Kieve-Wavus Blog

Kieve – Ted Cooke

I came to the hilltop a shy, “husky” boy just a few days short of my 12th birthday with 17 armpit hairs and a busted up leg to my name.

Knowing nothing and no one when I arrived, I walked to South Harris from my first meal at Pasquaney. While passing Innisfree, a man asked if I was Teddy Cooke. Shell-shocked from the cacophony of “ins” and “outs,” cups on plates, and palms on wood, I must have stammered, “Yes, how did you know?”

He told me that he knew because I was going to be the only one they sent back in better shape than received, and then introduced himself as the Charlie Richardson. As the rain fell during the session’s first flag, that was the very first thing I learned upon that hilltop – here, I mattered.

The next day I learned that everything had names. They were places, things and people, all with identities fueled by a lore that seemed otherworldly at first. They were strange and foreign, but these new words soon became sacred to me. I quickly noticed that one didn’t just learn these new words; one embraced, touched, and depended on them.

Knowing what these new words meant became a necessity. What was a Digits? Or, was it a he? How did one earn their A-Game? Why was the Will Georgi as sage as an owl, and yet cool as a cucumber? What kinds of noodles are used to set up a tent? How did the Spencer Cherry make everyone double over with laughter and keep a straight face? Why did ground spice make dank taste better? How did the Charlie Brown know so much about how the world worked? What was in the basement of The Buck? Did the Old School Yogg age in human years? How tall was the Henry Chance? And, what the heck was a pannikin?

My lexicon didn’t just grow that first summer, it exploded.

Words I thought I knew took on new meanings. I learned how to police, not to sit on a yoke, what a flag represented, and what a taut blue tarp in the rain truly meant. I rapidly understood how important two noodles were, how miserable and wonderful tubbing could be, that a stake wedged under a root was art, and what true danger could be found inside of a full ammo box.

Words merged together and created new ones. I learned how to pack a river duffle, never to let go of a t-grip, a mud pond was nothing to be trifled with, and the true versatility of a rain fly. I rapidly understood that your table boy was your best friend, a proper T-rescue could save a life, how a J-stroke could make your Disco 169 dance, and even though I had no idea how a Crazy Creek worked – I needed one.

Then there were the totally unknown. They, shrouded in mist, were the most fascinating to learn. Portage, Therm-a-Rest, wannigan, gunnel, Allagash, deet, Katahdin, OBH, Coleman, resupply, and The One.

These words were treasures, nuggets found while floundering in the river. When I returned home, they would be my rare currency.

These words, like the names of those once etched in the old cabins, are ingrained in the stories we tell each other. The tastes, feelings, smells, sights, and sounds of Kieve, forever fuel these stories. These words are the crucial pieces that allow us to remember why these memories are so important.

These are the memories of campfires, rapids, accomplishments, sunrises, sunsets, rain, hail, heat, hunger, summits, mud, stone, blisters, cold, blood, bumps, warmth, joy, camaraderie, and satisfaction.

The amount of learning and teaching from these men I witnessed as a boy and later took part in as a young man was staggering – it never ceased.

Sitting in my office, I take comfort that just ten years younger than I, my baby brother Peter (‘07-’14) already treasures these words. I relish the thought of young men like him building memories with these words for the next 10, 20, 30, and 90 years to come. My hope is that these words will always be there for young people when they need them most, to be able to transcend whatever life throws at them. Whether it is heartbreak, grief, adversity, loss, or just plain brutal honest difficulty, the memories that they have built will aid them in their perseverance.

Kieve is as large a part of me as anything. It has given me friends, strength, self-awareness, and a sense of duty to better the world for others. Kievers and our memories collectively shared will always make me laugh and cry the most.

(Ted 2nd from left as a Head Bunkhouse Counselor in 2006)

N Harris_1

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I Know Who You Are – Mac King

I know who you are.

