Portland School Notebook: Aug. 10

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CBHS frosh, seniors embarking on outdoor quest to start school year

Grant money totaling more than $40,000 from three foundations will help all students to participate in innovative four-day kayaking, camping and learning experiences, regardless of family income.

To help them make the transition to high school, freshmen at Casco Bay High School will participate in an innovative orientation experience on Cow Island in Casco Bay this September. During their Sept. 27-30 Freshman Quest, the students will kayak, camp and engage in learning activities that focus on building community.

CBHS seniors also will set off on their backpacking or kayaking Senior Quest in September, with some focusing on Cow Island and others backpacking in the White Mountains. The seniors are embarking on their final year of high school before heading off to college and career, and the Sept. 20-23 Senior Quest will give them an opportunity to unite and take stock of who they are and where they want to go.

The annual Quests are a hallmark at CBHS. They promote community, citizenship and leadership through writing and adventure-based learning. CBHS partners with two other organizations to design and implement these learning expeditions: The Telling Room, a nonprofit Portland-based writing center for children and young adults; and Rippleffect, a nonprofit youth and community development organization that operates wilderness education programming  out of Portland.

Each year, the Quests have received generous grant support that enables all students who want to participate to be able to do so, regardless of income. This year, the Quests are largely being made possible through a $30,000 grant from the White Pine Foundation, a Portland-based nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the principles of good civics and free enterprise.  In addition, the district has awarded CBHS $7,500 from its Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

 “The Quests are vital in the development of our school’s vibrant community, so our goal is always to have 100 percent of our students participate, regardless of family income. This generous funding helps ensure all our students can undertake these Quests,” said CBHS Principal Derek Pierce.

CBHS students also are asked to contribute $50 for their Quests. Students who qualify for free lunch are asked to contribute a reduced fee of $10.

Nearly 200 Casco Bay students are expected to participate in the Quests this year.

Founded in 2005, Casco Bay is the Portland Public Schools’ newest high school and is a school of choice for nearly 400 students. In 2016, CBHS was again named one of Maine’s top high schools by US News and World Report.

New VP of advancement appointed at Cheverus

Randolph H. Shaw has been named the new vice president of institutional advancement at Cheverus High School, Fr. George E. Collins, school president,  announced earlier this summer. Shaw, of Brunswick, began his new duties at the school effective July 14.  He brings to Cheverus more than 25 years of experience in the strategic planning and execution of institutional advancement initiatives at leading private institutions, including Bowdoin College, Bates College and Bentley University.

Shaw graduated from Bowdoin College in 1982 and returned to his alma mater in 1991 to begin his career at the college. At Bowdoin, Shaw served as the vice president for development and alumni relations. During his two-decade tenure, Shaw had a leadership role in the planning and implementation of The Bowdoin Campaign, which raised nearly $300 million. Following his service to Bowdoin, Shaw served as the executive director of development at Bentley University. Shaw joins Cheverus from Bates College, where he helped increase giving totals as the associate vice president for college advancement.

“Mr. Shaw brings exceptional credentials as a highly-esteemed leader in educational philanthropy, and he also expresses a deep appreciation for our mission to cultivate young leaders prepared to serve as people for others in our global community,” Collins  said. “Our success in philanthropy is critical to meeting our strategic objectives as we approach our centennial celebration — a transformative moment in the history of Cheverus.”

Randolph H. Shaw has been appointed vice president of institutional advancement at Cheverus High School, effective July 14.

Jordin Ellis, Akeria Howard and Nicholas Constantine enjoy a cool treat after visiting the Portland Public Library Bookmobile, which stopped at Gold Star Learning Center every Monday this summer.