School Notebook: Oct. 31

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Local Merit Scholar semifinalists announced

Local semifinalists for National Merit Scholarships include Ian O. Farm and Max Saffer-Meng of South Portland High School; Riley A. Beliveau, Heather E. Markham, Eric C. Youth and Ian S. Youth of Scarborough High School; Hudson Christie of Cape Elizabeth and Calla R. Hladky of Brunswick High School. Over 1.6 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools entered the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. Winners will be announced in the spring. 

Ocean Avenue in Portland to celebrate outdoor classroom

Ocean Avenue Elementary School will be holding a ribbon-cutting for its newly completed outdoor classroom space at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2. 

Built as a state-of-the-art, green school in 2011, OAE has expanded the green school concept with a classroom outdoors. The outdoor classroom was the vision of Ann Hanna, former OAES assistant principal and now principal of Riverton Elementary School, and has been the school’s goal since opening in 2011.

OAES’ vision for students is that they will achieve their highest potential by being knowledgeable, principled, and courageous young people who promote a healthy and more peaceful world. Classroom teachers are now able to extend and expand their classroom teachings with their students by allowing them to learn through observation and exploration in a natural setting. 

The design for the classroom came to fruition under Michael Johanning (designer of OAES), who provided his expertise and work gratis to the school.

Region 10 open house promises fun-filled evening

Region 10 Technical High School invites all community members, students, families, alumni, and friends to participate in a fun-filled evening getting to know the school’s programs and staff. Featured from 5-7 p.m. will be hands-on activities, demos, giveaways, raffles, and snacks and refreshments prepared by Culinary Arts and General Trades students.

Sponsored by the MELMAC Education Foundation, the event will include representation from the University of Southern Maine, all of Maine’s community colleges, Thomas College, Husson College, Wentworth Institute of Technology, the Armed Forces, Maine Energy Market Association (HVAC training), the Finance Authority of Maine and many other schools, service providers, and vendors.

Come weld a coat hook, make a flower box, and change a tire in competition with others. Come 3D-print, meet Deloris Perkins – the school’s artificial patient – sample a savory treat, and make a connection with a college.

“This is like no open house you’ve ever attended,” Superintendent/Director Nancy Weed promised. “It’s an event you don’t want to miss.”

The school is located at 68 Church St. in Brunswick. For more information see or

Portland schools to benefit from federal arts grant

Side x Side Inc. will receive a four-year, $524,193 grant through the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King announced in a news release. The funding will support Side x Side’s project titled “(Re)Imagining Education” to promote arts curriculum in Portland and Lewiston elementary schools. 

(Re)Imagining Education is designed to address achievement gaps among elementary school students in Portland and Lewiston by helping teachers integrate the arts into the curriculum and assigning trained teaching artists as mentors as part of a “Master Teachers” program.

“By creating new learning opportunities and promoting innovative teaching methods through the arts, Side x Side will help children in Portland and Lewiston unlock their full potential and achieve academic success,” the Senators said.  “We believe that Side x Side is well equipped to carry out this program to enhance access to arts education for all students, regardless of background or ability level.”

Denise Moore, a substitute teacher in SAD 75, dressed up as “Felicity Freedom” and presented a story and song about the Constitution to a first-grade class at Woodside Elementary School in honor of Constitution Day this fall. Moore is also the Regent of the Topsham Brunswick DAR chapter.

Former Cumberland resident and 2006 Greely High grad Libby Russell has been named one of Bumble’s 112 most inspiring New Yorkers. Russell has become an advocate for type 1 diabetes through her blog “I Have the Sugars,” where she has been able to reach out to fellow T1D peers and parents. By using her voice through her blog, she has been able to offer humor, support, advice and humility to others sharing her journey.