Thursday, June 23, 2016

Non-traditional students overcome adversities to graduate - By Lorraine Glowczak


Often, we hold the conviction there is only one approach to life. If we do not find ourselves on that path, we believe ourselves to be doomed and set on course for failure. It’s not until we are reminded that there are many alternate routes more appropriate for us as an individual that we are let go of that false perception. Some people discover early - the courage, creativity, and innovation to follow that alternative path such as the eighteen 2016 successful graduates of the Windham-Raymond Adult Education. 
 
It was all pomp and circumstance the evening of Thursday, June 16th in the Windham High School Auditorium as 14 of those 18 graduates marched in to receive their high school diploma. Most of the graduates believed they would never see the day or participate in their graduation ceremony. There were few dry eyes as loved ones witnessed their son, daughter, or friend march down the aisle to “Pomp and Circumstance” played by local professional musician, Don Pride. 

Tom Nash, director of Windham-Raymond Adult Ed, welcomed and congratulated family and friends in the audience for their support and encouragement that made the difficult road to success less challenging for the students. 

Marge Govoni, chairperson of the RSU14 School Committee followed the director’s statement by explaining this was her fourth graduation ceremony this spring.  As she put it, “I’ve saved the best for last.” Why is this the best? Because each student courageously chose this alternative path despite extraordinary circumstances, taking that one extra step to complete their degrees.

Like most traditional graduation ceremonies, this one too came with inductions into the honor society and special awards. Graduates Arielle Blanchard, Qamar Hussein, and Nadezhda Filatova were inducted to the National Adult Education Honor Society, by Cathy Renaud, adult education coordinator. Also inducted were two instructors of adult education Judy Mandile and Carol Strout. A $500 scholarship as well as a Central Maine Community College grant was awarded to Josh Davis.

Graduate, Allison MacFeat was the first student speaker to share her story. She expressed her gratitude for the non-traditional opportunity to graduate high school. During her years at Gorham High, Allison faced many challenges that took her off the beaten track to traditional graduation. The adult ed option gave her the courage, focus, and motivation to reach her goal of obtaining her diploma, completing all educational requirements in three months.

Her speech was followed by student, Josh Davis. Still reeling from the surprise awards he received earlier in the ceremony, Davis sprinkled his grateful remarks with a touch of humor and candor. Due to his own challenges, Davis also fell incredibly behind with his school work and was about to give up on graduating high school. Not only did he believe he would not receive his diploma, but never once suspected he would be a speaker at his own graduation. But the fact is, he did graduate with the help of his big family/friend support group and did so while working double shifts, graduating in less than a semester.

Guest speaker was Aimee Senatore, the executive director of Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce, local business woman and life coach. Her inspiring address included suggestions for a successful future filled with passion for life. These four suggestions were: 1. Overcome fears with curiosity. 2. Choose your circle of influence. 3. Embrace the victor in you. 4. Always hold the gift of gratitude within you. She reminded the graduates that no matter what they would choose in life, challenges will always be present and there will always be more to learn. Embracing the four suggestions, will be the catalyst to overcome those challenges and live a courageous life. 

Most traditional ceremonies rush the graduates through the line to receive their diploma. However, this graduation was performed with intention and honor. Each graduate was given special attention with a sincere handshake and diploma presentation from Sanford Prince, Superintendent of Schools, followed by a moment of silence and then loud applause as the graduate walked off stage.

A few graduates took time after the ceremony to share pieces of advice. Chantelle King’s only challenge was that she wanted to graduate at a faster pace than the traditional route. She tested out of high school, scoring exceptionally well. It was her personal goal to graduate early and join the Navy. She will be leaving for Monterey, CA in September. Chantelle’s choice can be a reminder to follow dreams in unique ways. Teacher and honor society inductee, Judy Mandile, was once a student herself in adult dd. She now teaches courses in accounting and Microsoft Office and is the owner of Mandile Tax Services, LLC. Her life is an example that we never stop learning and growing. Josh Davis, who suffered from severe depression and faced great obstacles offers this one piece of advice, “The biggest thing to remember when one is about to give up - is to never believe you are out of options.”

Let the 2016 graduates of Windham-Raymond Adult Education remind us that through hard work, perseverance, focus, and courage – we can all overcome our personal challenges and be the master of our own destinies, living the life we love and envision.


Raymond's Nathaniel Hawthorne House celebrates summer - By Walter Lunt


Art, strawberries and a committed group of local preservationists are among the entities that support one of the oldest and most historically significant houses in the lakes region. Built in 1812 and now listed on the Historic Register, Hawthorne House, located in Raymond at the corner of Cape and Hawthorne Roads, was the childhood home of famed 19th century writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. The two story Georgian/Federal hybrid style house is being preserved by the non-profit Hawthorne Community Association, a devoted group of neighborhood citizens and others “from away” totaling nearly 150 members.

