for taking care of the details for participants, such as arranging for dry and safe accommodations at each stopover and providing a crew to make bicycle repairs if needed. <

June 16, 2023

RSU 14 to hold straw poll vote on proposed location for construction of new middle school

A non-binding straw poll vote on the 61 Windham Center Road location that is proposed for the new RSU 14 Middle School will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 29 in the Windham High School Auditorium. The meeting will include a brief presentation of the site and an opportunity for the public to ask questions about the work that has been completed to date.

A non-binding straw poll will be held on Thursday, June 29
at Windham High School to select a site at 61 Windham
Center Road for construction of the new Windham Middle
School. The straw poll is one of many steps in a process
established by the Maine Department of Education in
determining where to build the new school, which is
expected to be completed by fall 2027.
“This poll is one of the many steps in the process that is outlined in the Maine Department of Education construction program and must be completed before the site is submitted for approval by the Maine State School Board,” said RSU 14 Superintendent of Schools Christopher Howell. “The Maine State School Board will be reviewing the property at their July meeting.”

Howell said that the Middle School Construction Committee has been working diligently over the past year on the proposed new middle school site for RSU 14.

“The project is being worked on through a partnership with the Major Capital Projects Program of the Maine Department of Education,” Howell said. “Under this program, the State of Maine contributes much of the cost for the project through state funding.”

The committee has selected 61 Windham Center Road as the location for the new school because of the many positive attributes that make it suitable for the location. These include the number of acres that can be developed, the central location of the property, access to critical infrastructure, and the ease of development of the property.

“The new RSU 14 Middle School is being built with a strong focus on creating an innovative and dynamic learning environment that supports project-based learning,” Howell said. “The school will feature state-of-the-art classrooms, fully equipped science labs, a team-based design that supports personalization for students, and modern athletic facilities. These facilities will provide our students with the tools they need to excel academically, explore their passions, and engage in physical activities.”

Over the past year, a team of civil and environmental engineers has been working to determine whether the site can successfully support the functions of a new school campus.

“All of the data collected to date has shown that the property can successfully support the development of both a building and an athletic complex to sustain student activities at that school,” Howell said.

The work that has been underway on the development of a new site is only a single aspect of the planning work that has taken place. The team has also been working with the school architects and the Maine Department of Education to finalize the programming and layout of the building.

The committee is also exploring additional academic and extracurricular spaces that would be in addition to the square footage that has been approved by the Department of Education. The additional spaces include an auditorium, an indoor running track, an expanded gymnasium, additional playground space, a greenhouse, and additional walking paths around the campus.

“As currently planned, the school is being designed to support 1200 students and it will accommodate Raymond and Windham students in grades five to eight,” Howell said. “The decision to shift to a five to eight middle school will provide an opportunity for the district to offer public pre-K for all families who wish to participate in this program.”

The middle school project is scheduled to go to a referendum in November 2023. The timing of the ballot measure coincides with the timing of funding that has been built into the state budget to support the project. If the measure passes, the project will move into a final design phase and the start of construction.

It is currently estimated that the building will be completed and open by fall 2027. <

Windham High School recognizes outstanding juniors during book awards ceremony

By Masha Yurkevich

As the school year of 2023 comes to an end and seniors say goodbye to Windham High School, an assembly is held for the junior class to honor their hard work over the past year. According to Phil Rossetti, Windham High School assistant principal, the Junior Book Awards are presented at the conclusion of each school year to top students in the junior class.

Claudia Yurrita received the Russell Sage College
Student Sage Award for her active involvement
in the community ability to balance numerous
activities with enthusiasm and leadership
and devotion to lead in ways that improve the
community's well-being. In the future, Yurrita
would like to go into nursing and says that
getting this award reflects ger hard work
and involvement. COURTESY PHOTO  
Each year, universities and colleges in America come together with secondary schools such as Windham High School to recognize exceptional high school juniors. Each Junior Book Award focuses on a specific area of academic achievement and excellence, such as service to the community, music and the arts, distinction for academics and community advocacy, says Rossetti.

The awards honor distinguished juniors at Windham High, giving them a chance to gain a wider look at the world they live in, and to connect outstanding students with schools of higher learning. “Collegiate Book Awards are given annually to top-achieving students in the junior class. Each college or university establishes rigorous criteria and seeks feedback from high school faculty and administration to identify the worthy recipient of each award,” says Rossetti.

