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May 14, 2017

NASA Astronaut Visits GMS & GHS

On Thursday, May 4, Dr. Jessica Meir joined students and staff at GMS and GHS to recognize Maine Space Day. Dr. Meir hails from Caribou, ME and is a scientist and astronaut with NASA. In an engaging and informative assembly for grades 4-8, Dr. Meir shared with students her path to NASA from a small town in Maine. Her message was all about following your passion, not being afraid to make mistakes, and never giving up on your goals.

MIW Art Show

Many families and community members came out to enjoy the work of our students at MIW as they displayed their art work. So many creative pieces were on display, from fish to owls to a large Maine moose! Many thanks to MIW art teachers Joanne Matusko and Linda McCann-Olson for their skillful facilitation of such wonderful student art work.

New GHS Latin Honors System
This year, the student government has proposed that the ceremony be altered by the implementation of the Latin Honors System of Recognition. The Latin Honors System is used in numerous high schools throughout the United States and in many institutions of higher education in order to honor the academic achievements of more students.
Our previous graduation procedure recognized the top 10% of students in the senior class; only a select number of students were recognized each year. The Latin Honors System has no limit to the number of students recognized; all students will have an equal opportunity to be honored based on their academic achievement. It is our hope that this system will serve to minimize academic competition and promote a more collaborative learning environment.

The Latin Honors System includes three levels of recognition, each of which corresponds to a weighted GPA range. Students will be recognized by level at both Class Day and graduation. The valedictorian and salutatorian will continue to be recognized separately. All other current GPA requirements will remain in place.

Cum Laude: weighted GPA of 93 - 94.999
Magna Cum Laude: weighted GPA of  95 - 97.999
Summa Cum Laude: weighted GPA of 98+

Maggie Nolan, Emily Braley & Kallee Gallant
Student Government Representatives

GMS Celebrates Poetry Month

GMS wrapped up their celebrations of School Library / Poetry Month. 4th & 5th graders made fun Book Spine poems and students and staff were encouraged to share a "poem in their pocket" to be read to anyone who asked.

Evening of Excellence
Kudos to all students who received book awards, high honors, and MCL distinctions at GHS's annual Evening of Excellence last week.  This event celebrates all of the terrific academic achievements of students at the high school.

Stop-Motion Videos
Stop-motion videos made by 4th graders in Sheila Mayberry & Dena McFarland's classes-- all about being kind to each other.  These videos were displayed outside the library for students to stop and look at.

Financial Rating
Great work to Scott Poulin and our district Finance office for continuing to keep our district in solid financial shape.  Our district was notified last week that it will maintain the high Aa3 rating from Moody's Investors Service.  Moody's made the following observations:

Credit Strengths:

  • Sound fiscal management
  • Sound reserves and budgeting that have allowed reserves to be replenished at year's end to ensure stable financial situation
  • Maintains appropriate contingency account
  • Stable tax base in both member towns
Credit Challenges:  
  • Moderate dependence on state aid  
  • State cap on unallocated fund balance at 3%
Areas that could lead to downgrade include decline in fund balance (reserves).  Areas that could lead to upgrade include sustained growth in reserves and an increase in member towns' tax base.
Quick Points of Interest
Congrats GHS senior Maggie Nolan, finalist for the prestigious National Merit Scholarship, one of only 12 in Maine
Enjoyed my visit to PTO last week, sharing proposed FY 18 budget, many thanks to PTO & chairs Ingrid Vanni/ Lynn Weisz for their support of the district.  Also thanks to Finance chair Karen Campbell for attending this meeting.
MIW students had a great field trip to the Community Food Pantry last week...Also, thanks to the Cumberland PD for coming to show appreciation to our students!

A pitch perfect performance! Ryan Twitchell '17 pitched the first perfect baseball game in the history of Greely High School. Congrats! 
GMS grade 5 student artist Blake Pennington's map was selected as one of 10 finalists in Osher Map Library contest for grade 5 students

Congrats GHS senior and student athlete Katherine Leggat-Barr who is 1 of 6 students awarded a scholarship in the 2017 Class of Scholar Athletes by ME Sports Hall of Fame.