Eagles Soar: MHS Softball State Champs!

On Saturday, June 20th, the Messalonskee Eagles Softball team brought home the gold glove, defeating Scarborough High School 1-0 in the state championship softball game!

States, Eastern Maine, KVAC Champs 2384 2

The Eagles capped a magical season in which they solidified the #1 seed and rode solid pitching and defense with timely hitting and aggressive calls to take home the championship.  Below are photos sent in from parents from the championship run.

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Check out Kristy Prelgovisk’s Home Run in the first inning in the state championship game! 

In addition to our success in softball, our Lady LAX team also played in the state championship game on Saturday, coming up short to Marshwood 12-5 in their first trip to the state game.  It was a magical season for both teams and we are equally proud of their efforts.

In addition to our State Championship runs each of our spring sports continued the success from the fall and winter seasons!  Messalonskee Track & Field had a tremendous season with many competing in the KVAC and State meets and ultimately 8 athletes lacing it up for New England’s!  Girls and boys tennis also had individuals shine over the course of the season.  In addition, our boys LAX and baseball teams had tremendous seasons that were cut short sooner than they would have liked, but were also impressive!   Messalonskee athletics shined across the board and below are a few of the pictures (Thank you Mr. David Emery!) that have been sent in from those amazing seasons!

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Get out the Vote! Budget Cut to 1.9%…

This has been a trying budget season for all.  With “cut the fat” comments, as well as misleading and made-up information being circulated by some, I wanted to make a post in support of the budget prior to the June 30th vote.

I believe we have great schools, with strong teachers, good and just leaders, and amazing students.  I also believe we need to balance spending and be responsible to our constituencies.  This is why I will vote to approve the school budget on Tuesday, June 30th.

Is RSU18 really responsible with money?  Yes.  A 1.88% overall increase IS responsible and far below the historical inflation rate.  Our district has less than a .5% (yes – less than 1/2 of 1 percent) increase over the last six years – five times less than the rate of inflation over that period.  RSU18 spends less per student than any neighboring district and far less than comparably sized school units.  Our schools are frugal and responsible.

Now is the time to support our leaders, our teachers, and our students.  Now is the time to support our schools.

How?  Either by absentee ballot (deadline this Friday for most towns, call your town office or swing by) or in person – Vote June 30th!

The best posts I’ve read on the budget have come from Principal Jenny McGee and from Board Member Bob Bennett.  I have included both below and encourage you to read them and share with others the need to vote on June 30th!

Atwood Principal’s Blog by Jenny McGee

Open Letter on the RSU18 Budget by Board Member Bob Bennett

The Principal’s blog budget post from May highlights some other metrics on the original school budget.

Thank you,

Go Eagles!

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MHS’s Final Students of the Month

Messalonskee’s final group of students of the month for the 2014-15 school year!

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Senior (now Alumni) Damon Bickford, Junior Nathalie St. Pierre, Sophomore Gabrielle Thompson, Freshmen Abbey Prescott joined their families and mentors on stage to celebrate the award.

An amazing group of students closed out our school year as we awarded the June Students of the Month at our Underclassmen Assembly.  Unfortunately for Damon, (and fortunately for Nathalie ), the fabled SOM parking spot will be carried through the end of the year and summer through the awarding of the 2015 September SOM.

If you, your business, or other group are interested in supporting our efforts to recognize students please do reach out to us at jmoody@rsu18.org.

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Volunteer Scientists: Take the Show on the Road!

When offered an opportunity to put together a  chemistry “magic show” AP chemistry students jumped at the chance to share their passion for science. Since taking the AP chemistry exam early in May, these students have been working hard to put together meaningful science activities for younger students that were educational, engaging, and fun.

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The MHS Scientists took their show on the road, presenting to 9 elementary school classrooms with students ranging from primary grades at the Atwood school to upper elementary at the Williams school.  Students topics range from the simple and hands-on “How to make Flubber” to the more complicated, but visually surprising “Iodine Clock Reaction,” all designed to engage the interest of their audience and to inspire some future scientists.”

Thank you to Mrs. Tupper (science teacher extraordinaire) and her students for taking the time to share their talents and time with some of our younger learners in the district!

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From the Principal’s Pen…June 2015

Jon Moody:

The world needs more writers (and educators… and people) like Principal McGee of Atwood Elementary School. A touching story of family and the importance of education.

