Remembering Adam — Donor, students, staff honor popular teacher

NW perron bench copyBy Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

When popular teacher Adam Perron was killed in a traffic accident, students needed an outlet to work through their grief.

They wanted to do something special, something lasting. Ideas included a memorial garden, a walkway and composting.

They ultimately thought a memorial bench placed in front of Lake Region Middle School was a good way to honor their teacher.

As students and teacher Andrea Capano, (who had filled in for Mr. Perron after his untimely death), contemplated the idea, Jeff Lang of Arthur’s Memorial in Center Conway, N.H. unknowingly was on the same page.

“Jeff e-mailed me after Adam’s death. He said that both he and his wife, who is a teacher, were thinking about our school and the students as we went through the grieving,” LRMS Principal Matt Lokken said. “He wanted to donate the granite bench in Adam’s honor.”

NW perron bench words (rotate photo) copyAs part of the school board process to receive donations in memorials, Capano collected 100 signatures for a petition to the school board and gathered several letters of support.

“The student letters were part of the healing process,” said Lokken, who added that students wished to keep their sentiments private and personal, not for publication.

The school board approved the project under its Dedication of District Buildings/Facilities policy, and just before LRMS went on summer break, students put the finishing touches on plantings near the bench, which is positioned between two trees to the left of the front entrance. Flat stones lead the way from the sidewalk to the bench.

Students on Adam’s team came up with the inscription, which reads, “Adam Perron…Environmentalist, Educator, Community Leader, Musician, Friend, Husband, Father…Dedicated to his memory and his legacy… ‘Make the World a Better Place’ — Mr. Perron.”

Coming up short: Trying to meet federal school lunch regulations and keeping the food service line in the black remains a major challenge in SAD 61.

Finance Coordinator Sherrie Small informed the school board at Monday’s meeting held at Songo Locks School that the district continues to run a deficit. She expects the food service account to be $50 to $60,000 in the red this year alone, citing the cost of products, the price of staffing, and writing off some student accounts.

To address the shortfall, Small expects to approach the board in the fall and will request some funding be shifted from other accounts (which is allowable by law) to cover some of the overages.

Still 1-2: There was no reshuffling for school board leadership as Janice Barter of Naples received unanimous support to serve as chairman, while Karla Swanson-Murphy of Bridgton takes on another year as vice chairman.

Named to the Finance Committee were: Phil Shane of Casco, Stan Buchanan of Casco, Karla Swanson-Murphy of Bridgton, Karen Elder of Bridgton and Thomas Hancock of Casco.

Back to the Past: When members of the Class of 2016 entered Sebago Elementary and Stevens Brook Elementary dressed in their caps and gowns, their presence left staff with “goosebumps.”

Meanwhile, the young students were in “awe” of their visitors, who once occupied their chairs and desks, wandered the same hallways and played on the same swings and outdoor fields.

SES Principal Kirsten Goff and SBES Principal Cheryl Turpin praised the graduating seniors for taking time out of their busy schedules to visit the schools and give youngsters something to aspire to.

Unselfish gesture: Each year, Principal Cheryl Turpin gives out an award to recognize a student for noteworthy efforts. This year, the Principal’s Award went to Everett Yannelli. When Everett won a new bicycle from the local Masons, he gave it up. Because he already has a bike, Everett decided to give the new bicycle to a classmate, who doesn’t own one.

Never missed a day: As part of their end of the school year recognitions, 20 students at SBES were honored for perfect attendance. They included: William McIntyre, Abigail Nadeau,Tiana Neal, Ella Jones, Jacyen Massey, Jacoby Muise, Jonathan Serpa, Olivia Horne, Leonard Bouchard, Kaylee Maguire, Mallory Smith, Katerina Cleveland, Jasmin Mei, Emma Nadeau, Che Rich, Tyler Lafontaine, Colin Murphy, Tyler Neal, Ezra Gronlund and Larissa Harmon.

Helping out schools: The school board accepted the following donations:

  • Hannaford Helps School Program donated $1,000 to Stevens Brook Elementary to be used for the Greenhouse Fund.
  • Sebago Elementary received $24.31 from Target.
  • Girl Scout Troop #1504 donated a picnic table (a $120 value) to Sebago Elementary.
  • Songo Locks Garden Club donated $500 for Grade 4 students at Songo Locks School to go to the Maine State Museum in Augusta.
  • The Town of Sebago donated a 1990 Ford (aka Engine II) for educational purposes (when it no longer serves a useful purpose to the Fire Training Program, it will be returned to the Town of Sebago). Estimated value $5,000.

