PARIS — It is Homecoming Week in Oxford Hills. School activities and events are being celebrated daily, culminating with its annual parade from High Street to Gouin Athletic Complex on Charles Street on Saturday at 11 a.m.

OHCHS’ football team faces off against the Lewiston Blue Devils at 1:30 p.m. But before kick-off, Principal Paul Bickford will honor Monica LaVerdiere, owner of Bearfoot Realty in Oxford and former homecoming queen, as the school’s Alumna of the Year.

Monica LaVerdiere (right) is Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School’s Alumna of the Year for 2022. She is pictured here in 2018 at Live, Laugh, Run; Becca 4-Ever in our Hearts 4 Mile Memorial Run/Walk, with Rebecca Marcinuk, an associate broker with LaVerdiere’s Bearfoot Realty in Oxford. Supplied photo

LaVerdiere, a life-long Viking, has advocated for the Oxford Hills community. After graduating in 1986 and attending the University for Southern Maine, she returned home to launch her career, spending 13 years at Norway Savings Bank. From there she entered the real estate business and eventually became a small business owner hen she opened Bearfoot Realty in 2010. She credits hometown mentors with encouraging her to go for it.

“Ben Tucker, a very wise friend for many years, always told me he thought I would be a great real estate broker,” said LaVerdiere. “I am blessed to have established a successful real estate career with a great team and great support from the community. I feel I am who I am today because of the community I grew up in.”

LaVerdiere supports a range of local causes, but her main focus since 2012 has been on Christmas for Teens Program, The Becca Mason Scholarship Fund, and Oxford Hills Athletics.

Bearfoot Realty hosts an annual Christmas party every December to thank its clients, customers and partners, asking  guests to to support Christmas for Teens, a non-profit that provides gifts to families in need during the holidays. According to LaVerdiere, over the last 10 years her business and colleagues have contributed gifts for close to 2,000 area teens and raised more than $89,000 for the program.


LaVerdiere is also a longtime supporter of the Becca Mason Scholarship, named for an Oxford Hills teen killed in a drunk-driving accident in 2012, raising money for the annual Live, Laugh, Run; Becca 4-Ever in our hearts 4 Mile Memorial Run/Walk.

Oxford Hills athletics is close to LaVerdiere’s heart, having competed in field hockey, basketball and softball as a Viking.

“We try to help out as much as we can with the Oxford Hills Youth Athletic teams, from elementary to high school,” she said. “I feel that sports is a critical part of a child’s future. There are too many pressures on kids these days. We need to find their passion and support them to become the best player they can be – not only physically but emotionally and mentally.”

LaVerdiere and Bearfoot Realty have received many honors over the last decade, including Western Maine’s Realtor of the Year in 2013; Oxford Hills Chamber of Commerce’s Rising Star in 2015 and the chamber’s Business of the Month in June, 2022. The Oxford Hills Rotary Club awarded LaVerdiere with its 2022 Vocational Service Award. She also served as the Western Maine’s Association of Realtors’ president in 2013-2014, as a director on Maine’s Association of Realtors and is currently a director on the board of Maine Listings.

With family roots firmly set in Oxford Hills and a new generation of grandchildren attending its schools, LaVerdiere credits her family and her community as her inspiration to give back.

“I definitely feel honored but when I look at the other past inductees, I question my worthiness,” LaVerdiere said in a statement to the Advertiser Democrat. “I have enjoyed growing up in the Oxford Hills and certainly raising my own family here. I feel blessed to be able to give back to the community and see how my work, my team’s work, and Bearfoot Realty has helped the area be a better place. I love the Oxford Hills and want nothing but the best for our community.”


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