Wiscasset, Maine. Applause and cheers from students, parents, teachers, and Chewonki staff on Thursday marked the unveiling of a new name for the Elementary School at Chewonki, now officially Chewonki Elementary and Middle School.
The school began in 2015 as a small venture powered by a big dream, one teacher, one teaching assistant, and nine students in grades 3-5. It now has 31 students in grades 1-8, four teachers, one teaching assistant, an art teacher, and a music teacher.
In her remarks to the gathering, Head of School Kat Cassidy spoke about the importance of names, something these students understand because they have been exploring the many possible meanings of “Chewonki,” a word of Native American (Wabanaki) origin. “A school name should accurately represent its student body, just as the school’s mission and vision should describe what we do here,” Cassidy said. The seventh- and eighth-graders are particularly pleased that the new name reflects their status as middle-schoolers.
The name change may seem small, but it is a community milestone here. The mood at the ceremony was festive and emotional. “Usually I am completely at ease speaking in front of people,” says Cassidy, “but because this school is so important to me, the children, and their parents, I was really nervous! I felt very supported when I looked around. It was wonderful to see staff members from other Chewonki programs, too, here to celebrate this moment.”
The group enjoyed music-making and goodies before setting forth into the rest of the day. Congratulations to the Chewonki Elementary and Middle School!