Weekly school news, Oct. 13, 2011

Posted Oct. 11, 2011, at 5:08 p.m.


Bapst student honored

BANGOR — Shira Hollinger, formerly a student at Orono Middle School and now attending John Bapst Memorial High School, received highest honors from Johns Hopkins University for her performance in its Center for Talented Youths global talent search for children of high academic ability.

Hollinger not only qualified to join CTY, but was invited to its award ceremony at the University of Southern Maine to be recognized for her high performance on the SAT test, placing in the 99th percentile for Critical Reading.

Hollinger was 13 when she took the SAT in June. John Hopkins uses the SAT as an above-grade-level test to distinguish high-performing children who do well in standardized tests offered at public schools. High-ability gifted children, those at the Center for Talented Youth maintain, need different, more challenging programming.

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Hollinger said she is enjoying her studies at John Bapst, where she plays on the field hockey team and participates in Chamber Club and Key Club. She is involved in various kinds of environmental activism, serving as the teen liaison for Maine Interfaith Power and Light and as secretary of Sustainable Orono, a transition town group. Hollinger is an avid reader and writer, and a long-time student of the violin. She also enjoys drawing and photography. She plans to study arts, humanities and the fine arts at university.

Orono High School

ORONO — Orono High School principal Jim Chasse announced that four students have earned a place among the nation’s top high school scholars, thanks to their performance in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Seniors Alex Bulteel and Laurie Hamilton were named semifinalists, and Audrey Landis and Jiawei Zou earned Letters of Commendation in this highly competitive measure of academic talent and achievement.

Some 1.5 million students in 22,000 high schools entered the program by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test during their junior year. Less than 1 percent achieve the rank of semifinalist, while commended students place among the top 5 percent nationwide. Semifinalists must fulfill further requirements to qualify as finalists for one of 8,300 National Merit Scholarships totaling more than $34 million.

In addition to outstanding academic performance and superb scores on national tests, semifinalists must earn recommendations from school administrators and show an established record of leadership and community service. Merit Scholars are selected from the pool of finalists based on skills, accomplishments and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

Hampden Academy

HAMPDEN — Ruey Yehle, the principal of Hampden Academy, announced on Sept. 30 that Meave Higgins and Helene Sherburne have been named Commended Students in the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program.

A Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Corporation, which conducts the program, were presented by the principal to these scholastically talented seniors.

Some 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Commended Students placed among the top 5 percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2012 competition by taking the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Junior Achievement

Across the state, youngsters of all ages have headed back to school. At the same time, many businesspeople are preparing to do the same — as Junior Achievement volunteers.

Each year, more than 300 business professionals, parents, retirees and college students throughout Maine help students in Junior Achievement programs develop the skills they need to succeed in a competitive economy. Using their personal experiences in combination with JA’s innovative, age-appropriate curricula, these volunteers teach young people about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy.

For example, third-grade students learn about careers and how businesses contribute to a community in Junior Achievement’s Our City program, and high school students learn business-management basics through Junior Achievement’s online program, JA Titan.

“Volunteers are the heart of Junior Achievement, helping the organization empower young people to own their economic success. They inspire our children to discover their potential and find their niches in the 21st century global marketplace,” said Melissa Bourque, acting JA of Maine President, “Without volunteers’ dedication and excellence, JA would not be able to provide the positive impact it has on the local community.”

Junior Achievement of Maine is seeking volunteers for this year’s programs. JA offers programs from kindergarten through 12th grade and orients volunteers on how to use the user-friendly materials and work with students. Those interested may contact JA staff at 347-4333 or visit http://www.jamaine.org.

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future and make smart academic and economic choices.

JA reaches 4 million students per year in 124 markets across the United States. Visit http://www.ja.org for information.

This past year, JA of Maine reached more than 8,600 Maine students. Organizers hope to reach more than 9,000 this year. For information on how to become a volunteer, visit http://www.jamaine.org.

Penobscot Job Corps

BANGOR — Several Penobscot Job Corps Academy students earned their academic credentials during August and September.

Earning a General Educational Diploma were Justice Bradshaw, Salem, Mass.; Richard Bryant, Atkinson; Hakeem Carpenter, Dorchester, Mass.; Dylan Carrow, Carmel; Chermarie Comeau, New Bedford, Mass; Stephanie Dessources, Boston; Dustin Fairfield, Rockland; David Fay, Bangor; Josh Fuller, Peterborough, N.H.; Elaine Getchell, Bangor; Sara Harris, Corinth; Dustin Howard, Portland; Tayshawn Hunter, Newark, N.J.; Emilee Jones, New Gloucester; Amanda King, Frankfort; Emily Lamontagne, Manchester, N.H.; Hollie Lanteigne, Berlin, N.H.; Dennis Martin, Newport; Ashley McTague, Searsport; Bert Overlock, Hermon; Michael Paquette, Windham, N.H.; Steven Paredes, New York, N.Y.; Carl Roberts, Naugatuck, Conn.; Dylan Sabattus, Bangor; Tyrone Tillman, Springfield, Mass.

Earning a North New Summit High School Diploma were Destani Cotton, Old Town; and Hassan Fisher, Hillside, Ill.


Onward Bound

ORONO — The University of Maine Onward Program will host information sessions for prospective students at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 18 and Nov. 15, at East Annex. Created in 1970 for those who might not be able to attend college for academic or economic reasons, Onward has helped hundreds of qualified students gain access to UM by offering small, customized college classes, peer tutoring and counseling support in a positive academic environment.

Visitors will tour the offices, meet the staff, enjoy light refreshments and hear from a panel of current students.

Contact Lori Watson, 581-2320 or TTY 581-2325 to register or obtain information or an application packet. Online applications are available at http:// www.umaine.edu/onward.

Community colleges

AUGUSTA — Enrollment in Maine’s community colleges has grown 4.3 percent since last fall, an increase of 769 students. Since making the transition from technical to community colleges in 2003, the seven colleges have experienced an 83 percent growth in their enrollment, from 10,127 to 18,548 this fall.

In announcing the numbers, MCCS President John Fitzsimmons noted the central role the community colleges are playing in expanding access to higher education for Maine people, but he cautioned that the colleges are unable to serve all those who seek to enroll.

“Demand for all of our programs, particularly the trade and occupational offerings, remains strong, but the colleges lack the capacity to serve many more students,” he said. “As a result, enrollment growth is slowing. Eighty-four occupational programs offered by the colleges are at or over capacity this fall. Again this year, we have had to turn away many qualified applicants. This is bad for those who seek a more secure future through a college degree and bad for the state’s economy, which needs many more highly skilled workers. The will and the demand are there. The resources are not.”

The colleges with the largest enrollment growth this fall are Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield, up 6.5 percent; Eastern Maine Community College, Bangor, 5.8 percent; and Southern Maine Community College, South Portland and Brunswick, 5.3 percent.

Excelsior College

ALBANY, N.Y. — These area students have graduated from Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y.:

• Bangor: Julia M. Stanton, bachelor of science.

• Bucksport: Laurie Breidt, bachelor of science in nursing.

Excelsior College is an accredited, private, nonprofit institution that focuses on the needs of working adults. Its primary mission is to increase access to a college degree for adult learners by removing obstacles to their educational goals. Excelsior’s unique strength is its acknowledged leadership in the assessment of student knowledge.

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