Friday, April 28, 2017

The “Great War Governor” from Windham by Walter Lunt

“Windham Then and Now” - The fourth in a series of historical topics about Windham’s unique history and heritage

As the 200th anniversary of his birth approaches, the legacy and influence of Windham’s “favorite son,” John Albion Andrew, extends into the 21st century. Andrew was born and raised in South Windham. He attended Bowdoin College and became the 21th governor of Massachusetts during the American Civil War, serving from 1861 to 1865.

In 2007, the newly elected 71st governor of Massachusetts, Duval Patrick – following tradition – selected the portrait of a former chief executive to hang behind his desk in the governor’s office. He chose John Albion Andrew. “At a time of great divide in America, he demonstrated a willingness to change the status quo and encourage others to do the same,” said Patrick, “I am proud to display his portrait . . . and hope that I may govern with the same compassion and foresight that he demonstrated.” Patrick served until 2015.

THEN: Birthplace of Gov. Andrew
Andrew was born in a small single-story, wood frame house in the Little Falls section of Windham in May of 1818. In his lifetime, he would be immersed in some of the most significant issues of the 19th century: temperance, civil war, emancipation, reconstruction and even divorce laws.

His parents, Jonathan and Nancy (Pierce) Andrew came to Windham from Salem, Massachusetts and purchased the house of Dr. James Paine (an early Windham physician) on Depot Road. Jonathan established a grocery business on the corner of Depot and Main (now River Road), which he later moved to a location near the bridge in South Windham. The two were highly regarded citizens of the community. Nancy had been a teacher (or preceptress) at Bridgton Academy, Jonathan a general trader and Deacon of the Congregational Church (“Windham, Then & Now,” March 24, 2017). 

Their oldest child, John Albion Andrew, would later be remembered by C.O. Stickney, writing in the Boston Sunday Globe around 1898 as, “One of the best and most popular of boys raised in (Windham) bright, likeable and full of fun.” Many remarked on his unusual ability of elocution. 

At age 14 he would deliver an inspiring talk on the evils of drink at a public temperance meeting. It was considered a remarkable performance for a young boy. A story often told by Albion, as he was known by all in Windham and Gorham, probably reveals the origin of his strong feelings on prohibition. It seems that his father sold “ardent spirits” at his store, the sale of which was highly “remunerable.” Through the thin walls of the house on Depot Street, Albion and his siblings would eavesdrop on frequent bedtime conversations between his mother and father. Mother was a fervent supporter of the early temperance movement, and would use this time to urge her husband to end the sale of alcohol in his store. This, according to Albion, went on for months when, finally one night, his father stopped his wife in mid-refrain to announce, “I stopped selling spirits several weeks ago.”

NOW: What Andrew's birthplace looks like today
Albion and his siblings were “home-schooled.” Jonathan built a tiny schoolhouse behind the home where he and Nancy tutored their children. Albion eventually attended Bridgton Academy where his mother had once taught. He entered Bowdoin College, class of 1837, where one of his classmates later observed “(His) college life was the flow of generous impulses and noble purposes, rather than the display of brilliant talents and extraordinary scholarship.” He was also known as a joker, a mimic and a general cut-up. A cousin, Nathan Church, said that the governor “Could not only pray and preach like old Parson Smith of his native town, but could also slay his audiences with impersonations of politicians and other well-known preachers.” Church also said, “He could have had success as a comedian.”

Following college, John Albion Andrew entered the bar in Massachusetts and opened a law practice in Boston. He was noted for his strong defense of poorer clients and for his wit and anecdotes. His firmly held beliefs on the issue of slavery and other reform movements, led him to politics, and by 1858 he was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives, where he opposed the Fugitive Slave Law and used his position to defend fugitive slaves and raise money for their legal fees and shelter. He became an early organizer of the new Republican Party and rallied for Abraham Lincoln at the Chicago Presidential Nominating Convention.  Their relationship while he was governor would become thorny due to the President’s handling of various war issues. Andrew, notorious for his lack of patience, criticized Lincoln for holding off delivering an emancipation declaration until late in the war, and for what he perceived as the president’s reluctance to accept blacks in the Union armies. 

