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More in Community
Hebron Academy Middle School celebrates 20 years
HEBRON MIDDLE – Students from the Hebron Middle School in 1991. Sitting: Brittany D’Augustine, Remy Maguire, Arica Powers, Amanda Hayman and Alex Gillies. Standing front: Damon Holman, Austin Stonebraker, Nick Brook, Chris Bournakel, Matt Whiting, Sam Bennett and Nick Bournakel. Standing, back: JP Ashton, Mark Tufts, Jeremy Bennett, Matt Katz and Ms. Guenther. Hidden: Eric Rancourt and Mike Monzel.
HEBRON — In 1991, Hebron Academy opened its doors to middle school students with the philosophy of encouraging students to examine a subject from multiple angles and disciplines.
The first year’s middle school included 9, eighth graders and 10, seventh graders. Starting in the fall of 1992 a sixth grade program was added and the overall enrollment increased to 39.
With cross curriculum and team teaching, Hebron Academy’s middle school still teaches with its cornerstone values 20 years later to 31 students.
Leslie Guenther was the Middle School Director from 1991 to 2001. She is currently the Athletic Director for the Upper School.
“Because class size is small, we have always been able to give students lots of individual attention,” she explained. “A major goal is to create and encourage a love for life-long learning and to do so in an environment where students are challenged, encouraged and comfortable in taking risks and learning new things.”
Guenther believes it has been a rewarding experience to have been involved with the middle school since the very start.
“Our program embodies the best characteristics of middle school education – a curriculum that is challenging yet accessible, an atmosphere that promotes learning, and an organizational structure that allows for flexibility and creativity.”
“Most of all, we have a motivated and interested group of students and a number of dedicated and enthusiastic teachers,” she added. “It is the perfect mix for a wonderful learning environment.”
Paul Brouwer, current middle school director agrees.
“We are proud of the fact that, so many of our middle school graduates go on to become great high school leaders,” he said. “In Honors and AP classes, athletic and extra-curricular activities, and in receiving excellent college placements.”
“The bonds of trust and respect that form between the students and teachers set the stage for a wonderful learning environment at Hebron Academy,” the director added.
Brouwer explains that Hebron Academy Middle School offers unique curriculum including their Outdoor Skills Program.
“In this program, students learn a variety of wilderness and leadership skills in the woods around our campus,” he explained. “The students hike, canoe, snowshoe, learn how to use a map and compass, learn outdoor safety and first aid skills and practice team-building skills. Our outdoor skills program aids to build students’ self confidence and self sufficiency as well as learn about the great outdoors of Maine.”
“Our program has always emphasized an interest in the out of doors, and Hebron’s 1,500 acre campus is a great resource,” Guenther added. “We also take several, great field trips, including a year-end overnight camping trip to Hermit Island and the eighth grade trip to New York. Other overnight trips included going to Quebec, Montreal, Bar Harbor and Monhegan Island.”
According to Brouwer, the students have been celebrating the 20-year anniversary since September and will continue to throughout the school year.
“The teachers and students participated in a two-week thematic based on the number 20,” said the director. “The celebration included a wide variety of activities and experiences and we culminated the unit with a evening celebration which featured 20’s music and dancing, games of $20,000 pyramid and cave paintings from 20,000 BC.”
For more information, please visit hebronacademy.org or call 966-2100.
“We are also planning a party in the spring,” he added. “That will include inviting back students who graduated from Hebron Academy Middle School as well as teachers who taught here throughout the years.”
Directors, both past and present are glad to be a part of the celebration.
“In 2001 we celebrated the tenth year of the middle school program and as exciting as that was, it is even more rewarding to continue to be involved in a program that has grown and flourished, now for 20 years!” exclaimed Guenther. “The Hebron Academy middle school has offered an excellent program to its students, and we look forward to continuing this tradition for many years to come.”
“It’s been a pleasure to be part of the wonderful legacy that this school has created,” added Brouwer. “And I am honored to be part of such a great school which has been helping student reach their highest potential for 20 years. I look forward to at least 20 more years of learning and fun.”
STUDENTS TODAY — Students from the Hebron Academy Middle School celebrate 20 years of learning for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Front row left to right: Tehya Johnson, Jack Morton, Mason Henley, Emily Hemmings, Elizabeth Everett and Brigid Mulvihill. Second row left to right: Katie Schools, Austin Smith, Field Peterson, Jack Bayley, JD Hodsdon, Riley Hemmings, Olivia Berger, Rachel Jurek, Alana Chipman and Sarah Brouwer. Third row left to right: Nathaniel Bennett, Eli Ross, Chase Harkins, Eliot List, Sabrina Maamouri-Cortez, Elizabeth Pratt and Emily Thompson. Fourth row left to right: Owen Richmond, Walter Rasmussen, Nick Johnson, Coulton Williams, Arianna Pinkham, Isabelle Layman and Caitlin Shelley.