Friday, January 31, 2020

Student of the week: Rosie Dumont

Rosie Dumont, age seven, is a second-grade student at Windham Primary School and is the Windham Eagle’s Student of the Week. She states that she enjoys dancing, watching “Just Add Magic” and playing with her unicorns in her spare time. Her favorite subject is writing, and her favorite holiday is Christmas.

“I chose Rosie as student of the week because she works extra hard at her academics, loves to learn and helps make the school positive by following the rules and often smiling,” stated Dr. ,Rhoads, Principal.

Rosie said that trying to understand things and figure out answers is what makes learning fun for her. The individual who has meant the most to her in her education so far is Mrs. Young. When she grows up, she wants to be a veterinarian and a farmer.

Rosie lives at home with her Mom, Dad, two sisters a dog named KB and a cat named King Louis.

February is American Legion Americanism Month

By David Tanguay

Americanism, one of the Legion’s four pillars, is the love of America, loyalty to its ideals and institutions, allegiance to its flag, willingness to defend it against all enemies - foreign and domestic - and a desire to advance the blessings of liberty to future generations. The passage of Resolution No. 163 at the 1960 National Convention in Miami, Fla., established February as Americanism Month. During this annual observance, we should all reflect upon what it means to be an American and rededicate ourselves and our posts to taking action that will uphold the principle of “100 percent Americanism.”

The American Legion Field-Allen Post 148 in Windham supports the precepts of the Legion’s four
pillars. The Post has an Americanism Officer, David Horne, who annually coordinates and supports a variety of programs and projects that reflect the Americanism principals. The pillar is divided into youth programs, flag programs, support for veterans, and community outreach.

Under youth programs, the Post supports the annual Boys State program which meets each June at Thomas College and tutors high school juniors in the process of local and state government. The Post currently has funds to support four boys this year with scholarships. The Unit Auxiliary supports the same precepts for Girls State.  More to follow on subsequent articles for this year.

The Post annually selects a male and female student from the senior class at Windham High School for their leadership. The recipients receive a leadership “School” medallion, pin and certificate and is awarded a modest scholarship for use in their education.

Legion baseball, youth air rifle program and boy scout activities are also under the purview of the Americanism program and are supported by the Post. 

Each June 14th, Flag Day, the Post liaisons hold a Flag Retirement Ceremony with local Boy Scout Troop 805, Windham. The “Field-Allen” Legion baseball team carries the Post name and colors. 

Lastly, the Post collaborates with the WHS Jr. Cadets Corps under the leadership of Dan Wirtz to sponsor a youth air rifle training program. It is anticipated that follow-up training will be offered to scout groups and other individuals based on interest.

The Field-Allen Post also supports flag etiquette and training programs for various organizations and schools. If there is interest in these training opportunities, give the Post a call.

The American flag, the symbol of our great country, is key to the precepts of the Americanism Program. The Post goes to great lengths to recognize the American flag. In 2005 the Post undertook an Americanism program to place 100 US flags on the utility poles on the highways and byways of Windham. 

In May of this year, the Post will be undertaking that same goal for the 15th consecutive year. Now, a little more senior group of Post members will climb ladders and place Old Glory, one more time, on these poles around town.

There are also flag placements in the cemeteries. Windham has 31 recognized cemeteries in the borders of the town. Of those, 21 are known to have interned in them the remains of our fallen veterans.  Some are large areas such as Arlington in North Windham. Others are of moderate size such as Chase (Highland Cliff Rd) and Smith (lower River Road with many colonial era and Revolutionary War vets). Most are small, many out of the way, once family plots like the Elder cemetery on lower River Road, set back in the woods with one GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) marked veteran grave from the Civil War.

Each year, teams of local veterans honor their sacred duties to remember their fallen by placing a flag on every know veteran’s grave.

The same holds true in late fall, when, around Pearl Harbor Day, the Post and the community come out to place a simple wreath with a red-white-blue bow on each of the veteran’s graves, a tribute not unlike Wreaths Across America. The Field-Allen Post raises the funds needed during the summer months to purchase the wreaths and bow material. In late November, a Bow Party is held to make the bows and affix them to the wreaths for distribution.

Other programs that directly or indirectly support include blood drives and food drives. The American Legion, on a national level, supports more Red Cross blood drives than any other organization in the country.  The Legion Post does it part by hosting four events a year at the Windham Veterans Center.

The Post sponsors a very successful Vet Coffee Program held each Wednesday at the Windham Veterans Center from 9 a.m. to 11 am. This Vet Coffee is multi-facetted in that it provides an opportunity for local veterans to “drop-in” for a social experience with their peers. It also has a therapeutic element with many of our vets that gives them an opportunity to share experiences in a safe environment.