Repairs and maintenance on a historic house can be costly, particularly when they are carried out in the “period correct” manner. And that is where the fundraising comes into the picture. John Manoush, an association trustee said at least three important events are scheduled for this summer. 

On Saturday, June 25 beginning at 6:30 p.m., the Association will hold their annual strawberry festival at Hawthorne House. This year’s speaker is historian Steven Rogers, who will present original research on the topic of Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Shakers. The program will be followed by a social hour and homemade strawberry shortcake.

“It’s local strawberries, fresh whipped cream and homemade shortbread,” said trustee Melanie Champniss. Coffee and punch are included. Donations are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 8 years. All proceeds go to preserve and maintain Hawthorne House.

On July 15 and 16 (Friday and Saturday) the association will host a first ever art show and sale at the historic house from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Several local artists will present for view and for sale several forms of art. Jessica Bates will feature her line drawings, quash and poster-sized tapestry photographs. Libby Welch will show landscape and oil paintings. And Sharon Renk will present watercolor paintings of land and seascapes. Other artists are expected to participate. The event is free.

Trustee Champniss said “Hawthorne House is still vital,” and sponsors many events throughout the year including book club discussions. Patrons should also check local newspapers and the association website for the date and location of the annual chicken barbecue.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of several American classics including The Scarlet Letter  and House of Seven Gables spent summers at the Raymond house from age 9 until he entered Bowdoin College in 1821, about 8 years. He is known to have hunted the area and fished Sebago Lake and Thomas Pond. In later years he wrote in a letter to his sister, “I shall never again run wild in Raymond, and I shall never be so happy as when I did.”

Manoush said the Hawthorne family moved to Salem, Massachusetts following Nathaniel’s graduation from Bowdoin in 1825. The house became a tavern on the local stagecoach line.  At some point in the mid-19th century until 1921 it became a church meeting house. In that year the Hawthorne Community Association was formed for the purpose of preserving the historical significance of the property.
For more information on the house, its history and fund raising events go to www.hawthorneassoc.com.

In the Photos: 
 John Manoush, Melanie Champniss and Basil Champniss pose with "Nathaniel" at Raymond's Hawthorne House on Raymond Neck. Visitors can sometimes get their picture taken with the famous author, but apparently he is unavailable for book signings.

Friday, June 17, 2016

What to expect Summerfest weekend - By Walter Lunt


There will be many activities at Summerfest on June 25 on the grounds of Windham High School. From the traditional parade and food booths, there will also be activities for the whole family, entertainment from a variety of bands and performers on the main stage. 
 
The committee is still looking for volunteers for the parade, which kicks off at 10 a.m., and a clean-up crew for Sunday. 

Summerfest is not a town funded event. Everything is paid for by donations from businesses and organizations who participate. Donations were down this year, so the committee is doing the whole day on a “shoestring budget,” the committee said.  

There will be a carnival as there has in the past and the fireworks will go off at 9 p.m.

Saturday will kick off with the seventh annual Duane Clark Memorial Car Show with a bonanza of classic cars and over 30 categories of winners.

It’s got doughnuts, coffee, drivin’ and cruisin’ songs and dozens of classic cars. The Duane Clark Memorial Car Show is fast becoming a tradition at Windham Summerfest.

Founder and coordinator Stan Page predicts “The show will be bigger and better than ever,” especially considering that “…it’s the only car show in town this year,” referring to the cancellation of this year’s Windham Boosters Auto Show.

Duane Clark was a 1964 graduate of Windham High School who died in 1971. A committee of his classmates started the scholarship in his memory in the early 70s.

 “For those of us who loved Duane and love old cars, this is a natural marriage,” said committee member and classmate Gary Plummer.

Clark is remembered by his high school peers as an outstanding athlete and all-around great guy who promoted positive school values, sportsmanship and fair play. Committee members said Clark was well liked and highly respected across the entire student body, and that virtually everyone considered him a friend.

“The car show helps to support a $1,000 scholarship to a deserving Windham High School senior by carrying on Duane’s unique qualities,” according to Page. The 2016 scholarship was recently awarded to WHS graduate Sadie Nelson who will major in athletic training at the University of New England.
Page said this year’s auto show, on June 25, features 26 classes of vehicles with trophies awarded to first, second and third place winners. Classes range from antique cars and motorcycles to Corvettes and street rods. Special awards include best of show for both car and truck, best paint and best engine.

