Monday, May 29, 2017

HMS Civil Rights Team Continues Essential Work

The HMS Civil Rights Team and their advisors, Laura Mike and Charlotte Agell, are seeking new members for the 2017-2018 school year. This team continues to enrich and educate our community through work on their mission, which is focused on getting students to think about and talk about the seven categories protected under the Maine Civil Rights Law. The team's goal is to help ensure that all students can learn in an environment free of harassment where they feel safe, welcome, and respected.
Eric Borda, Josh Leinwand, Tyler Roderick, Avi Singh, Louisa Thompson-Longshore, Ellie Zimmerman, Grace Shi, Emily Mickool, Charlotte Agell (Julia Bailey and Finn Snow not pictured in this photo).
The Civil Rights team recently attended the state conference and came back with exciting and innovative ideas to continue their work. Please have your child see Laura or Charlotte if they're interested in joining this inspiring group of students.
The HMS Team at work
Our thanks and appreciation to this team and their advisors for sharing their important work with our community! We continue to benefit from their dedication to this work and the impact it has on all of us.

Dr. Beal visits with 7th grade scientists

Morgan Cuthbert shared our 7th grade science students' latest learning experience:

Dr. Beal at work
We were pleased to have Dr. Brian Beal, of the University of Maine Machias and Downeast Institute, join the 7th Grade Life Science Classes on May 26th.  Dr. Beal is an expert on the soft shell clam, Mya arenaria. Soft shell clamming is the 2nd most lucrative fishery in the State. Dr. Beal will discuss the traits and reproductive cycle of the soft shell clam along with the research he's conducting in Freeport and along the Maine Coast to help repopulate a dwindling organism in our state. Our classes have been studying invasive species and healthy ecosystems, and classifying organisms like mollusks. Dr. Beals' experiences will connect to our students' current knowledge.

5th and 8th Grade Buddies learn from Engineers Without Borders

Rod Corey and the 5th and 8th grade teams arranged for our students to participate in a unique, educational opportunity offered by Engineers Without Borders. This inspiring program provided our 5th and 8th grade buddies with an interesting, shared learning experience

Engineers Without Borders: 


We are the Portland Maine Professionals chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Our chapter membership includes professional engineers of all types who are working at firms in the greater Portland area. We're offering presentations to middle and high school classes to celebrate how engineering (and sciences) can improve public health around the world.  

EWB's goal as an organization is to partner with communities in developing countries to help meet basic human needs for clean water, schools, roads, bridges, etc. Our chapter members volunteer their time to projects that bring safe water to rural communities, design and build strong, safe buildings such as schools in earthquake zones, and bring bridges to improve transportation for people in rural areas.  We now want to reach out to the local schools in southern Maine to show how basic STEM subjects can lead to work outside of classrooms and outside of offices.  This is completely free, as all of us are volunteers living in the Portland area.

If it fits with your curriculum, we would be happy to come to your school for a presentation to share our volunteer work.  We have already visited several area schools to share our water project in Dorgobom Ghana, and to show how safe water leads to better health, education, literacy, and work opportunities for the communities.  We also offer a presentation on how to build a school in Ethiopia, showing the different building techniques compared to the usual materials and tools used in the US.  Having personally been on multiple trips, we have firsthand stories to share, both in our successes and how projects sometimes fail, but we always make a difference and explore some great places.

If this interests you, please check out our website ( and see our recent clip on "207"  at

If you would like us to come to your school for a presentation/class, please call our school outreach coordinator Kathy Hillman Reed (207-233-8762) or email her at We're happy to schedule time with you before the end of this school year or in the fall of 2017.

Thanks for your consideration. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Nadia Glucksberg
President, EWB PMP Chapter

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Great Americans

Alex Bentivoglio
Our 5th grade students educated, entertained and delighted the crowds during the GREAT AMERICAN presentations! 

Duncan Leahy
They embodied the individuals they've been studying in mind, personality and costume. 

Cole Swan
We were impressed with their poised, articulate interactions, and with all they've learned. Their hard work and engagement with this project was obvious! 

