• Girls, Boys State Delegates Named

    Posted by Mark Messer on 5/17/2019 6:00:00 AM

    boys girls state

    From left, Alex Tully, Lucy Morison, Alice Bowden, and Joe Ciampa.


    Girls and Boys State Delegates Named

    Two GSA junior boys and junior girls were nominated by faculty here for Maine American Legion Dirigo Girls State and Boys State this summer.

         Alice Bowden of Sedgwick and Lucy Morison of Hancock will attend the Girls State exercise in state and local government at Husson University in Bangor June 16-21. Alex Tully of Surry and Joe Ciampa of Brooksville will attend Boys State at Thomas College in Waterville June 16-20.

         The state programs are run by the Maine American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary. The GSA students are sponsored by The American Legion Duffy-Wescott Post 85 in Blue Hill.

         Girls State and Boys State delegates engage in simulated campaigns for elected office, then learn how our local, county, and state governments function through role play. We wish the participants all the best in getting as much out of this experience as possible. 

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  • Honor Parts Named

    Posted by Mark Messer on 5/6/2019 7:00:00 AM

    Honor Parts


    Graduation Set for June 9

    George Stevens Academy will hold commencement exercises for the Class of 2019 on Sunday, June 9, at 1 p.m. on the school front lawn. Class Night, a celebration of the seniors, will take place in the gym on Saturday, June 8, at 7 p.m.

         The valedictorian is Hattie Alexandra Sargent Slayton, daughter of Bob Slayton of Blue Hill and Ann Sargent of Steuben.

         Hattie participated in soccer, basketball, indoor track, sailing, tennis, fall musical, one-act play, Student Council, cultural club, Planet Pan, on a KYC race team and as sailing instructor. She also spent a year abroad studying in Zaragoza, Spain.

         Hattie was the recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa book award.

         The valedictorian hopes to explore the world and live a happy, fulfilling life. She will attend Bowdoin College.

         The salutatorian is Xiyuan “Daniel” Li, son of Feng Li and Ye Wang of Shanghai, China.

         Daniel participated in basketball and track and was the recipient of the Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award.

         The salutatorian plans to become an expert in material science. He will attend Emory University to study chemistry.

         The first honor essayist is Yiqing “Laura” Liu, daughter of Yingzi “Lucy” Liu of Jacksonville, Fla.

         Laura was a member of the Student Council, math team, outdoor track team, swim team, cross-country team and the student ambassador program. She also was a dorm proctor, a volunteer at ARCC and a volunteer at University Christian School.

         Laura was the recipient of the Williams book award.

         The first honor essayist hopes to work for a Big Four accounting firm. She will attend Brandeis University to study business.

         The second honor essayist is Katherine Birch Forrest, daughter of Hannah Webber and Greg Forrest of Surry.

         Katie participated in soccer, swimming, sailing, and drama.

         The second honor essayist plans to become a doctor. She will attend the University of Vermont to study mathematics on a pre-med track.

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  • Junior Book Awards Given

    Posted by Mark Messer on 5/1/2019 11:00:00 AM

    book awards

    From left, juniors Ian Howell, Ryan Mullen, Simon Brooks, Syra Gutow, Alex Tully, Lucy Morison, Joe Ciampa, Erika Hipsky, Chad Davis and Duncan Howell received book awards and other honors in a recent ceremony.


    Book Awards Ceremony Honors Juniors

    Ten George Stevens Academy juniors received book awards and other prizes in an annual special all-school assembly on May 1.

         The American History Award, given by The Ramassoc Chapter of the Maine Organization of the Daughters of the American Revolution to a junior for outstanding work in the study of American History, was awarded to Alex Tully of Surry by Social Studies Teacher Bill Case.               

         The Brandeis University Book Award, given to a student who has shown outstanding academic achievement and has made substantial contributions to the school and local community, was awarded to Joseph Ciampa of Brooksville by Bill Case.

