Portland School Notebook

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Portland man named Southern Maine Community College Student of the Year

Erik T. Squire, of Portland was named the Maine Community College System Student of the Year from Southern Maine Community College. Squire is one of seven students selected by faculty and staff at each of the state’s community colleges. The students were honored April 27, at the Senator Inn in Augusta, in an event hosted by the Maine Community College System Board of Trustees. In addition to being recognized as Students of the Year, they each received a $1,000 John H. Lapoint Jr. Leadership Award.

McAuley announces 2016 Maine Principal’s Award

Megan French, a senior at Catherine McAuley High School, has been selected to receive the 2016 Maine Principal’s Award, Head of School Kathryn Woodson Barr announced recently. The award, sponsored by the Maine Principals Association, is given in recognition of a high school senior’s academic achievement and citizenship. French is “an amazing young lady, who embodies compassion, dedication and social awareness, and whose sights are set on taking action – and changing our world for the better – one step at a time,” said her guidance counselor Linda Freeman.

French has served as an Executive Student Council board member and has acted as Student Council president for the past two years. In addition to receiving numerous accolades for her academic and theatrical accomplishments, French showed a strong commitment to service during her time at McAuley. She is a member of the National Honor Society, a District Chorus participant, and a recipient of the Assumption College Book Award. French will attend the College of the Atlantic in the fall.

MECA graduation is set for May 7

Maine College of Art will celebrate the graduation of students from its bachelor’s and master’s in fine art and master’s in teaching programs on Saturday, May 7, at 10 a.m. at the State Theatre in Portland.

Ruby Lerner will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary degree. Ruby Lerner is founding executive director and president of Creative Capital, an organization that supports innovative artists across the country with funding, counsel and skill-building workshops. Previously, Lerner was executive director of the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers and publisher of Independent Film and Video Monthly. Lerner serves on advisory boards for the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Ackland Art Museum, the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, and Light Industry, among others.

Annual Portland student art show at City Hall

Portland Public School students have put their talents, imagination and creativity on public display at Portland City Hall for the district’s annual Student Art Show.

The work of approximately 650 talented students in kindergarten through grade 12 will be exhibited during this year’s show, which runs until May 18.

On May 6, the building will be open until 8 p.m. for First Friday Art Walk.

Chad Hart, an art teacher at Riverton Elementary School and the Portland Public Schools’ art coordinator, said that one of the highlights of this year’s show is a number of 3-D works, most of them clay sculptures created by students in all levels – elementary, middle and high school.

The show features both younger students’ work and older students’ work. Visitors can see creative and compelling works from each grade and also get a sense of students’ growing artistic capabilities as they mature.

The show also is an opportunity to showcase the efforts of the district’s art teachers. “This show is a great example of the dedication and devotion of our art teachers and their love of their students and the arts,” Hart said. “The great response from the community to this show is a testament to the importance of the arts and the talent and vision of our students and teachers.”

The show is open to the public whenever City Hall is open; general hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

First annual student art show kicks off on First Friday

The first annual Regional High School Art Show will be hung May 6-11, with an opening reception 5-8 p.m. Friday, at Casco Bay Artisans, 68 Commercial St., The Maine Wharf, Portland.

Work from students at 17 regional high schools include the following: Portland High School; Cape Elizabeth High School; South Portland High School; Cheverus High School; Catherine McAuley High School; Portland Arts and Technology High School; LearningWorks/YBA; Baxter Academy; Aucocisco School; Brunswick High School and North Yarmouth Academy.

“This is an opportunity for high school art students to learn the process of being selected to show in a professional art gallery, from submission to curation to sell point,” said Jen Swarts, owner of Casco Bay Artisans. “Soon these students will be applying to colleges, where this experience will prove beneficial in creating their college essays and to begin to assemble portfolios.”

The Maine Legislature honored Casco Bay High School Principal Derek Pierce, shown with state Sen. Anne Haskell, D-Portland, with a Legislative Sentiment for being named Principal of the Year by the Maine Principals Association.