Additionally, the Post collects food items annually for the local food pantry over Memorial Day weekend and collects food items in support of the Portland VETCENTER food pantry for homeless veterans on a weekly basis at the WVA on Wednesday mornings from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Legion Family Poppy Program, an annual collection of donations is used specifically and exclusively for the support of veterans and their families and active duty service personnel and their families.  When you see that red flower being offered, consider that it is being offered in memory of a veteran and any donations will go 100% to the support of the veterans.

Each Year on Memorial Day the Field-Allen Post 148 coordinates and orchestrates the town of Windham’s Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony at the WHS.  The Post has been doing this for over 25 tears. It starts coordination in February to bring the tribute to our veterans together each year.
Want to be part of the team? Contact the Field-Allen Post Adjutant Dave Tanguay at 892-1306 or see any Post member.

Music with a Mission features Bold Riley in concert Saturday February 8th

On Saturday, February 8th, at 7 p.m., Music with a Mission is proud to kick off its eighth season byBold Riley for an evening of folk music. Bold Riley is a quintet hailing from western Maine, known for full vocal harmonies and uplifting originals. Fiddle, guitar, banjo, accordion, bass, and percussion provide a wide range for listeners. Members Dennis Boyd, Jr., Julia Edwards, John Gunn, Michael Hayashida, and Erin Sampson take turns singing lead, and a strong sense of community drives the energy of their music.
Bold Riley

“We are looking forward to Bold Riley’s return to our Music with a Mission concert series,” said Dr. Richard Nickerson, Minister of Music for NWUC. “After performing here in 2016 and 2018, we’ve received many requests to have them back. We are especially excited to hear music from their 2019 new release, Kinship.”   From their website: “It is family… it is love… it is hope… the music will bring you joy, because that’s what this is all about. Joy, connection, community…”

The Music with a Mission concert series is sponsored by the North Windham Union Church, which donates a portion of the proceeds to area non-profits.  During the first seven seasons, MWAM provided over $65,000 for mission support to the church and other community organizations. Bold Riley has chosen to support Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors with the community proceeds from this concert. Since starting in 2007, Windham Neighbors Helping Neighbors has provided emergency one-time fuel assistance to people in need throughout the community.

Tickets will be sold at the door and are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $5 for students and children.  They are also available online at  The box office opens at 6 p.m. and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m.. The North Windham Union Church is located at 723 Roosevelt Trail in Windham.  For more information please call 892-6142 or email

The Mollyockett Chorus sings in Raymond

Have you heard The Mollyockett Chorus – that imaginative, talented, and often very funny group of singing women from Oxford, Androscoggin, and Cumberland counties?  If you have, you’ll want to hear them again. Their next appearance sponsored by the Raymond Arts Alliance, will be on February 8th, at the Raymond Village Community Church, 27 Main St. in Raymond.

This year’s performance is ‘50s Music and Memories. As the title suggest, the show is a throwback to
The Mollyockett Chorus with Director Simon Smith
songs written and performed in the 1950s. Poodle skirt costumes bring the finishing touches to bring back fond memories for many. And, since much of this music is still played today, it will be familiar to all who are interested in a fun evening of music. The Chorus is under the direction of Simon Smith from Bethel, who has really helped us add spark and depth to our music 

The Mollyockett Chorus began in Norway, Maine, with a core group of eight or ten enthusiastic women. They obtained their charter in 1996 as a chapter of Sweet Adelines International, the world’s largest non-profit music education association for women singers.  Since that time, the chorus has performed all over the tri-county area.  They present shows and “sing-outs” in full costume and make-up and also do choreo routines. They produce shows of their own and have sung with other choruses at Deertrees Theater in Harrison, All-Souls Chapel at Poland Spring, the Denmark Arts Center, the Sawyer Foundation in Greene and in many community settings. In addition, the Mollyockett Chorus sings regularly in nursing homes, churches, and for veteran’s organizations such as the American Legion.

The Chorus sings a combination of upbeat songs, ballads and popular show tunes in four-part a capella harmony, often called "barbershop" style.  Their diverse and entertaining programs often develop a humorous theme, as in this year's show.

In celebration of upcoming Valentine’s Day, Raymond Arts Alliance has also coordinated with the Windham High School Katahdin program to provide a table of Sweetheart’s refreshment in addition to this concert. This group has previously assisted the Raymond Village Community Church in some of the recent Community Meals sponsored by the Church. They utilize a number of resources to provide alternative programming for students, grades 9 through 12. So. Bring your sweetheart and enjoy the music and a special treat!

