FROM STAFF REPORTS
Edna Libby Elementary School is one of two schools in Cumberland County chosen to participate in the WinterKids Winter Games for the month of January. Students are doing a series of outdoor winter activities and nutritional challenges to accrue points that will lead to cash prizes for the winning schools. The grand prize is a $5,000 award.
The Winter Games began with an opening ceremony on Friday, Jan. 10. The high school's select chorus members, as well as some high school athletes traveled to the school in Buxton Center to help kick off the events. There also was a visit from Slugger as well as video appearances from Maine's U.S. Senators Angus King and Susan Collins, along with Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. Superintendent Paul Penna was also in attendance.
Edna Libby was one of 32 schools statewide chosen to participate. The goal of WinterKids is to get a high percentage of the student body participating in activities designed to help kids move, learn, and explore the outdoors while meeting educational standards." We were thrilled to be selected....This is an exciting opportunity to showcase healthy behaviors with out students and to work toward earning prizes for our school," said school nurse Jessie Woodman, RN.
Ms. Woodman said that some of the activities planned include a blender bike demonstration at lunch time, a winter carnival, a family night, and lots of guest speakers and athletes.
WinterKids is a nonprofit organization that helps kids develop healthy lifelong habits. The community's major sponsor is Hannaford and there is a list of supporting sponsors that can be accessed at WinterKids.org.
Breakfast with Santa
FROM STAFF REPORTS
The annual Breakfast with Santa was a big hit once again. This year’s event on Dec. 7 featured more than a dozen “elves” (members of the senior class) leading children in craft-making and face-painting activities. Mr. and Mrs. Claus also made an appearance, taking orders outside the high school cafeteria while parents and children ate pancakes and listened to the BEHS select chorus sing their renditions of many standard Christmas classics. Money earned from the event goes to the Class of 2020 for Project Graduation. To see a slideshow, follow this link.
New principal makes presence known
BY BRENNA FINN
It’s hard to miss our new principal, Mr. Mike Johnson, as he roams the halls of Bonny Eagle at least one block a day. The tall, slender man with a full head of gray hair pops into classes and engages with whatever lesson is going on.
Mr. Johnson brings a wealth of experience to Bonny Eagle as both a classroom teacher and a school administrator. He started his career in 1981 as a 6th grade teacher at Jack Memorial School in Buxton. He continued teaching in the district until 1988, when he transferred to Windham Middle School. Mr. Johnson taught math for eight years until he became the assistant principal in Windham. He eventually moved to Portland High School, becoming the principal for 10 years in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Mr. Johnson says he has had a smooth transition to Bonny Eagle High School so far since he took over for Mrs. Lori Napolitano upon her promotion to assistant superintendent. Members of Bonny Eagle’s community have welcomed him and are very happy to have him here.
“I think he has a great rapport with the students and staff. He works really hard to bring us all together and to make Bonny Eagle better,”says BEHS Student Council advisor Mrs. Dawna Cyr.
“I think he is super nice and has many stories to tell,” adds Zoe Peters, a senior.
Mr. Johnson is impressed with the student body and its overall positive attitude and commitment to the school. He is also content with the high quality of professional staff. There are some teachers and administrators at Bonny Eagle whom he has worked with before, including Superintendent Paul Penna, Mr. Rick Simonds, Mr. Skip Geneagal, Mr. Don Denico, and Ms. Sue Orlowski. Our computer technology teacher, Ms. Pellerin, even had him as a 6th grade teacher at Hanson Elementary School in Buxton.
Mr. Johnson can proudly say that he admires the entire school operation.
“Being a teacher, admin., custodian, lunch lady, secretary, or support staff member is equally as challenging and essential for the operation of the school,” he says.
He also believes there is a difference between being a teacher and being a principal. Teachers have to directly care for the students on their roster, while principals care for every student and staff member in the building.
As much as his new job here has been rewarding, it has also been challenging. The big difference between his job at Bonny Eagle and his previous employment is the student demographic. Being principal of Portland High School for 10 years was a dramatically different experience. There are many immigrant and refugee services offered in Portland, he explains, meaning students from all over the world attend the high school. Bonny Eagle does not have the opportunity to meet and interact with a diversity of cultures.
“However, high school kids are high school kids regardless of what culture you come from or where you were born,” he says.
Our new principal has some great hopes for Bonny Eagle. Above everything else, he aims to make the school community a safe, happy, and productive environment. He also hopes the administration will encourage every student to have connections to the school beyond their daily classes.
Zach Maturo is Fitzy finalist
BY WILL HUGHES
The Fitzpatrick Trophy. It’s the most coveted prize in Maine high school football, given to the senior player who is deemed the best in the state. And this year, one of the three finalists attends Bonny Eagle High School.
Senior Zach Maturo is a finalist for this award, and it’s clear as to why. Maturo, a running back, wide receiver and cornerback, was the biggest offensive contributor on this year's team. He finished the season with 25 touchdowns and over 2,000 all-purpose yards.
“It means a lot,” Zach told the Portland Press Herald. “... it’s not all me, though. It’s my teammates, my linemen. They’re the ones that made it happen.”
The majority of Zach’s contribution on offense was through running the ball, as 23 of his touchdowns were scored on runs, and 1,264 of his yards were gained on the ground.
Zach also was a big contributor on defense and blocked a punt in the state championship game. Zach also returned punts, and though he only returned one punt for a touchdown, he accumulated 604 total return yards. Zach also was named the Maine Gatorade Player of the Year.
“Zach did a fantastic job this year. He is very deserving of his postseason accolades,” Coach Kevin Cooper said.
The last time a Bonny Eagle player won the Fitzpatrick Trophy was in 2008 when Nate Doehler won the award. This year’s winner of the Fitzpatrick Trophy will be announced Jan. 19 at the annual awards banquet.
Scots in it to win it