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Legacy Foundation Raising Funds for Sharon Remick Library

Sharon Remick with three grandchildren

Sharon Remick with three grandchildren at a Halloween party

Photo: submitted

Press release

The nonprofit Sanford Schools Legacy Foundation is hoping to raise $5,000 to rename the Margaret Chase Smith Elementary School library in honor of Sharon Remick, a lifelong resident and second-generation educator who died on March 13. Remick spent 50 years in education, including 45 years in the Sanford school system, and retired in 2020 as principal at Lafayette School.

As an elementary teacher and principal, Remick was well-known and regarded for her annual “Cake Walk” staff event, her Halloween felt-board story and her collection of holiday sweaters. Perhaps she was most proud of her work with the Terrific Kid Program, Beat the Winter Blues, and the spring reading events in the park, plus the Early Learning Events, which involved local childcare programs, St. Thomas School and the public schools.

Not everyone knew how quietly generous Remick was with her students. “She would go buy clothes for kids, buy books. No problem. Whatever was needed.” said Debbie Andrews, who worked with Remick as a Reading Recovery teacher at the Lincoln School in Springvale. “She worked from dawn to well past dusk. That’s Sharon, so dedicated, so generous.

“I initially thought it was a Sanford thing, but I learned over time working with her, it was a Sharon thing,” Andrews said. “She worked hard to create a culture of respect. Whether you were a teacher, an ed tech or the custodian, Sharon created a climate that embraced everyone, no matter what position you played. Staff, kids and parents were all part of this family.”

To the students, Mrs. Remick was always visible, whether it was in the classroom, the cafeteria or helping with buses. Not to mention countless spaghetti dinners and ice cream socials in her spare time, and extracurricular community fundraisers and benefits. “She was kind, gentle and caring; she could also be stern to children who perhaps needed it. She would deal with them and not let anything fester,” said former colleague Gale Michaud. “She was just fabulous; kids, staff and parents all loved her.”

Former Lincoln School teaching colleague Celeste Steele said she still thinks of her friend Sharon whenever she hears heels on a tile hallway. “She was a fast walker. And whenever you heard the clicking of her tiny heels, you knew Sharon was on her way, whether that was to help you or solve whatever the issue was. She was a woman on a mission!”

To the teachers, Remick was a trusted leader and, said Michaud, a former kindergarten teacher at MCS when Remick was principal. “She was very organized, very on top of everything. She was a good source for teachers. She had our backs, always.”

“Whatever needed to be done to help kids learn, Sharon was there,” said former colleague Betsy St. Cyr, who would eventually become Sanford’s director of special education and superintendent. “She’s really devoted, and she really cares about the people who work in the school and cares about the kids. She had a wonderful perspective because she was also a town resident. For example, she knew and appreciated how the schools and taxes would affect residents.”

Remick started teaching in Sanford in 1974 as a transitional first-grade teacher at the now-closed Lincoln School. Years later, even though she could have retired as principal of MCS, she was asked to lead Lafayette School until it closed.

Her family has always been active in Sanford. Her parents owned Bowl-o-Rama (which her brother Owen Martin operates now), and her mother, Leatrice Martin, was a first-grade teacher. Remick and her husband, Frank, have two children, Karen and Darrell. Today, she and many of her former colleagues maintain their friendships and even an active book club.

“Wherever she went, she created the same climate. It was a Sharon thing,” Andrews said. “Sharon has given her entire life to the community of Sanford. I’m thrilled for Sharon to receive this recognition after all that she has given to the community.”

To donate to the fundraising effort, go here.

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