Friday, February 19, 2021

Riding To The Top salutes volunteer and horse for outstanding service

Every year PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) selects regional winners in a variety of categories who demonstrate extraordinary service and dedication to the field of equine assisted services. This year two of Riding To The Top’s team members were selected as Region 1 (all of New England and eastern maritime Canada provinces) winners. Pat Niboli, was named the Region I Volunteer of the Year, and Luke, one of RTT trustworthy Haflingers, was named the Region 1 Horse of the Year.

Riding To The Top is a Premier Accredited Center with PATH Intl.—the organization that advocates for equine assisted services and sets industry standards for safe and ethical human-equine interactions.

Riding to The Top team member Pat Niboli of
Windham has been honored as the Region I 
Volunteer of the Year and Luke, a 27-year-old
Haflinger gelding, was named Region 1 Horse 
of the Year by the Professional Association of
Therapeutic Horsemanship International.
SUBMITTED PHOTO 
 Pat Niboli of Windham has volunteered at Riding To The Top for more than 10 years. She is a dedicated and passionate advocate for RTT assisting in the barn, working in lessons (both therapeutic horseback riding and carriage driving), exercising and training horses, and leading fundraising efforts. Niboli is a friend to all and she strives to recognize the best in every person. She has been extraordinary through thick and thin and shows up in snowstorms, during pandemics and lends a hand with many special projects.

RTT Volunteer Coordinator, Nick Doria, said she is reliable and versatile.

“Pat is one of Riding to the top’s most dedicated volunteers, she is always ready to lend a hand wherever help is needed,” Doria said.

Luke is a 27-year-old Haflinger Gelding and has been a member of the RTT herd for nearly 15 years. Luke is an amazing horse (actually a pony, but don’t tell him that); steady and calm for those needing a lot of support, and responsive yet challenging for emerging independent riders.

His versatility is matched by a larger-than-life personality that endears him to his riders, volunteers and instructors.

According to Kristin Meaney, PATH Intl. Certified Instructor and RTT Equine Manager, Luke is a perfect fit for RTT and its clients.

“Luke has given confidence and happiness to countless riders and is adored and trusted by all of our instructors and volunteers. This award is well deserved, and we are so proud of him,” Meaney said.

Next, Niboli and Luke join all of the Regional winners as they move on to the International competition, with the winners announced in October.

Founded in 1993, Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center’s (RTT) mission is enhancing health and wellness through equine assisted services. RTT is a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International).

Located in Windham, RTT is the state’s only year-round PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center solely dedicated to serving people with disabilities through equine assisted services. RTT is a community-based nonprofit, receives no federal or state funding and provides scholarships to more than 60 percent of its clients.

Currently visitors at the farm are limited due to COVID-19.

For more information about client services, volunteering, or making a gift, please visit www.ridingtothetop.org or call 207-892-2813. <

Friday, February 12, 2021

Hands on the historical record: Seventh graders display a burning desire to showcase and share Windham history

By Walter Lunt

“It’s not just learning history facts; it’s learning while having fun doing activities.” Sophie Villanueva

Grasping wood burning pens and leaning intently over their work on a creative map project, junior historians at Windham Middle School plot and mark places of historic interest on small sheets of pine board.

Such is an almost typical day, after school, in the middle school library where the History Club meets each Tuesday, masked and socially distanced. Seventh graders Delia Tomkus, Aeden Leighton, Ty Stahle and Sophie Villanueva engage each week with co-leaders Paula Sparks and Brian Brigham to explore topics in Windham history, and other far-ranging subjects like wars and Victorian Santa Claus.

History Club member Ty Stahle
displays his half-completed
wood-burned map of Windham. The
finished project will include
locations and labels of historic sites.
COURTESY PHOTO
“(The club) reinforces what they are learning in Social Studies,” says Sparks, “…it provides an opportunity for them to talk about history from today’s perspective.” And how what was going in other places influenced the way people in Windham lived. A study of Victorian times, for example, spawned a discussion of a famous letter sent by a child to the New York Sun newspaper in 1897. Following a discussion of “Yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus,” and how it prompted a slew of ‘letters to the editor’ from other children, History Club member Aeden Leighton solemnly observed how “…it was sad knowing what kids were asking for (back then), and how little some of them had and wanted.”

