Gardiner Regional Middle School is a grades 6-8 school in Gardiner. It houses 457 students who are taught by 46 teachers, 10 educational technicians, and 2 guidance counselors. They have a 44% free and reduced lunch rate and 16% special education population. The day that I visited was very special indeed. GRMS works hard to raise the aspirations of all of the students. Twice a year the staff has “Aspirations Day” for all of the students in the school. Below is a write up on “Aspirations Day” by Principal Todd Sanders and can be found on the GRMS website.
“On November 25th, students at Gardiner Regional Middle School had day-long activities aimed at bringing awareness to the topic of bullying as well as a variety of activities/presentations designed to increase student aspirations.
The morning consisted of students meeting with their advisor groups prior to three 45- minute sessions. These sessions included discussions about bullying with Todd Sanders (Principal), Stephen Marois (Bikers Against Bullying) and Airyn Jewett (Gardiner Area High School Student/Award winning P.S.A. creator). There was also a presentation about aspirations, diversity and perseverance with motivational speaker Chuck Nygen. The final morning section was a Career Fair featuring a variety of professionals from within the M.S.A.D. #11 communities. Thanks go out to high school teacher Matt Burgess and his Jobs for Maine Grads students at Gardiner Area High School, as it was their hard work that secured our guest presenters.
The first afternoon presentation was part of our ongoing collaboration with Mike Miclon at Johnson Hall in Gardiner focusing on “Artist Who Inspire.” The artist was magician Bruce McKenzie Johnson who not only included students in his act, but also emphasized the importance of having desires and pursuing them. After a school-wide stretch break, led by Physical Education Teachers Paula Goodhue and Drew Riddle, professional student bike rider Chris Clark impressed students with his bike skills and shared his message about determination and hard work to achieve goals.
The cost of all these activities was covered by an educational grant that G.R.M.S. receives from the Maine Educational Loan Marketing Corporation (M.E.L.M.A.C.) Foundation. G.R.M.S. joined Gardiner Area High School during the 2013-2014 school year as a recipient of this grant. G.R.M.S. is one of just a few middle level schools selected for this honor.”
When asked what makes his school great, Principal Todd Sanders says, “Gardiner Regional Middle School is a place were strong teachers and support staff work closely with a great population of students to foster quality connections and create life-long aspirations."
This middle school is a great example of how schools and communities can and do work together to ensure a great future for their students. Thanks to Todd and Tom for letting me be a part of such a special day!
Contact: Gardiner Regional Middle School, Principal Todd Sanders, Assistant Principal Thomas Landberg. 161 Cobbossee Ave, Gardiner ME 04345 207-582-1326