Windham High School is a large high school in Windham, Maine that houses over 1,000 students from Windham and Raymond? They have a 22% free and reduced lunch rate and a 13% special education population taught by 80 full and part time teachers and 19 educational technicians. A fun fact about Windham High School is just how large it is: from the office to the furthest classroom is about ¼ mile according to a Windham High School math class!
Not only do Windham High students get their exercise walking around the school, they also have a full sized rock wall run by two certified staff. They are able to differentiate physical fitness programs so that every student is able to stay active in a manner that works for them. Electives include kayaking, winter camping, weight lifting, cardio class, and more! Windham High School partners with Orthopedic Associates of Maine who has a personal trainer housed in the school to help out throughout the day and during sports events.
While walking around the school, Assistant Principal, Deb McAfee, took me to the Eagle’s Nest. This large open space is where students can gather to do work, eat lunch, or just socialize. The Eagle’s Nest is located atop a beautiful staircase that is lined with glassed-in student art show cases and leads you to one of the largest stages in the state of Maine. As you walk down the hallway toward the Performing Arts Center, you pass cabinets made by a local community business, Windham Mill Works. The school is able to proudly display their awards in these handmade cabinets that match the newly built benches in the hallway.
The high school is divided up into content clusters. Each of the clusters has an office space for teachers. In these rooms, teachers have desks and an opportunity to meet with colleagues. This also allows for more space in the classrooms for students’ learning. This common office is adjacent to a large open classroom area that teachers can also use. Windham administrators are skilled at maximizing the space to meet the ever-changing needs of students. This is easily seen when walking into the former Industrial Arts classroom. Not only do the custodial staff have a space for their equipment, this is now where STEM classes are held. They have also converted another space to a music classroom that is designed for piano classes, while many other spaces throughout the building serve multi-purposes.
Principal Chris Howell states, “The staff and students who make up the learning community called ‘Windham High School’ is what makes our school great. Our staff will try almost anything to help a student succeed. Students work hard, are friendly and show a tremendous amount of pride in their school.”
According to Assistant Principal, Kelli Deveaux, “The students are the best part of this beautiful school.” She’s not the only one who feels this way. Seniors are respected and trusted to have a senior privilege of an open campus. The students also have a mentor program and a literacy development program matching high school students with grade one students called “Teen Trendsetters.” The Windham High students in Spanish and French class also travel to these schools and teach the younger students a foreign language.
The incredible students of Windham High School have all signed the pledge to meet Rachel’s Challenge. This signed pledge is proudly displayed in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center. The kids have pledged to not bully and pass on the positive, and powerful message of Darrell Scott and his wife in memory of their daughter, Rachel who died during the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.
If you have a chance to visit this beautiful school, I highly encourage you to do so!
Windham High School, 406 Gray Road, Windham ME 04062 ~ 207-892-1810
Principal Chris Howell and Assistant Principals Kelli Deveaux and Deb McAfee