Delia Tomkus liked making the wood-burned maps and learning about historical places in Windham. Using the town maps found in the history back packs at Windham Library, the students placed carbon paper (historical in itself) between the map and the wood surface, traced the outline, wood-burned some of the geographical features, added paint to bodies of water and applied a natural stain. 

Later, they plan to identify and label historical sites (old fort, powder mills, Quaker district, etc.) utilizing push-pins and string.

The History Club is in its second year at WMS. Sparks says this year has been a real challenge. Some kids miss sessions because of quarantine, “Any time there is an active case (of the virus), anyone determined to have had close contact must quarantine.” Due to a rotating schedule, half of the student population can attend in-school classes on Mondays and Wednesdays; the other half attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So, as Sparks points out, “…the only kids who attend are those who come to school on Tuesdays. (I have) no way of knowing if the lack of a late bus or no transportation on a non-school day impacts who can participate.”

Upcoming projects and activities will include more (Windham) trivia games and crosswords, constructing pinhole cameras to record modern history and a chance to showcase artifacts and the class’ handiwork in a display case at the school library.

The History Club is sponsored by the Windham Historical Society. <

Friday, February 5, 2021

Tenny River shoreland to be conserved by Loon Echo Land Trust

Loon Echo Land Trust is conserving 25 acres of forested land along the eastern shore of the Tenny River in Raymond.

While remaining privately owned by the Pine Tree Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the newly conserved land is legally protected by a conservation easement held by Loon Echo Land Trust. The property is managed by Pine Tree Council as a part of Camp Hinds, a wilderness camp in existence for more than 85 years.

The protected land includes 900 feet along the river, as well as several streams and a wetland. The conservation of the 25 acres protects the water quality of the Tenny River and the waters it connects to, preserves the forested river corridor for nature observation and education as well as low-impact boating and fishing, and allows for habitat preservation and sustainable forest management. The land and river provide a rich habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife.

A kayaker paddles on the Tenny River last fall in
Raymond, opposite from the shoreline just
conserved by the Loon Echo Land Trust.
SUBMITTED PHOTO
The terms of the perpetual conservation easement, which will run with the land regardless of future ownership, will preserve the quality of the water resources, plant and animal habitat, and scenic character of the property, while also encouraging the use of the property for educational and recreational opportunities managed by Pine Tree Council.

Conserving this land is part of an effort to protect the Tenny River that began six years ago. In 2014, LELT worked with community members and PTC to permanently protect 28 acres of forest and nearly 800 feet of shoreline on the Tenny River. The newly conserved land is directly adjacent, creating over 50 acres of contiguous conservation land and 1,700 feet of shoreline on the river, protected forever.

“Thanks to the foresight of local landowners and community members, the Tenny River remains almost entirely undeveloped, a rare occurrence in this area of the State,” said LELT Executive Director Matt Markot. “The conservation of this land ensures future generations will enjoy kayak paddles and the excitement of landing a fish on a wild and scenic Tenny River.”

Just 45 minutes north of Portland, the Tenny River allows boaters to experience an undeveloped river habitat. The river is bookended at one end by Panther Pond and the PTC’s Camp Hinds, and at the other by Route 85 and Crescent Lake. A public boat launch on the south end of Crescent Lake provides access for boaters; lake residents and visitors travel through the Tenny to enjoy its natural beauty and to explore the lakes on either end.

The protection of the Tenny River corridor in turn protects the water quality of Panther Pond, Sebago Lake and the Casco Bay watershed. The river and its forested banks have been identified by both the Town of Raymond’s Open Space Plan and the conservation partnership Sebago Clean Waters as a high priority for protection.

