Eighth graders: Meshia Lee, from left, Peyton Isham-Brooks, Idella Cooley, Graig Groves and Emma Cummings wrote, “Firefly and Day of Welcome.” Rose Lincoln

Telstar Middle School Public Relations eighth graders: Travis Young, from left, Connor Nguyen, Jack Colby and Bentley Merrill wrote: “Beyond the Victory.” Rose Lincoln

Eighth graders Maceo Bartlett, Quinn Coolidge, Kendal Duchart, and Lucian Johnston wrote, “TMS 2023 Fall Sports.” Rose Lincoln

BETHEL — Telstar Middle School (TMS) Principal Lindsay Leutje teaches an elective class for 8th graders called Public Relations. She said they  build off of their learning from 7th grade and working on their speaking, writing and use of multimedia to promote information about TMS within their school and to the public.

“I start the year with a new group of kids and the first thing we work on is developing a mission statement and defining our goals for the year. Then the kids work on various projects throughout the year including speaking at board meetings, running monthly assemblies, creating videos to promote events, and also writing articles,” said Leutje.

Here is some of their work:

Beyond the Victory

By Travis Young, Connor Nguyen, Jack Colby, and Bentley Merrill

Have you ever heard of a sportsmanship award? Sportsmanship means athletes should have a positive attitude when playing sports and anywhere they go. A sportsmanship award is an honor that is earned by one team and our TMS Rebels got it! In the 2022-23 school year, Telstar Middle School demonstrated excellent sportsmanship and we should keep it up.


Why and how did we get the award?  The sportsmanship award is voted through the league by other teams for being respectful to other players, officials, and coaches. Telstar showed great sportsmanship throughout the fall, winter, and spring. But why does it even matter that we got one?

Well, it definitely enhances our reputation. Winning the sportsmanship award can positively impact how Telstar is viewed in the sporting community. It shows that the school’s athletes not only excel in their respective sports but also embody strong values and character. This also reflects the coaches and how they influence the team.

The banner was presented to the school at our October Stars assembly and represents all our teams. We intend to hang it in our middle school office. Our athletes aren’t good at sports just by chance, they learn these important skills through their team sports like football and soccer from coaches, other students, and parents.

We also learned it from a unique Physical Education teacher, Mrs. Jordan,  by doing activities specifically geared toward sportsmanship. The PE teacher encourages kids to participate in sports and the kids’ parents to let them play. An example of when she familiarized us with sportsmanship in PE, with something special to do.

She has two student leaders for the week and they have to lead warmups, pick a game, tell them the rules, and set up/put away supplies they need. This is a good way of teaching them to have sportsmanship and responsibility.

Playing a sport is a good thing to do. Sports provide a great way to improve your overall physical fitness. Regularly participating in physical activity through sports helps to strengthen muscles, improve cardiovascular health, enhance coordination, increase flexibility, and improve overall body strength.


Sports are not just beneficial for physical health but also promote mental well-being. Playing a sport helps release endorphins, which are known as “feel-good” hormones, leading to reduced stress, anxiety, and depression. It improves mood, boosts self-confidence, and decreases symptoms of mental illnesses.

For many middle school students, we don’t just play a sport to stay in mental or physical shape. Many of us play a sport to have fun, be with our friends, and even to be competitive. These are all valid reasons to play sports.

Not only is it fun to be with your friends but playing a sport with someone can improve your friendship. It can also build your trust with someone and help you be in sync with your team and help each other improve and benefit each other during the game and off the field or court.

We asked athletes that participated in a sport in the 2022-2023 school year some questions about the award. Peyton Isham played for the soccer team and we asked her how it was playing soccer for the rebels. She said “It’s fun because your team is a big family and I got  to hang out with my friends. Games are fun, and we were determined through all the games we played even if we lost.”

Another athlete we asked was Idella Cooley; she played for the field hockey team. We asked her if she believed her team had good sportsmanship.  She said “Yes, because after every game our team made sure to say good game and congratulate them for winning. Even though we had a tough season, the team had good sportsmanship within the games that we played.”

Lastly we asked basketball player Bentley Merrill how he defined sportsmanship and why it is important to him as a player. He answered “I define sportsmanship as a person or team that can respect the outcome of the game, a foul call or even their season. It is important to me because I want my team and school to have a good reputation so other teams look forward to playing us.”


Overall these players believed that the coaches and captains play an important role in setting the tone for the other players to keep their heads in the game.

Overall, sportsmanship is an important aspect of being an athlete and participating in sports. They all mentioned that being part of a team and having good sportsmanship helps build strong friendships and creates a positive environment for everyone involved.

They also mentioned that sportsmanship is crucial in maintaining a good reputation for the team and the school. It shows that Telstar Middle School not only values athletic success but also promotes values such as respect, teamwork, and fair play.

The sportsmanship award serves as a reminder of the importance of these qualities and encourages continued growth in these areas.


TMS 2023 Fall Sports           


By: Maceo Bartlett, Quinn Coolidge, Kendal Duchart, and Lucian Johnston

Telstar Middle School had an excellent fall season for sports. We were glad to see lots of participation from our group of kids here at TMS. All of the TMS fall sports teams showed great sportsmanship, leadership throughout the season, while playing to the best of their abilities.

Each athlete was open to trying new things and suggestions given by coaches and teammates. Our Public Relations class at TMS is proud of each athlete and their personal accomplishments, as well as all of the team accomplishments. 

