Career Panel Includes AlumniPosted by Mark Messer on 11/5/2019 2:00:00 PM
From left, Mike Astbury, Tony Bryant, Heather Brackett, and Brian Larkin.
Diverse Routes Lead to Career Success
Seven alumni were among nine area business owners and employees to share career insights with sophomores and juniors at panel presentations here last week.
Some knew at a young age what they wanted to do, like Toni Staples '86, the school’s pastry chef.
When Toni was young, she started cooking with her grandmother and mother. It was a way to make people happy, she said, and she knew early on it would her career.
After graduating high school, she earned a degree in culinary arts and returned to the area, where she worked first in the restaurant business, then at the Adams School. Toni took the job at GSA three years ago so she could focus solely on baking, a position at which she excels.
“People have to eat,” she said, “and they like to have other people cook for them,” so there will always be a lot of good jobs in the area.
Last summer, she said, local restaurants were desperate for cooks, and some were offering $25 an hour.
Doug Veazie '18 has been into cars and motorcycles as long as he can remember. One day, he went to Stanley Subaru and asked for an unpaid internship in the service department. Maybe he “should have made a resume,” he said, but everything worked out.
Doug is now a service technician at the dealership, where he is able to pursue his passion. The company frequently sends him to Boston for further training, which he likes because the better he is at his job, the more he earns.
There is no shortage of jobs in the area for automotive technicians, and Doug said that success in the business depends on building good relationships. To do that, “patience is key,” especially for people in his generation.
Shelly Schildroth '00 also knew early on what she wanted to do for a living. She loved school, and her friends told her she was good at helping other people learn, so teaching was a natural fit.
She earned a degree at the University of Maine and went into teaching. After years in the classroom, Shelly was asked to be an interim curriculum coordinator, and after that, she took her current job as principal at the Blue Hill Consolidated School. Her success all along the way, she said, depended on having good mentors. Everyone should find someone they aspire to be like and learn from them.
Her advice for students considering a career in education: there’s always a need for good teachers in the area, but it isn’t a high paying job, so “you should only go into teaching if you have a passion for it.”
Heather Brackett’s passion for having her own money brought her to the working world as an eighth-grader. She continued working, largely in hospitality, until she went to college for business on the advice of a family member.
“Mom was a banker,” Heather said, and when she was younger, she “was never going to be a banker,” but after graduating, she decided to give it a chance as there were “lots of jobs in” in the industry. After working in many different roles, she is now the Blue Hill branch manager at Bar Harbor Bank and Trust.
“I can’t tell you how much of a difference having a positive attitude makes” in career success.
She also stressed the importance of keeping an open mind, particularly when things don’t seem to go well. When a new employee gets job feedback, they should remember that “criticism isn’t a bad thing. Think of it as coaching.”
Like Brackett, Tony Bryant '84 did not want to follow in his parents’ footsteps. When he was young, Tony worked at his parents store, now the Eggemoggin Country Store, and he swore he would never own one. He kept his word for quite some time.
After high school, Tony took a job at the Bucksport mill, and his interest in the business helped him rise in the ranks, ending up “No. 2 from the top” overseeing multimillion dollar budgets. He saw a lot of people hired, many straight out of college, but “more important than any degree was how well people could learn.”
Before the mill closed, Tony retired, and then went back into the family business as owner of Mike's Market II in Blue Hill. He also remodels homes and typically works 80 hours a week between the two jobs. That might sound like a lot to some, but he enjoys what he does, and “if you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do well,” he said, encouraging students to choose their careers carefully.
Mike Astbury '03 “started at the end of a shovel and a rake,” putting in new lawns and landscaping for the family groundwork and construction business, M.E. Astbury and Son. After heading to college, he continued working as much as he could in summers and joined the company full-time after graduation. He now works as a project manager for the company, drawing up estimates for customers.
Two things got him where he is today: “a good work ethic” and a “good attitude,” Mike said. He encouraged students to consider working in the field, as there are a lot of jobs now and there will be even more in the near future, he said, as the average Mainer in construction is 50 years old.