         The Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award, given by the University of Rochester to a junior who demonstrates exceptional promise in science based on achievement in a rigorous science curriculum and science-related activities, was awarded to Chad Davis of Castine by Science Chair Sue Jellison.

         The Dartmouth College Book Award, given to a junior who ranks in the top 10 percent of the class, is of strong character, has made a positive impact on the school community and excelled in at least one non-academic area, and is considered a candidate for entrance to a college or university of the highest academic caliber, was awarded to Lucy Morison of Hancock by Head of School Tim Seeley.

         The Williams College Book Award, given to a student in the top 5 percent of the junior class who has demonstrated intellectual leadership and has made a significant contribution to the extracurricular life of the school, was awarded to Syra Gutow of Castine by Dean of Curriculum and Instruction David Stearns.

         The George Washington University Book Award, given to a junior who embodies the GW drive and spirit through academic achievement, leadership outside the classroom, diversity of thought, and ability to put knowledge into action, was awarded to Ian Howell of Blue Hill by David Stearns.

         The Rensselaer Medal, given by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to a junior who has demonstrated high academic achievement, excelling in advanced math and science courses, and has exhibited significant involvement in extracurricular activities, was awarded to Syra Gutow by Math Chair Elisabeth de Sévigné.

         The College of the Atlantic Book Award, given to a community-minded citizen who is a passionate steward of our social, economic, and environmental systems and who grasps the interconnections among these different ways of understanding the world, was awarded to Alex Tully by Science Teacher Carolyn Bennatti.

         The Smith College Book Award, given to a female junior in the top 10 percent of her class who exemplifies academic achievement, leadership qualities, and concern for others, was awarded to Erika Hipsky of Blue Hill by English Chair Mike Kazmierczak.

         The Phi Beta Kappa Prize, given to a junior who has shown a strong sense of intellectual curiosity both in and out of the classroom and a desire to connect education with issues in the wider world, was awarded to Chad Davis by College and Career Counseling Director Katy Rinehart.

         The Industrial Arts Award, given to a student who has excelled in Industrial Arts and shown exemplary attitude, collaboration, and achievement, was awarded to Ryan Mullen of Blue Hill by Industrial Technology Teacher Jason Billings.

         The ISIP Award, given to a junior whose independent project, in design and execution, shows the highest degree of responsibility, creativity, and excellence, was awarded to Simon Tie Brooks of Blue Hill by Art Teacher Anya Antonovych.

         The Saint Michael’s College Book Award, given to a junior who has demonstrated achievement in academics and a social conscience through a commitment to community service and concern for others, was awarded to Duncan Howell of Blue Hill by Social Studies Chair Caroline Richards.

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  • Cultural Festival Held

    Posted by Mark Messer on 4/9/2019 6:00:00 AM

    Creative Cultural Festival Crowd


    Student-led Festival a Hit

    GSA’s first Creative Cultural Festival was a big success, with crowds of community members, friends, and family turning out on April 5 to learn more about the cultures of nearly 20 different places.

         The student-driven event, hosted by our International Team and Student Council, featured displays, music, food, and drink. Among the places represented were Belize, China, Colombia, the Cranberry Isles, the Dominican Republic, East Timor, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, Scotland, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, and Vietnam.

         Thank you to all who attended. Your enthusiasm for the festival was much appreciated. Thank you to all the students, staff, and others who helped prepare and publicize the event. We’re already looking forward to next year’s festival.

         To see a selection of photos from the festival, check out this story in our Students in the News section.

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  • Three Get Audubon Scholarship

    Posted by Mark Messer on 3/26/2019 4:00:00 AM

    Audubon Scholarships

    From left, Clementine Bannon, Chloe Sheahan, and Emma Snow.


    Scholarships Support Marine Science Camp


    Three GSA freshmen are recipients of scholarships from Downeast Audubon to attend Acadia Institute of Oceanography Marine Science Camps this summer.