Whether you opened this book (the new “90th” book due out this summer)  and immediately sought out the section devoted to the ’90s and 2000s, or you read every page up to this point and my “I know who you are” opening has now led you to reconsider why you set out on this course in the first place, or you simply found yourself existing in the same space as this tome, chances seem good you’re what my friend Sam refers to as “one of us” (before construing that as a compliment, you should know I once watched Sam pee on his own head during a trip to the White Mountains when we were 10).

Every subsequent Kieve generation boasts its own war stories, rock stars and idols, too-popular-to-sign-up-for activities of the summer, chants that echoed deeper and deeper into the caverns of our brains as the school year languished into its colder months, raft skits, Ritz Skits, odd-couple friendships, characters, jokes and tripping mishaps. So, do you need me to recount the time my friend Sam peed on his own head? Probably not. As an aspiring adult, I recognize it’s kind of gross. But as a South Bunkerhillian, 18 summers ago, it was about the most impressive and enviable feat I’d ever witnessed.

I know who you are because you wouldn’t read any of this if you didn’t love and understand this place enough to even consider browsing 90 years of stories waxing poetic about different variations on the same theme.

Kieve is a verb. This book covered that in its introduction. Kieve is also a smattering of paths, fields and cabins at the end of a wooded peninsula on a lake in Midcoast Maine.

A place.

The stillness of the lake in the morning, the leaves talking to the wind at Harriet House on a sticky afternoon, and the disappearing silhouette of the flagpole at dusk all add to the wonder of the Kieve experience, but we’d be fools in the most Chewonkee-sense of the word to think the Kieve magic lives at the end of West Neck Road.

Nay. That magic, that charm, that twinkle-in-the-eye, -we’re-all-in-on-the-joke mischievous creativity lies inside Kieve’s people.

And Kieve is people, by people, for people, about people. We nurture and mold them, certainly. But Kieve is as much about instilling that hyper energy I’ve found nowhere else on earth (and for which I’ve searched everywhere), that set of values every alumn carries with him for life and that roguish sense of humor a Kiever recognizes immediately in a kindred spirit as it is about unleashing and unlocking those gifts.

For every JK kid who goes on to complete Kieve West, we seem to start every summer with another 18-year-old JC persuaded to work at a summer camp whose name he can’t pronounce by his college roommate. That rook then integrates him- (or her-!) self into our legions of legacy counselors, improving the camp dynamic with fresh material and an innovative way to run archery. As Sam would say, he or she’s one of us.

For current, former and future counselors, none of us will ever work in such an infectious environment again, waking up before sunrise to construct a baseball field, staying up through sunrise to edit a movie, building upon every day, every evening activity, every announcement to ensure the following one is bigger, better and more absurd.

I spent eight years as a camper with the same 13 cabin-mates, returned to work on staff with at least nine of those 13, still speak daily with most of those nine, gather regularly with my Kieve family to cause trouble away from the peninsula, and consider my group of Kieve friends my best friends. I even lucked into (I don’t know how) a future wife I kidnapped from the Ritz.

I feel special, but my Kieve experience is not unique. Every posse of campers and counselors must leave at some point, and when they do their generation seems to huddle up, close ranks and form a Kieve outpost comprised of chants, stories and memories preserved in time by the people who made them possible.

In so many ways, Kieve made me possible. I learned the kind of person I wanted to become at camp and continue to build myself into that person. Kieve gave me my friends, a few skills and a lot of implausible stories. I navigate the world confident in my ability to execute a flawless pain-dive in nearly any depth, temperature and consistency of water. I can’t imagine raising a son who didn’t own the same skillset, honed during a decade of Kieve summers. I chose a career I deemed most similar to the writing, directing and producing of an Aqua Attack sequence. And I managed to glean an actual tidbit of life philosophy from that same HBC on whose watch/behind whose back Sam peed on his own head to the amazement of me and my fellow cabin-mates: Drape a compass over the parts you value most and venture out into the woods in search of glory and Oreos.