Each Junior Book Award recipient is presented with a book from the university or college sponsoring the award and is intended to foster the recipient’s continued willingness to grow and learn.

Here are this year’s Windham High School 2023 University Book Award recipients:

Sophia Gugliuzza, Harvard Prize Book Award. This award is given to a junior who has excellence in scholarship and high character, combined with achievements in other fields.

Lilian Nguyen and Khalysa Hammith, Clarkson University Achievement Awards. This award is presented to juniors who demonstrate leadership qualities and academic promise and are given to two juniors in the top 15 percent of their class with an academic interest in Engineering, Business, Science or Liberal Arts. These awards include a renewable yearly scholarship.

Alexander Pooler, Rochester Institute of Technology Computing Award. This award is presented to a junior who has an interest and ability in computing and has a strong interest in a variety of computing fields.

Jadyn Kimball, Rochester Institute of Technology Women in STEM. This award is given to a junior who displays high achievement and ability and interest in a variety of STEM fields.

Olivia Moreno and Cate Culpovich, Wells College 21st Century Leadership Award. These awards recognize two juniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities both in the high school, as well as in the community.

Claudia Yurrita
, Russell Sage College Student Sage Award. This award goes to a junior who is actively involved in the community, able to balance numerous activities with enthusiasm and leadership and is devoted to leading in ways that improve the community’s well-being.

Syndey Savard, University of Rochester Xerox Award for Innovation. This award recognizes a junior who has a strong interest in innovation and a high level of achievement.

Laura Bearce, University of Rochester George Eastman Leaders Award. This award goes to a junior who is a strong leader at the school and in the community.

Maggie Whiting, University of Rochester Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award. This award is presented to a student who has demonstrated high achievement and rigor in science classes and positive contributions to the school and community.

Sophia Gugliuzza, University of Rochester Fredrick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Awards. This award recognizes a junior who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to understanding and addressing difficult social issues. The recipient shows strong leadership and dedication to community action.

Abigail Allen and Jinqui Li, Elmira College Key Award. These awards are given to juniors who demonstrate outstating school and community leadership.

Elizabeth Bearce, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Medal Award. This award is presented to a junior with outstanding academic achievement in the study of math and science.

Alejandra Hidel, Suffolk University Book Award. This award is given to a junior who demonstrates great dedication to learning in the classroom, as well as to their school community through extracurricular involvement.

Rachelle Cloutier and Conner Leclerc, St. Michael’s College Book Award. This award goes to a junior who has shown outstanding academic achievement and with social conscience with strong leadership experience in the school and community.

Lisha Luo and Shawna Edwards, USM Book Award. This award is for a junior who has demonstrated great determination and persistence in the accomplishment goals in academic, leadership, and community.

Ezra Foster
, Endicott College Book Award. This student exhibits strong leadership skills inside and outside the classroom.

Alexandra Funk, Smith College Book Award. This award is presented to a student who exemplifies academic achievement, leadership qualities, and a concern for others.

Kaitlyn Farrin, Brandeis University Book Award. This award goes to a junior who shows academic action and civil engagement, excellence in scholarship and high character as well as academic achievement.

Alyssa Conley, College of Atlantic Book Award. This award is for a junior who is interested in creating a positive change in the world and is involved in the school and community.

Kaitlyn Farrin, who received the Brandeis University Book Award, says that she has always been interested in going into speech writing and got an award from a school that she actually wants to attend.

“Getting this award is exciting; I do a lot for the community, and it feels good to get appreciation for it,” said Claudia Yurrita. In the future, she said would like to go into nursing in which there is lots of working with the community, which reflects the award that she received. <

MCLA honors Hesler as ‘2023 Curriculum Leader of the Year’

RSU 14’s Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Christine Hesler has been honored as “2023 Curriculum Leader of the Year” by the Maine Curriculum Leaders Association.

Christine Hesler of RSU 14 has been named
'2023 Curriculum Leader of the Year' by the
Maine Curriculum Leaders Association.
According to RSU 14 Superintendent of Schools Christopher Howell, Hesler has been instrumental in elevating practices in her district regarding curriculum and assessment transparency and continuing to support staff as they refine their instructional practices.

