Representative Allison Hepler, former Representative Wayne Parry, former Representative Deb Sanderson, and Representative Tom Skolfield. Paula Kane

Mad Scientist makes science real for members of MSAD 58’s after-school program. Paula Kane

Mad Science Assistant Kailee Rush. Paula Kane

“3… 2… 1… SCIENCE RULES!” Mad Science put a whole new spin on the old addage about being “in a fog.” Paula Kane

Grade 4 Orchestra opens MSAD 58’s Annual Spring Concert held at Strong Elementary School. Paula Kane

Mt. Abram High School students Brooklyn Fitzpatrick and Sara Galusha sing “Bubbly.” Paula Kane

Grade 5 – 6 Violinists, Ode to Joy. Paula Kane

“Boom-Kak” by the Strong Elementary School Bucket Brigade. Paula Lane

KINGFIELD, PHILLIPS, STRONG – Following is the latest COVID – 19 update from MSAD 58’s Superintendent Todd Sanders, posted on March 20 at

Dear M.S.A.D. #58 Community, As you are aware, on March 15, 2020, Governor Mills provided a recommendation that Maine schools cease classroom-based instruction for the duration of the State of Civil Emergency. The State of Civil Emergency is in effect for 30 days and may be reissued as many times as the situation warrants.

M.S.A.D. #58, along with the other schools in Western Maine, will follow the recommendation of Governor Mills; therefore, schools in M.S.A.D. #58 will remain closed until, at least, Monday, April 27,2020. M.S.A.D. #58 schools will plan to reopen when recommended to do so by Governor Mills.

It is our goal to be a source of support during this stressful period of time. While schools remain closed, M.S.A.D. #58 staff will continue to provide Remote Learning activities for students as well as the provision of meals through the efforts of the Food Service Department.

On Monday, information regarding Remote Learning for the week of March 23rd – 27th will be distributed or delivered. Information regarding the on-going providing of materials will be forthcoming.

If you or your family find yourself in need of assistance or support, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s building administrator. Sincerely, Todd Sanders

Just prior to the closure, however, the elementary schools in the district were in full swing. Among other activities, special guests from the Maine Legislature visited Lance Harvell’s 7th grade social studies class in Phillips, a Family Science Night was hosted at the Kingfield Elementary School, and the Strong Elementary School was the site of the Annual MSAD 58 Spring Concert.

Early on in March, at Phillips Elementary School, Former Representatives Deb Sanderson and Wayne Parry, Rep. Allison Hepler, and Rep. Tom Skolfield joined 7th graders in Lance Harvell’s social studies class to talk about the importance of serving in government and what they have learned from their experiences. After a round of signing autographs, the afternoon’s double period class opened with introductions.

Deb Sanderson, a former Republican member of the Maine House of Representatives from District 88 (Chelsea, Jefferson, part of Nobleboro and Whitefield) from 2010 to 2018, is currently in the lobster business. She told the class she has known their teacher, Mr. Harvell, for a long time.

“He’s the gentleman who recruited me,” she said, “He made it impossible to say ‘no’.”

“I’ve cursed him on a few occasions,” Sanderson admitted, “but overall I’m grateful…It was a privilege to serve for eight years.”

Sanderson also shared that you always knew when Representative Harvell was preparing for his floor speech because you’d find him talking to himself before he was about to deliver “the great messages he always gave on the floor…He was very dedicated and very passionate…”

Former Representative Wayne Parry, now in the lobster business as a bait dealer, also spent some time beside Mr. Harvell during his time in the House. In office from 2010 to December 4, 2018, Parry is now on the ballot again in the Republican primary on June 9, 2020. He is running for re-election to the Maine House of Representatives for District 10 (Arundel, Dayton, and part of Lyman).

“We were together for the last four of the six years, I served,” Parry informed the group, “I always told him he should be a teacher.”

From District 53 (Arrowsic, Dresden, Georgetown, Phippsburg, part of Richmond, and Woolwich), Rep. Allison Hepler is serving her first term in the Maine House of Representatives. She teaches history at the University of Maine at Farmington and is the author of “McCarthyism in the Suburbs: Quakers, Communists and the Children’s Librarian.” She has also worked as a printer, a retail store and office coordinator, a magazine production assistant and a steelworker. Part-owner of her husband’s wooden boat building and repair business in Small Point, Phippsburg, Hepler has lived in Woolwich for nearly four decades. She believes Maine can build and maintain a sustainable environment that doesn’t sacrifice jobs.

