School Notebook: Nov. 14

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Maine Coast celebrating 100th with worldwide postcard exchange

Maine Coast Waldorf School is participating in a worldwide postcard exchange with students in other Waldorf schools around the world.

The initiative is being taken both to broaden the global perspective of students and kick-off the 100-year celebration of Waldorf Education in 2019.

Throughout 2018, students in 1,100 Waldorf schools from more than 80 countries are sending a postcard to every other Waldorf school worldwide. Each postcard has been individually designed by a young person, telling or showing something of his or her country, school, or self.

At Maine Coast Waldorf School, the postcards were designed by the high school students, who used bees and flowers as their inspiration because Waldorf schools are also taking up beekeeping and planting pollinator gardens as part of the 100th-anniversary celebration.

The students carved 20 original designs into a printmaking rubber and then printed out the 1,400-plus postcards over several months. The Class of 2021 took the lead on the project, but everyone in grades nine through 12 had a hand in the process.

Opening for ‘Moore Together’ mural Nov. 16

An opening reception will be held at Lyman Moore Middle School to celebrate the Portland school’s new “Moore Together” mural will be held 3-4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16.

According to Tess Nacelewicz, communications coordinator for Portland Public Schools, Moore Together is the theme of the school. “It inspires the school’s students, families, and staff to work together to support and engage each member of the school community,” said Nacelewicz in a Nov. 13 press release. “Now, students and Ryan Adams, an artist and lifelong Mainer, have a created a mural featuring the theme.”

Adams unveiled the design of the mural at the school in October, a ceremony during which Deering High School senior Allan Monga, Maine’s 2018 Poetry Out Loud winner, recited a poem evocative of the Moore Together theme. Since then, Moore students have worked with art teacher Jessica Crowley to complete the mural. At the Nov. 16 event, the community is invited to gather to see the completed mural and meet the artists.

Using his knowledge of color theory and lettering acquired through his exploration of graffiti art, Adams has been painting murals and signs professionally for over a decade, and his work can be found adorning interiors and facades of buildings throughout the Northeast. “This project really captivated me with the marriage between visual and literary arts,” Adams said. “To be able to create a piece of colorful work that will become a part of the students’ everyday environment is a great honor.”

The collaboration at Lyman Moore is made possible by the generosity of the Maine Humanities Council, Artist & Craftsman Supply, Rosemont Market, and Longfellow Books.

CBHS teacher Nellie Mae award-winner

Mallory Haar of Casco Bay High School was honored Nov. 2 with a $15,000 grant from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation as a winner of the Foundation’s 2018 Lawrence W. O’Toole Awards. The O’Toole Awards recognize public high school teachers who are advancing student-centered learning in their classrooms and leading efforts to scale these approaches in schools and districts throughout New England.

An English-language learner teacher, Haar seeks to overcome education inequities caused by language barriers. She will use the O’Toole grant to lead equity literacy programs at six Portland schools, with a vision of creating an autonomous reading group at each school. She was one of 13 teachers to be recognized with the award.

UMaine offering tuition-free classes for high school students

Through a partnership between the Maine Department of Education and the University of Maine System, tuition is waived for all qualified high school students in Maine to cover full tuition for up to 12 college credits per year. Registration is open through Jan. 25 at

Starting Jan. 22, 2019, the University of Maine will offer spring courses suitable for rising high school juniors and seniors. Interested students and parents are encouraged to contact Allison Small, Early College Programs Coordinator, at 581-8004 or to learn more about the application process.

St. Brigid’s students thank veterans

Third-graders at St. Brigid School in Portland used their artistic talents to make greeting cards in advance of Veterans Day to express their appreciation for those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

“I just wanted to let them know that we are thankful for them, and we thank them for everything that they do for our country,” said Skylar. “They do many things for our country.”

The greeting card project, an annual endeavor, coincided this year with New England Catholic Schools Week and also coincided with Election Day.

Over the years, the cards have been sent to various veterans and veterans’ organizations, but this year, they will be given to some of the students’ relatives who served in the military. Mikey Ray’s uncle, for instance, served for 40 years in the U.S. Air Force.

“He was in the military and was saving a lot of people’s lives,” Mikey explained. “I wanted to tell him thank you for your service. It is me, Mikey. It is my class, and I hope that you have a good day.”

Mary Ellen White, a third-grade teacher at St. Brigid, said it is important for the students to appreciate the freedom that Americans have and to express their gratitude to the men and women who have defended liberty here and around the globe.

“I get emotional when I talk about. We’re the greatest country on earth. We can come to school happy every day, when there are a lot of schools in Afghanistan that no longer even exist because they’ve been bombed, or they’re empty because it is too scary for kids to go there,” White said. “I want kids to really appreciate living in this amazing country and to not forget the people who made sacrifices for us.”

Mallory Haar of Casco Bay High School received a 2018 Lawrence W. O’Toole Award from Nick Donohue, president & CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

Brim Peabody, 15, of Boy Scout Troop 47 in Scarborough, built four handicapped-accessible picnic tables and four wooden checkerboards for Maine Veterans’ Home for his Eagle Scout project. A sampling of the 1,400-plus block print postcards created by Maine Coast Waldorf School students and sent to Waldorf schools around the world