Crafting a space for students
By Mr. Dan Murphy
Enter the library this year and you'll notice a few new items: signs ["Books: the Original Hand Held Device"] and games, including Bananagram and chess. According to our new and energetic librarian, Erin Deprez, it's part of her effort to make the library a vibrant and welcoming place where "people can feel safe."
Ms. Deprez did not always know that she wanted to be a librarian. In fact she began her studies by majoring in digital sculpture and media at MECA, the Maine College of Art. However, at More College of Art in Philadelphia, a work-study job led to a change in plans. When she was assigned to the library, "I immediately loved it . . . I worked there all four years through college and I immediately looked for another library to work in."
She pursued her library certification and then a masters degree in Library Science at Clarion University in Pennsylvania and has worked as a librarian ever since, declaring "I really love being a librarian. I love what I do."
Part of what makes her love the library is the opportunity to learn new things as she helps students and staff on their own journeys of discovery. She is a life-long learner and not just from books. At present she's learning to play the banjo and the ukelele.
While she is new to the high school, she is not new to the district or to teaching. For the last few years she worked at George E. Jack and Hollis Elementary. Before that she served as the librarian at Biddeford Middle School.
Ms. Deprez still keeps her hand in the arts—literally and figuratively—through her pastime of arts and crafts. She "loves making all kinds" of crafts and continues by both crafting and sharing her love of craftmaking with her own children, ages 3, 6, and 12. In fact, she has a room devoted to crafts.
Of course, this love of crafts has helped her craft a more welcoming space in our own library.
Teaching English as a second language
By James Arbour
Mrs. Ana Abbott has taken the role of MSAD 6’s new ESL teacher this year and has been enjoying the experience.
Mrs. Abbott attended St Joseph's College where she majored in psychology and minored in sociology. She wanted to become a school counselor, hence the choice of major and minor.
Afterwards she went to the University of Southern Maine for their masters program for school counselling. Just this summer she was able to get her masters in TESOL (Teaching English to speakers of other languages).
Many here at the high school will remember Mrs. Abbott from the middle school, where she worked as a Spanish teacher. Although she wasn't fully certified for the job when she applied, they accepted her on the condition that she would go back to school to take foreign language courses.
“Little did I know that I would love it and I'd be teaching Spanish for 20 years,” Mrs. Abbott stated.
She said that she enjoys being able to see everyone again now that she's at the high school, and seeing them “just growing up so quickly.”
Mrs. Abbott now works with kids from across the district who are in the same boat she was in. Mrs. Abbott’s first language was Spanish, and she had to become bilingual at a very young age. After she was born, her family moved to Venezuela before moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she stayed from kindergarten to senior year in high school.
Mrs. Abbott traveled a lot when she was a child and traveled around the world seven times on a ship. She wants to make it easier for everyone to be able to speak fluent English and not have language be a barrier they cannot get through.
Outside of school, Mrs. Abbott really enjoys walking through the woods and visiting the beach. She also likes to spend her time with family and friends. If she had the money she would like to travel a little more than she is able to.
Mrs. Abbott is a big believer in the importance of travel as a way to broaden your perspective.
"If you get the opportunity to travel, travel! Seeing other parts of the world opens your eyes and often not only gives you a better appreciation for others, but also for yourself, your family, and community as well,” she says.
While her role has changed this year, she continues to love being part of the Bonny Eagle community.
Mrs. Abbott would like everyone to know that “if you ever come across a person who doesn't speak English as a first language, be kind, be helpful and try to get to know them. Appreciate all of our similarities as well as differences," she says.
So far, so good for new Spanish teacher
By Brody Donahue
Mr. Jaime Alonso was a business owner until COVID-19 hit. His business was to bring children and their families overseas to play soccer. The pandemic and
its travel restrictions made this impossible, so he switched to teaching.
While in some ways he misses his former occupation, he was surprised to find that teaching Spanish has made him feel more free.
"When school is over you leave it at school, but having your own business
you always have something to work on even if you're at home,” he explains.
