Back row, l to r: Austin Hathaway, Isabelle Whittier, Daxxtyn Williams, Elizabeth Robare, James Hathaway, Charles Pye, Trevor Dolbier Front row: Wyatt Brey, Mrs. Simonds, Marion Champagne, Amelia Stokes Not pictured: Logan Belt, William Dugan

Students in the state of Maine are required to take periodic Maine Educational Assessments (MEAs) to determine how well they are meeting the state’s educational standards in English, math and science. The results are in, and last year’s eighth grade science class really showed the Maine Department of Education what they are capable of. The entire class met or exceeded the state standard. To put that into perspective, the statewide average is for about sixty percent of students to perform at or above state expectations.

Under the tutelage of Lucy Simonds, a science teacher in Rangeley for the past 23 years, these middle school students have shown just what is possible through hard work and expert instruction. Asked about her class Mrs. Simonds remarked, “This class is as diverse as any. They are strong, uncertain, sometimes confused, hard working, cautious, scattered, and busy. But they are also resilient and determined. Before they took the state science assessment I challenged them to tap into all  that we had learned together while they were in middle school and to honor themselves by doing their best. And they did. They have certainly set the bar for those who will follow in their footsteps.”

These students and their teacher deserve a pat on the back from community members for reinforcing the Rangeley Lakes school’s place on the state’s academic map. They went into the assessment looking to meet the state’s standard, but came out of it setting the standard for the state. Congratulations on a job well done.

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