Mac King on the Allagash in 2005

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Posted in: Alumni Stories & History, Camps |

Winter 2015 EIR Conclusion

The Five Most Important Things I Learned This Winter:

  • Being an EIR has been such a rewarding experience both personally and professionally. We’re able to become part of a community and incorporate TLS into students and teachers everyday lives. The experience requires you to navigate a new school environment, getting to know the teachers and students and building relationships with both to be able to provide formal and informal TLS curriculum within their traditional classrooms. -Mims, Bucksport Middle School

  • I learned that a restorative circle can be used at any age level in any circumstance. – Kelsea, Bristol Consolidated School
  • I am so privileged to have served as Lyman Moore’s Educator in Residence. I learned how to build relationships with students from myriad cultures by building their trust , to help them achieve their goals. – Leah, Lyman Moore Middle School
  • This winter at Loranger Middle School has really taught me to appreciate each and every interaction with students regardless of what we are talking about or how long the conversation is. If you go out of your way to be kind and respectful to students, they almost always return the favor. It has been a blast and a privilege to work with all of the students at Loranger and I will really miss spending my days here. – Paul, Loranger Middle School
  •  I cannot stress enough how important it is to build connections with your students. It’s one thing to know their strengths and weaknesses in the classroom; however, it is equally important to get to know them beyond that context. When you make an effort and show a genuine interest, you are showing students that you care, which allows them to comfortably open up to you. At King, I was personally able to connect with students by teaching our curriculum, providing academic support in their core classes, seeing them in gym, volunteering with the track team and eating lunch with them. The relationships I have built are based on a foundation of taking time to learn things about the students that I wouldn’t be able to learn by just teaching them.  In the words of Jim Grout, “When all else fails, give them your heart – Sam, King Middle School


Final Words From Tyler Pace… 

It’s been such an honor and a pleasure serving the Searsport community, and I can’t think of any place in the world I’d rather have spent the winter. Each day offers up interactions with amazing young people and phenomenal educators, and each day proves the value of what we’re doing with the EIR program.

If I could summarize this value I’d point to a trip I just took with the Sophomore Class to Kieve. It was the students’ second journey to the end of the West Neck Road (they came in the 8th grade, as well) and proffered a great bookend to their TLS experience. We laughed and played in the snow. We had a big fire at the point and slid around on the thick ice covering the lake. We talked about goals and addressed concerns. We sent it on the Target Jump in the Buck. At the end of the program, short though it was, the students unanimously agreed that the class felt more together and relaxed. They felt less stressed and more confident. I heard a lot of laughter.

As I walked through the halls of the high school this morning, knowing I only have two more days as an EIR at Searsport, I felt sad and happy all at once. Sad, because I knew I’d have to leave what can only be described as an amazing place to work and play. Happy, because I could sense that our organization has, in some small ways, enabled and empowered this community to celebrate its strengths and face its struggles with positive determination.


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Loranger EIR

Hi, my name is Paul McCarthy and this is my 5th year working for Kieve-Wavus and my first winter working as an EIR. Everyone at the school calls me Pablo and this has been a long running nickname given to me by a former Kieve employee (Forrest). This winter I have spent my EIR time at Loranger Middle School in Old Orchard Beach. Loranger Middle School ranges from 4th to 8th grade and I primarily work with the 6th and 8th graders. Last fall, the 6th graders went to Kieve for a week to learn and practice the values and lessons of the Leadership School. The 7th and 8th graders went to Kieve last spring for 3 days each. The current 5th graders will be taking a field trip to Kieve this spring to check out the campus and get an idea of how things work for their upcoming week at Kieve next fall. Loranger is one of our most loyal schools and they do a great job integrating Kieve as much as possible.

Loranger has a Learning Lab time that students can use to catch up on work. I spend one of these blocks with a group of 6th graders each day and we play games and do activities that help guide them to be better leaders in the school. The games are meant to get them moving and break up the school day a bit. Our activities highlight communication, taking positive risks and building healthy relationships.

During the 6th – 8th lunches, I open up the gym for some students each day to blow off some steam and get a mini-recess in before going back to classes. One day a week I try to go over to Old Orchard Beach High School to reunite with some of my former students and try to come up with new ideas for each of the schools.

