Tuesday, April 28

Oxford Hills Senior Ready to go Above and Beyond by Shannon Kriger

As the school year starts to come to a close, seniors are feeling the pressure to pick a college. Being 5th in her class, Oxford Hills senior Jade Morin had a wide range of options to choose from. Although her intelligence got her noticed by numerous colleges, Jade wanted to decide on a career that not only makes a difference, but also involves learning and experience outside of the classroom. For that reason, Jade chose to join the Air Force. Jade has always had a passion for engineering. Having the opportunity to serve the country while doing what she loves is what made the Air Force a perfect match for her. Plus, Jade’s grandfather was in the Air Force and it’s a priority of hers to make him proud. “About a month ago I realized it was finally time to follow my dream. I want to serve my country, while having great experiences. It is a great way for me to see the world, while contributing to the country. Also, the benefits like education make it even better,” Morin explained.Jade was fortunate enough to get the specific job she wanted as a Aircraft Loadmaster. Aircraft Loadmasters are responsible in making sure the contents and people of the aircraft are transported safely. This job requires skills in aircraft, electronics, arithmetics, and more. Loadmasters are crucial to aircrafts, they are in charge of mathematically configuring the placement of items so that the airplane can fly safely. In addition to that, Aircraft Loadmasters deliver supplies and equipments to particular locations using parachutes while airborne. “This job sees a lot of the world, and I would be on an aircraft almost all of the time, which really interests me,” Jade described.It will take some time for Jade to get used to her learning environment, but that’s one of the best parts of the job for her. The job is far from ordinary and requires a systematical way of life.“One of the major things I am hoping to gain is structure. The military requires a very structured type of lifestyle and I am really looking forward to it.”Jade is anticipating leaving Maine for San Antonio, Texas on August 4th, where she will be at basic training for 8 and a half weeks. After she completes basic, she has to stay in Texas for 34 days of tech training at the Lackland Air Force Base. Once she finishes basic and tech training, Jade will be prepared to take on her dream job and travel the world. Despite the fact that she’ll miss seeing her friends, family, and teachers everyday, Jade is eager to start this new chapter in her life and is determined to succeed at whatever comes her way.

Saturday, April 18

The OHCHS Shu Box Design’s Fashion Show Returns for it’s Twelfth Year by Rebekah Fleck

Everything from Zebra prints to musical notes to satin. That is what you will see at the 12th annual Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School (OHCHS) Shu Box Design’s Fashion show, put on by the Fashion design classes at OHCHS. All fashion design students are required to participate in this event, creating pieces of clothing which will be modeled by other OHCHS students at the fashion show.
When first started by Paul Soroy, the fashion design program, previously known as CAD fashion, was a way for girls to get into drafting because there is software that you use to draft clothing. His idea was to get the girls to draft clothing in hopes of getting them into drafting so that they’d maybe want to pursue a career in things such as building houses or engineering.
The fashion show is very inclusive of using student’s talents. Along with the fashion design students presenting their work there are other OHCHS students running the lighting and sound and even drama club members helping with things such as stage managing. The fashion design program has been in talks of selling some of their articles of clothing they have made to recoup money spent on material costs, but nothing on that topic has been set in stone yet.
When students in the period 4 Fashion Design class were asked how they benefit from this program some of the responses were things such as they learned life skills that you can use after high school and in the real world and a few of them said that their sense of style changed after being a part of the Fashion Design program.
Lori Millett, a teacher of the CAD fashion program said, ““I should not be amazed, but I am just so pleased that there are kids that come in who have absolutely no idea how to turn on a sewing machine or how any of this works and at the end of the year we’ve come up with all this great stuff and it’s really nice work.They really do an awesome job.”
Millet also said, “I think its important to have this life skill and to give students a chance to have this in high school because once you get out of school your chance kind of goes away.”
The Shu Box Design’s fashion show will be taking place in the Eastman Auditorium at OHCHS on Friday May 1st at 7pm. Admission is free.

