We are pleased to announce that Declan Wright, a member of Chewonki Waypoint Cohort 3, has been awarded a prestigious Eighth Grade Citizenship Award by Bath Middle School and the State of Maine. This award is conferred annually to graduating eighth-graders who exemplify civic awareness, academic achievement, and community service. Maine State Representative Shean Paulhus presented the award during a ceremony in June.

Wright fulfilled a laundry list of criteria to be eligible for the award, including volunteer service, participation in his student government and school-sponsored activities, involvement in his local community, faithful attendance, and more. Further, Wright had to be nominated by someone at his school and selected by a panel of fellow students, faculty, and staff. This lengthy process ensures that only the most deserving students are recognized

“Declan is an exceptional student and citizen, and Maine is lucky to have him,” says Izzy Janzen, Waypoint coordinator. “He is also, simply put, a curious and kind individual who cares deeply for the natural world and his community.”

Wright completed a considerable amount of community service work in the last year through Waypoint. His cohort helped clear invasive species on the Whiskeag Trail together with the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, and the group also built multiple bog bridges. His cohort has also helped clean up and organize the Bath Middle School greenhouse. Earlier in the year, Wright played a crucial role in facilitating the group’s virtual Community Panel, which included learning from the local Fire Chief, Police Chief, High School Principal, town council members, and other local organizers.

Outside of Waypoint, Wright participates in several other activities that show his care for the community. He is a member of RSU1’s Solid Waste Reduction Committee and a three-year member of the Student Council. In seventh grade, Findings from the Field (a middle school journal of ecological and environmental science investigations) published two of his research articles. Wright also participated in and won the seventh-grade Shark Tank Event by creating biofuels from algae. This year, Wright revitalized the Bath Middle School Orchard, volunteering over 200 hours of work, donating many trees and plants, and bringing a wealth of passion and knowledge to the unique space. 

Declan, we wish you a hearty congratulations for your incredible accomplishments! We are excited to continue partnering with you through high school and beyond. Keep up the spectacular work.