Press Release

12 elementary schools and communities recognized for their aspiring work

Twelve Maine elementary schools have been recognized for their leadership in building early aspirations in education. These 12 schools were recognized by Maine College Circle and the Perloff Foundation, two nonprofits who have been supporting aspirations in Maine elementary and middle schools since 1992.

“These schools, their parents, and their communities stand out to us as leading the way in building aspirations, says Bob Stuart, Director of Maine College Circle. Maine is a leader in this country in building early aspirations to guide learning. We can criticize education in Maine today if we want, but our schools are actually doing a very good job. We have a lot to celebrate.”

The twelve schools (in alphabetical order) are:

Bowdoin Central School, Bowdoin

Brownville Elementary, Brownville

Dr. Levesque School, Frenchville

Easton Elementary, Easton

Fort Street Elementary, Mars Hill

Garret Schenck Elementary, Anson

Madawaska Elementary, Madawaska

Margaret Chase Smith School, Skowhegan

Pemetic Elementary, Southwest Harbor

Perry Elementary, Perry

Riverton School, Portland

Whiting Village School, Whiting

“We underestimate the role of aspirations in the learning process. Learning has been a two-part process since its beginning. We need students who are eager and motivated to learn, and teachers who are excited about sharing their knowledge.

“If we in this state and this country are serious about improving education, we, as communities, will help our children understand and build their aspirations, and we will let the professionals, the teachers, do what they do best. If we on the outside of the classroom walls prescribe education targeted toward disconnected learning results, there is a good chance we will engage neither the students’ motivation and aspiration nor the teachers’ desire to share knowledge in a way that will excite the learners.

“These twelve schools are great. They deserve a lot of credit for the great work they do to help their students explore their aspirations for the future and to connect their education today to a brighter future. In my work over 20+ years in schools, I can’t tell you how many times I have had teachers and principals and guidance counselors and parents come up to me and explain how just doing research on college and career aspirations has changed their student’s performance in school today,” says Stuart.

The Perloff Foundation through its Fast Track Grants ( has been building aspirations in science, technology, and the humanities over the past fourteen years in over 100 schools in Maine and Canada. Maine College Circle ( has talked with over 60,000 elementary and middle school students in 115 mostly rural Maine communities about colleges and career aspirations and has awarded over 800 College Aspirations Scholarships to students as a result of their aspirations effort and research. Workshops and scholarships have been offered throughout Maine in partnership with the Dead River Company, cPort Credit Union, Ocean Renewable Power Company, Taconnet Federal Credit Union, Machias Savings Bank, Bar Harbor Savings and Loan, The First, The Maine Community Foundation, and many other community organizations and individuals who want to support education and the future of Maine.

These twelve schools will receive a small cash award to continue their efforts.


Bob Stuart

Maine College Circle

phone: 207-846-6770

cell: 207-318-5400

Bob Stuart, Director

Maine College Circle

251 Main Street

Yarmouth, ME 04096


1. Providing information on the opportunity of higher education.

2. Inspiring early aspirations.

3. Engaging communities.

To build a bright future.