A good attitude is also important at Brooklin Boat Yard, where Brian Larkin is a project manager. “The people who are successful here have the best attitudes,” and the positive culture they have created keeps turnover low, as exemplified by Brian himself, who took a summer job at the boatyard and has never left.
This positive culture also helped the boatyard recover quickly from the recession in the late 2000s. One key, he said, is to hire from the local community when possible, as people who already live here aren’t surprised by the winter.
Samantha Haskell '05 studied community development in college. When she returned to the area, she took a job at Blue Hill Books, owned by her friend’s parents. In 2017, she bought the business.
The transition to ownership was easier, Samantha said, because of “the mentorship aspect” of her time there as an employee. It “was a huge help in getting to know the ins and outs” of running a bookstore, which includes lots of work outside business hours.
Samantha sees her role as a business owner not just as selling books, though. She also uses Blue Hill Books as a tool for community development, hosting or sponsoring various events throughout the year.
David W. Gray '80, owner of David W. Gray Carpentry, knew he “wanted to get out of high school fast” and had no interest in further formal education. “College isn’t right for everyone,” he said.
David found work in construction and eventually started his own business 23 years ago. He stressed the availability of jobs in the trades, which includes electrical, plumbing, heating, masonry, carpentry, and more.
“There are tons of positions,” he said, for contractors and subcontractors, and he is happy when he can hire locally. “The money stays here,” he said, and people who live in the community tend to care more about the community.
The career panel was part of a special program at GSA that takes place quarterly during extended advisory periods. The program aims to educate students on important topics that might not otherwise be covered in their classes. While sophomores and juniors considered career opportunities, freshmen worked in small groups on media literacy, and seniors learned about voting.
Thank you to all the panelists for helping to show our students that there are many different paths to career success!
Three Going to All-StatesPosted by Mark Messer on 10/24/2019 3:00:00 PM
From left, Quinn, Zeke, and Joseph.
Three among Best in State
Joseph Mitchell '20 of Orland, Quinn Stabler '20 of Blue Hill and Zeke Sacaridiz '21 of Blue Hill have been selected to participate in the Maine Music Educators Association Jazz All-State Festival at Bangor High School Jan. 2-4.
“I’ve been playing guitar since freshman year,” said Joseph, who will play jazz guitar for the SATB Jazz Choir, “and now own way too many.” “I play lots of blues and rock at home, but love playing Latin and jazz with our combo,” who auditioned for the festival together.
To prepare for that audition, held Oct. 11 at the University of Maine at Augusta, the group worked with combo director Steve Orlofsky. “I don’t think I would have the passion I have for music today without him,” Joseph said. “He played our audition song with us many times.”
Quinn, who will play bass in the JAS Combo, also is grateful to Mr. O for his help not just with the audition but over the last three years in jazz at GSA. “He’s so passionate about the music, it’s contagious,” he said. “He’s inspired me to be so much better.”
Quinn started playing guitar in third grade, but picked up bass guitar as a fifth-grader, which is when he also started playing jazz, his favorite genre. The bass, he said, is “such an important part of the band, but it isn’t in the spotlight most of the time,” and that suits him just fine.
Zeke started playing African hand drums when he was seven years old, but at eleven, he took a turn on a friend’s drum kit. He was hooked. Drumming is “so tactile,” he said, “the sticks feel like an extension of my hands, and I love the engagement of my whole body.”
Zeke wouldn’t have discovered his love for jazz drumming if it hadn’t been for Mr. O, and now it’s his favorite genre. He will play jazz drums in the JAS SSA Jazz Choir.
“Auditioning and being accepted is a huge accomplishment,” said Mr. O, who noted that the scores and rankings show that in all of Maine, Joseph is the No. 5 high school guitarist, Zeke is the No. 4 drummer, and Quinn is the No. 1 bassist.
“I am extremely proud and happy for [them],” he said.
With their respective ensembles, the students will rehearse with guest conductors to prepare several musical selections. They will play these sets during a grand finale concert open to the public on Saturday, Jan. 4, in Peakes Auditorium at Bangor High School.