Friday, April 17

The Kick-Off Mentoring Program Kick's Off for the 2015-2016 School Year by Rebekah Fleck

A small fish in a big sea. That is what you could say about freshmen entering high school for the first time. Incoming freshmen at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School (OHCHS) Don’t have to feel like such a small fish anymore, thanks to John Springer and Paul Bickford. A couple years ago Springer and Bickford attended a conference, at which the founder of a program called the Kick-Off Mentoring program talked about his national program.
When asked about the program Springer said, “It is a mentoring program where Juniors and seniors basically get the power for doing freshman orientation and meet with freshman and meet with them in CBA, so they are called kick-off mentors and they really get to be sort of upper class leaders in the building; leading freshman about what they need to know, like if they were a student coming in as a freshman what would they had liked to know and how would they have liked to been helped.So they really try to sort of watch over them and there’s a connection that a freshman has in the building.”
Springer and Bickford were in talks about this program for a couple of years and about doing it, they just had to figure out how to fit it into the school budget and how to rearrange it around our school’s setup.
Although Springer and Bickford are administratively helping, the teacher coordinator Michael Morell, a science teacher at OHCHS. Springer and Bickford will be playing a big part in the Kick-Off Mentoring program the first year, especially getting its feet off from the ground. Morell said, “I really want it to be successful because I think the freshman orientation mold we have now is broken and we need to put life into it and get the freshman excited to come to school, not just another day where they are going to sit down and be talked at.”
The Kick-Off Mentoring program will begin during the 2015-2016 school year. In this program each Junior and Senior who participates will be assigned 4-5 freshman. Every single incoming freshman will have a mentor.

Tuesday, March 24

Students Prove 'Oxford Hills Got Talent' by Sara Grenier

Oxford Hills Key Club at the high school hosts a yearly talent show called Oxford Hills Got Talent. This year there was dancing, singing, and even a unicycle! This year’s show had twelve acts. Three finalists were picked by the judges. The judges this year were Kevin O’Reilly, one of the school’s guidance counselors, Virginia Valdes, the graphic arts teacher and Phil Hammett, who teaches art. The auditorium was nearly full during the show.
This year, the three finalists were chosen. Sydney Bivens, a junior, stole the judges hearts when she played the guitar and sang using her beautiful voice  “In The Morning” by Paramore. Also chosen was an unnamed band with seniors Sophie Lawton, Breton Pinkham and Abraham Chouinard. They sang “Cigarette Daydreams” by Cage the Elephant in the first round. Loren Pinkham, a freshman, performed an original, but nameless song. He was applauded for his for his self taught piano playing.
During the last round, Loren Pinkham performed another original song without a name, but with as Pinkham said, “an oriental feel.” The trio of Sophie, Abraham and Breton had played “Hallelujah” for the judges. Sydney Bivens took her guitar out again and performed “Call It Off” by Tegan and Sara, for her last performance. While the judges took some time to decide who their favorite performance was, the audience gave the people’s choice vote to Jack Gentempo for his whacky act, which included juggling, dancing and a little bit of magic. When the judges finally chose a winner, it was Sydney Bivens who took the prize. She was handed an oversized check for $200. She went home with the win and a giant smile.