The Mollyockett Chorus will perform on Saturday, February 8th, at 7 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m. This event is free, however a suggested donation of $10 is appreciated. For more information, go to

A matter of historical record: Maine statehood – Windham disapproves, Raymond supports

By Walter Lunt

The second in a two-part series

Although sometimes linked solely with the Missouri Compromise, Maine statehood was actually 35 years in the making, the result of politics, persuasion, persistence, perspiration and, yes, scandal.
Early on, settlers knew that Maine was geographically and culturally different from Massachusetts proper. As early as 1785, it was manifest that the northern district of Massachusetts, Maine, would someday break away and become a state.
A prosperous world-wide shipping
industry enjoyed certain protections
under the controversial Coasting Law.
Drawing by Jerry Black.

First, there was that pesky political boundary of New Hampshire that separated the two regions. Access to the courts and public records in Boston was a major inconvenience for Mainers.

Also, land speculators from Massachusetts touched a raw nerve with the settlers trying to build inland farms and communities. Federalist politicos in Boston granted huge tracts of land to speculators (often as payment for Revolutionary War debts) who would either resell parcels at inflated prices or eject established settlers who could not pay, in some cases without paying for the improvements made to property. At one point, the situation devolved into armed conflict between the squatters and proprietors.

Particularly irksome to district inhabitants was the patronizing attitudes of the Boston “blue blood elite” leveled toward their northern neighbors, often referring to them as “obscure and ignorant men…lacking the education and talent to govern themselves.”

There was also a notion that the district had become somewhat of a ‘cash cow’ for the mother state. Inflated land valuations and the increased prosperity of shipping from Maine ports bloated coffers in Boston.

Also, before becoming a state, Maine needed clear-cut and definite borders. The eastern boundary with Canada was settled following negotiations with Great Britain. Inland, settlers wanted to expand camps and lumber mills onto lands owned by Native Americans. As a result of agreements with Massachusetts’ officials, the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes sold (or surrendered) tens of thousands of acres that would become farms and logging mills.

By 1797, as described in part one of this series (The Windham Eagle – Jan. 17, 2020) disgruntled Mainers were asking a question: “How could the leaders in Boston know what’s best for people up here?”

Popular votes in Maine on the question of separation had already occurred – one in 1792, and again in 1797. Both had failed.

The opening years of the nineteenth century saw significant increases in both population and prosperity in the vast district of Maine. Led by the popular and politically savvy William King, a merchant capitalist and leader of the Democratic-Republican Party from Bath, a new separatist movement was gaining strength. In 1807 the reinvigorated movement convinced the Massachusetts’ legislative body, the General Court, to allow another popular vote on the matter, the third in 15 years.
While the inland squatter regions favored separation, the rest of Maine did not, losing 9,404 to 3,370. 

Reasons for the failure were hard to pinpoint, but historical hindsight indicates there was lingering concern about the economic loss for Maine shippers that would result from statehood. The nation’s so-called Coasting Law shielded Maine ports from paying certain fees due to the extended coastline with Massachusetts (as detailed in part one). Statehood would have nullified the benefits. Also, Maine was experiencing unfettered prosperity at the time of the separation referendum, and as we might say in modern times, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Neither Windham nor Raymond submitted votes in the 1807 election.

Conventional thinking was that three losses in 15 years should kill the notion of statehood for Maine.
But then came the War of 1812. British forces invaded portions of Maine’s Down East coastline, including Eastport and Castine. Mainers were powerless to defend themselves and looked to Boston to send help. But, as described by Mary Stockwell in her book, “A Journey Through Maine,” “...government leaders in Massachusetts ignored the British attacks…and refused to send help even when President James Madison ordered them to do so…(leading) many people in Maine to question their ties to Massachusetts.”

When 'Lumber was King.' 
Loggers supply the raw material 
for the District of Maine's chief export. 
Drawing by Jerry Black.
In his 1973 book “Maine Becomes A State”, Ronald Banks observed, “No event in all the previous history of the union of Massachusetts and Maine so blatantly revealed the extent to which the interests of Maine could be sacrificed to those of Massachusetts proper…The question was no longer should Maine be separated? But when…”

Leaders of the General Court in Boston found it increasingly difficult to ignore District cries for yet another referendum on separation. By the spring of 1816, one was granted. And although the separationists were victorious by nearly 4000 votes, their greatest fear also was realized: out of 38,000 eligible voters, only 17,000 bothered to vote. Would that influence the General Courts recognition of the referendum results?

The vote also revealed that Maine was now clearly divided between the Federalist coastal towns and the Republican (formerly Democratic-Republican) hinterland – the struggle had become deeply political and party driven. The towns of Windham and Raymond were divided:  Windham voted 15 to 25 against separation while Raymond inhabitants overwhelmingly supported the measure 56 to six.

Because the vote was in favor of separation by a slim majority, yet possibly underrepresented by eligible voters, the General Court decided that a “run-off,” of sorts, would be an appropriate way to settle the matter. Mainers, it was decreed, would conduct another vote with the proviso that separation would be granted only if there was a 55.5% vote in support. In addition, the vote (if in favor of separation) would be followed by a convention comprised of elected delegates that would examine the vote tally, deliberate, and report back to the General Court.