SCW, a collaborative of nine organizations, including LELT, contributed funds toward the long-term management, stewardship, and enforcement of the easement. The funds are the result of support from forward-thinking Portland-area businesses—such as Woodard & Curran and Allagash Brewing Company—that recognize the importance of clean Sebago Lake water for their communities and businesses to thrive.

The conservation easement was made possible by the Pine Tree Council, a group of Panther Pond landowners, the support of many individual donors, and Sebago Clean Waters. If you’re interested in learning about the conservation options available for your land, contact LELT Executive Director Matt Markot at 207-647-4352 or by email at execdir@lelt.org.

Loon Echo Land Trust is a member supported, non-profit land trust that works to protect the land and natural resources of the northern Sebago Lake region for future generations. Loon Echo conserves more than 8,000 acres of land and manages 32 miles of public trails in the towns of Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago. For more information on Loon Echo, local trails and preserves, or conserving your land, visit loonecholandtrust.org.

Sebago Clean Waters is a partnership between the Portland Water District and eight local, regional, and national conservation organizations working collaboratively to protect water quality, community well-being, a vibrant economy, and fish and wildlife habitat in the Sebago region through voluntary forest conservation and stewardship. For more information visit sebagocleanwaters.org. <

Friday, January 29, 2021

Before the memory fades: Restoring the Presumpscot

The remarkable journey of a local non-profit is now a book – a good read 

By Walter Lunt

For those inspired by history and advocates for conservation, there’s a new book: River Voices – Perspectives on the Presumpscot, written and compiled by Robert M. Sanford and William S. Plumley, with Michael Shaughnessy as art editor. 

Initially formed as a rebuttal group against the construction of a large de-inking and recycling facility near the banks of the Presumpscot River on Gambo Road in Windham in the early 1990s, Friends of the Presumpscot River (FOPR) started out as a loose-knit collection of neighbors fearful of a new polluting industry that would bring trucks hauling chemicals over their narrow, dead-end road (estimated one every seven minutes), a 90-foot-high smokestack and, most worrisome, the project’s one-million-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plant that would pour 750,000 gallons of effluent into the river. 

The 'River Voices' book is available in
paperback on Amazon.com for $26.88.
COURTESY PHOTO
With their rallying cry SAVE OUR RIVER, the group soon attracted a diverse band of supporters, including life-long Windham residents, newcomers to town and the politically active. Principal opposition came from the local press and from town officials who courted the proposed industrial facility as a way to increase the town’s tax base, utilizing TIF (tax increment financing). What followed was beyond the imagination of those early activists. FOPR not only prevailed in its attempt to stop the facility but went on to fight for better water quality and fish passage along the river’s 25-mile flow which was restrained by nine dam impoundments between the river’s source at Sebago Lake and its confluence with Casco Bay in Falmouth. To that end, FOPR would engage countless federal and state agencies charged with environmental protections and dam relicensing. In 2005-06, in a battle before the United States Supreme Court that had legal ramifications for hydropower interests and environmental organizations nationwide, FOPR participated in a case involving water quality classification in federal dam relicensing. Ruling 9-0 in favor of the state of Maine and FOPR, the high court ruled that dams can cause chemical and biological changes to a stream and that states (here, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection) had the authority to issue water quality certification. The ruling went against SDW/Sappi papermill of Westbrook, the owner of five hydro-dams, in their effort to limit certain conditions for dam relicensing renewals. 

Many residents, living today, remember the Presumpscot of the mid-20th century. Its downstream course carried the by-products of the S.D. Warren Company’s paper making process. The writer recalls working an all-night shift at a radio station on Warren Avenue in the 1960s. On one particularly odorous June overnight, a listener phoned in to say, “Only in Westbrook, Maine can a beautiful spring night smell like feet.” He then requested the song Dirty Water, by the Standells. 

In those days, when traveling over the Riverton Bridge, one could observe puffy white cakes, resembling giant dumplings, floating on the Presumpscot’s dark brown current. A truly dead river, it was the exclusive effluent- carrier of the biggest employer in town. According to River Voices, no one faced the river. Homes and businesses fronted the street; trash bins and storage areas were reserved for the riverside. 

