Portland School Notebook

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Cooking with class: 1940s fundraiser revived, revamped and reissued

A cookbook first published more than 70 years ago is being reissued to once again help the Deering High School band program.

“Cooking to Beat the Band,” a cookbook created by some Deering High School Band parents in the 1940s, successfully raised enough money to buy new band uniforms. Now the historic cookbook had been reprised with both old and new recipes and will soon be available again. The proceeds will benefit Deering’s music program, which includes band, chorus and a hand bell choir.

“The Deering music program is now ready to present this awesome cookbook to the public as a current fundraiser,” said Gil Peltola, Deering’s music director.

The school is accepting pre-orders of the book, which will be available June 1 for $15.

“The Band Mothers Club of Deering High School put together a cookbook as a fundraiser for the music program” in the late 1940s, said Peltola. “Two-hundred pages of recipes and many ads from businesses at the time were included in this cookbook. It was a great success. After receiving two copies from former band members, I thought it would be a great idea to reprint the original cookbook and add a new section with recipes from current teachers, students and parents and renewed ads from companies that are still in business.”

Sophia Morin, a DHS senior, played an important role in reprising the cookbook, as it was part of her Senior Capstone Project.

Morin helped revive the fundraiser, and was also responsible for reaching out to new and previous ad donors.

“Music has been an enormous influence throughout all my years in school, and I couldn’t imagine where I would be without that influence today,” she said, adding, “We are in contact with the family that originally created the cookbook, and the enthusiasm they showed when we told them we were recreating it was something so priceless.”

KMS competing in national STEM competition

A group of King Middle School students will compete in a national STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) competition at Louisiana State University May 20-21 at the National SeaPerch Challenge in Baton Rogue, Louisiana. The students competed in the fifth annual Northern New England SeaPerch Challenge early in April, and have been selected as the Maine representatives to the national event. The SeaPerch Challenge welcomes students of middle school and high school age to participate in designing, building and demonstrating the capabilities of remote control underwater robots. The basis for the underwater robots comes from a kit designed by MIT and the Office of Naval Research.

More than 175 teams across the country will compete in a juried poster competition and in-pool technical events.

The students’ participation comes after a major STEM project King Middle School students undertook this fall, when they built remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to determine if they might be a viable means of the early detection and mitigation of aquatic invasive plants.

PHS grant will help student musicians keep the beat

Portland High School was presented with a $5,500 grant to start a percussion ensemble May 12, by the GRAMMY Foundation and the Ford Motor Company Fund. The two organizations sponsored a careers-in-music presentation and presented the 2016 GRAMMY Signature SchoolsEnterprise Award grant at a concert that night.

Jayne Sawtelle, the PHS music teacher who applied for the grant, said, “We are planning to have a percussion ensemble and, specifically, purchase Caribbean steel drums and start a steel drum band.”

PHS was one of 13 public high schools to be named a 2016 GRAMMY Signature School and receive a grant for excellence in music education.

King Middle named a Mentor School

King Middle School recently was named a 2016 EL Education Mentor School, an honor given to high-performing EL Education schools that reached the organization’s standards for quality and demonstrated a readiness to share their expertise with new network schools.

King is one of 12 Mentor Schools that are a subset of the 25 EL Education Credentialed Schools that excel in three dimensions of student achievement associated with success in college and careers: mastery of knowledge and skills, character and high-quality work.

During the two-year term, King will be partnered with one new EL Education school, to share best practices and provide advice on effective and efficient implementation of the EL Education model.

Both King and Casco Bay High School were named by EL Education as Credentialed Schools this past fall. CBHS, founded in 2005, also is a Mentor School and is recognized as a national leader in project-based and “deeper” learning. King was a low-performing school when it partnered with EL in 1992, but has evolved to a top-performing school today that is considered to be in the forefront of national school reform.

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