Friday, April 20, 2018

Spotlight on physical education teacher Wayne Martin by Matt Pascarella

Wayne Martin with his oldest daughter, Jaley
Wayne Martin is a Physical Education Teacher at Windham High School and he got interested in PE at a young age. His basketball coaches, who were also physical education teachers, were a big influence on him. While at Caribou High School, his coaches encouraged him to look into becoming a PE teacher. 

In his senior year, Martin went on trips with his basketball coaches and other students to the University of Maine at Orono, where he was able to make connections. He attended the University of Maine at Orono his freshman year of college, majoring in physical education. He then transferred to the University of Maine at Presque Isle, where he graduated with a physical education degree. He also met his wife while attending college.

After graduation, Martin taught PE in Van Buren for two years, both at Van Buren Middle School and Gateway Elementary. He was also the girls’ varsity basketball coach at the Van Buren High School. In 1998, Martin got a job as a PE Teacher at Windham Middle School where he taught for three years before moving over to the high school in 2001.“It’s not a traditional physical education program; it’s more than just team sports,” says Martin.
His students do a lot of adventure programming. Activities like: fishing, which is offered at places like Panther Pond and Sebago Lake; archery, rock climbing, and back packing. The school still offers traditional sports activities, “but having non-traditional activities provides a good balance because not every kid likes to do the same activities,” explains Martin. 

When students leave his class, Martin would like them to be independent thinkers when it comes to fitness. It can be hard for a kid to find balance between activities and electronics. Once a student leaves Martin asks the following questions of himself: Did the student find an activity they liked enough to pursue after high school? Can they set up their own fitness plan? Can they find the correct fishing pole for their child because of what they learned in his physical education class? If so, then he sees that as success.

A resident of Gray, he is married with three children and has a very sports-oriented family. His oldest daughter loves to run track, his middle child loves basketball and his youngest, is a fan of soccer and basketball.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Raymond Recreation Association seeking volunteers by Matt Pascarella

The Raymond Recreation Association is an organization of volunteers who offer various programs for Raymond youth, kindergarten through eighth grade. It offers a variety of programs and activities. Since it relies solely on volunteer efforts, some programs may be at risk of discontinuing. Current President of the Association, Beth Clark, shares the story of the Association and its importance.
Clark first became involved with Raymond Recreation Association in 1998 when her family moved to Raymond. She had two sons who were involved with the then new soccer program, so she volunteered as a coach. From there she volunteered as “the transporter” or “bus mom” for the Wednesday Ski Program, which was only offered to the kids third grade and up at that time. The ski program was expanded to first and second graders allowing the program to continue and reach more of the community. 

The association also offers ski programs at Shawnee Peak in Bridgton. Clark began assisting in the ski lodge and then became program director until her youngest son graduated Jordan-Small Middle school and headed off to high school. She then moved into directing the Raymond Elementary School Ski Program, doing that for more than 10 years until she became President of Raymond Recreation Association. She has been president for four years.
The Raymond Recreation Association offers a spring cross country running program, swimming lessons at the Raymond Public Beach in July, soccer in the fall and basketball in the winter. 
There are several karate sessions offered throughout the school year in Raymond, run by BKD Dojo in Casco, operating those programs under the Raymond Recreation Association. 

The Raymond Recreation Association is not affiliated with the Town of Raymond but works closely with the town and town officials to offer athletic opportunities to the children of Raymond and surrounding towns, who might not otherwise have access to these types of programs. 

The association is a private, non-profit organization, relying primarily on volunteers to direct and manage most of the programs. The only paid positions are swim instruction and Karate since they both require licensing and or certifications. 

A few of the programs may risk fading out due to lack of volunteers. If are interested in volunteering, please contact Beth Clark at or at (207) 650-1046.

If you wish to donate, please send donations to the Raymond Recreation Association,
c/o Leigh Walker, Treasurer, P.O. Box 561, Raymond 04071   

Clark feels Raymond Recreation is an extremely important part of our community and wants to see it continue to grow and thrive for our children now and in the future.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Two middle school wrestlers reach the top by Matt Pascarella

Christian Harvey works to pin his opponent (photo by Jason Gendron)
Sixth grader Christian Harvey and eighth grader Owen McDuffie, both of Windham Middle School, have great wrestling careers ahead of them.
Harvey has big wrestling plans in his future. After finishing a successful season, 12-year-old Harvey is headed to the National Tournament of Champions held in Ohio on Saturday, April 2.
Owen McDuffie concentrating on getting the win photo
Harvey went to the Red Rebel Classic qualifier in Derry, NH on March 18. In that qualifier, the top three winners in that competition go on to the tournament in Ohio. Harvey placed third out of roughly 500 wrestlers.

Harvey will be wrestling other kids his age in Ohio and is excited, as this is an opportunity for him to wrestle more. Harvey has been practicing a lot more to prepare for the National Tournament. When it comes to wrestling, Harvey enjoys competing, having fun and making friends. This will be his first time competing in a national event.

His plans for the future include wrestling in high school and working hard to go to as far as he can.

McDuffie also has quite a wrestling career ahead of him. At 14, he is an All New England Wrestler and has placed fifth in the Youth New England Wrestling Tournament, which took place in Andover, Massachusetts early last month. He also placed fifth last year in the same tournament. All New England Tournament is a tournament in Massachusetts where the best teams in NewEngland come together for the New England title, explains McDuffie.

McDuffie traveled to Massachusetts with the Trappers Club, a Maine group that wrestles in the off season. McDuffie placed fifth for all of New England, out of 600 wrestlers.

McDuffie says he became an All New England wrestler by being able to put everything he had into every single practice and put everything he had into each and every match as well. 

As soon as McDuffie steps on the mat, it’s time to wrestle and that’s all that’s going through his mind. He clears his head beforehand and gets super focused.
McDuffie also has plans to wrestle in high school. 

Coach Nick Buckley commented on both his student athletes. “Owen is an amazing leader; it’s almost like having another coach on the team” Buckley stated. “Christian showed a lot of growth and dared to leave his comfort zone; I couldn’t be more proud of a wrestler.”