Friday, March 20

Oxford Hills Graduate takes over Local Business by Shannon Kriger

With the incessant snow finally melting and the sun shining, Kate Michaud of Greenwood is preparing to undertake the huge responsibility of owning an Inn.
Michaud just recently purchased the King’s Hill Inn & Barn in South Paris. Not only is the property gorgeous, but it’s also historic. It was the home and birthplace of Horatio King, who was born in 1811. Horatio King was a printer and editor of a printed paper on Paris Hill called the Jeffersonian. Later in his life, King worked for the Post Office Department in Washington DC and he became the Postmaster General under President Buchanan. King was also very good friends with Hannibal Hamlin.
The barn at the King’s Hill Inn was built in 1899, but was just recently modernly renovated to be an event venue for numerous social events, which is what Michaud specializes in.
Kate Michaud graduated from Oxford Hills in 2010, and then went to Simmons College in Boston, where she earned her bachelor’s degree. She kept busy with a double major in communications and studio art and a minor in graphic design and photography.
Kate has been very busy successful since she graduated from Simmons college last year. She works as a photographer for various special occasions under her own photography company, Kate Michaud Photography. Kate has photographed senior photos, weddings, engagements, and more.
Although it was never her first priority, Michaud has always had owning an Inn in the back of her mind.
“As a photographer, I always wanted to own a wedding venue someday where I could use my photography along with my love for organizing events and working with people.I always envisioned myself working at a farm, castle, or some sort of historic site. After seeing the King’s Hill Inn, I knew it was the property I was meant to be at,” Michaud explained.
If you’ve never seen the King’s Hill Inn & Barn before, you’re missing out. The beauty and history of the property make it a secret gem of a destination for celebrations in the rolling hills of western Maine. The property has it’s own chapel, barn, garden, and more. The Inn has a lot to offer to not only wedding celebrations, but all celebrations.
Although the Inn is stunning as it is now, Michaud is looking forward to adding her own twist of modern design.
“I hope to make the Inn a place that symbolizes the joys of celebration, community, and hospitality. Expect some new community events and local collaborations this summer!” Michaud revealed.
Michaud has a lot to look forward to between collaborating and working with new people, and utilizing the property as a studio for her photography business.
With Michaud’s ambition and creativity, she plans on putting King’s Hill Inn on the map and it’s sure to be one of the most stunning and accommodative places in Oxford County.

Thursday, March 5

Oxford Hills Senior Commits to Division I Team by Shannon Kriger

With the end of the school year getting closer, OHCHS senior Mikayla Morin is not only anticipating going off to college, but being a part of a Division I soccer team.
Morin has had a very successful high school soccer career. Some of Mikayla’s most recognizable awards include making KVAC 1st team, being awarded 2013 KVAC player of the year, and making the 2014 All State team.
Among her numerous soccer awards, Mikayla has also received plenty of acknowledgment outside of the high school. She has played for the Seacoast Soccer Club based in Portland, which is essentially a travel team. Her and her team won a National Championship and multiple state championships. Mikayla also got individual recognition at nationals by making the all tournament team, which was given to the top players that competed in the tourney.
Mikayla has always had playing Division I soccer in the back of her mind, but knew she’d be content with what ever team she committed to.
“My goal was always to play Division I, but I didn’t have my mind set on it because playing college soccer in general is a great privilege,” Mikayla explained.
Numerous schools around New England expressed interest in Mikayla’s soccer skills, but it was clear that UMaine was the best fit for the young athlete.
“UMaine was the best fit for me both academically and athletically. At UMaine, not only can I study the degree I wanted, but also play soccer on an elite team,”
Upon visiting UMaine for the first time, Mikayla got a glimpse of what playing for the university would be like.
“I had a great first impression of the team. It was very clear that they’re a close-knit team that all have the same mindset towards competitive soccer and winning. They all seemed to be on the same page when it comes to the sport, and I’m really looking forward to going up there and making an impact on and off the field,”
It’s not often that a soccer player from Oxford Hills has the opportunity to play Division I, but there’s no question that Mikayla will continue her successes in soccer at UMaine.

Photo caption: Oxford Hills senior Mikayla Morin commits to the UMaine soccer team while fellow senior, Davis Turner, commits to the UMaine football team.

