School Notebook: September 14 – Portland Press Herald

Recently completed murals now hang in Rosemont Market on Brighton Avenue in Portland. Contributed / Rosemont Market

Murals of elementary school students presented in Rosemont

More than 440 students from Rowe Elementary School in Portland created murals that currently hang at Rosemont Market & Bakery on Brighton Avenue.

The seven 4ft by 4ft paintings are the latest in a series of five wall projects spanning seven years that reflect a visual representation of the words eat, compost, plant, grow, gather, shop and cook. This year’s theme was Rosemont’s goal to eliminate food waste through community composting in partnership with Garbage to Garden. Rowe’s students reproduced their original designs on 448 wooden tiles to create the artworks.

The Rosemont Mural Project was conceptualized “with the goal of energizing Portland’s youth to contribute meaningfully to their community while cultivating an awareness of our region’s rich agrarian resources,” according to a statement prepared by the local specialty market chain.

“The Rowe community is incredibly proud of the murals completed by our students this year. It took a team effort to make it and we are so pleased with the finished artwork,” said Simon Williams, Rowe’s teacher.

Freeport Middle School students at work on a greenhouse being built at the school. An outdoor learning grant will fund benches to be built into the structure. Contribution / Maine Environmental Education Association

Outdoor Projects Funded in Freeport, Portland

The Freeport and Portland schools were among 160 Maine public schools to receive funding for outdoor learning projects from the Maine Environmental Education Association, which distributed nearly $200,000 this school year.

In Freeport, the $1,500 grant will be used to purchase two large benches specially designed to fit in a greenhouse under construction. Over the past few months, the science department at Freeport Middle School has met to discuss and develop the greenhouse curriculum for grades six, seven, and eight.

Reiche Elementary School in Portland used grant funds to buy a magnifying glass for every student in the school, while educators at Lyseth Elementary School, also in Portland, will use the grant to buy a scroll saw to making end caps for a student project.

Adult learners and youth benefit from United Way

Portland Adult Education received $87,651 from United Way of Southern Maine to help more students graduate from high school and pursue college education. PAE will also receive $40,115 for Street Academy, a program that provides education and job training to homeless youth in Maine.

Gerald E. Talbot Community School, one of the most diverse schools in the city, received $80,000 for academic and social support for students and families.

Rowe Elementary appoints interim principal


Jesseca Steele is the new principal of Rowe Elementary School in Portland for the 2022-2023 school year. She started working on August 29.

Steele, who was a manager at Scarborough and Westbrook, fills the post previously held by Barbara Fletcher, who left to take up a managerial role in South Portland.

Students invited to a spiritual retreat

All students in grades 6-8 and their adult chaperones are invited to a faith-building and community-building youth retreat at St. Maximilian Kolbe’s Church in Scarborough.

The “ABIDE” event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 2 and will take place include activities, lunch, time to socialize and introductions.

The retreat is sponsored by the Lifelong Faith Education Office of the Diocese of Portland. The registration deadline is September 26 at 4 p.m.

Holy Cross Alumni Event is scheduled for September 24-25

Everyone who graduated from Holy Cross School in South Portland is invited to an alumni celebration on September 24-25.

Alumni will gather at Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday for family activities and to catch up with old friends and teachers. At 4 p.m. Mass will be celebrated at Holy Cross Church, 124 Cottage Road in South Portland, followed by an open day at the school opposite the church.

The following day, the Autumn N’ Ales 5K/10K/Half Marathon Road Race will be held at the American Legion Post in Scarborough, with all proceeds going to Holy Cross School. To register, visit

Holy Cross School opened in 1937 when the Sisters of Mercy took in approximately 100 students and have since served thousands of children in the South Portland, Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth and surrounding towns area.

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