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Watershed Coalition: Family Math Night scores high

posted Feb 25, 2020, 11:11 AM by Christine Guerette

Mon, 02/17/2020 - 10:15am

Students and parents having fun with math. (Photo courtesy Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition)
Kids teaching kids. (Photo courtesy Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition)
Kids teaching kids. (Photo courtesy Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition)

BELFAST — More than one hundred RSU 71 elementary students and their parents to gathered February 11, at Troy Howard Middle School, in Belfast, to eat pizza and play math games at various stations during Family Math Night.

“Thirty pizzas from Alexia’s quickly disappeared before the games began,” said Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition, in a news release.

By the end of the evening, feedback from parents was that they wanted to keep playing math games with their families.

Game stations were run by 18 mentors from the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and ranged from counting games and board games for kindergartners to “Let’s Build a House,” and solving probability and logic puzzles for 4th and 5th graders.

Students learned how to estimate costs, add money, figure areas, toss balls and bean bags for statistics, manipulate geometric puzzles, and play Mancala and Cribbage.

The evening finished with a contest between different schools to solve the Lines-and-Dots problem on the stage.

At Family Math Night, parents and students take away game plans to keep playing at home. Each student takes home a math journal for keeping track of games.

The next Math Night will be on April 15.

Students Shine at Belfast Library Chess Tournament

posted Feb 14, 2020, 5:03 AM by Christine Guerette

On Tuesday, February 11, the Belfast Free Library, in conjunction with the RSU#71 Chess Program, hosted a winter elementary school chess tournament. Thirty-one students from the CASS, Nickerson, and Ames Elementary Schools and one from Cornerspring Montessori School participated. These students have either been part of the Belfast Free Library's Friday chess program or on their school's chess team.

The competition was divided into two sections: Grades 1-3 and Grades 4-5. All students played nearly 10 games, demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship and did a great job implementing their chess skills! 

Top players included:

Grades 1-3

1st: Avery Adams, CASS

2nd: Luke Canning, CASS

3rd: Max Dyer, CASS

4th: Wes Engstrom, CASS, Scarlett Amber, CASS

Grades 4/5: 

1st place: Alex Miller (CASS)

2nd place: Cole Gerrish (Ames), Austin Ames (Ames) and Avery Gobin (Ames)

3rd place: Silas Ociepka (CASS) and Justin Massey (Ames)

The Belfast Free Library Chess Program meets on Fridays from 12:30-2:00 and is coached by midcoast chess program director, Bruce Haffner of Hope. Erica Rubin Irish, BFL children's librarian, coordinates the program. For more information on involving children in this program please visit www.belfastlibrary.org or call (207) 338-3884 ext. 24. 

This tournament was the final local tournament helping to prepare local students for the Maine State Chess Team Tournament scheduled for March 7 at UMO. Congratulations to all participating students!! It was a great day and a lot of intellectual fun! Participating students are listed below.

In addition to this event, last Sunday Coach Bruce hosted a regional tournament at the Lincolnville Center School with students from Lincolnville, Hope, Appleton, Camden, Searsmont, and Belfast participating. Alex Miller, 4th grade student at CASS, took home the first place trophy at this meet as well. He has been named a co-captain of the CASS Chess Team as they head to states.

Congratulations to all RSU#71 participating students.

5th grade: Austin Ames, Justin Massey, Cole Gerrish, Brody Balicki, Michael Box , Kathlee Hutchingson, Ibis Bird, Seth Whitney, Kingston Lawrence, Carter Raymond

4th: Ian Beal, Silas Ociepka, Alex Miller, Kaden Greiger, Alex Young 

3rd: Avery Adams, Luke Canning, Scarlett Amber, Pierson Dietz, Max Dyer, Ava Cyr, Braylee Woodrow, Garett Thomas

2nd: Mason Goulart, Hunter Seekins, Gabe Neal

1st: Raegan Adams

CASS and Waterfall Arts!

posted Feb 12, 2020, 6:51 AM by Christine Guerette

On a cold night in January fifteen families gathered at Captain Albert Stevens School to explore art together. The event was sponsored by the Waterfall Art Center, led by art educator Bridget Matros, through a rich partnership between Waterfall Arts and CASS. The focus of the evening was how parents can help develop their children's creativity and love for art, followed by a fun, family-oriented creative experience in the art room. A good time was had by all. Special thanks go out to our Parent Teacher Group for supplying food for the event and to Peer Leaders Anna Coleman and Katie Ritchie for helping out. 