Representative Tom Skolfield is from House District 112 (Anson, Avon, Carrabassett Valley, Carthage, Kingfield, New Portland, Phillips, Starks, Weld and Sandy River Plantation, plus the unorganized territories of East Central Franklin, including Freeman, Madrid and Salem Townships, and Perkins and Washington Townships.

“Our district,” Harvell reminded his students.

Serving on the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee, and previously on the Taxation Committee during his first term, Rep. Skolfield is in his third term in the Maine House of Representatives. Retired from the Maine State Park Service and lives in Weld. Look for him to be “out and about” this summer as he campaigns for his “fourth and final term”.

“I’ve enjoyed and have learned as much in this job as I’ve ever learned in any other job,” Skolfied stated to his young audience, “I enjoy public service immensely and encourage any of you going forward to get involved…Though it requires a bit of a sacrifice…it is a true honor to serve the Maine people.”

The students, who have been studying Maine government, were prepared with general questions regarding the work being done in Augusta. More specifically, the class was curious about how each got into “politics” in the first place and what they have done personally to help Maine during their terms of office.

In a discussion of what the Legislators considered to be Maine’s “biggest issues”, the group talked about bills that have come before the Legislature, both past and present, and the process through which each proposal must go before it ever even gets to the voters.

Taxes – why, what for, who should pay, and how much – was also a hot topic. In closing, each guest also spoke about the importance of stepping up, serving as an effective citizen. “No matter what you do, use it as a building block,” Deb Sanderson encouraged her listeners, “Do not ever let fear hold you back…”

These students were looking forward to a trip, along with students from Strong, to Maine’s capital city the next week, where it was hoped some would be able to serve as Pages in the House.

“3… 2… 1… SCIENCE RULES!”

This was the cheer raised by the audience at Family Science Night held mid-month at Kingfield Elementary School. As part of the district’s after-school programs, students from Strong and Phillips were transported to Kingfield to share in the special event, featuring a real live Mad Scientist!! With help from his “mad science assistants”, aka volunteers from the audience, the Mad Scientist performed a number of experiments designed to inform and amaze.

The interactive performance included everything from a “bubble-tron” with a bubble solution “good for all your bubble troubles” to producing fog with dry ice and hot water to demonstrations of chemical reactions between acids and bases.

And that was just in the first show!!

During an intermission, participants moved through three stations set up in the hallway outside the gymnasium. Here, Kingfield math teacher, Amanda Bowen’s, 8th grade volunteers assisted their curious guests in the creation of slime, lava lamps, and play dough, thus reinforcing the concepts being demonstrated by the mad scientist in their gym.

Free healthy snacks were also available and the local Parent Volunteer Group ran a concession stand, a fundraiser for the Kingfield School.

Kingfield Principal Johanna Prince explained that the event was made possible through the district’s partnership with Franklin County Children’s Task Force and its 21st Century Kids of F.R.A.N.K.L.I.N. After School Programs. The 21st Century Kids of Northern FRANKLIN After School Program runs Monday through Thursday, 3:00-5:30 pm, at Strong Elementary School, Phillips Elementary School, and Kingfield Elementary School. These organizations all share the common goal to increase parent engagement in their children’s school experience. As evidenced by the packed hallways and the eager participation of scientists of all ages, the Family Science Night was certainly a successful step towards achieving that objective.

That same week, MSAD’s Annual Spring Concert was held at Strong Elementary School. Musicians representing Grades 4 through High School “transformed the gym into a concert hall” as they took the stage on Wednesday evening. Performances were given by the Grade 4 Orchestra and the Grade 5 – 6 Orchestra; Mt. Abram student duet, Brooklyn Fitzpatrick and Sara Galusha, who sang Bubbly by Colbie Caillat and Jason Reeves; the Middle School Chorus; the Strong Elementary School 5th Grade Bucket Brigade, which drummed a “song we put together ourselves” on overturned orange buckets from Home Depot; the Mt. Abram Chamber Music Ensemble; the Middle School Chamber Choir; and the Grade 7 – 12 Orchestra.

The musicians were directed by district music teachers Karen Beacham and John Lawson and accompanied by Graybert Beacham, Brenna Cockerham, and Felecia Pease. Pieces ranged from Beethoven’s classical Ode to Joy and the popular 1840’s dance hall favorite, the Can Can to Essentials Elements for Strings and movie favorite, Hakuna Matata from the Lion King.

Congratulations were offered to all performers and a thank to all administrators and faculty for their ongoing support, as well as a shout out to the students who lent a helping hand in setting up the performance area in preparation for the evening’s event.

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