I observe and participate in many of the gym classes for the 6th – 8th grades also. We have done floor hockey and volleyball units with the students. It is amazing to watch them progress through the units and see the improvement and confidence building. Sometimes, I have played in the volleyball and floor hockey games to help out and dish out some friendly smack-talk with the students.

After school is over, we have basketball and floor hockey leagues. The basketball league gives the students a chance to practice their skills and have some fun. The floor hockey league is very competitive and the faculty even has a team. I play on this faculty team and we will complete the season undefeated. I have found that being around a lot after school has been key to me reaching a lot of students. After school, students are more relaxed and we are able to chat and hang out. I also help out 8th graders after school sometimes to help them get their grades up or to finish homework.

 Star Week

A big part of the EIR mission at Loranger is the preparation and completion of Star Week.

IMG_0150S = Safe

T = Tolerant of others

A = Aware of Responsibility

 R = Respectful

Each grade at Loranger had a day dedicated to them during the week:

4th = Friday was spent making bicycles out of pipe cleaners for our guest, Chris Poulos.

5th = Thursday was spent with some of our Kieve staff as an introduction to how we roll at the Leadership School. During our assembly, they taught the 4th grade about LEADSTAR, which is important for clear communication.

6th = Monday was spent with some of our Kieve staff to reinforce what they learned at Kieve in the fall and how to make it last forever. They told the 5th graders not to worry about their upcoming time at the Leadership School and that they will learn a lot and have a great time.

7th = Tuesday, we had two guest speakers who lived through and witnessed the Holocaust and they described their unique experiences and answered questions for the students. During the assembly, the students presented what they learned from the Holocaust unit and from the visiting Holocaust survivors.

8th = Wednesday was spent with some of our Kieve staff to practice leadership and give positive advice about leadership to the younger students in the school. They described how to be a positive leader to the 7th grade at the assembly and also described what they learned through their time with our TLS educators.


I would like to give a big shout out to Matt Michaud for his hard work and dedication getting ready for this huge week. He was always prepared for my questions and helped me get ready and make this winter and Star Week a great experience for our students and teachers.


Chris Poulos was our guest of honor at the Star Week assembly. Chris is a former World Champion in Flatland Biking. He came to school to not only show us his stunts and bikes, but to talk to the students about how to act and grow. He talked about respect, how we treat people, taking chances and learning from our mistakes. These all relate to the Kieve learning model as well as what the students did all week to practice being a Star. Chris really reinforced everything we are striving for at Kieve as well as Loranger Middle School. Thank you Chris and thank you to all of the visiting Kieve staff and Loranger staff who helped make this a great Star Week!


Paul “Pablo” McCarthy, Loranger EIR







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King EIR

It is hard to believe that we have just two short weeks left in our EIR program this winter. Time has certainly been flying by. It feels like just yesterday I stepped into the halls of King Middle School to do my site visit in November. I have had the pleasure of working primarily with Rhonda Janelle, the physical education teacher, this winter. I have had the chance to build stronger connections with the seventh grade students that came to Kieve in the fall as well as meet, get to know, and teach many Knights over the past few months.


My role at King varies based on the day. The school is broken up into two houses: York and Windsor. The teachers in York 6 are especially supportive of The Leadership School. Each week, one of the teachers gives up their classes for the entire day to allow me to teach our curriculum. These students are getting a jump start for their visit to TLS next fall. This week I am going to have each of them write a letter to themselves about what they have learned this winter, that I will deliver to them when they come to Kieve next year.

The Windsor 6 teachers have given me the opportunity to work with students one on one in the classroom. I have tutored students in all different subjects, primarily working with ELL students and students with learning disabilities. It allows me to build stronger connections with them while simultaneously providing academic support.

As a school that recognizes the importance of expeditionary learning, every student is part of a “Crew” that meets four times each week. I have been working closely with a York 7 crew full of students that were at Kieve this fall. We have been able to review what they learned at TLS, attempt new team building challenges and introduce other parts of our curriculum. In addition to crew, we are together for academic crew and targeted learning time, where I provide academic support to whoever needs it.

