Maine Researchers, Teacher Begin Scientific Cruise

Submitted by Barbara Powers, Superintendent of Long Island School.

A unique educational opportunity launches on January 24, when a Maine teacher sets sail for the Southern Ocean as part of a Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences team. This partnership with the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance’s “WeatherBlur” education project will bring the experience of an ocean research cruise to students in Maine and beyond.

“Research cruises are tremendously exciting, and sharing that excitement is a great way to interest students in science,” said Senior Research Scientist Barney Balch. “The ocean is endlessly fascinating, and learning about its vital role is essential to understanding life on Earth.”

Marci Train, a teacher at the two-room Long Island School in Casco Bay, will join Balch and several other Bigelow Laboratory scientists in order to engage students throughout the National Science Foundation-funded cruise. The research team aims to investigate how algae in the Southern Ocean may be affecting the future of sea life as far away as the Northern Hemisphere.

Marci Train with students

Throughout the cruise, Train will connect frequently with students in Maine and beyond. She will conduct video tours of the ship to show what a day at sea looks like, post learning materials on the WeatherBlur website, and share photos on social media. She will also assist with scientific operations and help conduct experiments.

“I can’t wait to have a first-hand experience with a scientific research project, and I think it is important for teachers to show their students that you are never too old to learn new information,” Train said. “It is important to get out of your comfort zone and share your own learning experiences with your students.”

Coccolithophores are a common type of algae that help form the base of ocean food webs, and they play a significant role in global chemical and carbon cycles. Balch recently found that they are remarkably scarce in the fertile waters near the equator, and his team aims to learn why during this cruise.

The Southern Ocean and equator are connected by an important ocean layer called “Sub-Antarctic mode water,” which forms at the surface of the Southern Ocean, sinks, and flows to the equator over a 40-year journey. Balch suspects that booming coccolithophore populations in the Southern Ocean are depleting its supply of essential nutrients before Sub-Antarctic mode water flows north, making the water layer sub-optimal for coccolithophore growth by the time it reaches the equator.

While at sea, the team will use satellite imagery to locate eddies rich in coccolithophores, whose chalk shells are so reflective that they can be seen from space. By measuring water properties in these eddies and collecting water to conduct onboard experiments, the researchers hope to uncover how coccolithophores in the Southern Ocean are altering this important source of nutrients before its long journey towards the equator.

“Sub-Antarctic mode water travels far north from where it forms, and it exerts a staggering level of control on much of the global ocean,” Balch said. “If coccolithophores are changing its essential properties, then they could be influencing which species grow in food webs as far away as the equator or even in the Northern Hemisphere.”

The team will use a creative approach to calculate how fast this water layer changes. The ship will follow Sub-Antarctic mode water for more than 1,000 miles on its journey to the Indian Ocean. As they measure the water’s basic properties, they will also collect samples at depth to measure freons, manufactured refrigerants that can be found throughout the environment.

Freons have constantly changed since their invention in the 1950s – a fact that today allows scientists to detect when water was last at the surface and exposed to freons in the atmosphere. Back on shore, a team from the University of Miami will determine which types of freons are present in different parcels of Sub-Antarctic mode water along the ship’s transect.

“Freons are a great timekeeper for the age of water,” Balch said. “We’ll use their time signatures to figure out how long it took a sample of Sub-Antarctic mode water to arrive where we found it, and to understand how quickly the water is changing as it’s moving north.”

The researchers will investigate these questions over 38 days aboard the RV Thomas Thompson. The team will depart from South Africa and return to the island of Mauritius in early March. The Bigelow Laboratory InstagramFacebook, and Twitter accounts will post updates during the cruise, as will the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

This cruise is the latest research topic to be explored by WeatherBlur, an online citizen science community funded by National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The project brings together students, teachers, community members, and scientists, who collaborate to ask questions, design scientific investigations, and bring back data and findings to discuss with each other.

Currently, WeatherBlur engages six Maine schools, as well as two schools from Mississippi and one school from Alabama. Train’s outreach from the cruise will be followed by more than 1,300 students and 26 teachers.

“I think this will be a wonderful opportunity for students to see all the different career options onboard a research vessel, including positions in research and on the crew,” Train said. “It’s important that students are exposed to STEM in action, and I can’t wait for them to be immersed in this experience and see how big scientific questions get answered.”

