Keri Sewell Seitz
6 Algonquin Lane
Brunswick, ME 04011
Happy summertime, my fellow Class of 1995 alumni! I hope this finds you well, your families healthy. I have a few small tidbits to share, so let’s get to it!
Classmate Cindy Jackson Soule was named Maine Teacher of the Year 2021 back in October. She is a fourth-grade teacher at the Gerald E. Talbot Community School in Portland and the award is presented by the Maine Department of Education and nonprofit Educate Maine. Chosen from 300 nominees, Cindy received her award at an outdoor ceremony at the school with her husband and three children present. The award was given by Maine Department of Education Commissioner Pender Makin and Educate Maine Executive Director Jason Judd. Also in attendance were Portland Public Schools Superintendent Xavier Botana and Cindy’s parents as well as her fourth-grade students. Cindy was also the 2020 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year and was placed in the running for National Teacher of the Year.
Cindy is a resident of Cumberland and has taught at Talbot for 20 years. She previously worked as a teacher in the Auburn School Department. In accepting her award, she recognized Gerald Talbot, the first African American lawmaker elected to the Maine Legislature, for whom the school was renamed earlier in 2020, and the families at Talbot. “They continue to inspire me each and every day with their courage, determination, and love of learning. Even on days that are challenging, when things just don’t seem to be going my way, it is the students who lift my spirits and bring joy to my day. Students at Talbot, hear me when I say, ‘You are spectacular. I love my job because of you,’” she said. Congratulations, Cindy! Those students are lucky to have you!
Congratulations to Kelly Martin Schweers, who completed the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice. Kelly is the emergency department nurse manager at Mary Washington Healthcare and lives in Stafford, VA.
In other news, Stephen Johnson works for Oracle Corporation. He lives in Cumberland, ME.
Ben Lampron has written a book, Jumpstart Your Future, specifically for college graduates. It includes lessons learned in personal finance, career development, and relationships. “I think the information in the book can really help upcoming graduates prepare for the real world,” he wrote. You can find his book at Amazon.
Our classmate, Clint Deschene, has founded his own agency, Ignite Presque Isle, focused on growing the service center of Presque Isle. Their first project will be to renovate the 50-room Northeastland Hotel, located at 436 Main Street, adding 2,500 square feet of co-working space to the existing business center, operating with current staff. Ignite has an agreement to purchase the building, in part with a $1.5 million grant from the Rodney and Mary Barton Smith Family Foundation, and Ignite is looking for additional funding to complete the project. The Northeastland would provide the first headquarters for Ignite PI as well as other office space for small businesses before they move on to and into bigger space. The hotel will continue serving as such, with a small facelift to go along with its storied history. Initially opened in 1932, it was the first in Presque Isle to add an elevator in 1950, and it currently operates a restaurant and bar as well as function rooms for local weddings, business meetings, and civic events. As a native of PI, I am personally excited to see what Clint and Ignite PI can do with this beloved community property!
I received a lovely thank-you note on behalf of the Class of 1995 from Samantha Golden of Lee, ME. She is the daughter of our classmate Karen Golden and was a 2020-2021 recipient of the Class of 1995 scholarship. Samantha is a mechanical engineering student and her mom has also recently returned to UMaine. Congratulations to Samantha!
I wish I had more — feel free to reach out with your news!