Students from Morse High School made the grade when 20 high school poets were selected as honorees at the Merriconeag Poetry Festival.
Maine’s poet laureate, Stuart Kestenbaum, selected the finalists from a pool that included submissions from 20 area high schools. The poetry festival will be held at Maine Coast Waldorf School in Freeport at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 29.
This year’s local finalists are: Morse High School – Sidonia Stanton, Elizabeth Schotten, and Nina Keyes; Deering High School – Janessa Roberts; North Yarmouth Academy – Jackie Ellsworth; Falmouth High School – Emma Auer, Ella Coffin, Kayla Ford, Blake Knox, Sophie Magadieu, Naomi Radtke Rowe, and Claudia Spelman; Maine Coast Waldorf School – Myah Garrison, Wilson Haims, Miles Lloyd and Charles Van West; Cape Elizabeth High School – Makena Deveraux and Raina Sparks; Gorham High School – Grace Flynn.
Four high schools placed multiple winners among the finalists: Falmouth High School led the way with seven, followed by Maine Coast Waldorf School with four, Morse High School with three, and Cape Elizabeth High School with two. In all, eight high schools will be represented at the festival, including North Yarmouth Academy, Deering, Gorham and Spruce Mountain.
The winning poets will meet Kestenbaum, who will speak about the importance of poetry and read some of his own work. The awardees will read their winning poems, receive a booklet comprised of all the finalists’ pieces, and receive as well as a gift certificate provided by a local bookstore. The top three prize-winners will have their poems displayed on a large poster that will be distributed to the nearly 50 public and private high schools whose students were invited to submit work.
Zachary Grant from Brunswick has accepted an offer to attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Grant is a senior at Brunswick High School. His parents are Joey and Melissa Grant.
“There are men and women who have served or are currently serving, some paying the ultimate sacrifice, so that we as Americans may stay free,” Grant wrote in his letter requesting a nomination from 1st District U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine. “I believe that I owe no less than what those people have given.”
“Serving in one of the armed forces will be my way of repaying the community, teachers, family members, and everyone else who has helped me become the person I am today.”
To be considered for an appointment to a service academy, applicants must be nominated by an authorized nominating source, which includes members of Congress. Pingree nominated Grant to the academy in December.
Mt. Ararat Middle School students are learning about the causes of climate change and potential solutions, thanks to a grant from the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
With guidance from their teacher, John Wironen, middle-schoolers at the Topsham school will examine the ways they can reduce climate-changing pollution in their homes, activities, school and community. Students will propose practical steps they can take and create a video so they can share the solutions they discover with younger students and the Topsham community.
The local students are among those at eight schools throughout the state to receive one of NRCM’s Middle School Grants. The purpose of the grants is to help Maine students carry out hands-on, outdoor conservation learning experiences that focus on healthy waters, forests and wildlife, climate and clean energy, and a sustainable Maine.
To follow the project’s progress, visit the NRCM blog at www.nrcm.org/blog.
Lauren Johnson of Mt. Ararat Middle School fine tunes her wind turbine at the Maine KidWind Challenge, held on March 30, when 28 wind engineering teams from around the state tested their turbines and presented their designs to a panel of judges.