Congratulations to all who auditioned and especially to Joseph, Quinn, and Zeke! GSA's reputation for music excellence is in good hands.
Sailor Koos '12 on World TourPosted by Mark Messer on 10/15/2019 7:00:00 AM
Courtney, Iona Taylor in Sri Lanka. Courtesy Maiden Factor/Kaia Bint Savage
Voyage Supports Girls' Education
“I always found school and sailing to be incredibly empowering,” said Courtney Koos, who was educated at George Stevens Academy and Bowdoin College and sailed for both schools, in an email.
It’s no surprise then that Courtney, a member of the GSA Class of 2012, has chosen to help promote access to education for girls as the engineering crew member aboard the historic yacht Maiden on its thirty-month voyage around the world.
This is not Maiden’s first trip around the world. In 1989-90, Captain Tracy Edwards and crew competed in the Whitbread Round The World Challenge, the first circumnavigation of the globe by women at a time when so many said it couldn’t be done and some were openly derisive of the attempt.
That journey and that “legendary vessel,” Courtney said, inspired her as she grew up on the water in Castine, sailing with her family and at local yacht clubs many summers. Even so, “it was a bit daunting,” she said, to join the GSA sailing team in the spring of her freshman year. “I knew there was a lot to learn from the upperclassmen.”
And so she did learn a lot, sail a lot, and win a lot of races. Courtney credits much of this success to the support she received at GSA and in the community, whether from her teammates or the “fantastic coaching” she received from team Tom Gutow, Dee Powell, and Patrick Haugen, “who spent hours freezing in tenders chasing us around the bay” or driving to regattas in Southern Maine and other New England states. Tom Brown and Caroline McNally spent countless hours with the team at practices, the sailor said, doing “chalk talks” in their offices at MMA.
These people and many more, Courtney said, “went out of their way to give me the opportunities and tools needed to prove myself on the water. It really does take a village.”
But worldwide, around 130 million girls don’t have the support they need to get a primary and secondary education, according to a 2018 fact sheet from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. This is simply unacceptable to Courtney. It is also unacceptable to Tracy Edwards, who started The Maiden Factor as a way to tackle these tough problems in partnership with other nonprofits.
One such nonprofit is I Am Girl, a Fields of Life initiative for which Courtney is an onboard ambassador. The responsibility of fetching water often falls on girls in East Africa, she said, to allow boys to attend school. So I Am Girl helps to build wells, enabling girls to attend, too.
The group also promotes health education and good hygiene, said Courtney, building separate washrooms for girls so they are not embarrassed in the presence of male classmates as they go through puberty, providing reusable sanitary products so girls won’t have to stay home when menstruating and breaking down other invisible barriers to education.
The cost of these and other impediments to completing a secondary education is high, not just for women, but for the nations where they live. According to a United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative report, women who have not earned secondary diplomas earn a combined $15-30 trillion dollars less in their lifetimes. These women also are likely to face difficulties related to child marriage, health and nutrition, and their roles in their communities.
“To use sailing around the world on Maiden” to support equality in education, said Courtney, “is so important to me, especially as I come to understand the vital roles schooling and sport have played in fostering my independence and confidence.”
Courtney found out about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity from two of her role models, sailors Belinda Henry and Tilly Ajanko, with whom she has raced many times. Both told her that they had applied for permanent crew positions on this voyage, and once she found out exactly what it entails, she “started shooting off emails like it was going out of style.” Initially a member of the yacht delivery crew, Courtney then was “incredibly fortunate to step into the role” of engineer.
The Maiden Factor World Tour began in Hamble, U.K., in November, 2018, and after making 23 stops in 13 countries, the voyage is expected to end in the Mediterranean in May, 2021.
Along the way, Courtney said that “the best thing about being offshore is no two days are identical. Every day is a school day.” When the crew experienced foul weather and equipment failure in the Indian Ocean, “we all came together … to troubleshoot,” and the experience confirmed “that there is no other team that I would rather sail around the world with.”
For Courtney, those challenging days are not the worst days. The most difficult part of being out at sea, she said, is not knowing whether they are achieving their goals of “raising awareness for our partner charities and empowering young girls around the world.”
