Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Two Book Reviews by students Deidra and Leanna

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Soldier Mom

Reviewed by Deidra Pushard – Richmond

I read Soldier Mom by Alice Mead and I loved it.  It was about an eleven-year-old girl named Jasmyn and her brother Andrew.  Their mother is in the U.S. army; at the beginning of August 1990 she was called to serve in the Persian Gulf War.  Who was going to take care of Jas and her baby half-brother?  Mom’s boyfriend, Jake, who was also Andrew’s father, would look after them for mother.  Jasmyn was really upset that her mother could just up and leave them.  The day her mother left was really hard on Jas.  Mom tried to stay home, but the army wouldn’t let that happen. When her mother left I cried.  Jas was worried that something bad would happen to Mom while she was at war.  Jake wasn’t very good at planning the schedule for dinner, let alone packing Andrew’s diaper bag for daycare.

I chose this book because I have a lot of friends in the army. The story takes place in Maine and it is a really great book. Some parts get sad and they made me cry. I would definitely recommend this book to others because it is a real eye opener for people that are wanting to join the U.S. Army.  It shows you that you can’t take things for granted. Everything is possible.  I felt connected with the character named Jas, because when my brother went into the army I never knew when I was going to hear from him so I always waited by the phone like Jas did, waiting for her mother to call.


Number the Stars

Reviewed by Leanna Cole – Lyman


I found this book by Lois Lowry to take a long time to get through. It was slow moving for me. The book has me caught in a mutual zone of optimism and pessimism. It makes me feel optimistic by that fact that people were able to find ways to get around the Holocaust and they will do so again if a situation arises. Another reason for my optimistic view is because what I know about the Holocaust and this book made sense together. People got in trouble for being a part of the Holocaust. How would a whole country make that mistake again?

My pessimistic views on the other hand tends to be more of my type of thinking. If we take things that are currently happening with our government and connected them to things that happened in this book, things aren’t much different. Could it be possible that we elected a president who could do this? In the book its says how the police go into homes and take the Jewish people away to concentration camps. Our homeland security officers are currently taking

away undocumented immigrants. History has a way of repeating itself. Is it human nature to think we can perform the same actions and get different outcomes? I think that our human nature makes us weak. We are puppets on a string to the next event that comes along. If we notice it before it starts we will we stop it.

This book has made me worried about our future as a country. Is it really possible that we are capable of doing this kind of damage? I think we are, but only if we let ourselves. This book has made me want to keep up on current events within my country. I will most definitely be watching for more of our president’s laws.

Our new Camden Residential Grads!

Monday, May 30th, 2016

This year, we will graduate 34 students throughout Maine. The first six graduated on Friday, May 27 in a ceremony at High Mountain Hall in Camden. Here are the first photos of new Wayfinder grads Tae Black, Justin Wordell, Marissa Lugo, Jenny Staples, Deborah Bisabu and Brian Johnson. The week before they graduated, these six students presented wonderful graduation projects, including a documentary film, a photo exhibit and theater performance, a cosmetology presentation, a guitar performance, an anime film, a vocal performance, a photography slideshow and the presentation of school yearbooks. Now these new grads are off to jobs, Job Corps and community college. Congratulations Class of 2016!

 erika and jennymarissa flaghappy jenny flag

everyone no flagssmall groupeveryone flags  carlos and marrissajos paradeselfie


Garden Coordinator Position Available at Opportunity Farm

Friday, June 19th, 2015










We are seeking a summer coordinator for our beautiful Opportunity Farm Gardens.  Details below.



Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

The Wayfinder Schools seek two full time interns for our Residential Program in New Gloucester. Both positions provide excellent educational opportunities and partialroom and board at our Opportunity Farm campus. Full description below.  If interested, email cover letter and resume to by 8/28/12.  No phone calls please.


Internship #1: Academic Intern, New Gloucester, ME


Availability:Spring, Fall


Position:Provide support to residential staff and students with emphasis on academicrequirements; work closely with lead teacher and program director to plan andfacilitate assignments and activities.


Schedule:40 hours per week, overnights Monday – Thursday.


Benefits:Room and board living on the Farm, travel expenses, conference attendance,training in Restorative Justice, many other perks


Learning:interdisciplinary curriculum and learning plans; restorative practices; endlessopportunities for creativity; inspirational alternative learning techniques andteaching strategies geared toward empowering, strength and discovery;relational education; conflict resolution; one-on-one mentoring; communitybased learning; group facilitation; expeditionary skills; crisis management;de-escalation; trauma abuse; cultural competency; teaching; confidencebuilding; enduring relationships; genuine purpose of service andaccomplishment; your own real life learning experiences; computer software;digital camera, video, and projectors; tools.

