Hello, Class of 2015 — By the time you read this it will be winter, and the
pandemic will long ago have become old news, whether it's still dominating our
lives or not. I sincerely hope its impact on each of you has been as limited as it
can be, and that by the time you’re reading this it has subsided. It is inspiring to
look through the news of what our classmates have achieved even during this
most disruptive time. I hope catching up on alumni news can be a welcome break
from whatever Zooming or masking or social distancing you’re currently
If you subscribe to Time magazine or are interested in beautiful and compelling
artistic renderings of climate change data, you may already have seen that Jill
Pelto had a colored pencil and watercolor piece titled “Currents” featured on the
magazine’s cover for the special issue “One Last Chance,” published earlier this
year. Jill’s work has previously been featured in Smithsonian, PBS Newshour,
and National Geographic, as well as in classrooms across North America.
Abdullahi Ahmed Ed.D. has been named permanent co-principal of Deering High
School. He shares the title with Alyson Dame after both served together on an
interim basis for seven months. The Portland Board of Public Education
completed a national search before extending the offer to Abdullahi, who taught
physics, physical science, Arabic, and chemistry before beginning his career as
an assistant principal at Deering in 2015.
Andrea Chasse, who earned her master’s in social work in 2015, joined
Aroostook Mental Health Center’s outpatient office in Caribou. Andrea is serving
as a generalist therapist and working toward earning her LCSW credential.
Congratulations to Garrett Bernardo and brother Nicholas Bernardo ’14 for
partnering with Harrison Butker, placekicker for the Super Bowl champions from
Kansas City, on a clothing line produced by their NOVUS Clothing Company.
Garrett and Nick founded the company during their undergraduate years at
UMaine, along with friend Scott Klimchak.
That’s all for this issue, Black Bears — as always, please send along any news
you have to share. It can be professional (new job, promotion, other milestones)
or personal (engagement, marriage, childbirth, that far-off day when your young
ones enroll for their freshman year at UMaine) or anything in between. Stay in
touch and stay six feet apart.