Troy Howard student to get a shot at State GeoBee

posted Feb 11, 2020, 9:15 AM by Christine Guerette

BELFAST — More than 300 students from Troy Howard Middle School participated in the school competition of the National Geographic GeoBee Feb. 5. Reilly Newton, a seventh-grade student, won first place, with Rohan Joseph and Ben Allen, also seventh-graders, placing second and third, respectively.

The school competition is the first round in the annual National Geographic GeoBee, a geography competition designed to inspire and reward students’ curiosity about the world.

Questions cover not only geography, but also ancient and world civilizations, cultures and physical features. The National Geographic Society developed the GeoBee in 1989 in response to concern about the lack of geographic knowledge among young people in the United States.

Over more than three decades, more than 120 million students have learned about the world through participation in the GeoBee. School champions, including Newton, will take an online qualifying test; and up to 100 of the top test scorers in each state will then become eligible to compete in their State GeoBee.

The winners of the State GeoBees receive an all-expenses-paid trip to participate in the GeoBee national championship in spring 2020. Students will be competing for cash prizes, scholarships and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll.

Learn more at natgeobee.org. In addition to the GeoBee, National Geographic also offers classroom resources, student experiences and professional development opportunities for educators.

Troy Howard student places in regional math meet, heads to states

posted Feb 11, 2020, 9:14 AM by Christine Guerette

By Kendra Caruso | Feb 05, 2020

BELFAST — Gabriel “Gabe” Austin, 12, placed second at a regional MATHCOUNTS meet in Fairfield, earning him a seat at the state competition there March 14. It was the eighth-grader’s first time at the event, and he was the only student representing Troy Howard Middle School.

The Belfast native has always had a brain for math, according to his parents, James Austin and Leslie Burnette. He was subtracting candy and contemplating fractions of pizza before elementary school, they said.

Halfway through first grade, Gabe skipped ahead to second grade because his math comprehension quickly matured beyond what was being taught.

He has enjoyed math for as far back as he can remember. And when he is taking a break from his favorite math concepts, like logarithmic functions, he plays video games. He likes that a given math problem will always have the same answer.

“Unlike language arts and social studies, it actually has correct answers that aren’t opinionated by you and your teachers,” Gabe said. “I don’t like having to prove why one thing is better than another when the same assignment was given.”

As a middle-schooler, he decided to enter a stiffer competition than the local math meets he was used to as a member of the school’s math club. He and his parents went into the MATHCOUNTS competition with reserved enthusiasm.

“I guess my expectation was that, well, this is going to be a lot tougher,” Austin said. “This is not just these few schools.”

Gabe practiced with his parents and a local engineer who helped him prepare for the event. His mother was nervous about how much more difficult the questions were for this competition than his math club meets.

“The practice test for MATHCOUNTS was exponentially harder than anything I’d seen him do personally,” Burnette said.

Gabe did not expect to place in any of the competitions, but when he was called into the top 10, he soon realized that he had won first place in the written competition. That is when he became nervous, he said.

“It was very nerve-racking,” he said. “My heart was beating very fast.”

He finished the competition placing second overall and winning a place in the state competition. His parents are further impressed with the outcome, given that he had no team support or coaching and still managed to beat a kid who went to the national competition last year.

“He went there as a team of one,” Burnette said. “Troy Howard didn’t send a team. They let him compete, or they wanted him to compete just because they knew he liked math. But he didn’t really have a lot of practice or the support of a team.”

Austin is a programmer, and said he thinks that is where Gabe inherited his math ability. And even though he could answer most of the questions, Austin said he could not figure out the answers as fast as many of the students in the competition.

Gabe is already meeting with a tutor to prepare for the state competition. He is nervous about states, but hopes to place high enough to get a paid trip to Orlando, Florida, for the national competition May 9-12, he said.

MATHCOUNTS is a national nonprofit that offers extracurricular activities to middle school students in an effort to encourage math learning, according to its website.

“We believe middle school is a critical juncture when a love of math must be encouraged, and a fear of math must be overcome,” according to its website.

Those who want to cheer Gabe on can join him Saturday, March 14, at 9 a.m. at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.

February is Maine Root Vegetable Month!

posted Feb 10, 2020, 1:16 PM by Christine Guerette

This month is "Maine root vegetables month" in our school cafeterias. Our school cafeterias chose to feature beets as their root veggie. 5th graders at CASS worked with Ms. Demers and Mrs. Noyes (5th grade teacher at CASS) to come up with and test some root veggie recipes. 

All RSU cafeterias will be serving "roasted beets" every Wednesday this month and they will all have the "beet bean burger" as an option on Tuesday February 25th. Check with your cafeteria for specific instructions on ordering.