The referendum, the second one held in the year 1816, again favored separation, but failed to acquire the 55.5% majority (here again, Raymond voted in favor, Windham against).

Desperate, and believing that the subsequent convention, to be held in Brunswick, would be the last chance for victory, separationist delegates considered cheating and chicanery. An underhanded plan to withhold or destroy anti-separatist ballots was considered but was either abandoned or not proven. Instead, supporters crafted a creative counting procedure that would misrepresent the true number of yea votes. Employing the services of former Harvard mathematician William Preble, the Committee to Examine Returns (dominated by statehood supporters) utilized a curious counting strategy: rather than using the total number of votes returned, the committee devised a system that recognized the aggregate majorities of the towns . Under the inventive strategy, the yea votes surpassed the 55.5% margin needed for victory.

Opponents were incensed. Dissenters protested the results as “…the work of ambitious and scheming men bent on obtaining their objective by any means.” William Ladd of Minot, said the assembly reminded him of philosophers of the dark ages “who decreed there was no motion, while their tongues incessantly moved to prove it.”

In Massachusetts, the General Court agreed, denying acceptance of Maine’s separation vote.
It would be three years before the separationists regained honor and respectability. By 1819, it became clear that the hearts and minds of Mainers were leaning heavily toward statehood. Petitions from numerous Maine towns poured into the General Court requesting yet another popular vote on statehood. Leader William King, meanwhile, working with officials in Washington had secured changes in the nation’s Coasting Law. The law, adverse to Maine’s shipping industry, had for decades prompted coastal towns to oppose statehood. Under terms of the law, the extended coastline with Massachusetts favored Maine mercantile interests by limiting the payment of fees at mandatory stops along the eastern seaboard.

A vote in the District of Maine, the sixth in 27 years, was scheduled for July 1819. The measure would be considered successful if the vote in favor exceeded the vote against by 1500 votes.

The results were no less than astonishing. It was the largest turnout ever; all nine counties supported separation; and the margin of victory was over 10,000 votes. As expressed by author Ron Banks, “The long-sought and illusive goal was finally achieved.”

In this final and deciding referendum on statehood, Windham would again vote against it 54 to 83. Raymond continued its support by a formidable 77 to 0.

In his final analysis, Banks reflected on the outcome and its meaning: …”this was a struggle between old and new…With roots firmly entrenched, many people (had) grown accustomed to time-honored religious, economic, social and political connections with…Massachusetts proper (and) were unwilling to pull up those roots at the insistence of the brash, impatient newcomers.”

There were still two more steps before Maine could join the ranks of the United States. The soon-to-be 23rd state required a constitution, to be followed by formal acceptance into the union by the U.S. Congress. 

In the fall of 1819, 274 delegates from nearly all of Maine’s 236 towns met at the First Parish Church in Portland. Their charge was to write a state constitution; they would create a new state government similar to that of Massachusetts. In her book, Stockwell observed there were at least three important differences: 1) There were no property qualifications for voting. 2) People of any faith could participate in government (traditionally, Congregationalists assumed positions of privilege and power). 3) There would be no established religion (an early version of the separation of church and state). Later, voters would overwhelmingly approve their new state constitution.

With all the hurdles cleared, Mainer’s were optimistic when their petition for statehood was submitted to Congress. Many were surprised to learn it wouldn’t be that easy. There were an equal number of free states and slave states in the union in 1819. An imbalance would mean the loss of representation in Congress. At the time, Missouri, a slave state, also appealed for statehood.

Volumes could be written about the politics and the deliberations that followed, but it was Henry Clay (a slaveholder) who proposed the so-called Missouri Compromise: Maine would enter the union as a free state. Missouri would enter as a slave state. The agreement also established clear boundaries for the future admission of slave and free states.

Maine statehood was officially realized on March 15, 1820 and despite all the pomp and celebration throughout the new state, not all residents were happy. Wrote the Portland Gazette, a long-time anti-slavery publication, “…as much as we wish success to the Maine Bill, we confess we had rather it would sink, than bear up so wicked a freight as the slavery of Missouri.”

Notwithstanding the disgust of abolitionists, the excitement and festivities were prevalent throughout the state. And according to author Stockwell, “For many years, people celebrated (Statehood Day – March 15) with as much excitement as the Fourth of July.”

Next time, how Windham, Raymond and the state of Maine plan to commemorate the state’s ‘birthday’ on March 15, and throughout 2020. 

Friday, January 24, 2020

Bad breath could mean big trouble

By Andrine Belliveau DVM of Lake Region Animal Hospital

Did you know that February is National Pet Dental Health Month? A common complaint that we hear from owners is that their pet has bad breath, or halitosis.  Usually this is caused by either a build-up of tartar on the teeth or gingivitis (or both!). 