As governor, he won high national praise for the early formation of militia regiments, even before the start of the war. As a result, Massachusetts would furnish the first volunteer regiment to reach Washington and the first to fight in the Civil War. traveled the countryside in his recruiting efforts, visiting Windham and other Maine towns in his appeal to organize volunteer regiments. The late Ernie Knight, author of several books and articles on local history, once told a gathering of local history enthusiasts in Windham that Northern townspeople, in general, did not want their husbands and sons to fight their Southern brethren, even though they had always been willing to take up arms when necessary. But because the recruiter was “our native son of renown,” Andrew succeeded in garnering enlistments.

Following Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Andrew succeeded in organizing a regiment of black soldiers – the famed 54th Massachusetts Regiment which came to be known for its heroism and sacrifice.

In his Valedictorian Address in 1865, Andrew called for reconciliation with the South rather than punishment, “The halls of legislation are the arenas of debate, not of muscular prowess . . . we must secure the constitutional, civic liberties and franchises of all the people.”
Andrew returned to his private law practice after the war, focusing much of his time on reforming the archaic divorce practices of the day.

Former Gov. Patrick was inspired by Andrew
On October 30, 1867, the Great War Governor of Massachusetts died, age 49, following a “fit of apoplexy” (a stroke), after tea, at his home on Charles Street in Boston. He and his wife, Eliza Jane are buried in Hingham where they lived during most of their time in the Bay State. A marble statue of Andrew overlooks the site, as one biographer described it “. . . not tall in stature, but colossal in majesty of power and purpose.”

Interred in Windham’s Brown Cemetery near the corner of Depot Street and River Road are several members of the Andrew family, including the governor’s mother, Nancy, who died in 1832, and his grandfather, John Andrew, who passed away in the 1790’s. Mossy headstones identify their resting places. The burial ground, one of Windham’s oldest, is within sight of the old Andrew home, still standing today at the hilltop on Depot Street. The current owners, Paul and Sandy Penna, say it’s a “quaint old house,” a white wood-frame cottage that still retains much of its 18th century charm.

According to Sandy, “The house itself is the original structure with many of the original wide pine flooring boards.” Built in 1792 by Windham’s second physician, Dr. James Paine, it was later purchased by Albion’s father, Jonathon Andrew, who greatly improved it. The house may have once faced toward the main (River) road. Early sketches show a classic portico front doorway flanked on either side by two windows with shutters, a center chimney, adjoining carriage shed, all fronted by an early version of a picket fence. Now in its 225th year, the house is one reminder of Windham’s historic and revered son. Others include Albion Road and the John A. Andrew School, which stood near-by for nearly a century. At Windham High School in the early 1960s, many former students still recall the essay assignment in junior year English: The John A. Andrew essay contest on the topic “What it means to be an honest man.”

Fast forward to the 2000s and the name continues to reverberate as the significant source of guidance and inspiration for Massachusetts’ first African-American governor. 

Windham Wellness Fair and Earth Day a Perfect Match by Stephen Signor

Life Coach Jackie Winant

Despite a less than perfect day weather-wise, many celebrated a portion of Earth Day 2017 by going to St. Ann’s Episcopal Church to attend the Windham Wellness Fair. 

In keeping with the theme, those environmentally conscience folks who attended the fair were offered a complimentary filled water bottle that was made from recycled materials. But the real target audience here was those seeking to improve their physical and mental well being. Once inside, that search was over. Several vendor booths were ready to offer up suggestions as well as solutions. 

Jackie Winant, who has been practicing several forms of wellness since 2003, was one of them. “I am a life coach, polarity energy and a Reiki Master,” shared Winant.

Fern Dyer
That’s just for starters. She also finds the time to teach Yoga. Reaching out to those with the desire but not the motivation can be a daunting task. As Winant explained, “Coming to a fair such as this can be, for some, intimidating at times but should be just the opposite. There is a commonality associated with being here. If you have a moment to spare, you will meet a lot of people with a lot of different qualities. Everybody is here for the same reason.”

Then there are those who have made that decision to pursue some kind of approach to improving their wellness but are unsure of making the right choice. One alternative healing technique is through the use of stones. Fern Dyer, whose wellness practice comes primarily in the form of healing with stones and crystals, was on hand to offer her expertise. She was also willing to share how she got started. It began from a personal experience resulting from injuries sustained in a serious motor vehicle accident. The rest is history. “When I started doing healing 11 years ago, it all came together at the same time; learning Reiki and learning energy therapy, the stones came my way. I was also guided to take photos. They all have their specific healing properties and it works energetically. You don’t have to know what a stone means; just whatever you are drawn to.” This is what she tells people prior to her healing sessions where clients are given five stones to look at.“Sometimes people will think too much. They need to stop doing that. I tell them the one stone that pops out is the one that is for you. Then when they read the meaning, which accompanies each stone, they get validation. You are drawn to what you need.” Clients are then made comfortable on a message table in a meditative state from whatever makes them relax. This may be subdued lighting and or soft mood music. This is when she channels her energy. Energy is abundant and everywhere. “Energy is catchy and can be obtained and disseminated simply by being in a room full of people,” continued Winant.

