Portland School Notebook: Dec. 23

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 Crowning achievement 

Oona Mackinnon-Hoban and Eamonn Dundon of Portland High School will serve as part-time interns in Sen. Angus King’s Scarborough office. The internships will give the students academic credit in a collaborative effort with the nonprofit Jobs for Maine’s Graduates and Portland High School. The internship program is aimed at giving local students an opportunity to learn more about the work of a senator’s office through observation, assistance and mentoring.

According to Eric Moynihan, JMG Expanded Learning Opportunities Coordinator at Portland High School, this is the second internship offered to PHS students by King over the last three years.

Mackinnon-Hoban, who is in her junior year, is involved in student government, the drama program and numerous other clubs, including the Women’s Rights Club and the Shakespeare Club. Her community activities include singing with the girl choir Musica de Filia. Mackinnon-Hoban also enjoys writing in her spare time. She was a national semifinalist at the American Legion Oratorical Contest, and has served in the U.S. Senate as a page, sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins. She hopes to attend a larger university in New York, Washington, D.C., or Montreal to pursue a degree in political science and journalism.

Dundon is a senior and a longtime volunteer on a myriad of local, state and national political campaigns, most recently serving as the deputy campaign manager on a city council campaign in Portland. Eamonn served as a Senate page sponsored by Collins in fall 2014. He also serves as a judge and board member on the Maine Youth Court and is a member of Portland High School’s Key Club. Dundon participated in Model United Nations, and is a member of the Boy Singers of Maine. In his free time, he enjoys skiing and playing tennis. Dundon is the son of Sean Dundon and Victoria Dalzell, both of Portland.

Jobs for Maine’s Graduates is a statewide nonprofit that works in Maine’s public schools to help students reach their full potential. JMG serves more than 5,500 students from grades six-12 in 79 programs across the state.

Adult program gains FAME

Portland Adult Education has won an Education at Work for Maine Award from the Finance Authority of Maine. PAE officials and students accepted the award at FAME’s annual meeting and awards event, held last month.

“Portland Adult Education has been committed to increasing educational opportunities and financial literacy since 1850. The organization helps to foster self- sufficiency through education for area immigrant and refugee populations, as well as the greater community of southern Maine,” FAME officials said when announcing the award.

FAME is a quasi-independent state agency that provides financial solutions to help Maine citizens pursue business and educational opportunities.

Military berths announced

The following local students were nominated by U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, to the United States Naval Academy: Gail Johnson of Waynflete; Lukas Pushor of Falmouth High School; and Chris Tomascak of New Mexico Military Institute, who graduated from Portland High School.

To be considered for an appointment to a service academy, applicants must be nominated by an authorized nominating source, which includes members of Congress.

The nominees were interviewed by a panel of six on their academic records, test scores, leadership abilities, involvement in extra-curricular activities and their commitment to military service.

Teachers gifted with grants 

Portland Education Foundation awarded $33,000 in grants in the seventh annual Teacher Grant Program cycle. Funds disbursed in 2015 represent a 29 percent increase over last year. Applications were received from teachers in every school, representing all grade levels. A total of 47 grant proposals were submitted.

The PEF Teacher Grant Program is designed to support a wide range of innovative school and classroom-based efforts to enhance learning experiences. Funds came from a Lennox Foundation grant, the Ellen S. Edwards Memorial Fund and PEF Board Member contributions. The PEF is developing plans to increase funds to support the Teacher Grants Program in 2016. “We believe that the PEF Teacher Grants Program makes a real difference for students and teachers in Portland’s public schools, and we look forward to working with the community over the coming months to increase the number of dollars we have to support the great work and innovation that is happening in classrooms and schools across the District,” said Mike Bove, chairman of the PEF Teacher Grants Committee.

Musically inclined students

Four members of the Deering-Portland-Casco Bay High School Orchestra have been accepted into this year’s Allstate Honors Festival Orchestra, and one member of the orchestra, PHS senior Moses Small, has been chosen to intern with the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

In addition, 23 students from the DHS-PHS-CBHS Orchestra were accepted earlier this fall into the District 2 Honors Festival Orchestra.

The four orchestra members accepted into the Allstate Honors Festival Orchestra are Francesca Houran, Katie McCabe, Owen Ganter and Will Weeks, who will be representing Portland Public Schools at the three-day festival, being held at University of Maine, Orono, in May 2016.

Small, who last year won an internship at the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, was also one of the students accepted into the District 2 Honors Festival Orchestra.

There were 20 sending schools, but the Honors Orchestra is comprised of only 64 students, so Portland Public School students make up 35 percent of the orchestra.

The 23 students accepted were:

Casco Bay High School: Annie Dodson, Eve Fischer, Francesca Houran and Ava Spach

Deering High School: Maddie Abbott, Arlo Farr-Weinfeld (assistant principal cello), Rebecca Frank, Owen Ganter, Lucas Jasonides, Priscilla Maccario, Katie McCabe, Annah Rossvall, Epi Tauwala (principal viola), Grace Tumavicus, Lucy Tumavicus, Will Weeks and Nicole Whipkey

Portland High School: Peter Gribizis, Ochan Ogak, Yifu Liu, Adrian Postolache, Moses Small and Iris Walter.