Southern School Notebook: Oct. 13

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Holy Cross students in South Portland help people and pets 

Students at Holy Cross School in South Portland have concluded a three-week relief effort to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, and the act of kindness turned out even better than Principal Christine L’Abbé could have dreamed.

“Our school community donated toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, and travel-size shampoos and soaps for people suffering after the hurricane,” said L’Abbé. “But our students didn’t want to forget the furry friends also in need, so they gathered dog and cat treats, pet toys, leashes, and over $300 in PetSmart and Petco gift cards.”

Thanks in part to donations from parents, the shipping costs were covered and eight large boxes of items were sent to four different human shelters and the largest no-kill animal shelter (Friends for Life) in Houston.

“I know people on the ground who are volunteering and coordinating at these shelters,” said L’Abbé. “They are excited for the supplies and I’m just as excited about how our students continue to embrace the opportunity to help others.”

Local students advance to Merit Scholarship semifinals

Three local high school students were named semifinalists in the 63rd annual National Merit Scholarship Program.

Anna T. Chase and Luke A. Thatcher of Scarborough High School and Erik B. Svetlichny of Cape Elizabeth High School will continue in the competition for  7,500 scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring. About 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

Students invited to remotely job shadow scientist 

University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H will connect K-12 students in Maine and around the country to UMaine student researchers in the field as part of its Follow a Researcher program.

The program is designed to give students a glimpse into a student scientist’s world by providing live expedition updates and facilitating communication between the youth and scientist. Follow a Researcher is offered by UMaine Extension with support from UMaine’s Climate Change Institute and the Maine 4-H Foundation.

Through Nov. 10, participants can watch Lynn Kaluzienski, a graduate student at CCI, travel to the other end of the globe to conduct research in Antarctica.

Kaluzienski is a glaciologist, studying the formation, movement and effects of different types of glaciers, and will be conducting field research to better understand changes occurring in the ice shelves of Antarctica. Using the data she collects, Kaluzienski will make predictions about the future of the ice shelves and their effect on sea level rise. Using satellite technology to measure ice movement, she will be mapping the terrain hidden beneath the surface with the help of a robot.

Educators and students can join Kaluzienski and take part in the adventure by signing up to participate online at To request a disability accommodation, contact Jessy Brainerd, 581-3877,

Holy Cross School students helped both the human victims and the four-legged friends affected by Hurricane Harvey in Houston. Counterclockwise from the bottom are Eshan Mahimkar, Lizzie Merrill, Rowan Keller, Mackenzie Cash, Jack McDevitt, Samantha Clyde and Christian Cocoran.