The Telstar middle school boys and girls both had an astonishing soccer season this year. The Lady Rebels who were coached by Greg Luetje and captains Kira Hiebert, Sophie Wakefield, and Isla DeCateo. They had a great record going 8-1-1.

The boys, who were coached by Nate Crooker and captains Maceo Bartlett, Xander Vandenbuckle, and Eli Garant, went undefeated going 9-0-1, 9 wins and 1 tie. And that was the first time the middle school boys have gone undefeated since 2019.

Both teams made it to the playoffs. To celebrate the season, we had a team pasta dinner to prepare us for the big game.The teams feel a lot of  appreciation to the parents who helped us throughout the season.


The girls placing 4th seed, and boys placing 2nd, both also had home game advantage but unfortunately both lost their games in the first round. They all still fought hard and played their best!

The 2023 Telstar Middle School football team had a phenomenal season this year. They were coached by Leroy Varnum, Shannon Sumner and a few high schoolers helped out. Their captains were Pason James, Bentley Merrill, and Camryn Chamberlain.

The Rebels had a short, but an incredible season, with 4 wins and 1 loss. They had their first and only playoff game against Boothbay. The ending score was 38-6, meaning they made it to championships. 

On November 4th, they faced Dirigo Middle School in the championship game, but unfortunately they lost 48-6, their one touchdown that game was scored by Pason James.

The TMS field hockey team had a building season but they all played hard. Although the TMS field hockey team had a rough season, each girl showed up to games with a good attitude and a positive mindset.

With every loss the TMS field hockey team worked through, there was good sportsmanship attached to it. The TMS field hockey team improved over time from having a 10-0 loss to only 1-0. Even with the disadvantage of being down a few players, the TMS Field hockey team played all their games to the best of their abilities.


The team had no official captain, but they had 8th grade athletes who led every practice and warmups:  Sabrina Tripp, Idella Cooley,Kendal Duchart, Quinn Coolidge, Kimberley Muck. A shout out to our only Field hockey athlete to score a goal this year  for our team Evelyn Kirkey.

Most importantly, we want to thank the three year athletes who have played for the TMS field hockey team all throughout middle school: Kendal Duchart ,Idella Cooley ,and Sabrina Tripp.

The cross country team had five meets throughout the season. Natalie Philip said that cross country is running through the woods and racing. Frost shaw-huard said that he Joined for the social interaction.

Maddie Hayden said, “It was fun because there aren’t a lot of people.” They all said that they learned to run farther in cross country. Maddie said that she liked it because she got to be active. Miss. Hanscom said how they all worked together throughout the season made her proud

The fall sports season was nothing short of remarkable skill, dedication, and teamwork. The games not only showcased the talents of individuals, but also their personal skills. Well done, Rebels!



Firefly and Day of Welcome

By Meshia Lee, Peyton Isham-Brooks, Idella Cooley, Graig Groves and Emma Cummings.

Lights, music, dancing! Telstar students were given the opportunity to enjoy a performance sponsored by BAAM and the schools’ Civil Rights teams. The guest performer was Firefly the Hybrid. He was excited to be at Telstar and was well received by students and staff.  

Firefly is a Wabanaki music artist who started his journey in 2020. He released his first album in 2020 called “Sacred Fire”. He got these songs from his ancestors but added a twist, with flashing lights, smoke machines and colorful shawls with LED lights in them.

Not only did he perform his music, but he included students by having them come up on the stage to dance and play his hand drums.  

The meaning of his name is” a spark of knowledge in a world of ignorance or darkness”. American Indians collected lightning bugs, smeared them as decorations on their faces and chest.


Jason Brown known as Firefly is a Native American artist of the Penobscot nation with Swedish roots. He was born and raised in ancient Wabanaki territory. He also explores land and languages and family histories in his art to challenge colonial perceptions of Indigenous histories.

Firefly came to our school and played his native music. He shared the stage with his wife and daughter as they played drums and sang their native music. Sarah used hula hoops as props while she was dancing, and her choreography went along with the music really well; she was very entertaining.

One of Firefly’s best assets is that he has flashing lights and smoke machines and it was a really fun experience. 

The performance took place on the Day of Welcome. The Civil Rights Team has been planning the Day of Welcome since last year and trying to figure out how to get Firefly to Telstar. For the Day of Welcome they wanted to bring a performer in who was open and accepting of others.

They researched all about him and then partnered with Bethel Area Arts and Music (BAAM) to help fund the cost of his performance. The Day of Welcome is an event sponsored by the Maine Office of the Attorney General through the Civil Rights Team Project. On this day, Civil Rights teams across the State of Maine take time to celebrate and promote the idea that our school communities are for everyone 

What is a Civil Rights team? Well, the Civil Rights team is a group of people who celebrate people’s differences. We have middle school and high school Civil Rights teams to show that we are here for each other without judgment.


Civil rights is important because we get to celebrate not judge other people’s differences including all races and skin colors, all national origins and ancestries, all religions, all disabilities, all genders (including gender identity and expression), and all sexual orientations.

Anyone can join the Civil Rights team, even in the middle of the school year. The groups eat lunch together once a week and are led by teachers Melissa Prescott, Tiffany Jordan and school counselor, Kristen Powell. 

Overall, this event was both entertaining and a great learning experience. We are thankful for Firefly’s willingness to share his talents and message with us.

The Civil Rights teams and BAAM are also important organizations to our school and student experiences. Telstar Middle is grateful for a new spark of knowledge gained from this performance.



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