MSAD 15 Mechanic John Rundin Takes 1st Place at Maine Mechanics Competition and 9th Place in National Challenge

Each year the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) holds America’s Best Training & Skills Challenge. For 15 years America’s Best program has offered a training and skills challenge for the technicians and inspectors in the school bus industry. In addition to hands-on training relevant to their specific area of expertise, participants have an opportunity to connect with all of the industry suppliers involved in America’s Best. In between all of the training activities, participants demonstrated their technical skills and knowledge as they rotated through written exams administered by ASE and various hands-on stations.

This year John Rundin, Mechanic from MSAD No. 15, who took first place at this year’s State of Maine Mechanics competition at Sugarloaf, competed in this national event representing Maine. John took 9th place overall during this event representing not only Maine but fellow mechanics well.

The Maine Association for Pupil Transportation and the Maine Department of Education extend their congratulations to John and the entire MSAD No. 15 transportation team. Well done John!

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

Contact: Questions about your state’s delegates, alternates or state selection process: Mr. Joe Schmidt at or (207) 624-6828.

For general information about the United States Senate Youth Program:  Program Director Ms. Rayne Guilford at or (800) 425-3632.

Maine Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program
Students Headed to Washington, D. C. and to Receive $10,000 College Scholarship

January 9, 2020, Washington, D.C. —The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announces that high school students Ms. Elena Ray Clothier and Mr. Michael Paul Delorge will join Senator Susan M. Collins and Senator Angus S. King in representing Maine in the nation’s capital during the 58th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 7 — 14, 2020. Elena Clothier of Lewiston and Michael Delorge of Limestone were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will also each receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony is “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world.”

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings the most outstanding high school students – two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity – to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each student with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.

Elena Clothier, a junior at Lewiston High School, serves on the Principal’s Advisory Group at her school. She is a member of the state champion Lewiston Mock Trial team while also being a member of the school lacrosse team and the Blue Notes vocal group. She has been selected to participate in programming from the Androscoggin Valley Education Collaborative. Outside of school, Elena volunteers with SEARCH (Seek Elderly Alone, Renew Courage and Hope) and visits with members of her community. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a degree in political science and journalism.

Michael Delorge, a senior at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, serves as a member of his school’s Student Senate. He also chairs the Senate’s Academic Committee, is the president of his school’s robotics club, and an active member of his astronomy club. He is an award-winning jazz saxophonist and avid cross country runner. A Biddeford native, Michael is an Eagle Scout and a participant in the state YMCA Youth in Government program. Michael holds a great interest in public health policy and upon graduation, he plans to major in biomedical engineering with a minor in political science.

Chosen as alternates to the 2020 program were Mr. Lance Dinino, a resident of Kennebunk, who attends Kennebunk High School and Ms. Kristen Caldwell, a resident of Scarborough, who attends Scarborough High School.

Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Education Activity, after nomination by teachers and principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection. This year’s Maine delegates and alternates were designated by Pender Makin, Commissioner of Education.

While in Washington the student delegates attend meetings and briefings with senators, members of the House of Representatives, Congressional staff, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and senior members of the national media.

In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 5,700 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished alumni are: Senator Susan Collins, the first alumnus to be elected U.S. senator; Senator Cory Gardner, the second alumnus to be elected U.S. senator and the first to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first alumnus to be elected governor; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, former presidential advisors Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Karl Rove, and Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana currently a candidate for president of the United States. Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, Provost of Wake Forest University Rogan Kersh, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and other university educators.

For more information please visit:

Cape Elizabeth Students Honored at DOE Arts Showcase Celebration

Forty-two student artists from Cape Elizabeth Middle School were honored on December 10, 2019 in the Hall of Flags of the Maine State House in Augusta as part of the Maine Arts Showcase celebration.

IMG_1672The students were each awarded a certificate from the Maine Department of Education (DOE) and a letter from Governor Janet T. Mills for their outstanding artwork that is currently on display at the Maine DOE.

The Maine Arts Showcase is a program of the Maine DOE that displays the artwork of Maine students in the halls of the Maine DOE in a series of exhibits throughout the year. The program and the celebration event serve as a way for the Department to celebrate arts education in Maine and give Maine students the opportunity to have an impact with their art outside the walls of their own schools.

Maine DOE Visual and Performing Arts Specialist Jason Anderson

“The process of making art is where all the ‘hard work’ happens,” said Maine DOE Visual and Performing Arts Specialist Jason Anderson in his opening remarks at the event. “The displaying of artwork is where we (as artists) get to sit back, take it in, and hear how the work affects others. For many students, making art is the activity where they feel the most creative and engaged with their world,” he added.