Belfast Wrestling Going to the States!

posted Feb 10, 2020, 8:00 AM by Christine Guerette

Lions first in Class B North, qualify 10 to state championship meet
By Ken Waltz | Feb 09, 2020

CARIBOU — Belfast Area High School wrestlers had to make a lengthy trip — all the way to Caribou — to participate in a day-long mat battle with the prize for their traveling troubles being coveted spots in the state Class B championships.

The Lions hit the road to compete in the Class B North championship meet on Saturday, Feb. 8 — 205 miles and a three-and-a-half-hour bus ride from home.

But the trip, ultimately, turned out to be a minor nuisance as the Lions returned to the coast with plenty of mat hardware.

A week after being the best Class B team from the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet in Augusta, the Lions proved the best in the Class B North as well.

The Lion wrestlers who placed among the top four in their weight classes, thus qualified for the state meet as individuals, were: Gavynn Young (1st at 113 pounds), Cameron Watts (1st at 220), Brian White (2nd at 182), Nathaniel Porter (2nd at 195), Connor Fournier (3rd at 106 pounds), Michael Ham (3rd at 138), Jonah Lovejoy (3rd at 145), Gabe Kelley (3rd at 152), Ben Watts (3rd at 285) and Elijah Charbonnier (4th at 170),

The team scores were: Belfast 174.5, Dexter 156, Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln/Lee Academy 150, Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft 131, Bucksport 64.5, Piscataquis of Guilford 56, Ellsworth 53, Caribou 44, Fort Kent 40, Penobscot Valley of Howland 31, John Bapst of Bangor 26, Mount Desert Island 25, Washington Academy of East Machias 24, Old Town 22, Calais 15, Woodland 2 and Sumner of East Sullivan no score.

The Lion qualifiers will participate in the state Class B championships on Saturday, Feb. 15 at Fryeburg Academy.

The individual Belfast results, with Lions listed first, from the Class B North meet were:

106 pounds — Connor Fournier received a first-round bye; pinned Logan Blanchette, MDI; was pinned by Deegan Tidswell, MA/Lis; pinned Ashton Hayman, Wood; and beat Ethan Milliken, Dex, in the consolation final. Fournier finished third.

113 pounds — Gavynn Young received two byes; won by major decision over Joseph Keenan, Fox; and won by default over Kaleb Nightingale, Buck, in the championship final. Young finished first.

120 pounds — Haley Wood received a first-round bye; was pinned by Clyde Carr, MA/L; received a bye; and was pinned by Caleb Schobel, Dex.

126 pounds — Timothy Smith won by technical fall over William Fuller, Car; was pinned by Kaleb Toby, MA/L; received a bye; pinned Nate Bock, Pis; and was pinned by Rico Ayala, Fox.

132 pounds — Kaden Bonin received a first-round bye; was pinned by Austin Jackson, Fox; pinned Jazymne Rines, Buck; pinned Travis Boumil, MDI; and was pinned by Travis Mushero, MA/L.

138 pounds — Michael Ham received a first-round bye; pinned Joey Garcia, WA; lost by major decision to Khrystofer Downing, Fox; pinned Hunter Gray, MDI; and beat Angel Riopelle, Car, in the consolation final. Ham finished third.

145 pounds — Jonah Lovejoy received a first-round bye; beat Austin Gill, Fox; was pinned by Isaac Hainer, MA/L; pinned Ituski Langley; and won by major decision over Austin Gill, Fox, in the consolation final. Lovejoy finished third.

152 pounds — Gabe Kelley received a first-round bye; beat Thomas O'Meara, Car; lost by major decision to Nathan Schobel, Dex; pinned Sean Fitzgerald, WA; and pinned Thomas O'Meara, Car, in the consolation final. Kelley finished third.

160 pounds — Francesco Martin pinned Joshua Richardson, Sum,; was pinned by Lucas Theriault, FK; pinned Elizabeth Mushero, MA/L; and lost to Isaiah Bagley, Pis.

170 pounds — Elijah Carbonnier received two byes; was pinned by Baylor Landsmen, MDI; pinned Jon Howell-Handsom, Dex; and was pinned by Jacob Nadeau, Pis, in the consolation final. Charbonnier finished fourth.

182 pounds — Brian White received a bye; pinned Keith Gehringer, Cal; pinned Ethan Harkins, MDI; and lost to Lucas Ames, Fox, in the championship final. White, who recently recorded his 100th high school career mat win, finished second.