Our thanks to these students and the 5th Grade Team for sharing their knowledge with us!

Ryan Taylor

Matthew Gautreau

2017 Young Athletes Festival

Samantha Miles and Anna Wallace support a new friend
Thank you to our 8th grade students and the 8th grade team for their wonderful work hosting this year's Young Athletes Festival!
Sandy Yale spreads some joy
Our students gave our young visitors a warm welcome and supported them with a variety of activities designed to prepare them for the Special Olympics. The 8th grade students were attentive to our visitors' needs and did everything they could to ensure that a wonderful time was had by all, which it most certainly was! Many students commented on our visitors' strength and perseverance, and all they learned from this time with them.
Special thanks to Rod Corey for ensuring that every detail for this event was taken care of, to Lisa Bird and Mark Capano from Special Olympics for their commitment to this festival, to Meredith Hawkins for bringing this wonderful idea to our community, and to the 8th grade team for their support of our students!

We hope you enjoy this story from Channel 8:

PTO spnosors the Second Annual, Amazing, Murder Mystery Dinner Theater!

The MMDT Cast
Thanks to Melina Roberts, our PTO/Murder Mystery Dinner Theater team, and our actors, crew and waitstaff, for this year's remarkable event! Every detail was executed impeccably from the incredible script and acting to the over the top, wonderful decorations, sound, drums, and lighting by the crew, AND, delicious dinner! 

Melina Roberts at work
Some of our amazing wait staff
The audience was riveted as the mystery unfolded and so appreciative of the herculean efforts that go into organizing an evening like this. They appreciated the time, care and effort that was put into every decision. Congratulations to Chris Hill for solving the mystery!
Chris Hill
Our community is beyond fortunate to have the support of our PTO. I've shared some of the highlights from Melina's welcome speech to thanks the many contributors:

"We want to thank Liz Reinsborough, Kathy Gardner, Mrs. M, Blair Currier, Kathy Latham, Theresa Cline, Henry Garrou, Kelly John and Jocelyn Handy for helping to make this magic happen.  The committee wants to recognize the 7th and 8th grade students who have volunteered the time to be actors, decorating committee, waitstaff, and crew!  Thank you 7th and 8th graders!

Tonight’s program is “Murder at the Tawny Homburg”.  We want to thank Dave Mason for allowing us to use his script and Jesica Garrou for directing tonight’s play.

The Murder Mystery Dinner Theater Gumshoe Award and $100 gift certificate to Frontier Cafe, cinema and gallery was donated by Brewer South Freeport Marine in South Freeport, Maine.

During the show, the actors will be handing out prize tickets for some wonderful prizes including movie tickets donated by Nordica Theater in Freeport, Flagship Cinemas in Falmouth, 2 tickets to Yarmouth's got Talent adult edition, and a gift certificate for Maine Foodie tours. The more you engage our actors, the more chances you might have to win.

As for the Raffle item, we will be selecting the winner of the Travis Lee/ Channel 8 job shadow experience at the end of the program. 

In addition to the donations I have already mentioned, Hannaford, Hancock Lumber, Royal River Community Theater, Moonlighting Production Services, and Men’s Warehouse have contributed to tonight’s performance."

Thank you one and all!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Beauty and the Beast

The Cast and Crew of Sleeping Beauty
Congratulations to the wonderful cast and crew of Sleeping Beauty! Our 5th grade students put on a winning, whimsical rendition of this show, which featured acting, singing, dancing, lighting and sound that rivaled the original production!

All the students involved worked together, exhibiting the perseverance, teamwork and collaboration necessary for success! We're proud of their efforts and their support of each other during this process.

Heartfelt thanks to our Director, Betsey Reinsborough, whose vision guides all of the HMS shows to successful fruition, and to all of our parent volunteers for their support!