Monday, February 9

Graduating Seniors: The Future of Oxford Hills by Shannon Kriger

Ryan Boucher
For graduating seniors, deciding on postsecondary plans after high school is far from easy. But for Ryan Boucher, a current senior at OHCHS, the crucial decision wasn’t all that complicated.
Since Ryan was a kid, he’s had his eyes on Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine. He’s always had an interest in both engineering and ships, making the major marine engineering technology at Maine Maritime the perfect fit for him.
“My dream job is to ship out on a large vessel for 10 years, and then retire after those 10 years and fine a small shore side job along the lines of engineering,” Ryan explained.
What had initially sold Ryan on the idea of working in the marine engineering field was the money and the work hours. Working on a ship is much different than your typical career where you work a set amount of hours every week with certain days off.  When working on a large vessel, you get shipped out for roughly three months at a time. After those three months, you get to go home for another three months and spend time with family and do as you please. Ryan’s definitely looking forward to his long breaks from work so he can spend it how he likes.
When it comes to leaving the Oxford Hills area, Ryan has mixed feelings. He’s going to miss the fun times he’s had in Oxford Hills and the memories he’s made, but he’s ready to move forward in his life.
“I’m excited to go to college because it’s a new start. After a while, the same scenery, the same people, the same teachers, and the same lifestyle gets old. And that’s why I’m excited to have such a big change in my life.”
Ryan will surely miss many of his fellow students at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, but is eager to take his first big step towards adulthood and his future career.

Dehlia Shaw
Although senior Dehlia Shaw has lived in Oxford Hills her entire life, she’s ready to branch out and go away to college.
Dehlia is going to be attending the University of Maine at Orono this Fall for nursing. Even though University of Maine at Orono is much different and larger than Oxford Hills, Dehlia’s prepared and eager to start the new chapter in her life.
Dehlia had contemplated attending numerous Maine universities throughout the beginning of her senior year, but upon touring the campus at UMaine, Dehlia realized that she belongs in Orono.
“As soon as I visited, I fell in love with the campus and the campus life. I love that it’s such a big school and has so many great programs. I decided on this college because of their great nursing program,” Dehlia disclosed.
As a nursing student, Dehlia plans on becoming an RN. One day, she hopes to get her masters and work at a big hospital.
Dehlia decided that she wanted to become a nurse as a little girl. As a child, she would always try and help others and take care of them. Now, Dehlia intends on turning that passion into a career and helping patients that are in need.
Moving away from Oxford Hills will be hard on Dehlia, but she’s looking forward to start her life and work towards her dream job.
“I am looking forward to leaving Oxford Hills, but I am also very sad. I am going to miss the caring teachers and the friends I have made in my class over the past six years. It’s been bittersweet,” Dehlia clarified.
As a long time field hockey player, Dehlia hopes to join a club team at UMO so she can still compete in the sport that she loves.
Along with her field hockey memories in Oxford Hills, Dehlia will also always remember celebrating Winter Carnival at the high school. Not only has she competed in every annual pie eating contest since when she was in 7th grade, but she has also won every single won.
Competing in the pie eating contest for the past 6 years is what Dehlia will miss the most about the Oxford Hills High School.
“It’s a great feeling having your class cheer you on and get excited for you”, Dehlia commented.
Like many other high school seniors, Dehlia’s anxious about leaving home to go to college. But with her ambition and kindness, it’s obvious that Dehlia will be successful and go far in the medical field. 
Cole Everett:
Although Cole Everett may not be investing in a post secondary education, he knows exactly what he wants to do with his future.
Cole is a senior at Oxford Hills this year, and he intends on going into his family’s successful logging business, Jim Everett and son logging, once he graduates.
“I’m going into this business because I love the job and I fell in love with being in the woods and out in the Maine wilderness. I’m a very outdoorsy person and I’d much rather work than sit around everyday. It’s our family business, so that also got me interested in just pursuing the career rather than going to college,” Cole elucidated.
The business was opened the summer of three years ago by Cole’s father, James Everett.
Cole plans on staying in the business once he retires. Once his father retires, he will most likely inherit the company and run it himself.
Cole will not be leaving the Oxford Hills community after high school. His family business’s garage is located right in Norway, and although they complete jobs all around Maine, Oxford Hills will always be where Cole’s heart belongs.
“I’d like to live in Waterford when I’m older because not only is there a lot of space and freedom, but the snowmobile trails and fourwheeler trails are extremely convenient,” Cole mentioned.
Although Cole plans on staying in Oxford County, he realizes that graduation is the last time he’ll be seeing a lot of his classmates he’s befriended that he’s been going to school with for numerous years. And even though Cole will miss high school adn the people in it, he’s ready to move forward in his life.  One high school memory that Cole will keep with him for the rest of his life is playing in the Class A Eastern Maine Championship last year for basketball. 
“Having that moment in my basketball career was amazing, especially after all the work I’ve put in since I started playing basketball in boosters,” Cole acknowledged.
Cole may not be leaving Oxford Hills once he graduates, but his positivity and kindness with certainly be missed next year in the high school.