We usually start to explore the issue by looking in the mouth for tartar/plaque accumulation.  Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria, while tartar is calcified plaque that can attach to the tooth both above and below the gumline. We also look for gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums, that often occurs secondary to tartar. 

If we note signs of dental disease, we will then recommend dental cleanings and/or extractions (depending on the severity of disease). Dental cleanings should be performed under anesthesia, a position which is adopted by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Pets can be uncooperative patients at the best of times and the only way to ensure that we get a thorough evaluation and complete cleaning performed is to have the pet put under anesthesia. We put our patients under general anesthesia instead of just sedating them so we can place a breathing tube that protects the airway and lungs from all of the tartar we clean off the teeth. 

When we discuss your pet’s dental health, it is about more than just what we can see on the teeth in an exam. The tartar that you can see above the gum goes below the gumline as well. Over time, this leads to bone loss around the tooth. In very severe cases on the lower teeth, the entire bone can be eaten away – resulting in a jaw fracture. Severe bone loss around the upper teeth can lead to an oronasal fistula – this means a direct communication between the sinus and the mouth!  Even if the bone loss is not severe enough to cause a fracture or fistula, it often results in loss of the tooth and significant discomfort. 

Dental disease that is not addressed in a timely manner can even lead to heart disease. It has been shown that when tartar accumulation is severe, bacteria can get into the blood stream and settle on the heart valve, causing a disease known as endocarditis.  If you think your pet has dental disease, please don’t wait! It will only get worse with time, and your pet will thank you with fresh breath after their cleaning. 

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Student of the week: Brody Lewis

Brody Lewis is a sixth-grade student at Jordan-Small Middle School and The Windham Eagle student of the week. His teachers state that Brody is a hard-working student who strives to improve not just his grades but his skills as well. He isn’t afraid to try something new and grow outside of his comfort zone. Brody’s favorite subject in school is art, he enjoys playing soccer year-round and his favorite movie is “Toy Story”. Brody is a respectful and conscientious student who is kind to his peers and happy to lend a helping hand when needed. Congratulations, Brody!

Portland Museum of Art promotes young artists at RSU14

Adele Popova

Windham and Raymond Art Educator, Robin Greeley is happy to announce that two students from her art classes have been selected to exhibit their artwork at the Portland Museum of Art for their Youth Art Month exhibit.

Adele Popova is a first-grade student at Windham Primary School. Her artwork, entitled “Raccoon”, is currently being showcased at Portland Museum of Art. The medium of the artwork is chalk and the objective of the project was to explore the medium of chalk and to add expression. Popova created expression with both the tilt of the head and the eyes of her raccoon.

Olivia Gurney

Olivia Gurney is a second-grade student at Raymond Elementary School. Olivia’s tempra painting entitled “Close Cow” will also be on display at the Portland Museum of Art in the Youth Art Month. Olivia’s cow captures a whimsical playfulness with the eyes looking off to the left and the tongue sweeping off to the right.

Both student artists' exhibits that run from February 26 through March 29 on the lower ground floor
of the PMA.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

WHS Junior founds creative writing club

Members of the Windham High School writing club
By Ryan Lowell

At times, writing can be solitary, lonely work. But a brand-new creative writing club at Windham High School is giving young writers a place to hone their skills in an atmosphere that’s social, inclusive, and collaborative. The club is a passion project of junior Sophie Phipps, who loves writing creatively, but has had trouble carving out time for it in a schedule filled with AP classes.

“I wanted to join a creative writing club and found out Windham did not have anything like one,” Phipps said. “I wanted to hold myself accountable to write more, because it’s something I love to do but I never make the time for it. After talking with some friends, I found that plenty of other students shared my attitude toward writing.”

Phipps took action by finding a club advisor and submitting an official proposal to Principal Caron. She also worked with Lanet Hane, the WHS director of community relations, to create the club as part of her senior capstone project. One of her long-term goals is to compile an anthology of student generated writing. In the short term, she’s hoping to provide a fun place for students to strengthen their skills and get excited about writing without the stress of deadlines or grades. According to Kiana Webster, a junior who describes writing as her own personal sandbox, so far the club is meeting that goal.“I think the atmosphere of the club is great,” Webster said. “I enjoy the wide range of the writers who are with me. There are many different styles, and I’m learning a lot just through reading others’ work… Creative writing is my opportunity to test the limits of not just the language I speak, but also the people who read what I write.” 

Sophomore Emily PeBenito has also been enjoying the club and its open ended approach to creation. “I like that it’s really chill. You don’t have to follow the prompts if you don’t want to,” PeBenito said. “I like being with my friends and knowing that I’m able to write without being judged if I share.” 