Our continuous appreciation to all of the Reinsboroughs, our very own Liz, Kathy Gardner, Danielle Newcomb, Bill Allen, Kimberly Grover and Brad Ciechomski for all of their assistance! HMS Blog with photos coming soon : )

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Student Leadership Team Book Drive

HMS Student Leadership Team (Maddy Corson not pictured in this photo)
The books have been counted and the results are in:  
Sixth grade students donated 320 books! They're the winners of the first 'Share the Love of Reading' drive!
Grade 5 takes second place with 178 books donated, Grade 7 takes third place with 138 books donated, and Grade 8 takes fourth place with 94 books donated. This makes a total of 730 donated books from our HMS community. Our students should be proud of this effort!
Thank you from the Yarmouth Food Pantry, Tedford Housing, The Boys & Girls Club and the Student Leadership Team to all of our wonderful families and students who donated books for this drive!
Thanks and appreciation to Mrs. Emmons, Student Leadership Advisor, and all of the students on the leadership team!


Sunday, May 14, 2017

HMS Career Fair

Our heartfelt appreciation to Mrs. Emmons, Ms. Mike, and all of our Career Fair presenters for creating another exceptionally successful HMS Career Fair!

Mr. Currier at work
Putting this day together takes an incredible amount of time, energy and planning. The presenters were phenomenal. Their interesting, engaging sessions fascinated our students. We appreciate the time they took to share their expertise with us and the  questions our students asked, which demonstrated their interest and excitement about careers they may want to pursue.

Mr. Hewitt at work
We extend our gratitude to the Career Fair committee for all of their work. Special thanks to Ms. Roberts, Mrs. Gardner, Mr. Arsenault and Mr. C. for their efforts to ensure that this day was a success, and to all of the HMS staff support of this event.

Mr. Reinsborough at work
Our thanks also to Mrs. Logan for introducing us to our Keynote speaker, Mr. Akakpo, who shared his inspiring story with us!

Mrs. Logan introduces Mr. Akakpo

Spring Concerts spread the joy of music

This year's spring concerts highlighted our students hard work, commitment and passion to music, and support of each other as they delighted the audiences with their performances.
7th and 8th grade students prepare to serenade the audience
 Congratulations to the 5th Grade Band, the 6th Grade Band, the 6th Grade Jazz Choir, and the 5th and 6th Grade Chorus for a fantastic night of music! 
The 5th Grade Band kicked off the night with a rousing set of music that highlighted their growth as musicians this year. The 6th Grade Band pushed themselves with challenging songs about zombie trombones and cartoon craziness. The 6th Grade Jazz Choir took us back in time with Do Wah Diddy Diddy, complete with some spot-on beat boxing. The 5th and 6th Grade Chorus closed the evening with five songs that put a little love in everyone's heart. Many thanks to Mrs. Grover and Mr. C, as each has an uncanny ability to get the very best out of HMS's students. Bravo!
Mrs. Grover at work
The 7th & 8th Grade Symphonic Band, 7th & 8th Grade Jazz Coir, and 7th & 8th Grade Concert Choir provided the audience with a stellar evening of music at the spring concert. The night was filled with beautiful sounds, emotion and gratitude.
Our HMS musicians and singers performed challenging pieces rich with historical significance. The students conveyed the passion behind each of the songs, which they played and sang to perfection. Their interpretations of the music made it possible for the audience to share their feelings of teamwork, community, support for each other, and the joy and emotion that music brings to our lives.
Our 8th grade students' heartfelt tributes to Mrs. Grover and Mr. C. highlighted the hard work, perseverance, time and energy that go into creating evenings like last night, and our students' gratitude and appreciation to their parents and these teachers for their support.
Patrick Bergen pays tribute to Mr. C.
Our thanks to all of our students who participated in last night's event and congratulations to our 8th grade students for their moving performances in their last middle school concert.

Thank you to Mr. Dustin for his unwavering support and accompaniment at all of our concerts.
To Mrs. Grover and Mr. C., we all continue to learn so much from you about the power of music. Thank you for all you bring to our community.

Mr. C. at work

Saturday, May 6, 2017

An Interview with Charlotte Agell by Alex Ericson

Charlotte Agell and Alex Ericson
Alex Ericson, HMS journalist, interviewed Charlotte Agell, our author in residence. 

