Messalonskee Music Program Shines!

Messalonskee has long been known for excellence in the arts and our current students have not disappointed their instructors.  Once again we have numerous students who have received a variety of honors in our region, in our state, and even across the country!  Congrats to all our honorees and the many other students who make our music program so wonderful.


Cast from the January Music Revue!

Mr. and Mrs. Rhein are proud to report that students have attained the following honors:

All National Honor Choir (Nashville, Tenn.) Emily Lagace

All Eastern Honor Choirs (Boston, Mass) Emily Lagace, Payton Snowden, Lily Webb, Kevin Bennoch, Zach Hoyle, Addison Littlefield

All State Chorus:  Lily Webb, Emily Lagace, Garrett Main, Seth Main

All State Treble Choir:  Julia Cooke

KV Senior Chorus: Matt Allarie, Kayla Begin, Kevin Bennoch, Pyper Birch, Gabrielle Brooks, Julia Cooke, Anastasia D’Amico, Adam DeWitt, Aubrie Fougere, Jared Handley, Zach Hoyle, Olivia Jewell, Garrett Main, Seth Main, Gretchen Rice, Gregor Schadenberg, Lily Webb

KV Jr. Honor Chorus: Lydia Bradfield, Addison Littlefield, David Cunningham, Katie Luce, Lydia D’Amico, Will McPherson, Abigail Dorval, Melayna Porter, Emilia Frost, Jenna Shorey, Molly Glueck, Jade Veilleux, Elizabeth Hume, Haley Wilkie, Hannah Levenson


Mr. Forster, Mrs. Gooldrup and Mr. Peterson are proud to report that instrumental students have attained the following honors:

All State Honors Jazz Band:  Vann Guarnieri

All State Concert Band:  Liz Bonczyk, Gerren Welch (top score), Vann Guarnieri

All State Orchestra:  Eli Caret

Mid Maine Youth Orchestra:  Gretchen Rice, Vann Guarnieri, Liz Bonczyk, Scott Cunningham, Eli Caret, Maggie Stokes, Deklan Thurston

KV Senior Band:  Hannah Duperry, Sally Granholm, Annie Swenson, Sarah Van Der Karr, Hannah Hargrove, Liz Bonczyk, Amanda Wiswell, Vann Guarnieri, Sarah Rodrigue, Eli Caret, Scott Cunningham, Gerren Welch

KV Jr. Honor Band: Shauna Clark, Ambrosina Cianfarano, Abigayle Barney, Alex Pierce, Ella Nash, Rosemary Peterson, Maria Veilleux, Martin Guarnieri, Maggie, Stokes, Caleb Sadler, Dharani Singaram, Deklan Thurston


More pictures from our most recent musical performance: the Music Revue!

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Note: Anyone interested in donating to the MHS Music program should contact Mr. Rhein at!

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MHS Students Have Options and Opportunities to Excel!

Over the course of the past few years, the Messalonskee High School curriculum has undergone a significant transformation. With the addition of new courses in nearly every department, several specialized seminars, dual enrollment options and Virtual High School, MHS gives students a wide variety of ways to attain graduation.  While certain requirements remain, the expanded curriculum offers greater voice and choice and a variety of pathways to success.

Mr. D & Student

Mr. Derosby working with a MHS student on her schedule (and apparently having fun doing it!)


As always, certain course work is pretty much non-negotiable for graduation from MHS even as graduation requirements begin shifting toward being standards based.  The graduating classes of 2016 and 2017 must earn 23 credits including  4 credits in English, 4 credits in Math, 3 in Science, 3 in social studies, 1 in Fine Arts, and .5 each in health and JMG Career Prep.

In addition to a traditional transcript, graduates of 2018 and beyond will be working with standards based diplomas that focus on attaining proficiency in the content areas of ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies while still working toward proficiency in other areas by completing credits in Visual and Performing Arts, Health and PE, World Languages, Technology, and Career and Ed Development and require 40 hours of community service during high.


In addition, students who are planning to attend a four year college should be aware of further requirements that some colleges will expect, such as more advanced maths and sciences, higher level English courses and a certain amount of foreign language.


The new program of studies provides a template to help students understand their options and make the best course selection for their level of learning and future goals. While none of the learning experiences have hard and fast pre-requisites that must be met, and any student can sign up for any class, their success depends on prior learning experiences. The new program offers clear scaffolding with options at multiple levels of learning.  According to principal Jon Moody, “what the program of studies does is provide students with a smorgasbord of choices from which they can meet their requirements for graduation and tailor their High School experience to best meet the needs of what they expect to do with their post-secondary education.”