King has introduced four new academic mindsets into their school this year. The eighth grade asked me to create and teach them initiatives that they could run with their students for the remainder of the school year with a goal for the students to fully understand what each of the mindsets means. Every eighth grader will have to give a presentation at the end of the year on the mindsets.  So far, this endeavor has been off to a great start.


On top of seeing the students in the classroom, I am able to work with them daily in the gym with Rhonda. King is fortunate enough to have some climbing as a unit, including a climbing wall, a traversing wall and some high elements. With some snow day delays, we have finally put our students through belay school and have them climbing as much as possible. The sixth graders are especially excited for this opportunity and are even more excited to get on our course at TLS.


Being at King has allowed me to become integrated into the Portland community. I have been helping coach the track team at King, which really gives me the opportunity to build stronger relationships with the students and get to connect with them on a deeper level. I have also been volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House. In addition to doing a general shift each week, Kieve has agreed to fund TLS staff being guest chefs at RMH once a month –where we can go in and cook dinner for the families staying there.

2015 EIR’s Will Hackett, Sam Copland, Dave Berndtson and Hannah Lovejoy at the Ronald McDonald House

Beyond being at King, I have had the chance to visit other schools this winter through “Kieve days.” Of special importance to me, I had the pleasure of teaching at MSK. I got to teach the group of students that I taught in the fall at TLS. It was great to see how much they remembered and how easily they apply what they learned. The Kieve day at Loranger Middle School reunited me with one of my favorite cabin of girls from the fall. During February vacation, we worked Adventure Camp at Kieve, where I met a lot of local students. Kelsea and I were in charge of the 4th, 5th and 6th graders. We had a blast playing in the snow, making pretzels inside, and climbing on the indoor course.

In addition to all of this, I have had the opportunity to learn more as an educator. This past weekend, Kelsea, Hanne, Cam, Will and I attended the High 5 Symposium in Brattleboro, VT. We each got to attend different workshops that taught us new activities, introduced us to other incredible educators in our field and learned a lot overall. I also got to take a ME Guide Course this winter. I passed and am now a registered recreational guide, which makes me feel even more ready to work at Wavus this summer.

I look forward to getting the most out of my final weeks at King. I will continue to work with the students in the classroom, providing academic support and teaching our curriculum. We will try to give them as much climbing time as possible before I am back at TLS. And I am excited to continue working with the members of the track team. I plan to return for their championship meet in April. In addition, King holds a talent sho   w each spring to raise money for their students to come to Kieve in the fall. I plan on recruiting some co-workers and performing in it to support the students and their fundraising efforts.




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Bucksport EIR

Although I’ve only been at Bucksport Middle School for eight weeks,  the teachers and students have been so welcoming and opened their classrooms to me, it feels like I’ve been there all year. I’ve experienced nothing but positive vibes as I’ve gotten to know all of their wonderful faces.

During my eight weeks at Bucksport, I have been able to: provide weekly TLS programming to seventh and eighth grade classrooms, use my math background to work one on one with students, tell all of the riddles I keep in my back pocket, provide a parent information night for seventh grade parents, plan a “Kieve Day” for the eighth grade, and form amazing bonds with the students.

Bucksport Pipeline

Bucksport students participate in pipeline activity

My favorite part of this experience is getting to know the students. Most of my days are spent simply talking with students and being a positive role model.

In recent months, the town of Bucksport has suffered the closing of its mill, leaving many families suddenly jobless. This has effected both the school and so many of the students that I have come to know. I only hope that my presence can add some positivity to their day, if only in a small way.


In closing, I can’t believe this time has flown by so fast! I’m so thankful to Bucksport for having me and can’t wait to wrap up these next three weeks and get the seventh grade to The Leadership School in April.