Originally posted on Atwood Principal's Blog:

From the Principal’s Pen

June 2015

Submitted by: Jennifer McGee, Principal of Atwood Primary School

I really don’t like talking about money. It seems impolite. I am just as frustrated with the rising taxes as the next person, and when I make out my quarterly check…it takes my breath away. Then I remember my grandfather’s words. He was a Methodist minister. He made next to nothing for a salary, but he always said: “I am always proud when I pay my taxes, because I know I am helping to educate America. It’s the best money I spend”. He lived in a tiny cottage in the woods of East Poland, Maine on a small pension, but he got pretty puffed up and proud when he paid his taxes.

So, that being said, first and foremost, thank you!   The Oakland and China residents did, in fact, pass the school budget in their…

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Possible Cut List for the RSU 18 Budget = Impact!

Jon Moody:

I strongly encourage our students, parents and community members to participate in this new budget process (Starting tonight at MMS, 6:00 Cafeteria). Most of the proposed cuts will directly impact our students, staff, and offerings across the district.

Originally posted on Messalonskee Middle Principal's Blog:

100427_school_budget_cuts

Tomorrow night (May 27) the school board will hold a budget workshop.  The purpose of this workshop is to begin the process of considering cost reductions to the proposed budget for the 2015-16 school year that failed last Tuesday.  Although the budget put forward maintained all programming for the district, it failed to pass.  Now the school board is tasked with the job of revisiting the budget to make decisions on what could possibly be cut with the least impact to students’ academic programs.  After years of cutting and tight budgets, it will be a daunting task.  I encourage all members of the community to take part in the process.  Tomorrow night the school board will be looking at a number of cuts.  These cuts could include the following:

School Administration-salary and position reductions

Teaching cuts at China Primary, Belgrade Central, James H. Bean, Messalonskee High and Middle Schools, as well as the…

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RSU18 Budget Vote is Today!

The RSU18 School Budget vote is today and we need your vote.

Budget Voting LocationsI’ve shared facts on our budget over the last month, encouraging people to look at the numbers when making a decision on our budget.  When you compare our district to other schools (and even non-school entities like town government) over the past five years, you will see that RSU18 has taken a responsible approach to spending (well under 1%/ year).  I encourage any and all community members to get out and vote to support the budget today.  As with all things Messalonskee, I’m happy to discuss questions so don’t hesitate to reach out should you have any!

Your Vote counts

As high school principal, I have spent a lot of time with the RSU18 budget.  I’ve been a part of tough discussions on spending, had monies I’ve requested cut and worked with staff to continue programming for our students.  It’s a hard process each year, but it is one that I am ultimately proud of and one that I believe reflects well on our district.  From bus drivers to teachers, to administrators and support staff, it is my belief that we do well by our local communities.

Information on the 2015-16 budget can be found at: http://www.rsu18.org/index.php?id=2&sub_id=7574

Information on past budgets can be found at: http://www.rsu18.org/index.php?id=341&sub_id=447

I am frequently asked about the district budget (as a long-time resident with three kids moving through the district, I’m often approached with questions).  Below are some points I would share about our budget and the budgeting process.

Our district spending over the past five to six years has been very responsible:

Over the last five years RSU18 Budget cumulative increase stands at 3.57%; this is a 0.71% annualized increase over that time.  An increase of less than 3/4 of one percent each year.

Neighboring districts 5 year cumulative budget increase stands at: Augusta – 8.15%, Lawrence – 12.72%, Maranacook – 10.85%, Waterville – 11.8%, Winslow 4.79%

RSU18 is frugal with their spending based on the per-student spending as reported by the state when compared both to state averages as well as the surrounding school communities.

The RSU18 per-student spending for 2013-14 is $10,245, $1811 below the state average of $12,059.

The per-student cost of the 2015-16 RSU18 School budget stands at $11,459 using the latest state enrollment figures (Oct. 1).

The same per-student spending of area schools is:  Augusta – $12,714, Lawrence – $12,194, Maranacook – $13,510, Waterville – $11,742, Winslow – $11,835.

Area District Budget Comparison

(2013-14 Maine School Expense Category Comparison)

 

RSU18 does well by kids…  As principal of Messalonskee High School I have seen us work to better the education of the students in our building over the past four years.  The teaching staff has been flexible, increased a larger variety of offerings for students, and worked to raise the academic performance of our students.   Last year we were the highest scoring High School in our area with a “B” on the state report card.

 

As always, I am happy to answer any questions you may have pertaining to the budget or other items related to our work at MHS.

Go Eagles!

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