195 pounds — Nathaniel Porter received a bye; pinned Matt Pike, Pen; beat Grayson Fernald, Buck; and was pinned by Gus Irwin, Dex, in the championship final. Porter finished second.

220 pounds — Cameron Watts received a bye; pinned D.J. Scheel, Fox; pinned Xander Doty, OT; and beat Eric Bennett, Dex, in the championship final. Watts finished first.

285 pounds — Ben Watts received first-round bye; was pinned by Gavin Billings, Buck; received a bye; pinned Levi Strout, Fox; pinned Tanner Rolfe, WA; and pinned Michael McFarlane, Cal, in the consolation final. Watts finished third.

Request for Proposals for Managed Print Services

posted Feb 8, 2020, 2:07 AM by Dave Fournier

RSU #71 has issued a Request for Proposal is to enter into a four (4) or five (5) year agreement with a qualified vendor to provide managed print services and equipment for RSU #71. Please click this link for more information and access to the RFP document.

Kindergarten Registration

posted Feb 5, 2020, 7:44 AM by Christine Guerette


RSU #71 Elementary Schools are preparing for kindergarten screening in May for the 2020-2021 school year.  If you have a child who will be 5-years old on or before October 15, 2020, now is the time to contact the appropriate school to request information and registration materials. 

New this year - Parents/Guardians will be able to register their child online.  Information for online registration will be available on your child’s school’s website, and/or Facebook page, soon.  

338-4420 – East Belfast School, East Belfast

342-5300 – Gladys Weymouth School, Belmont, Morrill, Searsmont

338-1858 – Kermit Nickerson School, Swanville 


If you have a child who will be 4-years old on or before October 15, 2020, now is the time to contact Waldo Community Action Partners (WaldoCAP) to register.  Registration materials can be accessed online at WaldoCAP.  Click the Early Childhood logo (hands) and then click PreK.  PreK screening for the 2020-2021 school year will be in schools during the month of May. Other screening dates will be available throughout the summer scheduled by WaldoCAP.

Belfast, Medomak Valley girls indoor track enjoys successful Bowdoin meet

posted Feb 4, 2020, 6:03 AM by Christine Guerette

By Staff Sun, 02/02/2020 - 9:30am

BRUNSWICK — A trio of local high school girls indoor track teams traveled Saturday, Feb. 1 to Brunswick to compete in a Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet at Bowdoin College. 

Belfast placed fourth with 56 points, Medomak Valley placed sixth with 37 points and Oceanside finished eighth with 12 points. 

Below are the individual results of area competitors. 

55 Meter Dash
1. Junne Robertson-McIntire — Belfast — 7.52
15. Lia Frazee — Belfast — 8.48
28. Kaylee Dodd — Belfast — 9.04
31. Katie Ritchie — Belfast — 9.31
32. Grace Hall — Belfast — 9.68
33. Elayne Gustafson — Oceanside — 9.76

One Mile Run
1. Mackenzie Emerson — Medomak Valley — 5:45.13
2. Serena Blasius — Medomak Valley — 5:46.51
6. Juniper Fowler — Belfast — 6:04.41

400 Meter Dash
5. Alexis Parent — Medomak Valley — 1:03.92
6. Cassidy Novicka — Oceanside — 1:06.78

800 Meter Run
4. Maria Protheroe — Oceanside — 2:47.55
11. Grace Hall — Belfast — 3:19.59
12. Ellie Prespolis — Belfast — 3:22.20

200 Meter Dash
1. Junne Robertson-McIntire — Belfast — 26.82
13. Mallory Tibetts — Belfast — 30.19
19. Lily Robbins — Belfast — 31.31
31. Rhiannon Gould — Medomak Valley — 34.89
32. Ellie Prespolis — Belfast — 35.68
34. Grace Hall — Belfast — 36.65

Two Mile Run
2. Olivia Parent — Medomak Valley — 12:28.49
5. Maria Protheroe — Oceanside — 13:00.91

4x200 Meter Relay
2. Medomak Valley — 2:02.00
3. Belfast — 2:05.94

Shot Put
3. Katie Ritchie — Belfast — 30-07.00
4. Savana Blood — Belfast — 25-08.75
15. Rhiannon Gould — Medomak Valley — 19-00.00

High Jump
1. Lia Frazee — Belfast — 5-02

Long Jump
8. Juniper Fowler — Belfast — 12-06

Triple Jump
5. Cassidy Novicka — Oceanside — 30-09.50

Pole Vault
2. Lia Frazee — Belfast — 7-06

Reach the sports department at: sports@penbaypilot.com.

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