“From developing an instructional coaching model in RSU 14 to providing rich professional development throughout each school year, Christine has been an exemplary educational leader with a laser focus on students,” Howell said.

Some of her outstanding work includes leading the district's remote learning team, utilizing technology to provide a high level of transparency and accountability as it relates to curriculum, instruction and assessment and mentoring instructional coaches to maintain a focus on highly effective practices.

She consistently partners with her colleagues to reflect and refine processes and practices each year, MCLA officials said.

Not only has Christine excelled within her district but is always willing to share her knowledge with others. She has led professional development for the Greater Sebago Education Alliance and continues to be an involved member of the Maine Curriculum Leaders Association.

“Christine’s enthusiasm and positive attitude are contagious, as every encounter with her sparks new ideas, a high level of professional collaboration, and unending support,” said MCLA officials. MCLA is pleased to honor and celebrate Christine Hesler as the 2023 Curriculum Leader of the Year.”

Hesler has worked for RSU 14 since 2012.

The Maine Curriculum Leaders Association is a supportive organization of professional educators and stakeholders focused on high-quality learning and teaching for all Maine students. The organization values integrity, collaboration, and connection.

MCLA promotes equity and meaningful learning through research, information dissemination, advocacy, networking, and professional learning. <

Voters approve RSU 14 budget proposal

By Ed Pierce

Windham and Raymond residents submitted regarding RSU 14’s 2023-2024 budget proposal on Tuesday and when all the votes were counted, more than 69 percent of voters were in favor of approving the budget.

Voters in Windham and Raymond approved the RSU 14 
2023-2024 budget proposal by a margin greater than
69 percent to 31 percent during voting on Tuesday.
Windham's Annual Town Meeting for residents to 
vote on the town's proposed budget is set for Saturday
at Windham High School. FILE PHOTO
A total of 1,247 voters cast ballots with 854 in favor of the budget proposal and 393 opposed to passage of the budget. By town, 631 Windham voters approved the budget with 223 voting no, and 267 voters in Raymond approved the budget proposal with 126 opposed.

The 2023-2024 RSU 14 budget proposal was $56,809,751 was a 4.24 percent increase from the previous budget for 2022-2023 budget of $54,497,963. The new budget includes funding for a new School Resource Officer for lower grades and additional pre-Kindergarten instruction for district students.

Also on Tuesday, three candidates were vying for two seats on the Raymond Select Board to serve three-year terms. In the election, Derek Ray and Samuel Gifford were elected. Ray received 179 votes and Gifford 172 votes, while candidate Lawrence Taylor received 159 votes.

Voters elected Jodi Carroll to the RSU 14 seat representing Raymond. Carroll was unopposed in her bid for the seat.

Frank McDermott received 269 votes to fill one of the two vacancies on the Raymond Budget-Finance Committee for a three-year term. No candidates filed for election to fill the second vacancy and Raymond Town Clerk Sue Look said a process will be set up to determine how to fill the vacancy between the two leading write-in candidates, Laurie Forbes and Charles Leavitt, who were tied with 3 write-in votes on Tuesday.

The approved RSU 14 school budget will be included when Windham residents gather for the Annual Town Meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 17 at Windham High School. Members of the Windham Town Council approved the final budget proposal at a meeting on May 9.

At the Annual Town Meeting, Windham residents will be asked to approve a budget proposal for 2023-2024 of $40,418,346, an increase from the current 2022-2023 budget of $38,227,469. That amounts to a budget increase of 5.7 percent.

Town officials say that the Windham budget was calculated based upon projected lower town revenues, fixed expenses, and two planned town personnel additions. Some of the increase will offset the loss of $700,000 the town incurred by switching over from the Pay As You Throw (PAYT) trash collection system to a new trash cart system this fall.

Windham’s budget proposal also includes capital equipment investments and some short-term debt for public safety including the purchase of heavy equipment and vehicles such as an ambulance and two fire vehicles. If the budget is approved by voters, Windham would purchase a new snowplow truck and some specialized fire safety equipment including a new fire pump, nozzles, training materials, mechanic specialty equipment, and shelving.

Capital projects funded under the proposed budget include repaving sidewalks in South Windham, reconfiguring the Route 202 Intersection and maintenance paving for Collin Circle, Running Brook Road, and Montgomery Road. <

Windham High Latin students form unique bond at JCL Convention

By Jolene Bailey

At Windham High School, JCL stands for Junior Classical League and their conventions and other activities revolve around Latin students learning and interacting together.