Mims Montgomery, Bucksport EIR

Mims Montgomery, Bucksport EIR



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Searsport EIR

I remember when we first started talking about what would eventually become the Leadership School EIR program. At that point, there were a lot of cool questions without answers, but there never seemed to be any doubt that sending TLS staff into schools around Maine was a really, really good idea. Three years later we still have questions, but our early conviction about the viability and necessity of such an endeavor remains stronger than ever.

There are a ton of great moments and initiatives that grew out of our conviction: an after school program for the little ones; “Kieve days” at several partnering schools; countless one-on-one conversations between EIRs and students, many of whom are “at-risk”; tutoring sessions in every subject area you can think of; efforts to integrate Kieve and traditional public school curricula; games and more games and insightful debriefs. We’re even working directly with English Language Learners (ELL) programs! How cool! When I hear about all of these wonderful things we’re doing in schools around the state, I can’t help but feel more hopeful about the future of education in Maine. And make no mistake—primary and secondary education in Maine, despite a truly massive effort on the part of some top-notch teachers, administrators, students and families, is suffering.

Have you ever read that neat little piece about what life would be like if every day were a Kieve day? I’ve always loved that thing, but have to admit that it sometimes makes me sad because for the great majority of people every day is NOT a Kieve day. Of all the things were doing to empower people and communities around Maine, a desire to bring the “Kieve Spirit” to every corner of the state is surely the most important. Don’t get me wrong—we’re not banging on the tables during lunch, there aren’t any Aqua Attacks raging during Blocks 3 and 4, and there’s no Kieve Song sung before the kiddos hop on the bus or get picked up at the end of the day. What I mean is that as EIRs we try to bring the same indelible kindness and respect to our students and schools that is, without a doubt, the hallmark and most enduring legacy of Kieve-Wavus. For us, each day is an opportunity to give a kid a Kieve Day.

To this end, I couldn’t have been paired with a better “site mentor”. Judy Cohen, the Searsport District Middle and High School social worker, is (I hope she won’t mind reading this!) small in stature but a giant among those advocating for the rights and health of children. She’s tireless in her effort to help kids feel safe, happy and confident in who they are, and has enabled me to make the most out of my two years serving the Searsport Middle and High school. With her help, I’ve worked with advisories, core classes, clubs and after-school programs. We’ve facilitated awareness initiatives for sophomores, helped seniors think about life after high school, and recently we even managed to get an Outdoor Club up and running—in just a week I’ll take more than a dozen students to the Camden Snow for a chile lunch and some tobogganing. Yes! I’ve been involved with PBL efforts, mentorships, GSTA and Civil Rights team meetings, and every day at lunch I play basketball with teams made up of middle and high schoolers.

Oddly enough, I most enjoy the simple conversations I have with students everyday. So many of them need the things we carry on about at TLS—kind words, encouragement, positive reinforcement, patience and compassion. Some of them, for different reasons, just need someone to sit with. You can’t really quantify the academic or intellectual benefit of a good conversation, but qualitatively the benefit is immediately obvious: kids are happier and are more likely to succeed when nice people talk to them and listen to them. Wouldn’t it be neat to see a TLS EIR in every Maine school? How many more goals would be met? How many students would feel a little bit better about who they are and where they come from? How many students would have those Kieve Days that have made so many of our lives meaningful and joyous?

Tyler Pace, Searsport EIR

Tyler Pace, Searsport EIR

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Memorial EIR

My name is Will Hackett, I have been involved with Kieve for the majority of my life, and a part of the Leadership School staff for the last four years. This is my second winter doing the Educator in Residence program, and once again it has been a life changing experience! Over the past month and a half I have had the extreme pleasure of being the EIR at Memorial Middle School in South Portand. Memorial has been coming to The Leadership School at Kieve for six years with their sixth graders.  My responsibilities at memorial stretch from working with English language learner students to helping facilitate Restorative Justice Circles with Steve Chabot, the Assistant Principle.Hackett at Memorial 2

The ELL program at Memorial Middle School is run by Sheanna Zimmerman and Bird Potter who work tirelessly with students from all over the world to help them overcome language barriers and assist with a smooth transition to the mainstream of students. In my first weeks at Memorial, I was able to facilitate a Community Maps Project, where after discussing the meaning and importance of the word community, the students created a creative map of the community and culture they grew up in. It was fascinating to watch all of the students develop a passion for their home countries and be able to express themselves through detailed drawings with maps and flags. It was also really cool to learn about many different cultures around the world.Memorial Maps

After presenting their maps to their classmates, I was able to facilitate a discussion about how, while all of their countries have many things about them that are different, there are also many similarities that can be seen as well. It was great to see them gain more respect for each other’s cultures.

