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Najhaun Simpson assists School Resource Officer Joe Jourdain in the drop-off line at Sanford Middle School.

Photo Credit: Sanford School Department

By Carolyn Cadigan

Bringing a smile to faces every day: Najhaun Simpson, a Sanford Middle School eighth-grade student, has taken on a unique role alongside School Resource Officer Joe Jourdain. From 7:15 to 7:40 each morning, Najhaun assists Ofc. Jourdain in the drop-off line in front of the school, helping to direct incoming traffic so students can cross the street safely. Najhaun often greets students with his warm smile and a fist bump, giving them an extra jolt of positivity as they start their day. Ofc. Jourdain says Najhaun has that same personality all day long. Read more here.

Supporting the building trades: Earlier this month, the Building Trades Program at Sanford Regional Technical Center (SRTC) received a $12,000 gift from Deering Lumber, which donated some of the proceeds from its annual golf tournament held this year. SRTC Instructor Troy Hathaway plans to use the funds to do more individualized projects such as having students build mock-up buildings to learn how to frame floors, walls, roofs, ceilings, and interior partitions. They will also learn how to install doors, windows, exterior and interior trim, drywall, and many other aspects of residential construction. FMI, go here.

Thank you, Officer Bucklin: Longtime School Resource Officer Rick Bucklin, who served St. Thomas School for over two decades, will be retiring after nearly 26 years with the Sanford Police Department. St. Thomas School recently thanked and honored him as he enters retirement. FMI, go here.

Buddy up: Sanford Pride Elementary has introduced a new program that provides its staff and students the opportunity to build relationships across grade levels. The Buddy Classroom Program has emerged as an effective tool for enhancing academic, social and emotional skills for both older and younger students. Through a variety of activities and interactions, participants learn the importance of taking turns, actively listening, sharing knowledge, praising others’ efforts, offering assistance and working collaboratively to accomplish common goals. FMI, go here.

Empowering students at Challenge Day: Earlier this month, the entire 7th grade at Sanford Middle School took part in Challenge Day, consisting of a full-day interactive workshop and an assembly at Sanford High School. The goal of Challenge Day is to build community and to help stop teasing, violence and alienation. It is a time when teens, teachers and community members experience for themselves that compassion and connection can be found in our schools. This year’s event was made possible with the help of approximately 56 volunteers as well as support from the Gerard and Gertrude Genest Charitable Trust, Diamond Sponsors, Kennebunk Savings and MaineHealth. FMI on Challenge Day, go here.

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