Northern School Notebook: Jan. 5

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Durham student wins research award

A Durham woman was one of only a handful of award-winners from more than 100 field-based research projects in sustainability science that were presented this month during the biannual Unity College Student Conference.

Among the award winners was Anya Samiljan, a captive wildlife care and education major who, along with several other members of her team, was given The Sustainability Award for “Reduction of Municipal Waste in Unity College Residence Halls via Alternative Disposal Resources.”

Research by Unity College undergraduates in 2016 examined effects of microplastics in the environment, runoff infiltration into a local sewer system, animals being treated at a local shelter, the differences between trout raised in hatcheries vs. the wild, creation of a smartphone app for students to track their food consumption choices, and much more.

“This event is always one of the premier academic events on the Unity College schedule – one I have circled on my calendar from the first day of classes,” Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury said. “These students, in collaboration with faculty advisers and partnership organizations in the community, show a level of thinking in sustainability sciences that one typically sees only in graduate school.”

Held in December and May each academic year, the Unity College Student Conference is the college’s signature forum for undergraduates to exhibit their research and to compete for excellence awards in a wide area of academic disciplines.

FMS hosts Red Ribbon Day

Freeport Middle School hosted a school-wide Red Ribbon – Got Red? Costume Day on Dec. 9. The drug prevention event was promoted through a poster contest and coordinated by the FMS Interact Club with co-leaders Phyllis Latham and Lucy Lloyd. The FMS Interact Club is a student-led group supported by the Freeport Rotary Club.

At the start of the school day, all FMS students were greeted with lollipops that had anti-drug messages attached to promote the Red Ribbon – Got Red? Costume Day. Students were also encouraged to wear red and participated in an advisory activity where they learned to think about the consequences of impulsive decisions. During this advisory activity, students practiced “pause” skills by role-playing skits that were written by Interact student Ella Vertenten.

Phyllis Latham, the FMS guidance counselor said, “The Red Ribbon Day has become an annual event where the students help to create activities that grabs their peers’ attention and educates them about the importance of being drug-free at the same time. I am always amazed by the students’ excitement and creativity as they work on this project. “

The Red Ribbon campaign is a nationally recognized drug prevention initiative that is sponsored by the National Family Partnership. The national theme for the 2016 events is You Only Live Once, Be Drug-Free. For more information on YOLO, go to

The Freeport Rotary Club, formed in 1983, is a diverse group of over 45 business and professional people from the Freeport area. Its mission is to provide service to those in need, in the greater Freeport community and around the world.

For more detailed information about the Freeport Rotary Club and its programs, visit

Falmouth High looking for talent

Falmouth High School will hold its fourth annual Falmouth’s Got Talent Show on Sunday, Jan. 29, at 4 p.m. The event is a fundraiser for Project Graduation, the chemical free after graduation celebration. The show will feature musicians, dancers, comedians, poets and more.

Henry Pope of South Freeport, who attends Freeport High School and Region Ten in Brunswick, practices his welding skills in the Region Ten Technical High School metal fabrication/welding class.

RSU 5 School Resource Officer Mike McManus, far right, and Phyllis Latham, left, guidance counselor at Freeport Middle School, were recognized for their work with Casco Bay Create Awareness Now, or CAN, and the RSU5. Their support has helped to educate parents, students and staff on the importance of preventing and reducing youth substance abuse. Also shown are Becky Foley and Michelle Ritcheson