Anna Winslow:
Whether it’s on or off the court, Oxford Hills senior Anna Winslow is ready to take on whatever life throws at her.
Ever since Winslow played for the Central Maine Community College’s women’s basketball coach on his travel team in Auburn, she knew that CMCC was a perfect fit for her.
“I chose to go to CMCC because of the opportunities they have to offer me. I love the atmosphere they create around the school and the basketball team,” Winslow explained.
Although Anna is currently unsure as to what she will be majoring in, she knows what she wants long term wise. For as long as she can remember, she’s fantasized about raising a family of her own and running her own dairy farm. Raising money for her family through farming while also having them by her side is Anna’s dream.
Although Anna won’t be too far from home at CMCC, she’s going to miss the familiarity of the Oxford Hills community.
“I’m a little sad about leaving my family and not living at home, as well as not playing high school sports anymore. But I’m really comfortable at CM and am very excited to be a part of their winning basketball tradition. As a whole, I’m looking forward to start a new chapter of my life,” Anna asserted.
Anna will always remember and cherish the good times she’s had at OHCHS over the past few years. Her favorite memory being helping her team win the Class A Eastern Maine Finals last year and then moving on to compete in the Class A State Finals game.
“Both were pretty amazing experiences, and I can’t wait to see where the rest of this season brings my team,”
It’s safe to say that Anna will make her friends and family proud at CMCC and she will be missed at the high school.

Friday, January 9

Oxford Hills Seniors Keep Spirit of Deceased Friend Alive by Shannon Kriger

Although Josh Wardwell died at a far too young age, his compassion and spirit will always be remembered and cherished by numerous individuals. Josh was a senior at Oxford Hills when he passed two years ago. He was known for his love for hunting and trapping, as well as airplanes, even taking the time to build his own. There was no doubt that Josh had lived his short life to the fullest.
Jade Morin and Savanna Morin are seniors at Oxford Hills this year, and are hoping to keep the memories of Josh even more alive by fundraising for a scholarship in his name. Jade Morin was a close friend of Josh’s, and her cousin Savanna Morin was Josh’s girlfriend at the time of his death.
“Josh was my boyfriend, who quickly became my best friend. We did so many things together in such a short amount of time, and the memories will surely last forever,” Savanna disclosed.
For their senior project, Jade and Savanna have created a raffle calendar for the month of February. There’s a new prize every day and the winner for each prize will be randomly selected and then contacted to receive their reward. There are numerous valuable prizes on the calendar, such as a $100 CN Brown card, $75 Walmart card, ski passes to Shawnee peak, $100 cash, a years worth of free oil changes, and much more.
The profits from the calendar will be going directly into a scholarship held under Josh’s name. This scholarship will then be given to an automotive student of Oxford Hills that intends on continuing to study automotives. Josh had taken the automotive class himself and enjoyed his three years of being a part of the program.
When asked why she chose this calendar for her senior project, Savanna replied, “Josh will never be forgotten in this community, and this is just a way to keep him here and let him know how important he was and still is.”
Jade and Savanna have put in countless hours towards this project, and are hoping for the best possible outcome.
“It means a lot to me. We are working very hard on it, and it feels awesome to start seeing the success,” Jade mentioned.
Of course, Jade and Savanna could not have done it all themselves. With the help some generous businesses and individuals in the Oxford Hills community, the Morins were capable of putting together an impressive calendar with a wide range of prizes.
“We’d really like to thank anyone who is involved with the success of this project. This means a lot to us and Josh’s family, and I really hope that it’s a success. Josh is worth every penny that is being put towards this project,” Savanna commented.
If you’d like to help support Jade, Savanna, and other loved ones of Josh Wardwell, calendars can be bought by contacting Jade or Savanna, or coming to the school and asking for one of them at the front kiosk. Also, these calendars can be purchased at Cut Loose in Norway and Melby’s in Waterford.

