Topsham elementary school nominated for national award

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TOPSHAM — Williams-Cone Elementary School is one of three Maine schools nominated as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School.

The Maine Department of Education announced the nominees – which also include Longfellow Elementary School in Portland and Yarmouth Elementary School – last week.

Williams-Cone was selected as a high-performing school, according to Principal Randa Rineer, since its achievement on the 2011 New England Common Assessment in math and reading by third- through fifth-graders scored in the top 15 percent among Maine schools.

“This nomination is a wonderful honor for the WCS staff,” Rineer said in a December school newsletter. “It reflects not only the staff’s hard work and commitment but it is also reflective of our outstanding student population, (School Administrative District 75), and the highly dedicated WCS community.”

This is Rineer’s first school year as principal, and she praised the work of the previous leadership – Otis Thompson and Steve Ciembroniewicz – in earning the nomination.

The U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School program honors public and private schools with students who achieve at significantly high levels or have made strong progress and closed gaps in achievement, particularly among minority and disadvantaged students.

Each nominated school has student achievement in Maine’s top 15 percent for both math and reading. Winners will be announced in September 2013.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.