Central to the premise of River Voices is the question: why is this work important? In addition to FOPR’s remarkable history, the book, comprised of over 30 voices (perspectives), offers a comprehensive story of the Presumpscot River, from its geologic history to the 2000s, and its centuries-old relationship with humans. The reader learns how the river acquired its meandering course and about the origins of the geological Presumpscot Formation. 

Ethnohistorian Alvin Morrison discusses Native American settlements along the Presumpscot, beginning with sakamos (chief) Skitterygusset’s friendly and welcoming greeting of English explorer Christopher Levett in 1623 at the “Presumpscot First Falls” (later Smelt Hill in Falmouth). Morrison documents how this first encounter between English and Natives was a lost opportunity for lasting peace. Similarly, 100 years later Chief Polin’s efforts to assimilate the two cultures would be met with push-back. Morrison’s fair and unbiased account of Windham’s (New Marblehead’s) vicious confrontations between settler and Indian is in stark contrast to Windham history books written by Smith and Dole. Morrison also documents the true name of the local Presumpscot tribe: he maintains not Sokoki and not Rockameecook. Due to so-called Dawnland Diaspora; that is, movements and cultural mixing caused by natural disasters, diseases or warfare, “…the best we can do is to consider them simply as Presumpscot River Wabanaki…” (the all-encompassing term relating to all Maine Native tribes). 

Additional chapters in River Voices are devoted to the Quaker influence of Presumpscot development, Maurice Whitten’s exhaustive research on the Gambo Powder Mill, recreational opportunities on the river and its tributaries, fascinating information on the life-cycles and biology of diadromous fishes of the Presumpscot, exquisite and detailed drawings, literature and art uniquely related to the river’s mills and industrial history, as well as its aesthetic qualities. 

Today, according to River Voices co-author William Plumley, FOPR is working to help raise the classification of water quality from Saccarappa Falls in the center of Westbrook to the Casco Bay estuary from Class C to Class B, a higher, cleaner standard. 

FOPR and other environmental organizations are leading the effort to take the Presumpscot from an industrialized river to eco-tourism. Regarding the significance of River Voices, Plumley sums it up this way: “(The book) provides a broad appreciation of an iconic Maine river and many of the ways the Presumpscot influences life in its watershed. ‘The river to which I belong,’ as Chief Polin described it, is the life blood of the watershed’s whole environment, and it also plays vital roles in our culture, community and economy. Balancing all this for the greater good can lead to a sustainable, symbiotic relationship with the river that benefits all of these systems, human and ecological.” 

Regarding which way the future flows for the Presumpscot, witness the River Walk in Westbrook. It faces the river. < 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Virtual production nearing by Windham Center Stage Theater

By Ed Pierce

William Shakespeare’s comedy “As You Like It” contains the line “All the world’s a stage” and those words have been taken to heart by members of the Windham Center Stage Theater this year during the pandemic.

Despite not being able to host a live audience for performances because of COVID-19 restrictions, through the dedicated efforts of crew and performers, the theater’s annual production of “A Winter Wonderland Celebration” will be available for viewing online Feb. 1 through Feb. 6, 2021. Viewing will be free, but donations are encouraged to WCST Scholarship Fund for graduating high school seniors.  

Some of this year's 'A
Winter Wonderland
Celebration' performers
include, from left, 
Maddie Hancock, Elle
Hancock and Diane
Hancock. PHOTO
COUTESY OF
DARNELL STUART 
The virtual evening of entertainment features songs, dance and performances for all ages and was filmed earlier this month at the Gorham Arts Alliance.

“Our goal was to make a PBS-type holiday special using winter-themed local art as transition pieces,” said Rachel Scala, co-chair of Windham Center Stage Theater. “Viewers can expect to see 15 to 20 different acts, including the Maine State Ballet, theatrical skits, and lots of singing. It’s really an amalgamation of old school acts that the entire family will enjoy.”

