Portland School Notebook: March 15

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DHS junior competing in Poetry Out Loud state finals 

Deering High School junior Amran Mahamed was selected as one of 10 finalists to compete in the 2017 Poetry Out Loud Maine state finals in Waterville on March 13.

Amran was one of five finalists selected from the 23 students reciting poetry at the Southern Maine Regional Finals at Thornton Academy in Saco on Feb. 28. A total of 10 competitors – the five finalists from southern Maine and five from northern Maine – will compete in the state finals.

The three poems Amran recited were “Bleeding Heart,” by Carmen Giminez Smith; “The Song of the Smoke,” by W.E.B. DuBois; and “The Paradox,” by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

“Deering is incredibly proud of the talent of Amran Mahamed, and we wish her the best at the state competition,” said DHS English teacher Shana Genre.

Two other Portland Public School students competed in the southern Maine regional contest –Ludiya Abdalla from Portland High School and Eve Fischer from Casco Bay High School. They were among the top 10 competitors, but only Amran was among the top five advancing to the state competition.

Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation contest sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The winner of the state competition will be granted an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., and a chance to compete for thousands of dollars in college scholarships.

PPL to host Homeschool Meet & Greet

The Youth Services Department of the Portland Public Library invites local residents to a half-day Homeschool Meet & Greet 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 23 to meet the teen and children’s librarians, tour the building, learn about the library’s resources, and network with other homeschooling families. A light schedule of activities will begin at 11 a.m., but there will be plenty of time for self-paced exploration, questions, and fun and games. Refreshments will be provided.

Portland intern hired by Collins 

Mikhaila Fogel, a Portland native, has been hired as a legislative correspondent in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Sen. Susan Collins. Fogel is the daughter of Bill Fogel and Melinda Molin of Portland. She served in Collins’ Washington, D.C., office previously as a fall intern.

“Mikhaila displayed a strong work ethic as a fall intern and has an impressive record of achievement,” said Collins. “I am delighted that Mikhaila will join my Washington, D.C., where she will be actively involved in the legislative process and serving the citizens of Maine.”

Fogel graduated from Harvard College in May 2016, majoring in modern European history and literature and minoring in government and Arabic. While in college, she was a member of Harvard’s Hyperion Shakespeare Company and worked as a janitor and custodial crew leader. She will be assisting on issues related to foreign policy.

Junior Achievement hosts statewide business competition 

A Portland team was among six winning schools when Junior Achievement of Maine hosted its 11th annual Titan Challenge for high school students across the state on March 1.

Waynflete School students Nick Jenkins, Nick Wagg and Bodhi Small were regional winners in the business competition that pitted teams of three high school students against each other as they attempted to manage a virtual company in a competitive marketplace. The 2017 event matched over 250 students with mentors from local businesses across the state. 

Grant funding for MECA means more public access, programming

A grant from the Bob Crewe Foundation for $216,000 will allow Maine College of Art to invest in additional programming and curricular offerings over the next three years. Thanks to a transformational $3 million gift in October 2015, MECA was able to endow the first academic credit-bearing program dedicated to exploring relational dynamics between music, art and design.

The additional $216,000 grant will allow for increased staffing for the Bob Crewe Gallery to be open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as offering extended hours every First Friday and the general flexibility to accommodate special requests, groups and external partnerships. The grant will also support curricular programming and facility upgrades.

A former resident of Scarborough, Crewe was a singer and songwriter who wrote hits for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and other performers.


Mikhaila Fogel, a Portland native, will be working as a legislative correspondent in Sen. Susan Collins’ office.