Windham High School Junior Classical League students
gather while attending Maine's annual JCL spring overnight
convention at a campsite in Winthrop. The event featured
skits and competitions designed to foster interaction and
student learning of Latin. SUBMITTED PHOTO  
This is Windham’s first year attending their spring overnight convention, which took place at a campsite site in Winthrop.

“Hundreds of toga-wearing Latin students from across the state descend on a camp in the middle of the woods to race chariots, launch catapults, compete in Olympic games, make art, act in skits, and test their knowledge of Latin and Roman culture,” said David Dyke, WHS Latin teacher. “This event has been going on for decades and it’s rich in tradition and friendly rivalries. It’s competitive, welcoming, and nerdy in all the best ways.”

Not only were WHS Latin students able to show and learn about their language skills, but they were able to make new friends along the way. Students from different classes and Latin levels were mixed in together. Some of the students were able to form friendships with the ones they may not have talked to if it wasn’t for this event.

“We all instantly connected and had a great time messing around with each other. Since we didn't take everything as seriously as everyone else, we had such a great time goofing around,” said freshman Latin student Finn DeSilva.

Since being a newer school to this convention, other schools had taken it more seriously and competitively. However, the bottom line wasn’t to win or lose. Windham has taken the approach of going to the event to have a good time and take more valuable experiences out of the trip.

“In seventh grade I went on a camping trip with the Dare To Adventure group, and looking at it compared to where we went for this, this was thousands of times better,” said DeSilva.

For most students, this was their first overnight school field trip and haven’t participated in anything similar to this event.

“There was a costume contest that I was participating in at 8:30 p.m. It was pitch black and raining and I was in like 3-inch platform boots. We had to walk like half a mile through the muddy sand roads to a building that we had no clue to as to where the location of it was,” DeSilva said. “We all had a great time trying to find our way, using our phone flashlights, and yelling to each other to find our way. We showed up like 10 minutes late because we got lost on our way there, but when we showed up there were like 10 people there. I ended up winning the competition out of the six participants and am now receiving a ribbon.”

During a teenager's high school years, it is important for them to not only strive for academic success but also to set themselves up for success in other areas of study. When a person puts themselves out there, not only are they able to create a source of long-lasting memories, but also find passions and what they enjoy doing.

One day could change the future and a lifetime for those engaging in creating memories. Being able to dwell off of the memories created when younger can make someone try to make more, WHS Latin students say.

“This event has something for everyone. There are elections for officers if leadership is your thing, but there’s also athletics, there’s engineering, there’s art, there’s academics. All the aspects of Roman culture are there. Well, almost all. They skip gladiatorial combat,” said Dyke.

He said that this is a multidisciplinary event being taught in school.

“For example, one of our students worked with a WHS science teacher, Mr. Becker, to design this year’s catapult. And Mr. Riddle was gracious enough to donate some old climbing harnesses for the chariot, the building of which, in turn, Ms. Lane was kind enough to let a student use the shop for. And of course, Mr. Ziegler’s Quiz Show students were instrumental in Windham securing Second Place in Intermediate Certamen. A student researched and designed her own costume. Another student knitted a wig. I think one of our chants in the Spirit Contest incorporated something from a Chamber Singers piece. As a teacher, what makes this event special is saying, ‘look guys, here’s all these ways to get involved and do your thing, go for it,’” said Dyke.

Being able to bring everyone's different strengths into a team created what felt unstoppable to some. <

Mills signs Fay proposal amending laws governing water supply protection

AUGUSTA – Last week Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed into law LD 211, sponsored by Rep. Jessica Fay, D-Raymond, which will allow water utilities to partner with conservation organizations to preserve land in order to protect water quality for their ratepayers.

State Rep. Jessica Fay
Under provisions of the current law, water utilities are limited in how they may spend their water protection funds. They are currently allowed to unilaterally purchase land so that they can protect water supplies.

A water supply protection fund may be created from a surplus and is capped at 15 percent of the water utility’s annual revenue or $100,000, whichever is greater of the two amounts.

Currently, these funds can only be used to purchase land outright.