Friday, December 12

Girls Varsity Basketball Coach ready for Season by McKayla Ivey

Nate Pelletier, a math teacher at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School (OHCHS), has been coaching basketball for 13 years. Before he moved to South Paris 10 years ago, Pelletier grew up in Brunswick, Maine and went to Brunswick High school and there he played 4 years of high school basketball. Pelletier went to Saint Joseph’s College in Maine, where he also played four years of college ball. He explains, “I kind of worked my way up. My senior year in college I coached an 8th grade boys basketball team, and then I coached JV girls at Edward Little for three years and now I’m the varsity coach and it’s my 10th year here.”
As a basketball coach, he states the thing he loves most is, “I love the kids. I mean they work hard every day. I love basketball. And you know you kind of put it together and it’s really one of my passions.” He also states the most difficult thing for himself as a coach, “Sometimes its difficult for me, as being a player, to get across what i’m looking for them to do as a player, and I’m just on the sidelines. Just watching the games a knowing exactly what I want them to do, and sometimes its hard for me to explain what I want them to do. Its definitely a different realm of being a player and a coach, but I’ve gotten there. Its taken a while but I've finally figured it out.”  Pelletier says that nothing really prepared him to be a basketball coach other than the fact that he was a player himself.
To prepare for this season, Pelletier explains, “You know, I think we are in a good situation this year, with a lot of kids coming back. I think it’s just everyday we are just trying to improve on our skills. We have a lot of talent. Were not really in a phase of trying to figure out where we are, its just trying to get better at what we do.”  Last year the OHCHS Girls Varsity basketball team won playoffs, the Eastern Maine Championships and went to the State Championships. There they lost to McColley. This year they have the goal of going to playoffs, and then the goals will continue to get bigger as the season goes on.
“...right now its just day to day. We’re trying to get to playoffs, and I think we have a talented team that could get back to where we were last year. But thats really far out in the realm of what’s going on right now.”

Wednesday, December 10

High Expectations For Oxford Hills Boys Basketball by Shannon Kriger

The Oxford Hills boys basketball team are more than ready to make a statement about themselves this year. After losing to Hampden Academy in the Eastern Maine Finals to last year, the team is determined to make it back to the Augusta Civic Center.
With 6-foot-6 junior Andrew Fleming and 6-foot-3 junior Tyus Ripley, the Vikings are expected to dominate in the paint this year. This season for the two is looking very promising after their first regular season game against Edward Little, where Fleming had scored 27 points and Ripley contributed 13 points.
Although the team had lost several senior players last year, they are confident in their young team.
“We are adjusting to the change by trying to teach the new players about being and acting like varsity athletes. Also, having them play in preseason games benefitted them in getting used to the speed of the game,” Head Coach Scott Graffam explained.
The team is looking forward to their 18-game season and are prepared to compete against all the teams in their league night in and night out.
The team of 10 is very confident with their offensive skills. Graffam mentioned that once the athletes get used to playing together and strengthen their competence on the defensive end, they will be practically unstoppable.
“We are a very hardworking team. We are very capable of scoring, and we are getting better at defending,” Graffam commented.
Scott Graffam has led the Oxford Hills Vikings through numerous successful seasons. He has always pushed the boys to become the best that they can be, and he also often emphasizes the importance of working together and playing like a united team.
When asked about his coaching philosophy, Graffam replied, “Athletics are a good way to teach life lessons without some of the consequences of real life problems. Also, I find it important to coach how to behave and prosper in situations where you can’t control what goes on around you.”
The boys have had their fair share of setbacks, but it has only made them more motivated and ready to dominate in the Eastern Maine Class A conference this year.