You may remember almost a month ago I wrote in this space about Casco Bay High School Principal Derek Pierce and his opportunity to win a $100,000 grant from the Nellie Mae Foundation for his school. Click here to read that post, if not.
Pierce was Maine’s nominee for the third annual Larry O’Toole Award, which carried the grant prize, and online voting ended on Sept. 30. That afternoon, Portland Public Schools announced Pierce had won with more than 6,000 votes, about twice what the second place finisher received.
Said Pierce of the contest and award:
“It was a great honor to be nominated alongside transformational New England educators, students and organizations. Over the last three weeks, the depth and breadth of the passion shown by our students, staff, parents, alumni and community partners has been awesome. I am also tremendously grateful for all of the support our school has received from Portland and Maine and the entire country. It is a great tribute to the excellent work our students and staff have done in our first decade.”
Casco Bay High School was founded as Portland’s expeditionary learning high school in 2005, delivering the curriculum using hands-on projects that play to the students’ passions. The school has earned a number of plaudits in its relatively brief existence (Portland High School, across town, opened in 1821, for comparison), some of which I wrote about in the previous post, available here.
The video above helps show what, exactly expeditionary learning is and how it’s used at Portland’s Casco Bay High School and King Middle School, both of which were featured in a book about innovations in education. (The video mostly depicts King, but the project-based approach is used at Casco Bay as well.)
Here’s how Pierce plans to use the money, according to Portland Public Schools’ announcement:
- $50,000 will be allocated to scholarships that ensure that all CBHS students, regardless of family income, can take part in annual learning expeditions.
- $25,000 will be dedicated to supplies and equipment for a nascent “Maker Lab” so CBHS students would have more opportunity to explore, design, invent, experiment and create.
- 15,000 will be reserved for micro-grants to students for projects that address local needs.
- $10,000 will be used for hosting visiting educators and for leading student-centered learning workshops.
Congratulations to Principal Pierce on the award!
Mayor Brennan heads to Nova Scotia
Portland Mayor Michael Brennan is going to check it out for himself.
Here’s an announcement by the city of Portland issued yesterday:
“Mayor Michael Brennan will travel [Thursday] night aboard the Nova Star ferry on a trip to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The mayor’s visit will include a meeting and tour with Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood, city officials, and business leaders. The discussion will focus on Portland-Yarmouth relations since the reactivation of ferry service between the two cities. This is Mayor Brennan’s first visit to Yarmouth since the Nova Star began service in May.”
It’ll be interesting to learn what he thinks of the relationship between the two cities and perhaps how Portland can capitalize on the restarted ferry connection.
WGME’s Evans Boston leaves TV to join the Maine Red Claws
File this under “Last, but definitely not least”: Evans Boston, who spent the last seven years as a popular sports anchor and reporter for our media partners at WGME, CBS 13, has signed on as the new director of communications for the city’s Development League pro basketball team, the Maine Red Claws.
Boston made the announcement this afternoon. He replaces Will McClaran, who has moved up to the larger NBA, taking a job with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Boston is a York native who went to Syracuse University, and has a stack of broadcasting awards to his name for his time as one of Maine’s most recognizable sportscasters, including Maine Association of Broadcasters awards for best sports features each of the last two years.
Red Claws President Dajuan Eubanks said Boston is “well-connected” and that he expected the new team spokesman to be an asset “off-the-court and in the community.”
The Red Claws are a sort-of minor league affiliate of the NBA’s Boston Celtics. Last season, star Celtic point guard Rajon Rondo was placed briefly on the roster for a non-game workout while he worked his way back from an injury. Perhaps the best-known Red Claws graduate is guard Avery Bradley, who broke the D-League single game steals record in 2010-11 and has gone on to become a key contributor for the Celtics.