“LD 211 is a common-sense proposal that will allow water utilities to work in partnership with others to further help preserve land for hiking, hunting, fishing and other types of outdoor activities while at the same time protecting our water resources,” said Fay. “Preserving land and forests protects our water quality. When our water quality is protected, expensive treatment and filtration become less necessary, passing along savings for ratepayers.”

The new law will go into effect 90 days after the current session of the Maine Legislature adjourns.

Fay, House chair of the Government Oversight Committee and a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs, is serving her fourth term in the Maine House of Representatives.

She serves the community members of Casco, Frye Island, Raymond, and part of Poland. <

June 9, 2023

In the public eye: Wiley a positive influence for generations of Raymond students

Editor’s note: This is another in an ongoing series of Windham and Raymond town employee profiles.

By Ed Pierce

For more than three decades, Bonnie Wiley has been a steady and positive influence in the lives of students at Raymond Elementary School and the foundation for their future academic success.

Bonnie Wiley has worked for 34 years as an
educator in Raymond and is currently serving
as the first-grade teacher at Raymond
Elementary School. She believes her work
is critical to students in developing strong
skills that will serve them academically
and throughout their lives.
Wiley is currently a first-grade teacher at the school and formerly taught special education for 18 years. She also taught kindergarten and spent a year as the standards-based teacher for Raymond Elementary, giving hundreds of young students their introduction to reading. She grew up in Scarborough and then went on to attend the University of Maine where she earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education.

She’s worked for the Raymond School Department for 34 years and believes that her work is critical to students in developing and mastering strong skills that will serve them well not only as they go through school, but also later in life.

“I think some people view teaching as similar to daycare or babysitting. We are not sitting and watching children as they play,” Wiley said. “We are actively engaged with them throughout the entire time they are in school. For example, we are teaching social skills during recess and manners during snack and lunch times. Neither do we truly have summers off. While we are not going into the school building, we are constantly thinking of new lessons and creating materials to use during the school year. School is never far from our minds.”

When she was first hired by the school, Wiley said that she didn’t quite know what to expect.

“I had applied for a classroom teaching position but had not heard anything from the school until I was called several days before school began by the special education director,” Wiley said. “She needed a special education teacher and had looked through the applications on file. I had spent two years working in that setting and was able to get a conditional teaching certificate. I began three days later.”

According to Wiley, her greatest challenge as an educator is making her lessons relevant for students.

“The biggest challenge is keeping children active and engaged,” she said. “With all of the curriculum that needs to be taught, there is very little time for play, and children have a limited attention span.”

This year she is leading a classroom of 19 first-grade students ranging in age from 6 to 7 years old and Wiley says the best aspect of her job is when a student understands a lesson she has taught.

“It is wonderful to see the light in children's eyes as new learning clicks into place and they understand it,” Wiley said. “That Ah-ha moment.”

Through the years she has accumulated a treasure trove of many unforgettable moments in her career at Raymond Elementary School and says it’s tough to choose one above all the rest.

“There have been so many, it is hard to pick one,” Wiley said. “I always love it when a student that I had in class comes back as an adult to let me know that I made a difference for them.”

She said one fact that she’s come to realize while working as a teacher at Raymond Elementary School is undeniable.“I’ve learned that good administrators make an incredible difference in the atmosphere and climate within the school community,” Wiley said.

Being a teacher involves so much more than standing in a classroom and giving lessons. Every year Wiley spends hours every night grading papers, supervising students on the playground, keeping records about student progress and behaviors, in meetings with school administrators, creating lesson plans, collaborating with other teachers, and speaking with parents.

It’s a difficult job and one Wiley says people may not fully know everything about.“One thing that the public may not know about my job is that teachers are constantly doing work at home in the evenings, on weekends, and during vacations,” she said.

Over her long career at Raymond Elementary, Wiley says that her family has been highly supportive of her work.

“It was great when my children were growing up because I was able to be home with them during the summer,” she said. “They understand and value the time and energy educators spend on their students.” <

Official partnership transpires between St. Ann’s Episcopal and Faith Lutheran churches

By Lorraine Glowczak

Although many mainstream denominations in Maine including Baptists, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ, Episcopalians, Friends/Quakers, Catholics, and Lutherans have often collaborated efforts to inspire persons of faith to unite for the betterment of society, the partnerships of two or more churches sharing clergy and resources are slowly becoming a more conventional path of worship as church attendance declines. Recently, two Windham churches are leading the way in this unique, and perhaps fruitful, collaboration.

