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A Falmouth teen was among the half dozen who received awards at the Hardy Girls Healthy Women’s 12th annual Girls Rock! Awards on March 22.
Haley Stark, 17, who suffered a spinal cord stroke when she was 12 years old, won in the category of Against the Odds. Through sheer force of will and months of rehab, she slowly regained some use of her right side and today she walks with only a slight limp. It was Stark’s advocacy for disability rights that caught the eye of Ashley Pullen, college counselor at Falmouth High School. Haley wrote an open Letter to the Falmouth High Community about elevator usage for students with disabilities. In the letter, “she bravely shared her experiences of being questioned by teachers for using the elevator. Her push back was firm and appropriate … and was met with a swift (supportive) response from our principal, who told FHS staff they were not to question any students who use the elevator,” Pullen wrote. Pullen continues, “instead of focusing on the school activities she can’t do, Haley has immersed herself in a myriad of extracurriculars. She is a member of the Civil Rights Team and has published a memoir. Haley can’t shake your right hand but as she writes in her book, ‘When people ask to shake my hand, it’s awkward for only a second. I can handle it and so can they.’”
The winners were nominated by their communities for their outstanding achievements in one of the following categories: STEM, athletics, entrepreneurship, health advocacy, community organizing, and defying the odds for success.
Victoria Mansion and Casco Bay High School in Portland will be partnering on an “intensive,” where students from the high school devote five class days in April to a specific project of their choosing and earn credit towards graduation.
CBHS students will research and design lessons around a Victorian topic of their choice, including trade, women’s social movements, political symbolism, fashion, Victorian transportation, Civil War and segregation, and sanitation. During the intensive, they will be introduced to the mansion, take a walking tour of the Portland to see buildings connected with the themes under discussion, and do research at local institutions. The lessons the students design can be in whatever format they desire (lecture, PowerPoint, podcast, etc.), and, if time allows, they will visit Lyman Moore Middle School and field test their lessons at the end of the week.
Falmouth Community Programs Division I elementary school team, at right, placed first at the Regional Odyssey of the Mind competition March 16 at Brunswick High School. The middle school Division II team came in second. Both teams will be headed to the state competition in Biddeford on April 6.
The Freeport Middle School seventh grade math team came in second with a total score of 97 points at the Pi Day math meet of the Southern Maine Math League on March 14. Teo Steverlynck-Horne came in second overall with an individual score of 26 points. From left are Ian Smith, Connor Mills-Dudding, Steverlynck-Horne, Yilin Wang and Abigail Caouette.