Freeport's Morse Street School principal to retire

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FREEPORT — Cherie White, principal of Morse Street School for the past 20 years, announced her retirement to administrators, her colleagues and parents on Feb. 23.

“It’s been a wonderful career,” she said. “I’ve found something to smile about almost every single day.”

Superintendent of Schools Shannon Welsh said White does an exceptional job leading the students and staff at Morse Street, and working with teachers and parents.

“Cherie takes great pride in quality education for our students and will be missed,” she said.

Welsh said a committee will interview candidates to replace White in early April, and by the end of the month a candidate will be selected and presented to the Regional School Unit 5 Board of Directors. She said there has already been a great deal of interest in the position.

White said although she is ready for retirement, she is always amazed at the wonderful projects happening in her school.

Last November, she said, students raised money to buy turkeys for community members in need. The students learned how important it is to give to others, White said.

Most recently, she said students participated in a food drive for the Freeport Food Pantry at the Freeport Community Center.

“They collected 1,000 cans of food and made a link of a chain to represent each can,” she said. “When they donated the food to the pantry, they joined all the chains together and hung the links in the lobby. It was a powerful representation.”

Another project that made White proud was the creation of life-sized, paper mache Maine animals created by students and artist-in-residence Nantz Comyns. White said the Parent Teacher Club sponsored Comyns’ residency, and the project tied into lessons about the state of Maine.

“At 9 a.m. there were sticks and newspapers everywhere,” White said. “By 3 p.m. it was a huge moose.”

From food drives to creative learning activities for the students, White said she is proud to have been the principal at Morse Street.

“I think of this school as the ‘Velveteen Rabbit’ of the system,” she said. “It’s worn around the edges, but very well loved.”

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or