Mr. Alonso is from the city of San Sebastian, Spain, but has lived in Maine now for 23 years. Even though this is his first year, Mr. Alonso really enjoys teaching. He says his favorite part of teaching is “ being a mentor to the students. I love having relationships with the kids.”
Outside of teaching Mr. Alonso likes to take walks with his three dogs: two Corgis and a German Shepherd. He also likes to play golf and spend time with his wife and three children.
They've found their niche at BE
By Emily Bell
After working in multiple careers, and traveling around the country, Coach Pal Covie has found that being a counselor is the most rewarding career. They’ve been a counselor for almost three years, and will be the counselor for the Class of 2024 this year. They feel they’ve found their perfect career.
“I love hearing everyone’s stories,” Coach Covie remarked during our interview. They found that working with everyone, not just students, is the best thing about their job.
Coach Covie came out in 2017 as nonbinary and uses the pronouns "they, their and them." Additionally, instead of using "Mr.," "Mrs.," or "Ms.," Covie uses the term "Coach," as they used to coach women's basketball, and that’s the name that they’re used to being called.
Coach Covie's journey to Bonny Eagle High School started early in their life, before they moved to Vermont. Coach Covie grew up in Rockport, Maine. During middle and high school they loved writing poems and, for a little while, wanted to become an author.
After high school, they went to Bates College and majored in English, with a focus in creative writing. After college, they moved to Vermont and started working at The Skinny Pancake, a restaurant that only makes crépes. They also met their wife in Vermont, spending seven weeks on a cross-country road trip together for their honeymoon.
When it was time to end their trip, they came back to Maine. However, Bonny Eagle wasn’t the first place Coach Covie came to. Coach Covie actually worked at a cafe called “The Works” in Portland before deciding to apply for a job at Bonny Eagle Middle School.
Something that seems to make Coach Covie more welcoming to younger adults questioning their sexuality or gender is the fact of being in the LGBTQ+ community.
“Representation is important.” Coach Covie says. They didn’t always know about the community as a child, but when they heard of the term “non-binary,” they knew it was a perfect fit for them. “A light bulb went on,” Coach Covie explained.
As of last year and this year, Coach Covie has had to get to know both the high school and the middle school fairly quickly. After interning with Sarah Otis, a counselor at the middle school, Coach Covie switched to the high school.
Bringing Algebra to life for his students
By Holly Zacharek
Mr. Andrew Price joins the ranks of fulltime staff this year as an Algebra teacher, but this isn't his first time at the high school. Mr. Price is an alumnus of the Bonny Eagle community and has been here at the high school for the past three years. Among other things, he worked with students last year as a remote-learning instructor.
Mr. Price was born and raised in Buxton and attended the middle school and high school. He chose to work here because he loves the Bonny Eagle community and he couldn’t be happier about getting a job in the districtr.
“Being an alumnus, I’ve always been Bonny Eagle proud and I was happy to start working in the district. I started out as a substitute and I was eventually a long-term sub and then landed in the position I’m in now," he explains. "I’m fortunate to have stayed here and I’m really drawn just from my experience growing up."
Mr. Price attended the University of Maine at Farmington where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in middle-level math and social studies. He says that he’s always wanted to be a math teacher ever since he was in second grade.
One of the many reasons that Mr. Price chose to teach Algebra is, as he states, “By teaching mostly Algebra, I get the privilege of teaching students the language of math. From cashiering at Hannaford to studying physical sciences — the language of how the world works can many times be explained through Algebra. It’s great to be able to always have some principle or topic I can relate back to real life with my students.”
When he's not in school, Mr. Price is all about spending time outdoors. His outdoor activities include kayaking, hiking, biking, and playing with his dog, River, who is a beagle.
Mr. Price says that he wouldn’t want to be working anywhere else but here with all of us.
“I’m really glad to be here. I’m just really happy. It’s an honest and true happiness to be part of this community and know all the people and see all the people that I [saw] down the hall years ago.”