Maine DOE Deputy Commissioner Dan Chuhta also spoke at the event to congratulate the students, and thank everyone for coming including educators, students and their families, and arts education supporters. During his remarks he took note of the important work of arts educators across the state in their efforts to provide quality arts education programming to Maine students. “In addition to promoting creativity, involvement in the arts helps students build the important skills of problem solving, collaboration, and perseverance.”

L to R: Cape Elizabeth Superintendent Donna Wolfrom, Maine DOE Deputy Commissioner Dan Chuhta, Cape Elizabeth Middle School Art Teacher and 2004 Maine Teacher of the Year Marguerite Lawler-Roher, and Cape Elizabeth Middle School Principal Troy Eastman.

Also in attendance at the event was Cape Elizabeth Middle School Art Teacher and 2004 Maine Teacher of the Year Marguerite Lawler-Roher, Cape Elizabeth Middle School Principal Troy Eastman, and Cape Elizabeth Superintendent Donna Wolfrom, along with Maine State Board of Education Chairman Wilson Hess, and Senator Rebecca Millet from Maine’s 29th District, representing South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, and part of Scarborough.

Following the awards ceremony, students, educators, and family members were invited to the Maine Department of Education to tour the facility and find their artwork on the wall. The artwork has been on display since October 2019 and will be up until February 2020.



Bonny Eagle High and Boothbay Region Elementary Educators Named Assistant Principals of the Year

During two separate school assemblies held Monday, December 9, 2019 the Maine Principals’ Association named Erin Maguire, Assistant Principal at Bonny Eagle High School, Maine’s NASSP Assistant Principal of the Year for 2020, and Tricia Campbell, Assistant Principal at Boothbay Region Elementary School, Maine’s NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year for 2020.

The awards are programs of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). Each program honors an Assistant Principal of the Year in each state in the nation. Maine’s awards are administered by the Maine Principals’ Association (MPA).

Bonny eagle AP AwardErin Maguire

Assistant Principal at Bonny Eagle High School and 2020 NASSP Assistant Principal of the Year

Ms. Maguire received the award based on her accomplishments as a strong educational leader, as a role model in the development of positive school culture and climate, her ability to provide effective feedback for both students and staff, and on her ability to inspire all those around her to meet the learning needs of every student, every day.

In announcing Ms. Maguire’s selection as 2020 Maine’s NASSP Assistant Principal of the Year, MPA Executive Director of the Professional Division, Holly Couturier noted, “Erin Maguire has been the epitome of what we want from an instructional leader.  Her leadership and her ability to connect with all students is commendable.”

Bonny eagle AP Award GROUP

In 2004, Ms. Maguire received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maine and her Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern Maine in 2011.

Ms. Maguire began her educational career as a grade 8 math teacher in 2004 where she co-taught mathematics with a special education teacher.  She then went on to teach high school math until 2013 when she became the proud assistant principal of Bonny Eagle High School.

She is a member of the Maine Principals’ Association and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

boothbay AP awardTricia Campbell

Assistant Principal at Boothbay Region Elementary School and 2020 NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year

Ms. Campbell received the award based on her accomplishments as a strong community and educational leader, as a role model in the development of positive school culture and climate, her ability to create an educational learning environment for students and staff, and on her energy that motivates all around her to succeed.

In announcing Ms. Campbell’s selection as 2020 Maine’s NAESP National Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year, MPA Executive Director of the Professional Division, Holly Couturier noted, “Tricia Campbell has been instrumental in the professional development of her peers.  Her can-do attitude and enthusiasm is contagious!”

boothbay AP award GROUP

In 1995, Ms. Campbell received her Bachelor of Arts from the Colby Sawyer College in New Hampshire, her Masters in Education in 2002 from Lesley University in Massachusetts and most recently she obtained her Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from St. Joseph’s College.

Ms. Campbell began her educational career as an educational technician in Wiscasset in 1996.  She then moved into a middle school teacher working in the behavior program for Wiscasset in 2000.  Ms. Campbell started the behavior and life skills classrooms at the same school while she co-taught grades 5-8 classes.  During this time, Ms. Campbell assisted the building principal and found her love of administration.  For the past five years, Ms. Campbell has been the Assistant Principal of Boothbay Region Elementary School.

She is a member of the Maine Principals’ Association, National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the Boothbay Region Parent/Teacher Organization.