Internship #2: Residential Living Team Intern, New Gloucester, ME


Availability:Spring, Summer, Fall


Position:Provide support to residential staff including three overnight residentialovernight counselors, one campus director, and one culinary instructor. Assistwith expeditions, service learning, and other weekend learning activities.


Schedule:40 hours per week, overnights on all weekends


Benefits:Room and board living on the Farm, travel expenses, conference attendance,training in Restorative Justice, many other perks

Learning: inspirationalalternative learning techniques, relational education, conflict resolution,mentoring, community based learning, group facilitation, expeditionary skills,crisis management, de-escalation, trauma abuse, cultural competency, teaching,confidence building, enduring relationships, genuine purpose of service andaccomplishment, real life learning experiences, computersoftware, digital cameras, video, projectors, tools.

NYC Blog, Day 2 with the Opportunity Farm crew!

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Today was our first day in the big city! We started our day off with a ferry ride to Staten Island and back to see the Statue of Liberty. We took the subway to Chinatown and started shopping, fun fun fun! There were a lot of people there trying to sell us bags, jewelry and clothes, and we were surrounded by all kinds of different people speaking different languages. After shopping, we went on our food tour: starting with cannolis, then sandwiches, dumplings, donuts and pickles. They were all so delicious! To end our day, we went to a Buddhist temple and checked it out for a little while. It was really beautiful and relaxing. This was our first day and our first time ever in New York City and it was amazing!!!!! Can’t wait for tomorrow: should be fun and we are definitely going to take advantage of the chance.  We love New York City!!!!

Remarks to the 2012 Annual Meeting

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Below are excerpted remarks to our Fall 2012 Annual Meeting by Head of School Dr. Dorothy Foote.


Thank you.

I am thrilled to be here with all of you today.

Just over a year ago, we gathered at this campus to announce the merger of Wayfinder Schools.

It was an exciting time, but also a time of unanswered questions. An incredible amount of work- by many of you in this room- had gone into bringing these two organizations together- the questions-would we able to serve more kids?  Reach more families?  Strengthen our communities?  Help our students succeed?  Ensure more students in Maine were graduating with their high school diplomas?

Now, here we are, 16 months later.

The first graduating class of the merged Wayfinder Schools has made it through.

Many of them are now attending college.  Most all of them are employed in communities throughout Maine.  100% of them reported that their experience at our school left them feeling more confident, more connected to their communities, and more prepared to enter the workforce.

The number of applicants we had for the current year far exceeds the number of applicants for any previous year.  New students are applying all the time.

Our use of Restorative Justice Practices and our focus on strengths-based education, social justice and positive youth development is keeping kids in school, engaged in their work and better prepared for the future.

Our work matches current research in education that states that the goal of a learning environment, a school culture, is to be challenging, engaging, supportive, relevant, and experiential. Learning must have meaning  – and be useful to adolescents in the world.

Adolescents who do not finish school face significant challenges throughout their lives. Relationships, jobs, homelife, community engagement. A very high percentage are incarcerated.

I was at a leadership breakfast Wednesday with the Department of Corrections at which the main reason cited for kids being in detention centers is “expulsion” from school.  What we know is that the culture of detention, suspension, expulsion is not working.

Our dropout rate in Maine is 30% – that is approximately 2300 kids per year in Maine.

I’ll often say – there is no high school after high school.

The work we are doing – going out into communities and putting kids back in school-is the best work we can be doing in Maine today. This is urgent work.

In the past year, we have been recognized by The Maine Commissioner of Education, by The Barbara Bush Family Literacy Foundation, by the Maine Women’s Fund, The Newman’s Own Foundation and others.  We have been featured in Maine Magazine, the Portland Press Herald, The Bangor Daily News, and on several television and radio shows including Good Day Maine and Maine Things Considered.

We have a strong story to tell.  A story of success, of innovation, of using cutting edge research and best practices to help Maine kids succeed and become capable, contributing members of their communities.

I am excited for the next stage of this journey and I thank you for being here today.







Opportunity Farm Campus seeks two new interns!

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

The school year is fast approaching and we are seeking two new Residential Program interns for our Opportunity Farm Campus.  Check out the employment page in our “About Us” section for full details!

Congratulations Camden grads! Don’t miss our Wayfinder Schools graduation on June 1st!