For those looking to look good as well as feel good, there were a couple of available options to ponder. A major contributor to someone’s health or lack thereof is unwanted extra pounds, those seemingly unstoppable invaders who prey on us, particularly during the long winter months. Getting rid of them can be challenging. 

Amber McDonald, Program Director for ChiroThin of Maine, explained how this does not always have to be the case. “This is a six week program that is doctor assisted. Patients are guaranteed to lose 20 pounds but some people may lose more that. The program is geared for anyone regardless of their weight loss goals; as some people may only want to lose 10 or 15 pounds in a couple of weeks.  It is also a nutritional program. We help keep their diet under control and teach how to eat healthy. The main difference between this and other programs is that it is doctor created and supervised and there are no crazy supplements or shakes. It’s focused primarily on getting the appetite under control. 

Included is a four week maintenance program. This insures our patients will keep the weight off.”
Click to apply
Click to Apply
For those interested in receiving further information and alternatives, additional topics ranging from meditation to chiropractic practices were available from wellness representatives who were on hand to provide demos and talks throughout the scheduled for hours of this event.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Celebrating Earth Day today and everyday by Lorraine Glowczak

Karen Lothrop (r) with Ron and Martha Strout
What began as a grassroots movement in 1970 by then U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, has now become a global celebration to focus on the health of the environment.
It all began with a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California that Nelson took note of and then decided to raise awareness about environmental issues. With the assistance of Rep. Pete McCloskey of California, as well as a Denis Hayes from Harvard, events were organized across the nation with many college students participating in various ways. The date, April 22, was chosen at the time because it fell between spring break and final exams.

According to the Earth Day Network, “Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean AirClean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.”

In 1990, Earth Day became a global passion with approximately 140 countries participating in environmental awareness activities. Despite recent years of cynicism, Earth Day celebrations remain in the spotlight with approximately 180 countries participating as it approaches its 50-year anniversary in 2020.

For some, celebrating Earth Day has become an everyday habit. This includes a few individuals within the Windham and Raymond communities.

Gordon Street holds the sign he will use in Saturday's March for Science
For the past 15 years, Karen Lothrop from Windham and her friends Martha and Ron Strout, as well as Inger Riley (when she is visiting from Wisconsin) go on long morning walks. And as they do, they pick up trash. Their route begins on Sandbar Road, making their way along 302 and then onto Route 35. “We have discovered that the most trash can be found behind Staples on 302,” Lothrop stated. “For some reason, people dump a lot of trash in that area.” 

Although Lothrop spends winters in Florida, where she picks up trash on her daily walks there, she always returns to her home in Windham. While here at home, she dedicates her morning walks to trash pickups from June until October. 

Gordon Street of Raymond has turned his passion, the art of scientific thinking, into an Earth Day activity. Street will be participating in the “March for Science” event that will occur this Saturday in Portland. 

However, Street’s participating in Saturday’s March is just the beginning. He has been and will continue to advocate for and educate the public on the need to think scientifically, a critical skill that has not been adequately taught to our children. 

“All humans have what is called a ‘confirmation bias’,” Street explained. “This simply means that we look for data that supports what we believe and suspect to be true, instead of data that opposes what we believe, which is the way scientist approach a hypothesis. Scientific thinking prevents us from ‘shooting from the hip’ and making decisions and coming to conclusions in error. You don’t have to be a scientist to have critical scientific thinking skills.”

Street believes the lack of scientific thinking has a great impact on misunderstandings surrounding the environment.
For those who also are interested in being every day stewards of the earth, one does not need to be an advocate or walk every morning to pick up trash. There are a variety of small steps that can fit your lifestyle. Some positive action can be as simple as turning off the lights in a room when no one is there or planting a tree (make sure it is not invasive to Maine). 

