Ella D.

RSU #34 Student Spotlight--April, 2023

Ella D., Leonard Middle School 8th Grade Student

Shortly after returning from April vacation, I had the pleasure of meeting Ella D., an 8th grade student attending Leonard Middle School. Ella came to RSU #34 in the 2nd grade:

Ella: “I came here in the 2nd grade and have been here since. Mrs. Vose was my teacher that year at Old Town Elementary. I remember it very clearly. One time we had an assembly where students were recognized by their teachers. I won an award at that assembly……I don't remember what the award was for, but I remember when I got back to the classroom, Mrs. Vose let me choose a stuffed animal. I chose an owl with a bow tie, and named it Mr. Hoot. I was so proud and loved that stuffed owl.”

Me: (awwwwwww) “Do you still have Mr. Hoot?”

Ella: “My brother eventually took him and I never saw Mr. Hoot again.” (brothers…..)

After a chuckle….

Ella: “I love my family. I have two brothers and a sister. I love to spend time with them. I also love to spend time with friends.”

Me: “Do you enjoy doing anything in particular?”

Ella: “With family, I just love to hang out. But I do love playing sports with my friends. I love sports, and it is so much more enjoyable when I get to play sports with friends.

Me: “What sports do you play?”

Ella: “I play field hockey and track for the school and play ice hockey in a different program outside of school.”

Me: “Do you have a favorite?”

Ella: “I love them all the same. I’ve been playing ice hockey for eight years, but I enjoy them all equally. I’m super excited to play for the Penobscot Pioneers next year.” (Penobscot Pioneers is a regional co-op girls ice hockey team. This past year was their inaugural season–a very successful one at that! Old Town High School is one of seven high schools who proudly participate in this co-op)

Me: “Middle to high school sports can be a big jump, especially with pre-season preparation. Are you nervous?”

Ella: “Not really. I’ve already gotten to meet some of the teams through step-up practices and scrimmages that the middle and high school have been doing together with all the sports. I am looking forward to playing with my current friends and making new friends. I will be busy this summer with workout schedules for both field hockey and ice hockey.”

Me: (Thinking to myself….this kid will be doing two pre-season conditioning programs at the same time this summer and I’m hoping to improve my Apple watch standing goal. To be young again!)

Me: (after feeling sorry for myself) “Have you liked middle school?”

Ella: “I enjoy school most days (smiling) when there isn’t a lot of work. I like science and math. I also like art. I’m a River Runner. I love being a River Runner because it forces me to expand my comfort zone and try things I’ve never even thought to try before.”

Me: “Tell me more.”

Ella: “We recently put on a spring fling event for LMS. I had to write letters and plan for events. I’ve never had to think that way before. Soon we are going to UMaine on a tour of the campus. Our River Runners group went to Camden and did a polar plunge into the ocean at 5am. It was cold! We also went on a lobster boat and saw adorable baby seals. We helped them pull up traps and I got to hold a huge lobster. There was also a large crab, but I’m not a fan of the crabs. I did like the little green ones we discovered between cracks in the rocks on shore. River Runners is a different adventure all the time.”

Me: “What are your favorite memories of LMS?”

Ella: “I like it when I complete big projects. During the 7th grade curriculum fair I was really proud of my project on the state of Alaska. Cobbler is very popular in Alaska and my group baked blueberry, blackberry and strawberry cobbler. People really liked our cobbler. Some came back for seconds. I also liked the memories I made playing sports. Our first field hockey game this year was under the lights in Brewer. It was a back and forth game, but in the end, we won 7-5. I scored the tie breaking goal and Molly scored the clincher.”

Me: “I had approached Dr. Nesin before break and asked if she could recommend a middle school student for me to feature in a student spotlight. Without hesitation she gave me your name saying you were a great student who brings a lot to LMS, and will be dearly missed when you go off to Old Town High School next year. Why do you think she said this?”

Ella: (smiling big) “I’m not quite sure….hmmmmm. (couple head bobs looking up to the left and then the right) I’m nice to people?” (she said it in the form of a question, then quickly followed up with..) “I’m a kind person and enjoy making people smile.”

Here are some fun facts about Ella:
Favorite Sport: I love all of them.
Favorite Teacher: Ms. Kenny, my 7th grade math teacher
Favorite School Lunch: Pizza
Favorite Book: ”The Runner” written by Carl Deuker
Dream Car: BMW

It truly was a pleasure getting to know Ella. She is a talented student and athlete who brings out the best in those around her. I suspect we will someday be hearing about Ella’s athletic accomplishments at the high school level, and even beyond. She is an excellent River Runner leader and role model and as Dr. Nesin shared, will be dearly missed by LMS next year. Thank you for your time, Ella. I wish you the best at OTHS next fall!

Matthew D. Cyr, Superintendent