Northern School: July 13

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Falmouth SRO receives national award

Falmouth School Resource Officer Robert Susi was awarded the Pegasus award June 30 at the Maine Event: Creating Positive Climates for Youth Annual Conference 2017.

The award represents individuals that have risen from adversity to create welcoming and safe schools and intentionally foster a positive school climate. Nominations were received from across the country.

Susi was nominated by Falmouth Assistant Principal John Radtke, who said, “I am thrilled to nominate Rob Susi for his exemplary work with youth as a coach, teacher and school resource officer. His ability to reach students on a very personal level has broken down barriers for countless alienated students. His dedication to working towards pro-student centered outcomes has been a catalyst to creating a compassionate climate throughout our entire district. He is also a gifted networker, helping our students make connections with vital resources in the community.”

“As you can imagine he deals with sticky situations on a minute to minute basis. His kindness, wisdom and compassion are woven into a straightforward approach to dealing with difficult situations. He has the ability to tell people what they need to hear in a kind supportive manner, especially if they don’t want to hear it. … he has more integrity than anyone else I have worked with.”

The Pegasus award was inspired three years ago by the Collaborative for Perpetual Innovation, a Maine-based educational group founded on the belief that schools should be welcoming and positive havens for students.  The collaborative named the award the Pegasus to honor individuals who have been creative in the implementation of doing what is right for kids.

YHS student awarded fellowship to study in Israel

Sammy Potter, son of Dina and Ben Potter of Yarmouth, and a junior at Yarmouth High School, was awarded a Bronfman Fellowship as an outstanding Jewish high school student and selected for an immersive Israel study program and Lifelong Fellowship.

Besides serving as a page in the U.S. Senate for Susan Collins, R-Maine, Potter is the founder of a Maine startup called LaborLion. He runs track and cross country and plays tennis. Potter also mentors a 7-year old student and volunteer at a learn-to-skate program for special needs students.

The 26 Fellows, chosen from more than 250 applicants nationwide, participated in a transformative five-week program of study and travel in Israel, followed by a rigorous year of programming centered around pluralism, social responsibility and Jewish texts. The program was founded by Edgar M. Bronfman, a former CEO of the Seagram Company Ltd. who died in 2013.

YHS teacher brings the universe to the classroom

The education team at Boston public media producer WGBH has selected Sarah Hirschfeld from Yarmouth High School to be a teacher adviser for “Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms,” an initiative to create new instructional models and digital media tools for science, technology, engineering and math learning known as STEM. The digital learning resources will be produced by WGBH in collaboration with NASA, which will be distributed free of charge through PBS LearningMedia, reaching millions of students and teachers nationally.

Hirschfeld has been teaching high school sciences since 2014. She strives to make learning engaging and meaningful to her students by tapping into their natural curiosities and interests. She is one of 50 advisors selected from over 650 applicants across the country, from a wide range of grade levels and subjects.

Fifth-grader is state winner of essay competition

He may be only 10 years old, but Kai Small used capital market savvy to write an award-winning essay, placing first in the state of Maine for the SIFMA Foundation’s Spring 2017 InvestWrite competition.

A fifth-grader at Mast Landing School in Freeport, Small understands the importance of diversifying investments. That’s how he won first place in the elementary school division of the competition. The program challenges thousands of students across the country to consider an investing scenario and make recommendations that incorporate short- and long-term investment goals.

“Kai’s research and analysis earned him the SIFMA Foundation’s ‘InvestWrite Genius’ title this school year,” said Melanie Mortimer, president of the SIFMA Foundation. “We commend Kai and praise his teacher, Chelsea Ray, for bringing personal finance into the classroom with The Stock Market Game and InvestWrite. Studies have shown these programs raise students’ scores significantly on math, economics, and personal finance tests and prepare them for life’s financial decisions.”

The essay required students to write about why one shouldn’t “put all your eggs in one basket” when it comes to making smart investments. It asked students to discuss how they could create a diversified portfolio in real-life using stocks, bonds and/or mutual funds.

In his essay, Kai focused on investing with sector diversification. “When you diversify your portfolio, you have more of a chance of making money. If your whole portfolio is in technology and then technology companies flop, you lose money. That’s why you should buy stock in multiple industries. When you do that, you are prepared for different trends. In the real-world stock market, I would make my portfolio more diversified also by buying bonds.”

Kai’s interests include skiing and he has recently become interested in mountain biking. He plays bass, drums and sings in a rock band.

Rob Sousa was given a Pegasus award at the Maine Event: Creating Positive Climates for Youth Annual Conference 2017 for “exemplary work … as a coach, teacher and school resource officer” in the Falmouth school system.