But that isolation, she realized, makes her appreciate even more their school visits, in-person meetings with partner charities, speaking engagements, and open boat days.
Best wishes, Courtney, for smooth sailing and success in all ways on this journey. We look forward to hearing more of your story in person after the conclusion of the voyage.
Visit www.georgestevensacademy.org/Page/995 to see a version of this story with more photos.
Follow the voyage at www.themaidenfactor.org.
To watch a trailer of the movie “Maiden,” about the first circumnavigation of the world by an all-female crew, visit www.sonyclassics.com/maiden/.
Case, Chadbourne Join BoardPosted by Mark Messer on 9/30/2019 12:00:00 PM
Bill Case and Sally Chadbourne recently were named trustees.
New Trustees Bring Experience, Passion
A retired teacher from Blue Hill and a current GSA parent from Castine recently were named trustees at George Stevens Academy.
“The board is thrilled to welcome two new trustees, Bill Case and Sally Chadbourne,” said board Chair Samantha Politte.
“Although he will not officially represent the faculty, Bill will bring a unique perspective and deep understanding of the curriculum, the students and the daily life of the school,” said Politte.
Case received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Syracuse University. He taught and coached in high school for 36 years in upstate New York. For the past 11 years, he taught social studies at George Stevens Academy, where he coached the varsity girls’ basketball team for four years.
At GSA, Bill served on many committees and was graduation speaker in 2013. For the past three years, he has served on the Colloquy Downeast steering committee. Presently, he is teaching a course on the Holocaust at Maine Maritime Academy. He lives in Blue Hill with his wife, Deborah. They are active in the Blue Hill Congregational Church. They have two daughters and five grandchildren, all living in California.
Of Chadbourne, Politte said, “Sally currently works at Maine Maritime Academy’s Center for Student Success and is excited to bring her vast array of skills and knowledge to GSA.”
Since she moved to the area 18 years ago, Chadbourne said, she has been “impressed with the school and appreciative of GSA’s essential role in the community. Now that two of my sons are GSA students, my support for the school has intensified. I look forward to [helping GSA] carry out its mission and continue to provide a first-class education for all our students.”
A native of Alabama and graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, Chadbourne has extensive government and nonprofit experience, including work for the EPA, the Department of Defense, the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, the Marine Environmental Research Institute (now the Shaw Institute) and the Castine Historical Society.
She has volunteered with the Friends of Witherle Memorial Library, the Adams School PTC and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Castine. She lives with her husband, Delacroix Davis, their three sons and a goldendoodle.
Welcome to the board!
Junior Pursues Marine ResearchPosted by Mark Messer on 9/23/2019 10:00:00 AM
Hannah Dyer holds a yellowtail kingfish.
Dyer '21 Grabs Future by Yellowtail
When she was an eighth-grader, Hannah Dyer of Brooklin had no clear career aspirations. “I really didn’t know what I wanted to be,” she said.
But after settling in at George Stevens Academy, Hannah decided to step beyond traditional courses, like math and English. “Going into high school, I didn’t know anything about marine animals,” she said, so she decided to take a leap into Ocean Studies her sophomore year “just for fun.”
In that course, Hannah “met a lot of cool classmates” and “learned a lot from Dr. Flenniken.” She and her classmates did field-based research; interacted with marine scientists, fisheries-related businesses and policy experts; and participated in the Eastern Maine Skippers Program, winning the Great Idea Award for their work on a remotely operated vehicle at the regional end-of-year Skippers presentations in May.
Megan Flenniken, the Ocean Studies teacher, was impressed by Hannah's work. “Hannah is talented and inquisitive,” she said, “and I thought she would gain a lot from an internship.”
Flenniken, friends with Carla Scocchi, who works in 4-H youth development at the University of Maine, suggested that Hannah look into a summer opportunity with the Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin, a project with which Scocchi was involved.
“I didn’t really know what aquaculture was all about,” Hannah said, but she decided to go for it, and “my experience in Ocean Studies prepared me quite a bit.”