Messalonskee is continuing to use the dual-grading system in both Power School and Empower to truly reflect the learning experience as a whole and the standards completed within each learning experience.  Standards are contextual, and how a standard is accomplished in one class may be very different from how it is accomplished in a higher level course.   As Mr. Moody puts it, “the application of that standard in the context of that content is unique and should be scored as such.  When a student meets mastery, however, it’s considered mastery.” In other words, once a student has mastered a standard, they no longer need to certify in that standard in other classes for graduation, but they still need to demonstrate that they can apply the standard in the new context. Using both Empower and Power School allows us to clearly show both forms of learning progress.


The Digital Program of Studies includes links to learning experience templates for each class which include the course description, expected topics, standards covered, and suggested prerequisite standards that students should have met to be successful in the course.


Dual Enrollment Courses


In addition to the new program of studies, MHS is expanding its offerings of dual enrollment courses. While students have long had the option of taking college courses that count toward high school graduation, more and more colleges are now accepting credits from dual enrollment classes offered at high schools. With individual undergraduate college classes in the UMaine system costing an average of $837, dual enrollment classes are a good way to save time and money.


Students who have taken the dual enrollment courses at MHS seem to appreciate the additional rigor and the benefits of taking college level work without having to leave campus.  One student, senior Alec Curie,  who had only done off site dual enrollment courses voiced the frustration he ran into when he couldn’t get ahold of the professor for his online course. “Having someone to talk to [on site when] you need help is probably the best.”


Last year Messalonskee offered 4 dual enrollment classes and anticipates offering at least 9 for the 2016-2017 school year.  Dual enrollment options will exist in ASL, English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies and Technology.  They can be found in the Digital Program of Studies by looking for the (DE) designation at the end of the course title.  For a student to be enrolled in a DE cours he or she must be in good academic standing, have a history of success in standards in that content area, and must be approved by the administration.



One final option that continues to benefit students in multiple ways is Virtual High School.  Messalonskee High School’s involvement with VHS is in its 8th year.   The virtual high school’s flexible schedule and broad range of course offerings pair perfectly with the school’s vision, and provide the students with a lot of opportunities to stretch and challenge their learning in different ways. VHS is one of many online options for students at Messalonskee, but it’s the only one we’ll pay for.  

VHS classes are an excellent option for students who wish to take courses that are not available at MHS or who need to take a class that does not fit into their schedule for one reason or another.  VHS can also help students recover credits or even graduate early.  Middle school students who are working ahead of pace have even used VHS to get a jump on high school material.

Keith Derosby is the site coordinator for MHS and while he runs off the official report on a weekly basis, he logs in nearly every day to keep an eye on student progress.  The official report and spreadsheet is shared with administration and school counselors on a weekly basis.  Counselors can then meet with students who are struggling in order to see what further assistance is needed.  

This year the district has implemented a new accountability policy concerning VHS.  Students who drop after the add/drop period is over or who fail classes will be charged for their seats in the VHS class.  When this occurs the student’s counselor makes contact with the parents.

Currently between 80 to 100 MHS students a year are taking advantage of the opportunity to enroll in a an online class.  The majority of the classes they choose are electives or AP courses that are not currently offered at Messalonskee. A training session is set up for students at the beginning of each semester to help them learn the software used for the courses.  

Students report that they love the flexibility that it adds to their schedule, but the courses can be even more challenging than those taken in the traditional classroom due to the lack of one to one instruction available and the responsibility placed on the individual student. The district is hoping to increase their online offerings in coming years and is also hoping to be able to provide additional support for students using the system for credit recovery.

Article by Mandi Favreau, MHS ELA teacher & co-drama director since 2002



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Seniors Should be thinking SCHOLARSHIPS!

It’s that time of year! Christmas break is over, semester 2 has started and scholarships are pouring into guidance! Students should be checking weekly for newly available scholarships.


The Local Scholarship application will be available February 8th and is due April 14th. The list of potential awards will be attached to the application. All seniors are encouraged to complete this application. Not all scholarships represented require post-secondary education.


In addition to the Local Scholarship application there are several other scholarship opportunities for students. These are posted in several locations and updated weekly:

– On the guidance web page:
– In the guidance office (file cabinet)
– Bulletin board across from the MHS library
– Principal’s Blog

It is a student’s responsibility to seek, obtain, and complete scholarship applications. Students are encouraged to complete as many applications as appropriate to help meet their individual post-secondary goals. Scholarships posted by MHS are not intended to be a comprehensive list. Students should also search on their own and with their college for additional awards/grants. Remember each scholarship has different requirements and criteria including application instructions, deadlines, and award amounts, so not all awards are applicable to every student. Read the criteria carefully.