Finally, we broke the students up into groups of four, with the only restriction being that everyone had to be from a different country. Once groups, the students put there together to create a map of the community that they live in now. The maps included communities in; Memorial Middle School, South Portland, Maine, The United States, and The World. Overall the students were able to learn a lot about each other’s communities, and talk about all of the factors that are important in their own community now.

Will Hackett with Memorial Students

The other big project I had was organizing a Kieve Day for Memorial’s 7th and 8th Grade Students. Kieve day was set up as a refresher experience for students who have been more than one year removed from their residential Kieve experience. Eight other Educators came to Memorial on Friday February 6 and ran a half day of programming for both grades. While the students were in class refreshing all they learned in our Skills, Teambuilding, and Relationship curriculum, Reid Anderson conducted a Teacher Workshop for Memorial Middle School Staff,  to give teachers some activities that are easily transferable to their own school curriculum, The day was a great success and we may have even had a little bit of fun!

My overall experience so far at Memorial has been one that I will never forget. I can’t wait for February break to end so I can continue to form more lasting relationships among both students and staff!

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Bristol Consolidated School EIR

This has been my first year at TLS and therefore my first year as an EIR. I have had the great pleasure of working at Bristol Consolidated School (BCS) with mostly grades 4th through 7th for the past five weeks. I have been working with BCS Principal, Jennifer Ribeiro, and Guidance Counselor, Francine Rondina to make my role at BCS both perfectly versatile and uniquely purposefully. Having a Math Education background I have been able to work with the students comfortably both academically and non-academically. Throughout my day at BCS, I take every possibility I can to make a connection with a student. I eat lunch with the students everyday and try my best to keep up with all the rules on the 4-sqaure court at recess, which lately has proven to be even more difficult since the snow is covering the lines of the court.  The overall essence of my role is to be a positive role model for the students at BCS.


For the past few weeks I have been working with the 5th grade on an activity called Explore to Ecuador. Explore to Ecuador is an activity that encourages being healthy, active, and having a global awareness. Each day I lead the 5th grade in some form of physical activity and we keep track of the physical activity we do as a class on a map from Maine to Ecuador and back! The students are also participating in a Soda Free Challenge and they keep track of the days they don’t drink any soda. It has been a great program so far and an easy opportunity for me to slip in some TLS curriculum.

Explore to Ecuador

 Each grade has identified one area where the class as a whole needs to improve. Part of my position here at BCS is to use the TLS curriculum to help the classrooms grow in those troublesome areas. For the 4th grade it is teambuilding. So far I have had one opportunity to really work with the 4th grade on teambuilding. I decided to start the students off with a very challenging activity, Flip Tarp, just to gauge where they were really struggling. Flip Tarp is a challenge where you have an entire team stand on a tarp that has been laid out flat and the team has to work together to flip the tarp over onto the other side without anyone ever stepping off of it. Before we started this activity we brainstormed “What makes a team successful?” and the students shared some brilliant ideas. We had a great conversation about being “bossy” and being a leader. I was surprised how well the students worked together during the challenge. I came to the conclusion that the students know what it takes to be a successful team and they can practice those things fairly effectively, but the students don’t recognize other places they can use these techniques (i.e. group projects). I’m looking forward to working with them again to bridge that gap. I think this is a great example of the work I am doing at BCS. For me, it’s all about taking the TLS curriculum and demonstrating how it truly fits into the everyday lives of these students.