If hiking, biking, snowmobiling or riding your ATV is your passion, one can also become a member or a volunteer for non-profit environmental organizations where trails are readily available. Organizations such as the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust (Black Brook Preserve and Pringle Wildlife Preserve in Windham) or the Loon Echo Land Trust (Raymond Community Forest in Raymond) are always willing to accept volunteers. 

No matter what it is you do to celebrate Earth Day, today and/or every day, any step you take is an important one. As Lothrop stated, “There is no Planet B, so it might be wise to take care of the one we have.”

Community Day embraces new learning style by Michelle Libby

Every year Manchester School in Windham hosts a Community Day, a celebration of projects the students do to support the community and non-profits that they want to support. This year’s theme was, “Hands and Hearts Caring for our Community.” 
“This is the most special day we have during the school year,” said Principal Danielle Donnini. Fifth graders learn about culture and civilizations, she said. That means common values, ideas and goals. Common celebrations and traditions are a part of culture. “This is the one day we take a break to celebrate them.”

Donnini thanked the volunteers, parents, AmeriCorps volunteers, PTA and school board who had helped with the projects.“It’s pretty awesome, the projects and the celebration,” said Superintendent Sandy Prince. “The work is really important. Every year it gets better and better. The projects are relevant, meaningful and make a difference. It raises their awareness of the community.” 

Special guest speakers, on Wednesday morning, were Windham High School Principal Chris Howell and Windham Middle School Principal Drew Patin. “I was absolutely impressed with the work you’ve done this year,” said Howell. “You have the opportunity to grow up in a very special place. When you help another person you get more enjoyment, more excitement than the person receiving the help,” he said.  

The projects the students worked on this year mirror what will happen when they are in the high school with a Capstone Project, which is an individual project in an area of interest. Students will explore with a mentor from the community and help make career decisions, said Howell. These projects were a taste of what’s to come for the students. 

Last Wednesday began with breakfast for 400 people. Guests were invited to visit each display and table set up in the gym at the school. During the presentation, students and teachers presented checks and gifts to recipients.

“Last year there were 20 projects. This year we can’t capture all the projects,” said Donnini. “As teachers, we learned how to make learning more real, more engaging.” 

Teacher Carol Otley has spent 15 years helping her students build bird houses to share with people all over the State of Maine; with over 200 bird houses created by the students over the years. The bird houses have been placed from New York City to Katahdin, Aroostook County and all over New England. Many birds have been sheltered. This year bird houses were given to: Game wardens, Windham Police Officers Gene Gallant and Steve Stubbs and K9 Vader, a VFW veteran and Survivor winner Bob Crowley to name a few. 

“All of you are from Maine. Be proud to be from Maine,” said Crowley, who owns Maine Forest Yurts. “I’m almost 70 and I’m still giving back to the community.” 

Other teachers and their classes were recognized. Otley was recognized as VFW Teacher of the Year at the local and district levels. Sabrina Nickerson and Stacey Sanborn were honored with the Garden of the Month Award from Maine School Garden Network. Environmental educator Katrina Venhuizen from EcoMaine recognized Jen Ocean’s class with an Eco-Excellence Award 2017 for recycling. The class applied for and received a grant from EcoMaine to work on food waste and recycling at Manchester School. The school went from making nine bags of trash per day to one.
“The class saw a problem, which led to some research, but it takes all of you to make it work,” said Donnini. 

The experiential learning that happens with the projects is hands-on. “The projects give the students choice and voice. It’s not the teacher saying I want to do this,” said Donnini. “Students have their own voice and passion, which leads their learning.”

Judy Taudvin’s class each chose individual projects to work on, allowing the students to develop their own interests. 

Adam Beal’s class raised $400 to donate to Chelsea’s MS Walk. Another class made 21 pet beds out of old sweaters to donate to Harvest Hills. One held an Iditarod Read-a-Thon and another will hold a Color Run on May 20, at 9 a.m. One class sold Pok√©mon cards and has raised over $400 for the Preble Street Resource Center. 

Paton closed the assembly. “I haven’t always been a Windham Eagle. I have pride to be a Windham Eagle.” He is excited to have the students in his school next year. He said he was proud of their, “willingness to be creative, to be problem solvers.” Patton stated that he liked their creativity, perseverance and grit; and their willingness to make a difference in somebody else’s life.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Holocaust survivor speaks at Jordon Small Middle School by Lisa Schadler

It has been said that if we were to have a minute of silence for every victim of the Holocaust - then we would be silent for eleven and a half years.  