         Clementine Bannon of Blue Hill and Chloe Sheahan of Sedgwick will attend the advanced camp in Seal Harbor in July, and Emma Snow of Harborside will attend the intermediate camp in August.

         “It is a wonderful program,” said GSA science teacher Carolyn Bennatti. “We have had quite a few students take advantage of this generous scholarship opportunity over the last decade or so.”

         The camps involve marine science activities as well as exploration of the other geological and institutional resources of Mount Desert Island and the surrounding area.

         For more on the camps, visit www.acadiainstitute.com.

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  • GSA Jazz at States

    Posted by Mark Messer on 3/19/2019

    jazz band after awards

    The GSA Jazz Band after the awards. Photo by Stacia Nevin


    Jazz Ensembles Hit High Note at State Festival

    The GSA jazz combo Jam Bake, who came in third at the Berklee festival earlier in the year, earned a Gold Medal 1 rating from the judges with a score of 96 points.

         Individual honors for Jam Bake: Courtney Bianco ‘19 on alto sax and Edward Conte ‘19 on drums were named Division III MVPs. Outstanding soloist and musicianship awards were earned by LeeAnn Varnum ‘19, tenor sax; Courtney Bianco ‘19, alto sax; Erika Hipsky ‘20, alto sax; Duncan Howell ‘20, trombone; Elana Williamson ‘19, vibes; Tess Williamson ‘19, piano; Quinn Stabler ‘20, bass; and Edward Conte ‘19, drums.

         The GSA Jazz Band earned a Silver Medal 1 rating for their set.

         Individual honors for the GSA Jazz Band: Duncan Howell ‘20 on trombone and Edward Conte ‘19 on drums were named Division IV MVPs. Outstanding soloist and musicianship awards were earned by Quinn Stabler ‘20, bass; Erika Hipsky ‘20, alto sax; Dawsen Astbury ‘20, trumpet; Gabe Hall ‘22, trumpet; Elana Williamson ‘19, vibes; Tess Williamson ‘19, piano; Courtney Bianco ‘19, alto sax; Edward Conte ‘19, drums; LeeAnn Varnum ‘19, tenor sax; and Duncan Howell ‘20, trombone.

         Up Too Early also earned a Silver Medal 1 rating.

         Individual honors for Up Too Early: Ian Howell ‘20 on bari sax was named Multiple B Combo Division MVP. Outstanding soloist and musicianship awards were earned by LeeAnn Varnum ‘19, alto sax; Ian Howell ‘20, bari sax; Joseph Mitchell ‘20, guitar; and Dawsen Astbury ‘20, drums and whistler.

         Octessence received an Honorable Mention, as did Out Too Late.

         Individual honors for Octessence: Outstanding soloist and musicianship awards were earned by Amara Birdsall ‘21, vocals; Emma Brown ‘21, vocals; Morgan Davis ‘22, piano; and Gabe Hall ‘22, trumpet.

         Individual honors for Out Too Late: Outstanding soloist and musicianship awards were earned by Adam Mathewson ‘21, vocals; Zeke Sacaridiz ‘21, drums; River Muise ‘22, bass; and Hunter Sargent ‘20, guitar.

         Steve Orlofsky directs the GSA Jazz Band, Jam Bake, and Up Too Early. Fiona Schubeck ’08 directs Octessence and Out Too Late.

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  • ISIP Exhibitions Set

    Posted by Mark Messer on 3/6/2019

    Nikki Jaffray

    GSA School Nurse Nikki Jaffray '04 chose a career in nursing because of her ISIP.


    Exhibition Night To Conclude This Year's ISIPs


    An evening of presentations and exhibitions will celebrate the conclusion of the Independent Study and Internship Program projects undertaken by juniors and seniors at George Stevens Academy. The event will take place in the GSA gym on Wednesday, March 20, starting at 7 P.M.

         This year, more than 130 juniors and seniors spent two weeks after February break on academic and experiential projects they designed themselves. Most undertook these projects close to home; others traveled to other states or countries.

