DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Production officials from the television program “Insights,” hosted by former “20/20” anchor Hugh Downs, were at Foxcroft Academy on Tuesday filming a segment on the local school.
The segment is expected to be aired sometime this summer, according to producer Kelly Alexander, who interviewed students — individually and in the classrooms working with teachers — as well as parents and Jay Brennan, associate head of school, admissions and residential life.
It was a white paper Brennan wrote on behalf of the Maine Association of Independent Schools about New England’s 200-year education tradition that caught the attention of the production company, which is focusing solely on Foxcroft Academy.
“The reason they did this story is because here in Maine you have the remnants of an educational model that is over 200 years old, and it’s still a very vibrant model,” Brennan said of such academies. He pointed out that at one point in Maine there were 122 town academies and now there are only nine. But he said those nine academies are thriving and provide real pluralism within the educational landscape.
Brennan said he would get to review some of the footage before it is aired, but the producers will have final say in what is used and what isn’t.
“I think it went very, very well,” Brennan said of the visit by the TV producers. “It was fascinating.”
It was the first time the members of the production company had been to Maine and they mentioned the wilderness and the frigid weather, despite the almost springlike day, according to Brennan. “They were sort of taken in by the Maine landscape itself,” he said.
But it was the educational model that intrigued them the most, Brennan said.
“This film will be seen nationally, and our hope is that in our marketing the academy — we’ve done a very good job of marketing ourselves overseas — we would like to increase our boarding program to include domestic boarding students from various states here in the United States,” Brennan said.
The film, which will air on PBS, will allow the rest of the country to see Maine, Dover-Foxcroft and Foxcroft Academy, he said. His hope, he said, is that parents who are looking for quality, independent, private school education will find the academy