The eight grade students and staff at the Jordan-Small Middle School had the honor of hearing Rudy Horowitz, a child Holocaust survivor, talk about his book, “Avoiding the Cracks”.

This special event coincided with an integrated curriculum unit that the students have been working on during their Social Studies and ELA classes.

Mr. Horowitz not only shared personal experiences and excerpts from his book, but also shared words of wisdom, guidance and his positive outlook about future generations. 

Shown here is Molly Cochrane with Mr. Horowitz, after she shared a poem that she had written.

Windham loan officer is recognized for being in the Top 1 percent across the country by Lorraine Glowczak

There is the best. Then there is the best of the best. Congratulations go to Kate Virgie, Senior Loan Officer with Northstar Mortgage Group for being recognized by nationwide investor as top 1 percent of loan officers across the country. 
Kate Virgie holding her award

Based upon volume, the top 1 percent is an award that is granted to a loan officer who has closed on the largest amount of home loans within one year. For Virgie, this means she closed more home loans with nationwide investor than loan officers across the U.S., competing against big population areas such as Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. Although the Greater Lakes region is one of the most beautiful spots in the country, where many purchase their dream home, it certainly does not compare in size to other regions in the U.S. How did she close more home loans than other officers in larger demographics?

It begins with her ability to be of service 24/7. Often in the office until past 11 p.m., Virgie never leaves until her work is completed. “One thing that separates me from other loan officers is that I am always available when people need me,” Virgie said. “I will drop anything I am doing and will be there immediately.”

However, she doesn’t have to be at the office to continue her work - she takes it with her wherever she goes. Whether it’s a late-night dinner with friends, getting a manicure or shopping at Target, she is never “closed” for business.

“Recently while having dinner with a friend one Saturday evening, I discovered she knew someone who was in the market for buying a home,” Virgie explained. “We called her friend who happened to be home. That night after our dinner, we went to her house and within the hour I pre-qualified her for a home loan at 9 p.m.”

The stories do not end there. She also tells of the time she was getting a manicure: Overhearing another client expressing her frustration about being accepted for a home loan, Virgie told her she could help. While both were getting their manicures, Virgie got enough information needed and before they both walked out of the nail salon, the individual was on her way to pre-qualification.

“I have even pre-qualified a customer in the Target parking lot,” Virgie laughed. While standing in line to pay for purchases at Target, Virgie had a conversation with the woman behind her about home mortgages. “I can help you,” Virgie told the woman, who left Target with not only the purchases from the department store but her future home as well.

“She realizes the importance of being available as a Real Estate professional,” stated Leigh Gagnon, owner of Northstar Mortgage Group. “She is driven by helping people and making the process fun and stress free.” Kate does not view her loans as transactions . . . they are relationships, families and friends. This is what has made her so successful in our industry.”

So that’s how Virgie does it. She goes that extra ten miles. No wonder she is the best of the best.

Cuteness abounds at Barnyard Babies event by Stephen Signor

While Windham Blue Seal Feeds was having a truck load sale last week at their store on 43 Main Street, the Young Farmers 4-H Beef Club was also there holding an event of their own, bringing a little Easter fun into the mix. 
Two year old Zetty from Gorham fed the ewes

To welcome spring, “Barnyard Babies” was the theme of the day. Baby farm animals were available in pens outside the store for viewing pleasure, feeding and petting; while inside 4-H kids were selling raffle tickets. Haines Photography was also on hand to take Easter photos with live rabbits provided by the Cumberland County Rabbit Breeders Association. 

“We’ve brought Sapphire, a ewe and her baby twins, Sage and Sapphire Junior along with goat Ava, for the kids to touch,” shared Kathy Pride, Co-leader of the beef club.

Like last year, they are hoping to be able to fund another educational road trip. “We are fund raising for another trip, probably in the fall or sometime in January. We are going to the Pennsylvania Farm Show in January or Louisville, Kentucky to a big beach.”

“There is also an expo that is going to happen in May, so there is a meat raffle here today; with all the money going toward buying prizes for the kids, an education class and the general fund,” Pride’s husband ,Troy added.

Up for grabs was a winner’s choice of: 50 pounds of beef, 10 pounds of lamb or 10 pounds of pork.