The premier Duane Clark Cup is selected by Duane’s classmates who decide which vehicle would be the one picked by Clark to drive away in. The student who won the Duane Clark scholarship the previous year selects and presents the special Scholarship Winner’s Pick.

A number of car show participants join the Summerfest parade, which precedes the start of the Summerfest day activities. The public is invited to visit the car show for free at the Windham High School front parking lot between 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Car Show participants can register between 7 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. For more information, call 892-7389.

Civil War encampment at Village Green

Civil War re-enactors will muster on the Windham Historical Society’s Village Green on Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26. In period dress, the soldiers of the 3rd Maine Infantry Volunteers will march with drum and fife in the Summerfest parade and demonstrate drills and camp life at an encampment behind the historical society Town House museum on Windham Center Road.

Saturday, beginning at noon, events include an infantry drill with musket firing, a Civil War era regimental surgeon, field music and an inspection by a civilian Sanitary Commission attempting to promote healthy camp life for the men.

Sunday, at 8 a.m., there will be a special portrayal of Camp Hamlin (named for Vice-President Hannibal Hamlin), which was established near Augusta for the mustering of the 3rd Maine in May/June, 1861 as it prepared to leave for Washington D.C. and three years of federal service in the War Between The States. It includes a fashion presentation, mail call, and the closing of camp around 3 p.m.

On both days guests are encouraged to visit with the soldiers, take a look at the cook stove, tents and equipment and ask questions.

Also on site in the historical society museum will be a display of a home front parlor. The self- guided tour includes hand sewn silk bonnets, a treadle sewing machine, original billboards advertising a traveling minstrel show of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, letters home from Windham Civil War soldiers, needlework, furniture and household items.

The encampment and display are free. Donations to the historical society are gratefully accepted. For more visit, www.windhamhistorical.org.

Although not all of the events are a direct part of Summerfest, the weekend is shaping up to be full of fun and laughter.

The Summerfest Committee is looking for more board members for next year’s event. It’s never too early to volunteer. They are looking for coordinators for entertainment, certain fundraising events and someone to run the parade. 

Even if volunteering isn’t on your agenda, make sure Summerfest is on the calendar for June 25. To volunteer this year or for the board, visit www.windhamsummerfest.com or call Kelly at 894-5600. To make a donation to help fund Summerfest, visit www.gofundme.com/windhamsummerfest.


Photo: Stan Page awards the 2015 Duane Clark Scholarship check for $1,000 to Adam Poitras of Windham, who completed first semester studies at Northwestern University where he majors in Economics.

Windham native Cody Dube drafted by Baltimore Orioles - By David Field


Windham High School 2012 graduate Cody Dube was drafted #301 by Baltimore Orioles last week. Dube just graduated from Keene State College (D3) with a Bachelor’s of Science in safety and occupational health with a 3.28 GPA. 
 
For Keene, Dube earned several awards: Little East Conference First Team, Little East Pitcher of the Year, All Region First Team for New England, All American Third Team, Strength and Conditioning All American, New England Senior All Star. During his senior year he had an ERA of 1.2, with a career at Keene of 2.68.

Dube has always wanted to play professional baseball. He has wanted to go to the next level after stepping up. In 2015, Dube played for Sanford Mainers which is part of the NECBL. In the first month of the season, Dube was seen by several scouts. His success earned him a spot on the NECBL All-Star team and the pro scouts also saw his performance there. 

Dube received an email from Atlanta Braves and did a workout/showcase in the fall of 2015. He then started getting emails from other teams and was asked to complete questionnaires. In total, Dube heard from 25 teams. Although he was excited, Dube took things one step at a time and that meant finishing college at Keene State.

In the last few weeks, Dube received several calls from scouts inquiring about his interest in the Major League draft. He also did three workouts before the draft for the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. 

The Orioles first saw Cody play in his first game for Keene State in March while the team was in Florida.
Cody left for Maryland this past Monday. He will be subjected to a team physical exam and then expects to be playing for the Single A Aberdeen Ironbirds. Cody’s opportunity to hit the big fields will occur during spring training 2017. 

Some other interesting facts about Cody Dube:
Best baseball memory: Senior year of high school a 12-4 loss to Scarborough in semi-finals and a great group of kids to play with.

Piece of advice to kids that want to play pro: Work hard and take each step one at a time. Never take anything for granted. Keep the goals small and achievable and success will come.

Growing up favorite professional baseball team? Red Sox. He may have to change his alliances later on, but feels that you don’t lose who your favorite childhood team was.

Cody’s parents, Randy and Andrea are obviously excited and taking a page from Cody’s book, taking each day one at a time. 

“It’s been a whirlwind since last week,” said Randy.