2014-11-07 / Front Page

School celebrating 10 years of teaching

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer


Michael Wingfield, the artist-in-residence at Kennebunk Elementary School, leads second-grade students in a brief drum performance during the live, televised morning assembly on Halloween. The school will host two more live televised assemblies this Friday, Nov. 7 and Nov. 14 as part of a three-week celebration marking the school’s 10- year anniversary. 
(Alex Acquisto photo) Michael Wingfield, the artist-in-residence at Kennebunk Elementary School, leads second-grade students in a brief drum performance during the live, televised morning assembly on Halloween. The school will host two more live televised assemblies this Friday, Nov. 7 and Nov. 14 as part of a three-week celebration marking the school’s 10- year anniversary. (Alex Acquisto photo) KENNEBUNK — Kennebunk Elementary School is celebrating its 10- year anniversary this fall. Marking the celebration, the school is televising three Friday morning assemblies, replete with student performances, Veterans Day appreciations and presentations of how KES came to be.

The first televised assembly was held on Halloween. Students, parents and teachers gathered in the gymnasium for a student drum performance, led by artist-inresidence Michael Wingfield, and a short presentation about the birth of KES.

KES opened its doors to students on Nov. 29, 2004, as a consolidation of Park Street School and Cousins School. Former principal of Park Street School, Marcia Hamlyn led the presentation. Hamlyn told students an illustrative story while a slide show of pictures cycled behind her on a screen propped up on the auditorium stage. “Every journey begins with a first step,” Hamlyn told the students. In the case of KES, Hamlyn said, that first step was “imagination.”

Building the school, from beginning to end, took 15 months, Hamlyn told the students. “However, the process took six years, because we had an awful lot of research.” A picture from the early phases of construction showing only a steel skeleton of a building was projected onto the screen.

“That looks like an erector set, doesn’t it?” Hamlyn asked students energetically.

While students who attended KES in its first years are now in high school, many of the teachers are still at the school. “We are a school that has just finally, in recent years, come into its own,” Quinn said on Monday. “Three years ago there were still moments where you could see this was two staffs that had been brought together,” Quinn said. Those factors no longer exist.

“A lot of it is the really hard work that the staff have done to become a professional learning community,” Quinn said.

Quinn attributes KES’ success, not only to a “fantastic” professional learning community within its walls, but a “wonderful” community outside of school walls.

Ways that teachers and administration work to increase community involvement include, at the most basic level, inviting parents and friends into the building to partake in activities. “Our assemblies have become a nice way to share what we’re doing,” Quinn said. “They’re great for community-building. We’ve gone from having 20 to 30 parents to having 80 and 150 on a typical week.” The assemblies are a great way to “improve parent participation and finding ways for parents to become involved,” Quinn said.

Quinn is passionate about future programming opportunities at KES, including paving the way for a pre-K program and furthering Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum at the elementary level.

Teachers at KES are currently working on ways to get funding to build a STEM greenhouse, as well as turn an existing room into a STEM lab, Quinn said.

This Friday’s assembly begins at 8:30 a.m. in the school gymnasium and will be devoted recognizing those who have served in the armed services.

The assembly Friday, Nov. 14 will start at 8:15 a.m. and focus on celebrating community support of the school.

For more information, visit www.rsu21.net.

Want to comment on this story? Visit our website at www.post.mainelymediallc.com and let us know your thoughts.

Return to top