         The range of this year’s ISIP subjects, which include filmmaking, learning music, building an instrument, producing music, 2D art and design, fashion, performing arts, 3D arts/crafts, architecture, language and culture, history, writing, literature, politics, law, law enforcement, engines, engineering, fabrication, teaching, education, business, economics, industry, medicine, behavioral health, wellness, fitness, computers and electronics, science and research, culinary arts, outdoors careers, animals and animal care, was as broad as ever and reflected students’ diverse interests.

         Every project had a mentor, and with two-thirds of those projects and internships set in the local area, scores of area experts helped GSA students with their projects. Of those local experts, nearly one in five was a GSA alum.

         Though many students use ISIP to explore a topic of personal interest, many go on to careers in the fields they study during ISIP. A good example of that is Nikki Jaffray ’04, who did her second ISIP at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital.

         “ISIP was eye opening,” Jaffray said. “I walked in and had never done or seen anything that the nurses, doctors, x-ray techs, or any of them were doing, and I was kind of blown away. People actually do this?” she remembered thinking at the time.

         “I mean, you go to the hospital, but you never really think about working there because” you’re sick and scared and worried about getting better, she said. “So to go there and see what the nurses are doing is a job, and what the doctors are doing is a job … was really neat.” It was a pivotal moment for Jaffray, who knew then that she had found her career. Now she’s the school nurse at George Stevens Academy, a strong example of how the program gives back to the community.

         The year in which the first ISIP was offered at GSA is unknown, but in a recent social media post, Bernice (Bartlett) DeBlois said that she did her ISIP her senior year, 1969, making the program more than 50 years old.

         The public is invited to attend the exhibition.

         For more information on ISIP (and more pictures!), visit www.georgestevensacademy.org/ISIP.

         If you know more about the origins of ISIP, please email the details to Mark Messer at m.messer@georgestevens.org.

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  • Student Heading to Fencing Junior Olympics

    Posted by Mark Messer on 2/9/2019 12:00:00 PM

    Bowden fencing

    Hope Bowden, right, fences with Conall Gouveia of Medway in preparation for the Junior Olympic Fencing Championship in Denver Feb. 15-18.


    Fencing Draws GSA Student to Junior Olympics

    What started as an “oh, cool, learn sword-fighting type of thing” has turned into a competitive sport for a sophomore at George Stevens Academy.

         Hope Bowden of Orland, who studies fencing with John Krauss of the Down East School of Fencing in Verona, will compete in the Junior Olympic Fencing Championship, set for Feb. 15-18 in Denver.

         Bowden started fencing in fifth-grade, and though it is still interesting and fun for her, she has picked up a lot about timing and strategy, as well as learning that she prefers saber, one of three fencing disciplines. The others are foil and epee.

         The weapons differ, as do the targets and approaches to the sport. Saber involves more slashing and is more aggressive, according the U.S. Olympic Committee website, and it’s faster, said Bowden.

         You use the side of the blade, not the tip, she said, where foil and epee are slower, and you “stand around and poke at people now and then.”

         That’s how a fight scene in “The Princess Bride” started, with “a little bit of foil, then they started cutting at each other, like saber, too,” Bowden said, noting that what we see on screen doesn’t always present fencing accurately.

         Bowden will compete in the Junior Women’s Saber event on Saturday and the Cadet Women’s Saber event on Monday, according to the Junior Olympic Fencing website, and she just hopes to “learn from the experience,” Bowden said.

         Two other students from the Down East School of Fencing also are expected to compete in Denver: Lily Millard of Old Town in Cadet Women’s Foil and Cadet Women’s Epee, and Ian Bowden, Hope Bowden’s younger brother, in Cadet Men’s Epee.

         If there is enough student interest and a faculty or staff advisor can be found, Bowden hopes to start fencing club at GSA.