The club is a space for writers like Webster, who has been writing creatively since she was little, but also for newcomers with little to no experience. Phipps discovered her love for creative writing somewhere in between, as a seventh grader in need of an emotional outlet after the death of her grandfather.

“It was the first major grief I’d felt in my life. I was overwhelmed by everything I felt and [I was] determined to figure out how to deal with my grief,” Phipps said. She wrote a short descriptive story about her “Papa” in English class and was moved to tears by putting her fond memories into words. “When my piece was finished, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt completely soothed and content and fell fast asleep that night. It was this experience that taught me the catharsis of creative writing. Personally, writing has stuck out to me as a passion ever since.”

The hope is that the club will give students a venue to express themselves like Phipps did. But in the day to day, the club meetings aren’t solemn, serious affairs. More often than not, the room is filled with the laughter and smiles of young writers who have found a group of peers that share in their joy of creation. It’s a room where individual aspirations run high, but camaraderie comes first. 

As Webster put it, “I aspire to write things never seen before, and the best way to come up with new ideas is by manipulating the ones we already have. And trust me, doing that with others is way more fun than doing that by myself.” 

The club meets most Mondays after school, and all students are welcome to join. For more information, stop by room 123.

Stop Harm: Stop Arm Collaborative thanks donors

Stop Harm: Stop Arm Collaboration, the combined efforts of the Windham PTA, Raymond PTO and the Odyssey Angels, is excited to report the following generous donations from the community. To date, the efforts of these organizations have brought in nearly $17K – that’s enough to purchase 7 of the 15 extended stop arms they have set as their goal.

Extended-Arm Donors ($2,150 & Above):
Chase Custom Homes 
K&D Countertops 
MGM Builders
ReVision Energy
Windham Raymond Athletic Boosters

Local childcare centers co-sponsored a full arm:
A Child’s World Early Education Center
All About Kids 
A Joyful Noise
Birchwood Day Nursery School
Children’s Adventure Center
Children’s Discovery Center
Little Log Cabin Montessori School
The School House Learning Center
Windham Raymond SACC

Major Donors ($250 - $2,149):
Milliken, Perkins & Brunelle 
Patmans Redemption Center and Agency Liquor Store
Varney Mill Estate
: residents of Forbes Lane, Stagecoach Lane and Acorn Lane
Many thanks to all the donors who have contributed. FMI or if you would like to be part of the effort:

A look at restorative practices with RSU14 Katahdin Program Director Craig Haims

Craig Haims
By Elizabeth Richards

The RSU14 Katahdin Program handles discipline much differently than most traditional schools.  Restorative practices are an essential component to the culture of the alternative learning program, and every staff member is fully invested in the process.

The Katahdin program evolved out of the REAL School and has maintained a philosophy that began in 2004, designed by a group of teachers at the REAL School, who are still teaching in the program now. Back then, restorative practices were something academics talked about, but they weren’t practiced in schools, said Katahdin Program Director Craig Haims.

“It was a philosophy that was very attractive to some educators, and we knew that if we continued to use more punitive, exclusionary discipline that we were going to lose our students,” Haims said. 

Students were attending the REAL School because they didn’t fit in the traditional environment. Many had missed a lot of school time due to suspensions and expulsions. “We knew that had we adopted that same disciplinary approach, we wouldn’t have a student body left.”, the staff studied restorative work to figure out how it would work in their specific environment. “I think restorative practices has to be molded into the community as it exists to work – there’s not one model that’s going to work for every community,” Haims said.  At the REAL School, staff built the program together, adapting as necessary as they determined what would best work for the students. 

Now, Haims said, there is a restorative learning process in place that all teachers and counselors in the program can implement at a moment’s notice. 

What, exactly, are restorative practices?  While the full answer is long and complex, these disciplinary practices center around relationships. At the Katahdin Program, that means having a set of norms that everybody can understand and strive to follow. They call these norms their Guiding Principles, Haims said, and when rules are broken, they use these principles in the restorative process.

“Any kind of behavioral mistake that a kid makes is going to probably violate one of those norms,” Haims said. When that happens, they use the event as a learning opportunity for the student. Their protocol includes naming the behavior and why it was wrong, how it affected others in a negative way, and learning how to make amends to others impacted by the behavior.  Amends often take the form of an apology, a letter, or an act of service.

“It takes the whole realm of discipline, which often can just feel punitive and non-educational, and makes it educational,” Haims said.

“If they don’t know their math facts, we’re not going to punish them, we’re going to teach them,” said Haims. “If you don’t know your behavioral ABCs, like how to get along in a community…you still have to teach that. And you have to teach that until kids really understand more adaptive ways of getting along in a community,” he said.