With six other interns, Hannah spent eight weeks raising yellowtail kingfish, hatching them, weighing them, checking their dissolved oxygen, and feeding them till they were ready to sell to sushi restaurants. They had to be the “right size,” she said, “they don’t want them to be humongous.”
The interns also cleaned the halibut tank. “They are huge fish,” she said. “They’re pretty cool. We got to dissect one and grill it.”
The summer program included visits to Sea and Reef Aquaculture in Franklin, a business that raises and sells aquarium fish to retail pet stores, and to Little Island Oyster Company in Brooksville, owned by GSA parents Frank and Tonyia Peasley.
“I learned so much about [aquaculture], but also about marine biology,” Hannah said of her experience. The GSA junior thinks both fields are “really cool,” and it looks like she is firmly on track to a future in either or both.
To that end, she is currently enrolled in GSA’s Marine Ecology Research Honors course and plans to create an alternative course contract to continue her research in yellowtail kingfish with Flenniken, some of which may be used for a Maine State Science Fair project.
Also, Hannah is considering a project in sea urchin restoration or another internship with the Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research for her GSA Independent Study and Internship Project, a program in which most GSA juniors and seniors participate every February.
Whichever ISIP she chooses, it looks like Hannah no longer wonders where her future lies. It lies in the ocean.
A version of this story with two more photos is available here: https://www.georgestevensacademy.org/Page/992.
26 Head to HaystackPosted by Mark Messer on 9/17/2019 3:00:00 PM
Rayven Chatto '21 in the woods workshop at Haystack.
Workshops Enrich Arts
More than two dozen students from George Stevens Academy traveled to the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts for three days of workshops with professional artists.
In the wood workshop, taught by Joe Lendaway, students learned various construction and design techniques in crafting one or more finished band saw boxes.
Jaydan Moore led the metals worskhop, in which students learned to make silver band rings and embellish them.
To leave with "an armful of books" was the aim of Erin Sweeney's book arts workshop, which covered various techniques for making and binding books, from stenciling to pop-ups and more.
You've got to eat, right? In Rachel Kedinger's blacksmithing workshop, students learned to use the tools of the trade to make the tools of the table, a fork, a spoon, and a butter knife.
Emmett Freeman's clay workshop drew on group discussion and sketching as a way of figuring out what students wanted to say in their own ceramic speech-bubble wall hangings.
The fibers workshop, taught by Kirsten Elfe, explored the design and construction of hats using upcycled materials.
Though workshop participants this year came from seven schools, more than 40 percent came from George Stevens, which shows not only how interested our students are in the arts, but also how committed the school is to providing further opportunities for them to explore their creativity and prepare for possible careers in Maine's robust creative economy even as many schools across the country are cutting their arts and music budgets.
Students and schools pay modest fees that cover the cost of materials and meals, but the program is largely underwritten by Haystack, with additional support from private donors and granting agencies.
To read this article with a full gallery of photos, visit www.georgestevensacademy.org/Page/991.
National Merit Semifinalists NamedPosted by Mark Messer on 9/11/2019 10:00:00 AM
Syra Gutow and Chad Davis.
Finalists To Be Named in February
Two seniors at George Stevens Academy are among 73 statewide to be named 2020 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists.
Syra Gutow and Chad Davis, both of Castine, were recognized at an all-school assembly by GSA Head of School Tim Seeley, who called the recognition “a great honor.”
“It feels pretty good,” said Syra, who plans to study genetics or neuroscience in college. Chad said he might study computer science, software or engineering.
PSAT scores were used to determine semifinalist status. Soon, Syra and Chad will start working on thorough scholarship applications in the hope they’ll be named finalists. From the pool of finalists, to be announced in February, 7,600 students will be selected in spring to receive scholarships worth a total of more than $31 million.
Congratulations and best of luck to you both!
Duane B. Gray '64 Tourney a HitPosted by Mark Messer on 9/9/2019 3:00:00 PM
Dwayne Carter '80 goes over the rules with golfers.
Tourney sees record sponsorship, fun!