Windham Center Stage Theater is a community theater that encourages people to participate in all aspects of theatrical arts in an environment that is safe and welcoming.

Because the theater’s home venue at Windham Town Hall was unavailable, the move was made to film the production and air it online.

“This is the first big online virtual event we’ve ever put together and it posed a challenge for us,” Scala said. “We didn’t know a lot about videography, which platform to use for this and all of the technical issues associated with doing this.”

Scala said that because of its success presenting this show virtually this year, the theater is looking at similar opportunities going forward during the pandemic.

“We really want to give performers a chance to show what they can do,” she said. “This presentation of ‘A Winter Wonderland Celebration’ is also a reminder for our community that Windham Center Stage Theater is still here and we’re not in the dark. We’re grateful to the Gorham Arts Alliance for their collaboration on this project.”

Many of the performers appeared in last year’s “A Winter Wonderland Celebration” production, with Maine State Ballet being new to the show this time.

Videography and editing for “A Winter Wonderland Celebration” was done by Evan Rivard and the production was directed by Darnell Stuart.

Andrew Linzell Shepard, a Windham Center Stage Theater board member and a 2016 graduate of Windham High School, said he’s anxious to see the final version of “A Winter Wonderland Celebration” production.

“I worked on the light and sound when it was filmed,” he said. “I’m really excited to see how the public will react to the wide variety of performances, music, skits and a cappela groups.”

Shepard moved back to Windham after graduating from Hampshire College in Massachusetts last year and said he was eager to help because the annual production serves as a fundraiser to provide a scholarship for drama students.

“Even though this event is free, and donations are optional, it’s an opportunity to help a graduating senior receive a scholarship,” he said.

Working on the production also helped foster Shepard’s technical abilities.

“I’ve learned a lot and added a technical level,” Shepard said. “It was an opportunity for me to explore bringing people together on stage, using different spaces to record the show and to see how it enhances the theater.”

Windham Center Stage Theater’s usual home for community productions is in the auditorium at Windham Town Hall and seats about 100. All activities for the theater were halted in April 2020 because of the pandemic and this will be the first production staged by theater members since then.

To view “A Winter Wonderland Celebration” online from Feb. 1 to Feb. 6, or to make a financial donation to the WCST Scholarship fund, visit www.windhamtheater.org <  


Friday, January 15, 2021

A matter of historical record: the Kennard neighborhood and the rotary (Final in a series)

By Walter Lunt

When considering early Windham history, discussion often centers around the founding families of New Marblehead, the South Windham area or even Popeville. But one part of town that usually receives only scant attention in books and articles, yet contributed greatly to the unfolding heritage of this lakes region municipality, is the Kennard neighborhood near Windham Center, or the rotary (The Windham Eagle – Dec. 4, 18, 31, 2020). As discussed earlier, from Elias LeGrow’s pitchfork confrontation with the tax collector during post-Revolutionary times, to the creation of the Fosters Corner rotary in 1951, early farm families and merchants displayed extraordinary perseverance and creative ingenuity in creating a tradition of high character, hard work and fraternity.

Local historians differ on who first settled the Kennard neighborhood, but there is good evidence that It may have been Elias “pitchfork” LeGrow. The reader may recall that he had settled in the vicinity before joining the fight against the British in the Revolutionary War. Writing in 1904, citizen historian Isaac R. Jordan, utilizing “traditional” sources, recounted a story about LeGrow’s wife as she worked the Windham farm and cared for their children during his absence.

Before there was a traffic circle, this intersection
was known as Morrell's Corner. This copy of an
old post card shows, left, the Pleasant River Grange
Hall before it was moved several yards up an
embankment to accommodate the straightening
of Route 302; center, the Seavey store (formerly
Morrell's grocery store); right, the Pleasant River 
House, a boarding house. During the 1800s and
even into the 20th century this corner was often
referred to as Windham Center.
COURTESY OF THE WINDHAM
HISTORICAL SOCIETY  
“...(she) must have depended for their daily bread largely upon corn which she raised herself. Tradition informs us that she (walked) to the mill with a grist (batch) of corn on her back. One time, getting short of food, she started off with a half bushel of corn for the far away mill (at ‘horse-beef’ or Mallison Falls). It was early winter and very cold; while she was gone a heavy snow came on and covered her forest pathway from sight, the snow nearly to her knees. She reached a spring and (drank furiously). Later, upon reaching home, she opened the door and fell completely exhausted.”