We are pleased to share their fascinating conversation with you about Charlotte's 13th book. The working title is  Elba & Norris and the Big Block. It's a picture book with Scholastic, due out in 2019. 

Thanks to Alex for this compelling interview!

Our congratulations and best wishes to Charlotte! We're thrilled to know that our school had something to do with the idea for this book. We cannot wait to read her latest creation!

What inspired you to write this book?

This book was actually born in our HMS hallways! A student asked me if I ever got writer's block. I replied that I was more likely to have TOO many ideas, like a swarm of butterflies. This lead to me thinking about blocks and butterflies. In the book, Elba drags around a big black block. Norris has so many butterflies. The book came to be about the heaviness of grief and the importance of friendship.

How did you come up with the characters?

At first, I saw the characters as people. In a conversation with my daughter, I quickly realized they must be animals, so that they really could represent ANYbody. Elba, in my version, is a rhinoceros in a pink tutu. Norris is a crocodile in a top hat. This might change since, for the first time ever, I will not be illustrating my own book, which is both scary and possibly really cool.

What kind of books do you write?

I write the book that comes to find me and nags me the most. That might sound odd, but I mean it.

What do you enjoy about writing?

I enjoy writing; it takes me all over the place. I hate writing sometimes; it can be hard.  I can't help but write, it seems. It's always been that way for me.

I feel so lucky to work in a district that so values reading and writing. I am surrounded by readers and writers here in Yarmouth!

Blair and Nikki bring home the win!

We're proud to share this update from Dr. Dolloff on YSD School Nutrition Director Blair Currier and HMS Nutrition Team member Nikki Davoren:
YSD School Nutrition Director Blair Currier and HMS Nutrition Employee Nikki Davoren competed against RSU 52 (Turner) at the State Final Farm to School cook-off this week at Freeport High School and brought home the win!  

Teams were tasked with preparing a breakfast and lunch meal within a specific time frame using at least two ingredients that are grown, raised, caught or manufactured in the State of Maine while meeting National School Breakfast and Lunch Program requirements.  As an added twist, Maine wild blueberries and Maine potatoes had to be used as "challenge" ingredients in the competition. 

Each team presented their meal to a judging panel consisting of a Freeport High School student, a certified professional chef, and a school nutrition director.  

Blair and Nikki won with their breakfast of crepes with a wild blueberry and kelp smoothie and a lunch consisting of Atlantic fish tacos, Maine apple salsa and garlic roasted potatoes.  All recipes from the cook-off will be published in a cookbook  distributed by the Maine Department of Education. 

Inline image 1

Inline image 2

Inline image 3

Exciting Final Math Meets!

Thanks to Barb Ellis and Jay Harrington for this update. We thank Barb, Jay, and Bob Gross for their guidance and leadership of these teams this year!
On Tuesday, May 2nd, the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade math teams proudly represented Harrison Middle School at the last math meet of the year.  For the first time in many years, HMS was represented by a full six-member team at every grade level! They were accompanied by coaches Mrs. Ellis, Mr Harrington and Mr Gross.  All of these students were very enthusiastic and an exciting time was had by all who attended.  We are pleased to announce that Sebastien Martinez earned the third place individual score among about 200 other 5th graders and brought home a trophy! Congratulations to all.

6th graders: Emily Densmore, Stuart Baybutt, Truman Peters, William Best, Nate Hagedorn & Joshua Leinwand
Inline image 2

8th graders: Evan Lucca, G.W. Ruth, Evan Van Lonkhuyzen, Parker Harnett, Zoe Siegel & Anushka Canfield
Inline image 1

7th graders: Krisztian Kovaks, Elena Miller, Emily Mickool, Milo Weibus, Ty Lucca & Georgia Herr
Inline image 3

5th graders: Fionna Moran, Milo Sanokklis, Sebastien Martinez, Norah Mills, Evan Hankins & Ryan Cowell
Inline image 4

3rd Place individual for 5th grade: Sebastien Martinez
Inline image 6