Shead High School is a grades 9-12 high school in Eastport, Maine. It houses 108 students who are taught by nine teachers and seven educational technicians. They have a 67% free and reduced lunch rate and serve a 25% special education population.
When asked what makes his school great, Principal Paul Theriault proudly stated, “The staff. All of the staff are completely dedicated to making school personal for each of the students. We all know each of the students and do whatever it takes to keep them engaged and wanting to learn.” Mr. Theriault said that there is very little staff turnover in staff at Shead High School. “Everyone loves and wants to be here. It’s more than a job or money, it’s the love of educating the kids. The teachers are amazing!”
Walking through the halls of Shead High School, you see school spirit. The walls are aligned with the school colors of orange, black, and white and there are tigers everywhere. The only areas that are not lined with tiger paws are the walls with beautiful student murals. “Our enrollment has declined quite a bit over the years and we didn’t have a need for all of the lockers. So we removed the lockers and local artists are working with the students to create murals on the walls.”
One of the murals in the lobby is dedicated to Jesse Shead. He donated the land for the first high school located just behind the current high school. As a matter of fact, the gym at Shead High School is the original and they built the current high school around the gym.
Community plays a large role in how Shead High School functions. They are fortunate to have Eastport Arts Center partner with the school. They bring in artists to work with the students. The community uses the school as a place to house their regular meetings and they support the school’s FM Radio Station, 93.3 WSHD! This radio station can be heard throughout Washington County and plays an eclectic array of music. The station is run by both the school and community where both students and community members have regular shows.
I had the pleasure of talking to four students: freshmen Hailey and Aaron, Junior Keijoh, and senior Ieisha. When asked what makes their school great, the kids all agreed “It’s the teachers. They really know us and our struggles. They help us through it all. They are very nice and caring. They understand who we are and what we need to learn.” As for the community of learners, “There isn’t any bullying. We all know and support each other.”
When discussing their principal, the students all said, “Mr. T makes our school flow. He knows that when he leaves, everything is going to be okay. He gets along with all of the kids and he keeps it professional, but in a very chill way. “
Everyone I spoke to agreed, “We are a family, and we really care for one another. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Shead High School, 89 High Street, Eastport, ME 04631 (207) 853-6254
Principal Paul Theriault, Assistant Principal Roberta Mitchell