This event was held last fall, at a time of year when there is more products to be sold and less space for crowds to gather. That over-crowding experience caused a necessary change. “We tried something different this time around because last year we learned that there were very long lines. We figured doing this earlier in the year, people could mill around freely because we really don’t have a lot of space inside,” said Blue Seal store manager Melanie Locke. 
Although this is the first time Doug and Gini Haines, owners, have had Easter Bunny photography available at the store, they have been doing pet portraits since starting their business 35 years ago. For them it turned out to be a good day. “It was a successful day. We did around 60 portraits which is a lot of kids. That bunny must have been tired, it was a long day for him,” shared Gini Haines jokingly.

Wendy Nugent was one of the numerous parents who had her child photographed with the Easter Bunny. Her eight year old daughter, Madison, sat in front of a colorful barnyard-themed studio, complete with hay bales, crates, barrels and of course - an Easter basket filled with colorful plastic eggs. “I had a good time petting the bunny and I am having a fun time,” Madison shared.
A chinchilla rabbit named Panda, a rare and endangered species, visited the special event for the day and later in the afternoon, a fun bunny hopping race occurred. “It’s like [dog] agility but with bunnies,” shared Pride. 

A long, busy, productive day also proved to be a fairly lucrative one for the 4-H Beef Club. “Our end total was $500.00.  It was crazy busy right up to the end!! All the animals and kids were very tied by the end of the day”, stated Pride. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

James Mannette awarded top prize in VFW essay competition for a second time by Walter Lunt

James Mannette, 17, of Windham advanced his first-place win in a Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) essay competition from the local to the district level. Mannette, a Windham High School senior, was honored recently at the annual Deering Memorial Post 6859 Awards Banquet in Portland for his winning entry in the Voices of Democracy Scholarship competition. The competition encourages students from grades 9 to 12, to express their views on democratic ideas and principals. His dissertation, titled “My Responsibility to America,” won first prize at the Windham VFW Post 10643 last November.

Mannette wrote that as Americans, “. . . we are privileged to live our lives freely, safely, and to follow our beliefs.” He acknowledged that part of the reason such privileges prevail is due to the U.S. Armed Forces.

“I view my responsibility to America as one serving in the Armed Forces.” He drew a parallel between his participation in sports and the military. “[Individual and team sports] helped me develop perseverance and determination which are traits servicemen and women need to work together to build a solid team. I consider the U.S. Armed Services the ultimate team.”

Windham Post Commander Willie Goodman said Mannette’s essay was impressive and inspirational, “. . . with his vision of America, his personal growth, and what he sees as his personal responsibility.”

District 10 encompasses eight Southern Maine towns. Mannette’s award included a check, a certificate naming him an outstanding spokesman for freedom, and a VFW medallion.

Reading his essay
During the Portland ceremony, Mannette read his essay aloud to the audience of uniformed veterans, family and friends, Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling and other guests. His presentation was greeted with a standing ovation. Mannette was reportedly stunned and speechless by the enthusiastic response. “For them to give me such respect is humbling - They deserve all the respect. I basically wrote about personal experiences I had during my trip to the Air Force Academy summer seminar and my junior ROTC group at Windham High School [and] varsity sports. The whole team works together to accomplish something better than one can do individually.”

Mannette was also recently named recipient of Windham High School’s Principal’s Award, in recognition of a senior’s academic excellence, outstanding school citizenship and leadership. An Honors Luncheon for Mannette and other award winners from around the state will be held in Bangor on Saturday, April 15.

Mannette’s future plans include the military. He says he has applied to the U.S. Air Force, Naval and Merchant Marine Academies. “My dream would be to fly”, he shares.

Windham sisters were flower girls at the Christening of the USS Thomas Hudner

Monica Lewis age 10, a fifth grade student at Manchester School, along with her sister, Alanna Lewis, age eight and a second grade student at Windham Primary School, were both invited to be the flower girls for the christening of the USS Thomas Hudner DDG 116.
Flower girls and their brother with Sen. King

The Christening took place at Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Bath on Saturday, April 1, despite the frigid and snowy weather.

The boat was named after a Korean War hero, Thomas Hudner, who was also present during the ceremony.  

The Lewis sisters were chosen to be flower girls because their father Brandon, who is a ship fitter at BIW, has been working on the Thomas Hudner.

The sisters got the privilege to meet many important individuals including Mr. Hudner and Dirk Lesko, BIW President, as well as Senator King and Senator Collins.  Their job was to give flowers to the sponsors of the ship. 

Their brother, Colby, age four was also along for all the festivities.
USS Thomas Hudner DDG 116