Also, be aware of Scholarship Scams! It is easy to fall victim to scholarship offers that promise thousands of dollars in scholarship money for a nominal service fee. FAME (The Finance Authority of Maine) strongly discourages students from paying a fee to any company to assist in the scholarship search or financial aid application process.


These links are also listed on the Guidance web page are

Additional Scholarship Opportunities 

Awards and Contests Opportunities

College Specific Scholarship Opportunities

National Scholarship Opportunities

Tips and Additional Scholarship Information 


Good luck with your scholarship search and swing in to guidance to talk if you need more information!


This article was written by MHS Scholarship Coordinator Janice Lindsay (

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February: From the Principal’s Pen

Wonderful principal’s pen on the sheer power reading provides when we unlock the ability to learn independently.  The triumphs students’ experience as they grow become less obvious, but are surely no-less significant, than the opportunities that are opened to them in their lives ahead.  Thank you Mrs. McGee for again reminding us what it is that is important!       Source: February: From the Principal’s Pen

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MHS Final Exam Schedule for Semester 1 Classes

Messalonskee High School Final Exam Schedule: Semester 1

Exam pic


Tuesday, January 12, 2016            Period 1 Red Day Final Only


Wednesday, January 13, 2016     

8:00-9:45                               Period 1 Final Exam

10:00-11:45                          Period 2 Final Exam

11:45-12:15                          Lunch

12:30                                      Make-up Exams/Staff Grading Exams


Thursday, January 14, 2016                    

8:00-9:45                               Period 3 Final Exam

10:00-11:45                          Period 4 Final Exam

11:45-12:15                          Lunch

12:30                                      Make-up Exams/Staff Grading Exams


Friday, January 15, 2016

8:00-8:49                               Period 1

8:54-9:43                               Period 2

9:48-10:37                            Period 3

10:46-11:30                          Period 4

11:30-12:00                          Lunch

  • Friday will become an exam day if either Wednesday or Thursday is a snow day.



  • All exams will be given during the designated exam schedule. If a student requests to take an exam early they must get permission from their grade level administrator.
  • In order to create the best testing environment possible, students must remain in class for the entire testing period. Encourage your students to bring a book or something they can work on should they finish early. Please know that we will not be interrupting a testing session to dismiss students from class.
  • Students who normally have study hall must report to their regular study hall. Students will need to stay in study hall for the entire testing period to minimize disruptions.  Students who have privileges and are not enrolled in a study-hall may report to school at the scheduled start time for their exam.
  • There is no open campus during finals and students with privileges should not leave once they get to school.
  • Busses will depart MHS each day at 12:15.
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December Students of the Month

Each month we take a moment to come together to celebrate our amazing MMTC and MHS students of the month.  These students find their way to the stage by being upstanding school citizens, through hard work in the classroom and a variety of endeavors in and outside our building.  The process starts with a teacher nomination followed by a review and selection from a teacher committee.  Over the course of the year we have 40 students who receive this honor.  Below are our December Students of the Month!

SOM Dec 15

Senior Dakota Bragg, Junior Russel Violette, Sophomore Sarah Labbe, and Freshmen Grace Carlson were honored on Friday during a whole-school assembly.  As has become the custom, these students were joined on stage by their families to share in the celebration.

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If you know of a student who should be considered for a SOM nomination in the future please reach out to a teacher at MHS!

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Winter Wonderland at MHS (Thank you Student Council!)

High School is first and foremost about academics.  At MHS we’ve worked hard to develop rigorous offerings through our Program of Studies that challenge all students and prepare them for college and beyond.  In addition to academics, high school is about involvement in our community, the spirit of the school community, and the camaraderie experienced as students move through school together.  Our staff strives to achieve both goals as we work with students during these crucial formative years.

Thanks to the leadership of our student council we’ve certainly had an opportunity to come together and have some fun prior to break!

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As you can see from the sampling above, from the Door Decoration contest, our students and staff have once again knocked it out of the park with the addition of the winter spirit week.  From dress-up days to fun events, they’ve managed to liven things up as we moved toward holiday break and the end of our first semester of the 2015-16 school year.  Messalonskee is an amazing school because of the spirit we see in the halls every day…  especially, during weeks like this.  Thank you to the students and staff who made this possible!

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