Eighty-eight GSA alumni, students, parents, faculty, and friends took part in the seventh annual Duane B. Gray ’64 Memorial Golf Tournament at the Blue Hill Country Club on Sunday, Sept. 8.
The tournament honors George Stevens Academy alumnus Duane B. Gray ’64, who was an avid golfer and pharmacist at Community Pharmacy of Blue Hill, lead sponsor of the event, before he passed away in 2012. Duane Gray’s nephew Tom Gray ’79 represented Community Pharmacy at the tournament, which raised money for The GSA Fund to provide essential support for all areas of school life, including academic programs, arts, athletics, and upkeep of buildings and grounds.
A volunteer committee led by GSA golf coach and club manager Dwayne Carter ’80 and GSA Trustee and Development Committee Chair Phyllis Taylor organized the tournament, which was supported by hole sponsorships and other contributions from 68 local businesses, a record number, including hole-in-one sponsors Darling’s and Stanley Scooters.
Champions: Chris Pickering ’97, Erik Fitch ’99, Ryan Welch, Eric Hutchins.
First low net: Brad Miltner ’77, David Gray ’80, Mark Gray ’81, Barry Duffy ’89.
Second low net: Kitty Clements, Ed Grimball, Mark Rosenthal, Ed Volkwein.
Third low net: Belinda Carter ’67, Bonnie Paulas ’69, Jim Paulas, Alex Drenga.
Individual morning winners (women, men) for closest to the pin on No. 3 were Libby Rosemeier ’77 and Ed Volkwein. Closest to the pin on No. 5 was Mark Rosenthal. Longest drives on No. 2 were by Rosemeier and Simeon Allen ’01, and on No. 7 were by Bonnie Paulas and Ben Wootten.
Champions: John Bakeman II ’20, Dave DeHares, Nick DeHares, Rick Littlefield.
First low net: Mike Astbury ’03, Josh Astbury ’08, Ebb Walton ’08, Alex Drenga.
Second low net: John Richardson, George Semler, Michael Semler, David Taylor.
Third low net: Larry Gray ’79, Bill Gray ’83, Glenn Daigle, Mark Politte.
Individual afternoon winners for closest to the pin on No. 5 were Christine Russel and Michael Semler and on No. 3 was Michael Semler. Longest drives on No. 2 were by Julie Cluett and Ebb Walton, and on No. 7, Mikey Bannister had the longest drive.
To read this story with sponsor lists and photo galleries from Sunday, visit www.georgestevensacademy.org/DBGResults19.
Jazz Band at the FairPosted by Mark Messer on 8/31/2019 6:30:00 PM
Jazz Band Keeps Crowd Grooving
The GSA Jazz Band took to the Grandstand Stage at the Blue Hill Fair on Aug. 31 to perform for an appreciative audience of about 250 under the direction of Steve Orlofsky.
The band opened with "Billie Jean," then moved on to the rest of the set list, which included a popular medley of K.C. and the Sunshine Band hits, "Valero," the Average White Band's hit song "Pick up the Pieces," and more.
Near the end of the show, Mr. O introduced the band, mentioning the class each student is in. He noted that it was each senior's last performance with the band at the Blue Hill Fair, but then joked that he hasn't graduated from high school yet. "Forty-two years," he said, referring to his career as a music educator so far. The crowd rose to its feet, giving the director a standing ovation.
GSA Jazz Band members who performed included Erika Hipsky, alto sax, senior; Margaret Nevin, alto sax, junior; Gianna Codega, tenor sax, freshman; Jenna Blodgett, tenor sax, freshman; Ian Bowden, tenor sax, freshman; Ian Howell, baritone sax, senior; Gabe Hall, trumpet, sophomore; Dawsen Astbury, trumpet, senior; Will MacArthur, trumpet, sophomore; Kelly McKay, trumpet, sophomore; Hannah Webb, trumpet, freshman; Chloe Sheehan, trombone, sophomore; Nora Spratt, trombone, freshman; Joseph Mitchell, guitar, senior; Morgan Davis, vibes, sophomore; Juliette Claybaugh, piano, junior; Quinn Stabler, bass, senior; and Zeke Sacaridiz, drums, junior.