This approach teaches students why the rules are relevant and important, and also how to change so they can behave in a way that works for the community, Haims said, which helps keep students from externalizing and getting less invested in their education because they don’t feel like they belong. “When you don’t understand how your behavior impacts others, you don’t really understand the need to change. You just feel like you’re getting in trouble and it’s not your fault,” Haims said.

“One of the things we try to do with restorative practice is teach kids to internalize their behavior and internalize an understanding of where their true responsibility lies,” Haims said.  “It helps kids begin to understand that ultimately they’re responsible for their own behavior and teaches them how to understand that and then work to improve it.”

Restorative practices can be challenging in a school environment, because the process takes a lot of time, Haims said. Often, that means the restorative step is lost, and people lose faith in the process because behavior doesn’t change.

“There is no magic bullet in terms of changing behavior, it’s all a process. Restorative works, scientifically, but it’s a process, and doesn’t change behavior overnight,” Haims said.  It’s a framework based on relationships, so the closer staff is with students, the better the process works. “The more you know kids, and the more they respect you because you’ve taken the time to get to know them, the better the outcomes are,” he said.

Restorative practices work best as second order change, meaning the whole school agrees that it’s the way discipline will be handled and does a deep dive into what the work is all about and how to create restorative classrooms, Haims said.

Often, schools take a first order change approach, hiring someone to do restorative practices, but not changing the culture of the whole school. And while that helps some kids, it can be tricky, Haims said, since there are essentially two cultures operating in the same school.

Haims acknowledged that with a small population of 22 students, restorative practices are easier to implement.  “I know how lucky we are, and we structured our school largely around restorative practices so that we can do it. That was an intentional decision made back in 2004,” he said.

Haims said the Katahdin program serves students who need a more relational, hands on, integrated approach to education. “RSU 14 has made a really nice commitment to alternative learning for many years, which we all greatly appreciate because we feel like we are really making an impact,” he said.

“We’re really happy to be doing this work in the context of a bigger, traditional school and we’re just really grateful to the district for supporting this program and highlighting the importance of supporting alternative learners.”

A matter of historical record: Maine’s fight for statehood, 1785 – 1820

How Windham and Raymond voted

By Walter Lunt

Part one of a two-part series

Maine achieved statehood on March 15, 1820. Historical accounts explain the significant role of the Missouri Compromise in making that happen, but a lesser known part of the story is the 35-year struggle that led up to that historic day.

Map of Maine, 1790
Maine became the District of Massachusetts with the adoption of its state constitution in 1780. Rumblings in the district about Maine becoming a state in its own right began as early as 1785.
Between 1792 and 1819, residents in the district voted six times on the question of separation. It was not always a popular idea, even with District Mainers, including the town of Windham.

Certain features and characteristics clearly distinguished the district from Massachusetts proper. 

Climate was one often mentioned. Another was the geographical separation caused by New Hampshire’s inconvenient appendage to the sea. Also, following the Revolutionary War, the District of Maine was filling up with immigrants from other New England states and from Europe seeking large tracts of unspoiled land (often on property owned by land speculators).

A unique diversity of population emerged: One people, forged by frugal habits and independent attitudes and values, not unlike that described later by the Frenchman Alexis De Tocqueville.

By 1785 there were clear signs of discontent within the district. Many were convinced that Boston little understood the unique nature and economic problems of Maine people.

Long established seacoast towns from the Piscataqua to the Kennebec Rivers, including Kittery, Falmouth (Portland) and Bath were engaged in shipping and shipbuilding. As described by Ronald Banks in his 1970 book “Maine Becomes A State,” “…Maine (had a) nearly one-crop economy… Lumber was king!” And as a result of trade policies set by the Massachusetts aristocracy, profits were “…channeled to Boston and surrounding towns.”

Inland, meanwhile, subsistence farmers were happy to supplement their meager existence by supplying seacoast merchants with timber.

From this symbiotic arrangement, coastal towns further developed a modest prosperity by adding insurance firms, bankers and lawyers to their growing mercantile communities.

A clear and separate identity from the mother state was emerging.

The first serious attempt at separation emanated from community leaders in Cumberland County, including Judge of Probate William Gorham and gentleman farmer Stephen Longfellow, both of Gorham and General Peleg Wadsworth and minister Thomas Smith (father of Windham’s Parson Peter Smith), both of Falmouth. This group kick-started the movement by promoting the establishment of the Falmouth Gazette, a newspaper created for the expressed purpose of advocating separation. Oddly, some Federalists, the political party of the elite, or “blue-bloods,” who favored a strong government, favored the notion of separation.

The 23 star U.S. flag adopted July 4, 1820 following Maine's
admission to the union
Push-back to the idea was immediate. Opposition came from the General Court of Massachusetts (the legislative body) and from the coastal mercantile communities of Maine who feared a disruption of commerce.