Although St. Ann's Episcopal and
Faith Lutheran Church have
collaborated in many ways, including
working together with other churches
to provide free weekly community 
meals, the two organizations will
become an official partnership on
July 1. St. Ann's member Melissa
Dubois serves food at last Thursday's
community meal.
St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, 40 Windham Center Road, and Faith Lutheran Church, 988 Roosevelt Trail, will officially become “partners in faith” on Saturday, July 1. Both churches’ governing bodies unanimously voted to collaborate as a ‘family in spirit’ while also keeping separate physical locations.

“This means I have been named as the ‘transitional pastor with eligibility to call’ for Faith Lutheran Church for the next year on a one-year trial basis,” said the Rev. Tim Higgins, Rector of St. Ann’s. “I will be available to Faith Lutheran members for ¼ time, providing pastoral care, hospital, and home visits, counseling, and spiritual direction.”

The journey that sparked the official partnership began two years ago in August when Faith Lutheran’s part-time pastor, the Rev. Jane Field accepted the offer of a full-time position as Executive Director of Maine Council of Churches, which was originally part-time. Higgins said that he received a call from the Bishop’s Associate of Maine to be the Contact Priest for Faith Lutheran.

“As a Contact Priest I provided pastoral care [hospital visits, weddings, funerals, etc.] and was present at council meetings,” he said. “But after a year, Faith Lutheran was at a stretching point. There are over 40 open positions for Lutheran Pastors all over New England and few feel called to work part-time. The church had to make a few decisions.”

Since the Faith Lutheran members were not interested in closing their doors and selling the church, the congregation opted to continue an ongoing relationship with St. Ann’s.

With both churches' support, Higgins points out the real purpose of joining forces.

“It is both congregations’ mission that we will grow as a large family community by combining our efforts,” he said. “We want to provide for those who are searching for a place to call their spiritual home in an open and affirming way – without placing any judgments, without demands of giving beyond your means. We are committed to ministry and outreach in the way we believe Jesus taught us.”

Higgins emphasized that stability and consistency are among the missions of this collaboration with the hope that the growth of worship will occur now that there are two locations and options for people to choose.

David Guiseley, a 20-plus member of Faith Lutheran and the current President of the Church Council, agrees with Higgins.

“We hope our partnership will create more interest in religion and increase church involvement in both public/volunteer missions and in ministry,” he said. “We see this as creating a positive impact on both churches. For Faith Lutheran specifically, it will help to give us a more consistent schedule of Pastors presiding over our Sunday services.”

Higgins will supply liturgical worship for Faith Lutheran one Sunday a month. Retired Raymond Village Church Pastor and United Church of Christ Pastor, Rev. Nancy Foran will provide worship services two times a month while other supply clergy will take on the fourth Sunday of the month.

Catherine Ryder who is the Senior Warden of St. Ann’s Vestry and a member for 23 years said that she and Guiseley worked together to discuss the risks, benefits, and fears that both church memberships expressed.

“We both took the time to make sure everyone in our churches had their voice heard and there was definitely a favorable response,” she said. “Part of the reason for this is because we have shared events in the past.”

Ryder was referring to the many ecumenical events and services both churches have collaborated to include Thanksgiving and MLK, Jr worship, serving community meals together, and working together at St. Ann’s Essentials Pantry.

“We’ve made intentional efforts to do things together,” she said. “The more you get to know people the less you fear and the more you get to know how to fill in the gaps for each other.”

Ryder went on to say that she is a firm believer in integration and collaboration as a good thing and recognizes one individual who makes this collaboration easy.

“Without Father Tim, I don’t know what St. Ann’s future would be like and so the partnership with Faith Lutheran is a double blessing. We have good things in store for us in the future.”

Higgins expresses his gratitude.

“I am honored and humbled at the guidance of the holy spirit the past year that has brought the two organizations to this amazing place of collaboration. I’m so excited to move forward in our ongoing work as we celebrate the Christian community in the Sebago Lakes region. God has led us to this place and God will lead us forward.”

St. Ann’s Episcopal Church will be celebrating their 50th anniversary on Sunday, June 25. Higgins asks readers to keep their eyes and ears open for upcoming celebration information. <