Senior Duncan Howell was unable to play due to an injury sustained in an accident earlier this summer. Mr. O thanked Isla Brownlow '18 for standing in on the trombone and gave Duncan, who was in the crowd, his best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery.
The annual Jazz Band concert enriches the local community and enhances our reputation for arts excellence. It is just one way that we celebrate and strengthen our connections to the the people of the Blue Hill Peninsula.
For a version of this story with a complete photo gallery and video of the band playing a Sonny Rollins' tune, click here: https://www.georgestevensacademy.org/Page/976.
Welcome, New Faculty and StaffPosted by Mark Messer on 8/23/2019 9:00:00 AM
From left, Peter Goss, Jaime Torre, Kate Kennedy '99, Steve Whitney, Emma Baker, Sarah Carter.
Staff and Faculty Join GSA Community
George Stevens Academy is firmly rooted in this beautiful Blue Hill Peninsula, its forests, fields, and dramatic coastline. Over the seasons, over the years, as trees branch, flowers bloom, and the tides wax and wane, the peninsula continues to inspire, even as it gradually, almost imperceptibly changes.
GSA is much like this place from which we draw strength. The welcoming character of our school, a vibrant learning community brimming with diverse opportunities, endures, even as repairs are made to buildings, new shrubs are planted, one group of students makes the transition to alumni, and the Class of 2023 and other new students join our community.
On Aug. 23, new faculty members gathered for orientation. We welcome them and new staff members to our community. Be sure to say "hi" when you see them.
Emma Baker joins the faculty as a science teacher. She most recently taught at Vinalhaven School, where she taught a wide range of science courses. She will teach biology and chemistry. She is a Maine native from The County (Aroostook) and has moved to the Blue Hill area with her son. View profile.
Matt Billings joins the staff as a cook. He is a recent graduate of GSA and the Hancock County Technical Center Culinary Arts program.
Sarah Carter joins the staff as an ed tech. After growing up in Deer Isle, Sarah earned a degree in elementary education at The University of Maine. She then worked in New Hampshire before returning to the peninsula to raise two daughters. She currently lives in Sedgwick.
Peter Goss joins the faculty as director of college and career counseling. He and his wife purchased a home in Penobscot. He worked in college counseling at several schools in his career, most recently at Sandia Prep in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He also has worked as an English teacher and soccer, cross-country, and track coach. View profile.
Kate Kennedy '99 joins the faculty as a social studies teacher. Kate is a GSA graduate and has taught a the Penobscot Community School, Blue Hill Consolidated School, and most recently at the James F. Doughty School in Bangor. While at Doughty, she was named Maine Social Studies Teacher of the Year and also was very involved with National History Day. She will teach U.S. History, AP Human Geography, Holocaust, Economics, and Current Affairs. View profile.
Jim Monaghan joins the staff as a custodian. He graduated from Calais High School and worked in maintenance at Washington County Community College for a couple decades. He now lives in Ellsworth.
Olivia "Maple" Pollock joins the faculty as a Hanley dorm parent. Maple is trained as an environmental educator and has worked extensively as a mentor for children of all ages, primarily in nature-connection and rites-of-passage work. Maple has a B.A. in International Intercultural Studies from Pitzer College, has lived many years abroad, and studied abroad in both high school and college. Maple is excited about helping our boarding students have a healthy, fun, and connective year at GSA.
Jaime Torre joins the faculty as a math teacher. He is a native of Spain who moved to our peninsula last year with his family after living in Vermont and teaching math at Burr and Burton Academy. He will teach AP Calculus, Algebra II, Lab Geometry, and Personal Finance. He will live in the Hanley dorm with his family, including his wife, Maple, a Hanley dorm parent.
Steve Whitney joins the faculty as a science teacher. He moved to Maine with his family after his wife took a job in the area. He has taught at Claremont Academy in Massachusetts and most recently at the Touchstone Community School, also in Massachusetts. He has a special interest in outdoor education. He will teach Exploring Earth Systems. View profile.