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  • Student Artworks Win Scholastic Awards

    Posted by Mark Messer on 2/5/2019 5:00:00 PM

    Wardwell ink on paper

    Isaac Wardwell's "A big paper boat for a kid in a raincoat."


    Five Students Win Scholastic Awards

    Seven works of art by five George Stevens Academy students were selected recently for honors in the Maine Region Scholastic Art and Writing Awards competition. Four of them have been on display at the Maine College of Art in Portland and will be up till the conclusion of an awards ceremony Saturday, Feb. 9.

         “Confidently Content,” ink and gouache on paper by MacKenzie Tapley, and “A big paper boat for a kid in a raincoat,” ink on paper by Isaac Wardwell, were selected for Gold Key awards, the competition’s highest honor. Both are automatically considered for the National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards competition.

         “Composition in Color,” mixed media on paper by Emma Brown, and "Olive Us," colored pencil on paper by Tapley, were selected for Silver Key awards. Both Gold and Silver Key artworks were offered the chance to be exhibited at the Maine College of Art.

         Honorable Mentions were awarded to “Squishy Face,” colored pencil on paper by Genevieve Claybaugh, “Window Pain,” fingerpaint on paper by Asha Kirkland, and “Soleil,” linoleum block print also by Kirkland.

         “I’ve been on cloud nine with the kids. They did such an excellent job,” said Mariel Duym, art teacher at GSA.

         The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for creative teens is the oldest such competition in the United States. According to promotional materials, the criteria for selecting artworks haven’t changed since the contest started in 1923: originality, technical skill, and emergence of personal vision or voice.

         Wardwell’s piece, in addition to winning a Gold Key award, earned Honorable Mention in the Congressional Art Competition for which all submissions to the Scholastic competition are considered. He’ll be invited to display his artwork at the State House in Augusta later this spring, “a huge honor,” said Duym.

         To see a gallery of all seven works of art, click on the story in the Arts in the News section of our website.

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  • Middle School Appreciation Night II

    Posted by Mark Messer on 1/31/2019 7:00:00 AM

    Lehto and Foster

    Theron Lehto, Knockout winner, with Michael S. Foster.


    Big Crowd for Bucksport Game

    Middle School Appreciation Night games between the GSA basketball teams and Bucksport drew large crowds to the gym on Jan. 30. The JV team took an early lead and finished with the win, 40-19. The varsity team scored the first points of the night, and while their game was closer and more competitive, they stayed focused and strong on the court and won the very exciting game 42-26.

         Members of the Junior Eagles and Junior Bobcats, two youth development teams, came to the game for a meet-and-greet and autograph session with both GSA varsity basketball teams. They also lined up to welcome the varsity girls into the gym for their game.

         It was Senior Night, too, and four seniors had the chance to thank their parents for their support before team introductions. We thank you, too, parents!

         Middle School Appreciation Night gave more than thirty seventh- and eighth-graders from area sending towns free admission to the game, a free slice of pizza and drink, giveaways, and a chance to see our teams in action.

         At halftime of the varsity game, four names were drawn for a game of Knockout. Each competitor got a GSA Together T-shirt, and the winner, Theron Lehto of the Blue Hill Consolidated School, won a black, long-sleeved shirt from GSA's collection of spirit wear. (Visit GSA Spirit Wear to find out what's available. We now have items in an online store that are not available on campus. Check them out!)

         Everyone was entertained by the GSA Band, directed by Steve Orlofsky. The band kept the crowds pumped up, and as at the first Middle School Appreciation Night game, there was plenty of cowbell, just like Athletic Director Larry Gray likes it. Gray also impressed us all with his arena-level announcing skills. Iiiiintroduciiiiiing ...

         Middle School Appreciation Night, organized by Michael S. Foster and Christie A. Snow of GSA Admissions, was a chance for area seventh- and eighth-graders to get a glimpse of what it's like to be an Eagle. 

         Click here to visit the Athletics in the News page where you can see this story with more photos and a video of the Junior teams welcoming the varsity Eagles.  

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