Assistant Principal Yorkey to leave LRMS after eight years

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

John Patrick Yorkey will resign as Lake Region Middle School’s assistant principal effective June 30.

He has been LRMS assistant principal for the past eight years.

“It is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while. It is time for a change and I plan to work in a different capacity in the area,” Yorkey said Tuesday. “I love the school (Lake Region Middle School); the students are awesome; the teachers and support staff are fantastic to work with; and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the parents of this community, as well.”

Yorkey has also enjoyed getting to know new Superintendent of Schools, Al Smith, “who I think was a great hire for our district.”

“This has become my professional home. Lake Region has a strong alumni presence and I’ve learned from them what it means to be a Laker,” he said. “I have tried to instill this in our students and I have become a Laker myself.”

Yorkey plans to remain the Lake Region varsity boys’ basketball head coach.

“I have not resigned from my coaching position and look forward to building on our success and taking the next step,” he said.

The Lakers, winners of 15 games this season, reached the Class B West finals, losing 51-46 to Cape Elizabeth.

In other SAD 61 School Board meeting news:

Contracts extended

The School Board renewed the following administrative contracts:

One-Year (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016): Cheryl Cline, Songo Locks principal; Elisabeth Peavey, Songo Locks assistant principal; Stephen McFarland, Adult Education Director.

Two-Year (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017): Tonya Arnold, Lake Region Middle School principal; Theodore Finn, LR High School principal; Kirsten Goff, Sebago Elementary, teaching principal; Roseanne Schacht, LR Vocational Center director; Guy Stickney, LR High School assistant principal; Cheryl Turpin, Stevens Brook Elementary School principal; Paul True, Athletic Director.

Intervention needed

Third-grade teacher Johanna Bartlett was appointed as the Lead Intervention Teacher at Songo Locks School. Her job will include assisting to identify student academic and/or behavioral needs and school-wide trends, and considering ways to put students on the right path in a timely manner.

Recent data collected at SLS showed:

  • 167 out of 474 students (36%) in K-5 are not meeting expectations in literacy.
  • 30% are not meeting expectations in math or writing.
  • 13% (62 out of 464) have behavior issues.

The position will be funded by Literacy Coach position money.

4 Star Readers

There is an ever-growing list of “star” writers at Stevens Brook Elementary School.

Since 2001, the school has looked to inspire and encourage the creativity of young writers through the 4 Star Writing Program.

The first year, the program had 91 students participate. This year, its 14th, SBES has 177 students eagerly working to earn a 4 Star hat and pins.

First-grade teacher Lee-Ann Van Atta gave the school board an overview of the successful writing program.

“We’re still going strong,” she said. “The program recognizes and honors student writers of all abilities.”

After learning various components of good writing, students are encouraged to pen their own story without assistance from teachers or parents. The nonfiction or fictional works (“writing needs to be legible and make sense, and free from violence or inappropriate words,” Van Atta said. “We have had a few situations, and have spoken to the students about it”) are then rated by “4 Star Scorers” — a group of 14 adults, who score the pieces based on various standards included in Levels 1 up to Level 10. Each piece does not include the student’s name. Students can submit works two or three times a year.

Every student receives a Gold Star pencil for participating. If the writer successfully meets a standard of a certain level, he or she will receive a black 4 Star hat. If the next level is reached, he or she receives a silver pin. Then, a gold pin. Then comes the blue 4 Star hat. More pins, then another new hat, gold followed by white, and finally red.

“Every year, over 300 prizes are awarded,” Van Atta said. “The program tries to encourage writing on their own.”

The program is funded through donations, and by teachers chipping in money to the 4 Star program, as well as a high school scholarship fund, on Fridays so that they can wear jeans to work. Hats are purchased and embroidered by Maine Street Graphics in Bridgton.

College opportunities

Three Lakers — high schoolers Keyana Prescott, Samantha Young and Grace Farrington — attended the Maine Education Talent Search New England Trio Day held in Portland.

Talent Search teacher Maggie Davis told the school board that the Grade 6-12 program helps open doors for students to prepare for college challenges, as well as showing them what options exist.

During the Trio Day, Young attended a workshop hosted by two nurses and a family physician who talked about their work and held a question/answer session with students.

Farrington heard a talk by a student from Aroostook County who recapped some of her first-year struggles at college, including doubts about whether she was “good enough” to succeed in a post-secondary program and whether she could afford it since her father had limited income to assist her.

Prescott attended a college fair, and discovered some “schools I had never heard of before.”

Davis told the board that she also conducts workshops with younger students regarding how to handle stress, studying skills and other pertinent topics.

“They wonder, ‘How will it help them in college?’ I tell them that one day in college they will find themselves trying to detress themselves as they get ready for a test. This will help,” she said.

The federally-funded college access program has been at Lake Region for a number of years, previously taught by Ann St. Pierre.

Personnel moves

Richard Shepard resigned as a Fire Science Program instructor at LRVC, effective Jan. 9;

Jessica Grover was appointed as a special education health care technician at LRHS, replacing Karinna Johnson, who resigned. There were four applicants for the position — two were interviewed;

David Sargent resigned as a special education technician at LRMS, effective Jan. 23;

Darlene Ridlon resigned as a Day Treatment Educational Technician at Songo Locks School, effective Feb. 11;

Gail Brooks resigned as a Standards Interventionist at Songo Locks School, effective Feb. 13;

Jennifer Rudin resigned as a Special Education Day Treatment Support Technician at Songo Locks School, effective Feb. 13;

Andrea Kuvaja transferred from a bus monitor to a van driver, effective Jan. 6;

Karyn Roy transferred from a Special Education Resource Room Teacher to an IEP Team Coordinator for Songo Locks (and the district) for two days per week, effective Jan. 28, for the remainder of the school year only;

Rosemary Clow transferred as a Special Education Technician III from Sebago Elementary to Songo Locks School, effective Feb. 5, replacing Marie Libby, who resigned.

Donations accepted

Directors accepted the following donations: Songo Locks School received $50 from for a classroom project called, “Yoga: Get Moving and Get Fit!” and $550 for “First Year Teacher’s Project”; the North Bridgton Public Library made a donation to Lake Region High and Middle Schools, and Stevens Brook Elementary School to be used for the school libraries.

Pellet bid

Maine Woods Pellet Co. of Athens was awarded the pellet bid for two years, at a rate of $194 per ton for the 2014/15 school year, and $200 per ton for the 2015/16 school year.

Elementary tidbits

Sebago Elementary is working on a food drive, which will result in each can and box being passed from one student to another, reaching a final collection point. Teaching Principal Kirsten Goff reported that the drive has already reached 150. The food items will be donated to the Sebago Food Pantry.

Songo Locks readers are working their way toward Alaska. The distance from the Naples school to Alaska is 4,674 miles. So, SLS’s version of the Iditarod will be for students to read a total of 4,674 hours. Principal Cheryl Cline said readers have reached over 3,000 hours to date.

As part of the Iditarod theme, the school recently hosted guest Mushers Charlotte and Thomas Carroll.

For the third straight year, Lake Region High School is the World Quest state champion. The team will make a return trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the Nationals. More to come.


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