Keslea, Bristol Consolidated Schools Winter 2015 EIR

Keslea, Bristol Consolidated Schools Winter 2015 EIR

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Nobleboro Central School EIR

During the day – Dave

Zoe and I are lucky enough to have been handed the educator in residence (EIR) torch at Nobleboro Central School from Cam Miller and Kayleigh MacFarlane.  Cam and Kayleigh worked hard with Nancy Courville and Ann Hassett to implement a fantastic EIR program here and Zoe and I are hoping to keep things rolling in a positive direction.  The obstacles we face have nothing to do with the school, the kids, or supplies, but with not wanting to leave at the end of the day! Everything about Nobleboro Central School comes together to create an environment that makes the EIR program a well-oiled machine.  The school’s staff is welcoming, accommodating, and appreciative of our presence.  The kids’ enthusiasm and excitement is contagious, and every single one is unique, kind, and understanding – which makes our job that much more interesting and fun.

We begin each day in the library and either stay to assist during library time or we march down the NCS hallways, art projects plastered from wall to wall, to the art classroom where these masterpieces are created.  Library time is an absolute blast for both EIRs and students alike.  It begins with a read aloud session lead by the wonderful Mrs. Harriman and is followed by a library choice time.  The students can either choose to search for one of the many captivating reads carefully arranged on the shelves, or they can participate in specific activities that change from day to day, or from book topic to book topic.

When we spend time in the art room with Ms. Workman, we can’t help but feel nostalgic for the art classes we remember taking as children.  Ms. Workman is fantastic at getting the kids ready and into the projects in the short amount of time allotted for art.  Zoe and I often find that we are so engrossed in participating in the art projects she arranges, that the first time we look up at the clock, class is over! Library and art room time is a great way to spend time with the kids, but lunch and recess are where we find the kids are really in their element.  This makes it a prime time to get to know them.

We often vary between staying in and eating lunch with each lunch group, or we decide to join all the groups for their recesses.  With snow cover came snow pants, igloo building, snow angels, and snow basketball.  When the snow is melted, the blacktop is filled with intense five on five pick up football games (these kids have skill), basketball, jump rope, zombie tag, and other various playground activities that often involve shrieks of genuine delight.  It is a great time to relieve some of the tension that inevitably comes with sitting still during a full school day.

We are excited in the remaining time here at NCS to get more involved in the Be a Learner program, and to step into classes upon teacher requests to facilitate activities that relay principles forged in Kieve’s Leadership School.  The days we have spent here at NCS have been an absolute delight for me and Zoe and the students we see everyday, and we are very grateful to have the opportunity to spend more time here!

Zoe and Dave during library class

Zoe and Dave make friends at library time


After School – Zoe

The EIR program at Nobleboro also includes running an after school program for students. Dave and I love coming up with creative ideas to get kids excited about hanging out at school for an extra hour. We have divided the program in three age groups: 1st-3rd graders, 4th-6th graders, and 7th-8th graders. This allows us to focus on each groups’ varying interests and skill levels. Our activities range from arts & crafts to trekking through the woods and building forts. Some days, we play basketball and football on the black top, while others we jam on homemade instruments. We are excited to continue exploring fun options from kitchen science to massive games of “everybody’s it tag.” We hope as we continue to make connections with the kids, the program will continue to grow in popularity.

The goal of the program is to provide another way for students to stay active and get involved, especially in between sports seasons. For us, it is a great way to connect with kids outside of the classroom. Our after school program provides an additional outlet for kids to express and explore this wonderful creative energy. From what we have seen, these kids have an incredible ability to be creative, fun, and silly while remaining incredibly fair and respectful. This speaks to the wonderful community NCS provides, and we are so grateful to be a part of it! It is our goal to be relatable, positive role models; Dave and I hope that kids will see us having fun in a respectable, fair way and will want to do the same. Through all of our after school activities, we aim to spread Kieve’s mission to empower youth to be kind and respectful. We passionately believe in the power of positivity and the importance of creativity.

Zoe and Dave, Nobleboro EIR's

Zoe and Dave, Nobleboro Central School’s Educators in Residents


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