Mrs. LeGrow’s nearly six-mile journey “was performed by the aid of spotted (marked) trees,” and she often remarked that she hurried during the return trip because there was “most always a bear come to drink at (a certain) brook” along her path.

Commenting on his story, historian Jordan wrote, “(…these were) days that tried men’s souls, and women’s souls too.”

Jordan estimated the Kennard district covered about 1500 acres, and by the 1800s had “the wealthiest and best farms in town.”

One of the next settlers in the district was Samuel Kennard, for whom the early settlement was named. He came from Kittery to Falmouth (Portland). Unhappy with his new surroundings, Jordan says “…he loaded his house frame, which was already hewn, on an ox-team and moved to this place (Windham). His wife, on horseback, brought their child, Elijah, in her arms (about 1776). Like many of these early settlers, the Kennards were Quakers, so would not have served in the war. The Kennards would later have three more boys.

Around this time, a family named Varney had settled near Windham Hill on the road today named Hall Road, the only farm on the road at that time. They had four girls. And as was typical of the time, the four Kennard boys married the four Varney girls.

Apparently, the Varney farm was the jewel of the neighborhood. Jordan described its features this way: “(It) had a large and well-filled barn (and) frontage on the road for nearly a mile from his road to the Windham Hill road…nearly 100 acres. I have been informed that he used to keep two yokes of oxen, nearly the same number of steers, and a nice herd of cows, besides young stock, also two horses, and cut enough hay to keep them. This farm was a model of thrift and neatness. Fences and gates were all in trim order…they (also) were plough (plow) makers and were considered fine workmen.”

One of the best-known farmers in later years was Lott Morrell. His spread totaled nearly 200 acres and was located right where the Fosters Corner rotary is today. George Hall, who was born in the neighborhood in 1938 and is the proprietor of Hall Implements, knew the Morrell’s and recalls fondly their farming expertise. An astute historian, Hall has written a memoir of his knowledge and experiences in the Kennard neighborhood.

“I have memories of Lott and Annabelle who built a nice home with barn attached named Tri-Gon Farm. The buildings were taken down in the 1980s, which is now the location of Hancock Lumber (and) Mercy Hospital quick care and health services. In the area of the rotary’s location there were fields used for hay and (situated squarely inside today’s traffic circle) a blacksmith shop” operated by Lott Morrell. “I recall seeing the fields cut for hay with Lott’s 1936 John Deere tractor and an old homemade tractor used for pulling the hay rake. A neighbor, Warren Thomes drove the vintage tractor made from used automobile parts. The hay was hauled to the barn to feed Morrell’s animals.”

Old-timers still remember Annabelle’s spectacular flower garden of the ‘30s and 40’s directly across the road from the Morrell’s farmstead. The grounds were an ornamental landmark of the time; adding to its striking beauty were several used mill stones and a granite watering trough.

The family of Warren Thomes, the vintage tractor driver, operated a small store with gas pumps on the corner of (today’s) Lott’s Drive and route 302. After several owners, and now closed, it remains there today.

One of Hall’s tastiest memories involves Seavey’s Red & White Store, which opened in 1941 (The Windham Eagle – photo, page 10 – Dec. 18, 2020). Owners Clyde and Helen (Hall)

Seavey sold groceries….and ice cream cones. “My parents always gave me a few cents, knowing it would buy an ice cream. Us kids would wait until Clyde was busy at the counter so Helen would dip. (She) would always give us a larger scoop of ice cream.”

