Happy New Year! I hope the start of your new year is going well.
In May 2021, Raye Anne Leathers DeSoto was named the Kennebec County Teacher of the Year. Congratulations, Raye Anne! A parent nominated her for her willingness to “go above and beyond” with her students. The Maine County Teachers of the Year are selected by other teachers, principals, and business leaders from the specific county they teach in and are considered for the Maine State Teacher of Year. Raye Anne has been teaching for 20 years. She teaches several AP courses at Gardiner Area High School and is the coordinator of the REACH program for K-12 gifted and talented students. In addition, she is also the director of the Gardiner Middle School drama program and coordinates the Tiger Food Pantry and Interact Club. Raye Anne is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at UMaine.
In May 2021, Art Greenlaw G was inducted into the Maine Principals’ Association Hall of Excellence. The Hall of Excellence honors individuals who have made a significant contribution in the following categories: “school administrators, athletes/activity participants, coaches/advisers, officials, and other contributors who have had a statewide impact on education-based activities.” Art is a past MPA president in addition to serving as school administrator, athletic director, and coach. He coached the Millinocket football team to state championships in 1982, 1984, 1987, and 1995.
In April 2021 Todd Hanson stepped down as the Brunswick High boys’ basketball coach after 25 years. The Brunswick Dragons won the Class A state title in 2002 and Todd won 314 games in his coaching career. “Hanson’s ability to form relationships on and off the court resonated with his players,” observed a colleague.
Rick Wahle ’90 Ph.D. studies lobster populations in the Gulf of Maine. He takes a multifaceted approach. Rick is the director of the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute. He “promotes, conducts, and communicates research focused on the sustainability of the American lobster fishery in the United States and Canada.”
It seems like just yesterday that I was running track at UMaine with teammate Dale Nealey. Dale stepped down as the Belfast Area High School (BAHS) track and field coach. He coached the BAHS boys to State Class B championships in 1998, 1999, 2002, and 2004. Also, he created and maintained an iconic 3.1-mile state cross country course at the middle school. Many state, regional, and New England meets have been held there. He decided to retire as he wants to spend more time with his family and grandchildren. Dale teaches science at BAHS.