Thursday, May 31st, 2012


Camden Residential Graduation on May 25

Congratulations Camden graduates!

This year we have 24 students graduating in four ceremonies throughout the state of Maine, including our first graduation at Opportunity Farm tomorrow night!

2012 Graduation Schedule:

Friday, May 25, Camden

Residential Graduation

4:00-5:30: Potluck Social at 79 Washington Street

5:30-6:00: Graduation Processional through downtown Camden

6:00-8:00: Commencement at High Mountain Hall

Friday, June 1, Opportunity Farm

Residential Graduation

12:00-2:30 – Potluck Social at Snowe House

2:30-3:00 – Graduation Processional along Gloucester Hill Road

3:00 – 5:00 – Commencement on Upper OF Campus

Saturday, June 9, Washington County

Passages Graduation

1:00 pm at Cobscook Community Learning Center

Saturday, June 16, Camden

Passages Graduation

2:00 pm at John Street Methodist Church

Hope you can join us!


Mamas for Mamas Ladies’ Night Out

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Join us for a Ladies’ Night Out with food,
libations & music by DJ Carly to benefit the
Wayfinder Schools’ Passages Program for Teen Parents

Thursday, November 17 from 6-9pm
at hearstudios at 4 Union Street, Camden

$10 donation at the door
Please bring a new, unwrapped baby gift for our baby
supply drive.

Some items that are needed are:

  • Crib Sheets
  • Sippy cups
  • Size 4 rain boots (boy)
  • high chairs
  • child’s chairs
  • push toys
  • strollers
  • infant car seat (s)
  • Wipes (lots of them)
  • Winter clothes (snowsuits, hats, mittens)
  • Shoes (snow and/or rain boots)
  • Burp cloths
  • Blankets
  • Push Toys
  • Children Books
  • Sippy cups
  • Donations made out to Wayfinder Schools’
    Passages Program are also greatly appreciated.

Passages Program Welcomes New Teacher

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Wayfinder Schools is pleased to announce the hiring of new teacher Heather King, of Windsor. King joined the school’s staff this month, as a teacher in The Passages Program for teen parents.

King, who hails from New Hampshire, has spent the last eleven years living in Pennsylvania, and says she is thrilled to now call Maine her home. “I am beyond excited to be a resident of such a diverse and picturesque state,” she said.

Before moving to PA, King worked as a kindergarten teacher and Head Start home visitor, while more recently, she has taught high school and college English.

King said, “I am truly thrilled to teach at Wayfinder Schools because of the positive influence it has on the community. This position fosters a climate in which I can help students advance academically but also encourage them to be confident, capable human beings who can give back to their communities.”

Wayfinder Schools’s Passages Program serves teen parents in Knox, Lincoln, Waldo and Washington Counties. Students are matched with a Passages Teacher who provides individualized instruction in the student’s own home, thereby eliminating the need for young parents to secure daily transportation and child care in order to attend school.

Founded in 1994, the Passages Program has helped over 120 young parents realize their goal of graduating with a high school diploma. Passages students receive instruction in 24 core areas in academic, parenting and life skills- including math, science, social studies, English Language Arts, child development, budgeting, nutrition and more.

Before graduating, each student must complete a final “Passage”, a project that addresses a personal challenge or goal for the student. Recent Passages projects have included everything from raising funds for The Maine Children’s Cancer Program to learning to play guitar, writing a novella, developing a cookbook for children with special developmental and dietary needs, and even working with town officials to secure sidewalks for a downtown area with heavy stroller traffic.

Last year, Passages student Amanda Thornton spoke at the state-wide drop-out prevention conference and the Maine Family Literacy conference, and was selected as the keynote speaker for The Maine Family Literacy Initiative’s award ceremony in June. There, she spoke alongside former First Lady Barbara Bush and Maine’s First Lady Karen Baldacci.

One recent Passages Program graduate said, “If you had asked me four years if I would ever graduate with my high school diploma, I would probably have told you no. Thanks to The Passages Program, I can say yes.”

King replaces longtime Passages Teacher Janet Larkin, who recently retired from teaching to pursue her writing career. King joins fellow Passages Teacher Andrea Itkin and Passages Program Director Martha Kempe in serving students throughout the mid-coast area.

Kempe said, “We are very pleased to have Heather join Passages. Her combination of experiences in teaching and counseling fit so well with the needs of the position. Her energy and commitment to our students’ growth as parents and learners was evident from her first day with us. We are so happy to have her join Wayfinder Schools staff.”