Undaunted, proponents called for a convention of separatists where a list of grievances was drawn up and presented to the general court. Among the complaints: access to the courts and to public records required long, costly trips to Boston; trade regulations favored the Boston port; lack of representation in the state’s House of Representatives; a tax system that was inequitable to Maine people.

The court thwarted the separatists’ arguments by passing legislation that corrected most of the district’s complaints.

The fledgling movement held several more conventions in the late 1780s, only to adjourn due to lack of interest and from distractions caused by other significant national events. The Falmouth Gazette, for example, devoted considerable space to the creation of a new Constitution of the United States.
By 1791, renewed political pressure was such that the general court voted to authorize a public vote in the district on the question of separation. As described by author Banks, “…the stage was set for the first state-authorized test of separation in the district… petty Federalists,” he continued, “(were) anxious to emulate their brethren in Massachusetts, not to be their servants.”

Proponents sprang into action, pushing hard their arguments in favor of the division: 1) the “noncontiguousness” of Massachusetts and Maine, 2) Maine would gain two senators in Congress, 3) government would be placed in the “midst” of the people, 4) increased frequency of a sitting Supreme Judicial Court (the accused might sit in jail for up to 10 months awaiting justice), 5) establishment of a Maine-based system of taxation, 6) the incorporation of sparsely settled plantations, now denied the right to vote (Raymond was one).

Detractors countered that Maine had too little money and too little education and sophistication to self-govern. Portland’s Daniel Davis responded with “…men of common understanding and sound judgment (are found in the district) as there are in any part of the Commonwealth.”

The referendum was held on May 7, 1792. The vote: 2,074 in favor of separation, 2,524 against. But the results, by region, were noteworthy. Coastal communities tended to oppose self-governance. Inland towns supported it. The probable reason: the Federal Coastal Law, which greatly benefited Maine’s shipping interests.

Interviewed last July on Maine Public Radio’s Morning Edition, Portland historian Herb Adams explained the Coastal Law this way: “…if you were exporting goods by sea you were not taxed for import duties by any state that bordered yours, and this is so states beside each other wouldn’t tax the yahoo out of each other. Well, that was very advantageous for Mainers. All of that meant that you could get more than halfway down the eastern seaboard of the United States and not pay a penny in import tax.”

Even if the ship wasn’t delivering to a noncontiguous state, it had to stop and pay the fee at each state, just to sail by. Shippers were as concerned with the time-consuming stops as they were with the customs fees.

As stated by author Banks, “After ten years and more than a dozen conventions, separation was no nearer than when the movement first began.”

Convinced that the future prosperity of the district depended on separation, supporters plotted on. For reasons unclear, interest revived again in 1797. Petitions from numerous towns requested yet another popular vote on the matter.

The Federalists were now opposed to the idea as it became clear they would be unable to advance politically under separation. Most regions had subscribed to the more conservative Democratic-Republican Party policies which firmly supported separation. York County also could not be counted on for support – it had recently proposed a union with New Hampshire.

Fresh and sizable numbers of inland squatters, however, assumed, probably correctly, that they would be more likely to retain their land claims under statehood.

Amid the changing political times, the General Court granted the District yet another popular vote on the separation issue.

In May of 1797, 5,201 votes were cast. The “yeas” netted 2,785, the “nays” were 2,412 (four votes were deemed invalid).

Despite the York County opposition, the Coastal Law influence and nonsupport of Federalists, separation, at last, had won the day. Windham voted no, 16-6 (Raymond was not yet incorporated).
But not so fast! The general court proceeded to void the results of the election, reasoning that the slight majority was won with a mere 5000 votes cast out of a population exceeding 100,000.

Next time, we learn how it would take four more popular votes before winning statehood. The separatists would have to negotiate land treaties with the Native Americans, settle a border dispute with Great Britain and overcome voter apathy. And which way would the vote go in Windham and Raymond? 

Student of the week: Ariel Sampson

Ariel Sampson, a five-year-old Kindergarten student at Raymond Elementary School, is The Windham Eagle’s Student of the Week. Sampson’s favorite subject is writing, and she enjoys playing with her dolls at home in her spare time.

“Ariel always follows the I Care Rules and is a kind, caring friend to her peers,” stated her teacher, Ms. Simoneau.

Sampson’s favorite TV Show is “Fancy Nancy and her favorite movie is “Frozen II”

Friday, January 10, 2020

Student of the week: McKenzie Harris

McKenzie Harris, a sixth-grade student at Jordan-Small Middle School, is The Windham Eagle’s Student of the Week.

“It is with pleasure that the 6th-grade team nominates McKenzie Harris as student of the week,” stated her teacher. “McKenzie is a very conscientious student and a pleasure to have in the classroom. Her work is exemplary.”

McKenzie’s favorite subject in school is Math. At home, she enjoys playing board games, basketball and cuddling with her two cats, Loki and Skittles.