Kennard neighborhood dairy cows have contributed to Oakhurst Dairy since the 1940s, and farming continues in the area to this day. George Hall’s parents, Stanley V. and Mary (Libby) Hall, bought land and farmed in the area in the 1940s, and purchased land around the rotary from the heirs of Lott Morrell in the early 1950s. They built a large barn at their home across from Lott’s Drive and for many years raised Holsteins. In order to move his cows from the barn to a grazing field across route 202 on the rotary’s east side, an underground tunnel beneath the road was built. About 40 cows accessed the tunnel, often twice a day. The tunnel, unused, remains there today.

Stanley Hall farmed all his life and found time to represent Windham as both a selectman and state legislator. As a teen in the 1930s, he milked cows for a neighbor before school, earning $2.50 a week. The late Charles Legrow, local historian and one of the founding members of the Windham Historical Society once said of Hall, “In my opinion, he is one of Windham’s most successful businessmen.”

As referenced in our earlier installment, there may be more changes coming to the rotary. According to the transportation analysis division of the Maine Department of Transportation, due to lengthy rush-hour back-ups at both 302 rotary entrances, right turn “by-passes” will be built to accommodate traffic accessing route 202. Vehicles approaching the traffic circle from the north and headed west (toward South Windham) will simply take the by-pass road without having to enter the rotary. Vehicles traveling north and headed toward Gray could also access a by-pass road. Construction may begin later this year or in early 2022. <


Friday, January 8, 2021

Windham teacher wins big in Dunkin’ sweepstakes

A Windham teacher and her school received a huge surprise recently when Megan Juhase-Nehez was recently honored as a grand prize winner in the “Dunkin’ Raise a Cup to Teachers” sweepstakes. 

Juhase-Nehez, a special education teacher at Manchester School, was chosen from more than 6,000 sweepstakes nominations in Maine for Dunkin’s grand prize of $5,000, a new computer, free Dunkin’ coffee for a year, and $10 Dunkin’ gift cards for her students. Manchester School was also awarded $5,000 by Dunkin.’

 

Megan Juhase-Nehez has been
a teacher for 13 years and has
taught special education at
Manchester School for the past
three years. She has been honored
as one of two 'Dunkin' Raise a Cup
to Teachers' sweepstakes winners
in Maine this year. 
SUBMITTED PHOTO   

The promotion asked Mainers to nominate deserving teachers in their community to help shine a light on the invaluable role they play in children’s lives both in and out of the classroom. Juhase-Nehez was nominated by Casey Melanson of Windham whose son had the teacher in her class last year.

 

“She is the kind of teacher that figures out what works best for each student and then adapts her teaching to them,” Melanson said about Juhase-Nehez. “She gave him the confidence to know he could do anything he put his mind to. She always has her students’ well-being in mind and encourages them to aim high.”

 

Overall, Juhase-Nehez has been a teacher for 13 years and has taught special education at Manchester School for three years. She says the new computer will be used by her children for remote learning sessions.

 

As a vegan, she said that she loves Dunkin’s Beyond Breakfast Sausage patty and Dunkin’s new oatmilk latte.

 

Juhase-Nehez was one of two “Dunkin’ Raise a Cup to Teachers” grand prize winners in Maine. Dunkin’ also awarded more than 400 weekly $50 Dunkin’ gift card prizes to nominated Maine teachers and their nominators. And Dunkin’ also selected 20 different Maine teachers to receive free Dunkin’ coffee for a year on World Teachers’ Day in October.

 

Founded in 1950, Dunkin' is America's favorite all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods. Dunkin' is a market leader in the hot regular/decaf/flavored coffee, iced regular/decaf/flavored coffee, donut, bagel and muffin categories.

 

Dunkin' has earned a No. 1 ranking for customer loyalty in the coffee category by Brand Keys for 14 years running. The company has more than 12,600 restaurants in 40 countries worldwide. Dunkin' is part of the Inspire Brands family of restaurants.

 

Follow Dunkin’ on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to learn about other sweepstakes, holiday menu items, or promotions on the Dunkin’ app.

 

For more information, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com. <