Posts Tagged ‘New Gloucester’

CSOFC Article in the Portland Press Herald

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Logo credit: Portland Press Herald Facebook page


Head of Schools Dottie Foote recently wrote an op-ed that appeared in today’s Portland Press Herald. In the piece, Dottie shared the schools’ philosophy of utilizing restorative justice practices in our programs and the impact of positive, caring adults in a teenager’s life. Dottie states,

“What we find in our work at Wayfinder Schools is that simply keeping a youth engaged in school is one of our greatest protective factors. Our students are around caring adults who create a healthy environment for learning – which leads to a meaningful high school diploma.”

Click here to read the complete article and feel free to share the link.

We are so proud of Dottie, our programs, and our students!



First Annual Walk on Earth Day and Celebration, 4/22!

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Don’t miss our first annual Walk on Earth Day and Celebration on Sunday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at our Opportunity Farm campus on Gloucester Hill Road.

We will start the event with a three-mile fun walk along the scenic backroads and rolling hills of rural New Gloucester. The walk, which begins and ends in Wayfinder Schools parking area, gives local residents an opportunity to spend the day with old friends and meet some new ones as they take in the spectacular views from Gloucester Hill.

Following the walk, we will have educational demonstrations led by Wayfinder Schools students in addition to live music, food, and a variety of family-friendly activities.

Post-walk activities will include face painting; potato sack, wheel barrow, and three-legged races; juggling and other circus tricks; frisbee; basketball; bobbing for apples; a variety of hands-on planting and community garden projects; a bouncy house, and more. Chad Porter, an accomplished local musician and former Wayfinder Schools resident, will be providing live music.

Our hope is to bring the surrounding community together in celebration of our world and its natural resources.

Students at Wayfinder Schools participate in community service projects throughout the year.

The event is free and no advance registration is necessary!

Hot dogs, hamburgers and veggie burgers grilled by volunteers from the New Gloucester Fire and Rescue Department will be available for purchase for a nominal fee. Wayfinder Schools students will also be hosting a bake sale to raise money for their graduation gowns. Additional donations are welcome to support their effort.

Event sponsors include Poland Spring, AmeriCorps, the New Gloucester Fire and Rescue Department, the Town of New Gloucester, the Great Strides and Community Resource Corps of Goodwill Industries of Northern New England.

We hope you can join us!




Wayfinder Schools Student Combines Passion for Animals with Internship

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Four days a week, high school student Grace Wurgler is up at 7:00 a.m. mucking stalls. With a passion for horses, Wurgler works at Pepper Creek Farms as part of her work study at Wayfinder Schools Residential Program.

Wayfinder Schools student Grace Wurgler works with her favorite horse, Catapult, during her internship

An integral aspect of the program, Wurgler and her peers must find internships based on their interests or life goals in order to graduate. Students are asked about their interests upon arrival at the school. Unlike most students, Wurgler had it all figured out. “I’ve been riding horses since before I can remember,” she shared, “I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Residential Campus Director Margo Fowler elaborated, “Grace set her internship up herself. She was motivated to find a way to combine her passion for horses with the program requirement.”

A typical morning for Wurgler includes cleaning stalls, breaking ice in water buckets, and turning the horses out to pasture. Pepper Creek Farms is part of DLT Performance Horses & Equestrian Center in Gray. Manager and Trainer Nikki Karlsson works closely with Wurgler. “We have girls come and help us out,” said Karlsson. “It’s hard work and you have to love doing it. Grace is clearly passionate about horses and we enjoy having her here!”

Growing up in New Gloucester, Wurgler knew about Wayfinder Schools, but it wasn’t until Fowler started at the school that she connected with Wurgler about enrolling. “It’s an intense program for students who, for one reason or another, weren’t succeeding in a traditional classroom,” explained Fowler. “But I knew Grace and what she was capable of. Once I started working at Wayfinder Schools I realized that Grace would excel here.”

Wurgler’s favorite part of being at Wayfinder Schools is the small classes. “I’m not afraid to ask questions here,” shared Wurgler; “This is my second chance at a diploma.”

Wayfinder Schools student Grace Wurgler combines her passion for horses with the Residential Program requirement by interning at Pepper Creek Farms four days a week

One of six students in the nine-month intensive program, Wurgler will graduate in June 2012 with a high school diploma. Upon graduating, Wurgler plans to join the U.S. Army or Coast Guard.

“I want to do something more important with my life,” she said. Afterward, Wurgler wants to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, and eventually, own a horse.

To learn more about Wayfinder Schools Residential Program and the Career Explorations Program, visit