Personnel moves:

Susan Bryant was approved as a special education teacher at Lake Region High School (this is a new budgeted position). There were 13 applicants, five were interviewed.

Maria Davis as a speech pathologist at Stevens Brook Elementary, replacing Diane Warming who resigned. There were two applicants, two were interviewed.

Janelle Foster as a kindergarten teacher at Stevens Brook, replacing Amanda Doherty. There were 34 applicants, four were interviewed.

Emily Howes as a Grade 1 teacher at Stevens Brook, replacing Kathi Grossi who transferred to a Grade 2 teacher at SBES. There were 20 applicants, four were interviewed.

Stephanie LeBlanc as a special services teacher at Lake Region Middle School, replacing Tracy Smith who transferred to another position. There were 13 applicants, five were interviewed.

Angela Stover as a special services secretary for the Special Services Office, replacing Kathleen Brugnoli who resigned. There were 10 applicants, three were interviewed.

At a meeting last month, the following were approved:

Richard Doble as a head custodian at Songo Locks School, replacing Rick McConkey who retired. There were 28 applicants, eight were interviewed.

Patricia Hayden was reappointed as assistant superintendent through June 30, 2018.

Nicole Barton as a Grade 7/8 teacher at LRMS, replacing Stephanie Farrell who resigned. There were nine applicants, six were interviewed.

Amy Boclair as a special education teacher at Stevens Brook. There were eight applicants, three were interviewed.

Kelsey Doiron as a special education teacher at Stevens Brook, replacing Christopher Morgan-Janes. There were five applicants, three were interviewed.

Larry Forbes as a part-time band teacher at LRMS. He is currently working as a half-time band teacher, and this appointment will make his position full-time. There were seven applicants, one was interviewed.

Megan Gillespie as a French teacher at LRMS, replacing Andrea Utz who resigned. There were nine applicants, four were interviewed.

Kate Jenkins as a kindergarten teacher at Stevens Brook, replacing Amanda Doherty. There were 26 applicants, six were interviewed.

Sarah Kearsley as a Grade 7/8 science teacher at LRMS, replacing Adam Perron. There were 38 applicants, nine were interviewed.

Thomas Letourneau as a kindergarten teacher at Stevens Brook, replacing Jessica Hunt. There were 26 applicants, six were interviewed.

Kristina Smalley as a guidance counselor at LRHS, replacing Michelle Gagnon who resigned. There were 29 applicants, four were interviewed.

Miranda Walker as a Grade 3 teacher at Stevens Brook, replacing Jeffrey Brundage who resigned after a leave of absence. Ms. Walker filled this position during 2015-16. There were 25 applicants, five were interviewed.

Gail White as a school nurse at LRMS, replacing Deb Robson who resigned. There were six applicants, two were interviewed.

Steven Lessard as a custodian at Stevens Brook, replacing Ken Brown who resigned. There were five applicants, three were interviewed.

Daniel Kimball as a custodian at Crooked River Elementary, replacing Dana McConkey who retired. There were eight applicants, four were interviewed.

Douglas Maker as a Grade 7/8 teacher at LRMS.

Chandra Nizamoff as a science teacher at LRMS.

Jennifer Hills as a permanent substitute at LRMS.

Employee recognition: At the June 6 meeting, these employees were recognized at a reception:

10 years: Kirsten Goff, Kim Guptill, Norma Johnson, Charles Nicholas, Karyn Roy, Kristen Saunders, Kathy Sweezey, David Tampsett and Paul True.

15 years: Gail Andrews, Patricia Andrews, Elizabeth Cook, Joseph Dorner, Bonny Dyer, Faith Halterman, George Nye, Kyle Ross, Elaine Rowe, Lucy Saunders-Kish, Denise Stuart, Joshua Sturk, Lillian Whitney, Janice Warren and Deanna Woodward.

20 years: Tim Bell, Richard Strout Sr. and Kathleen Tragert.

30 years: Nancy Hayes, Betsy Mayo, Lili Needham-Fox and Terry Reed.

35 years: Bruce Harmon.

40 years: Jean Martin.

Retiring: Dana McConkey, head custodian, 20.5 years; Richard McConkey, head custodian, 20.5 years; and Katherine Minigell, LRMS teacher, 37 years.



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