Eighth grade holds graduation

Last Thursday, June 11, was graduation for students from the Ashley Bryan School. The Class of 2015 was Brenna Sullivan and Marla Walls. Ashley Bryan himself was the speaker at the beginning of the ceremony. Ashley said the first important thing of education is that the students love themselves so they can remain free of many pressures to fit in. He assured them that his door is always open, and he will always be happy to talk with them.

The Ashley Bryan Chorus then sang “White Coral Bells,” followed by Lauren Simmons addressing Brenna, who takes beautiful photographs and has an understanding of computers unlike anyone else at the school (a gift that will be greatly missed), and Marla, who absorbs books and is a strong source of information and explanation. She got a laugh from the audience when she said the school motto, “yah … we’re different.” Going to school on one of the outer islands is a lot different than a mainland school. The students did a series of skits about the two of them which were examples of what Lauren had said.

Brenna spoke about life having new experiences, both good and bad. The school has taught her to see the big picture, breaking down difficult times. She began photography and loves it, and she also loves technology. Looking forward to going to Mount Desert Island High School, Brenna has the goal to “don’t just float, make waves.” She knows that dreams can change, and she looks forward to seeing what she and the younger kids at the Ashley Bryan School do.

Marla and her family moved to the Town of Cranberry Isles last year, and she dreaded going to school somewhere she barely knew. She and her family had been to Bar Harbor to visit her grandparents, but they had never been to the islands. Marla has had an amazing year at the school and was touched by the community’s support for the special trip she and Brenna went on to the Green Mountains. Audrey Noether, the school’s teacher, who lives on Great Cranberry, brought the Walls family school supplies when they arrived to spare them from having to find some. Marla was one of Melissa Amuso‘s runners, and she appreciated Melissa’s coaching and help. Her parents’ support continues with her through high school. She looks forward to Brenna being at MDI high school along with her.

During the evening, Audrey, with backup from the kids, sang “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan. The younger kids put on a play. There was also a slide show with pictures of both over the years. Finally Heather Webster gave out the eighth grade diplomas. It was a great night.

It takes a lot of hands to educate these kids. Each day, support teachers come out on the boat in the morning. Gail Grandgent rides the boat every morning with the kids and supports the teachers. Clair Cullinan substitutes when one of the teachers is out or assists when extra help needed. Ursula Hanson, a school councilor, has helped both eighth grades decide what their plans will be for high school. Mary Lyman is the art teacher and has helped the kids to make beautiful work of art. Michael Brzezowski, as an art tech, also comes out to teach the kids computer skills. Beau Lisy, the music teacher, has worked hard to provide instruments for the kids. He even brought boat load of drums out. Katrina Linscot teaches French. Alex Johnson keeps the kids fit with fun gym classes. Almost all of these teachers came for the graduation dinner. It was a full house. The community was very supportive.

While Brenna and Marla finished school on the islands, Isaac Krasnow and Emma Fernald graduated from MDI High School on Sunday, June 14.

Congratulations to all the Cranberry Isles’ graduates!

New library hours on Great Cranberry for June are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, noon to 4 p.m. on Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. A library meeting was scheduled to be held on June 16. The Book & Bake Sale will be held on June 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and they need donations of baked goods. The library needs volunteers, especially in the summer. Areas to volunteer are everything from cleaning to kids’ story time to help at the desk. Contact Ingrid if you can help either with baked goods or as a volunteer.

And a reminder that the Great Run is this Saturday on Great Cranberry. Come and race or support the racers.

A group met with Howie Motenko at Sand Beach on Islesford on Saturday night. Howie had been over several times to look at the island and the beach area chosen for the “Painting Islands” project and determined high tide is the time to do it. The tracks into Frank Newlin‘s boathouse are under water, but visible with light. Light is moved in the areas while the people are out of sight. Howie had set his camera up on the dock; the boathouse was open, with Mary Schuch and Malcolm Fernald flashing light on the Dovekie from the corners inside. Other lights were between the boathouses to the Brooks’, shining light on the side and beach-front of each of them. Howie took several time-exposure shots and will post the outcome soon on his site paintingislands.com. Some others from MDI came with Howie to add to the number of flashlight wielders; Islesford participants included Ellie and Jack Miller; Jim Fortune; Jeri and Ted Spurling; Hugh and Karen Smallwood; Stefanie Alley; Susie McNamee; Joy Sprague and Sally Rowan. (Apologies to any I’ve missed!) Joy and Jeri got the reception at Neighborhood House set up. Many thanks to Brenda Beckett for her help organizing and directing while Howie was at the camera and for her contribution to the party afterward.

Two seasonal openings: miniature golf at Jim and Sallye Parrish‘s house with new designs for golf ball traffic is under way, and the Islesford Dock will open next Wednesday, June 24.

Summer is coming in as the light starts to change! The earliest sunrise has been this week at 4:46 a.m. from Saturday, June 13, through Tuesday, June 16. Sunset will run its latest course, 8:23 p.m., from Wednesday, June 24, through Sunday, June 28.

Birthdays this week include one of Islesford’s youngest, Bode James Duggan, who turns two on the June 22; Nan Hadlock celebrates on June 23, and Henry Isaacs on June 24. Happy birthday to all!

We look forward to reporting all the news. Send items to us by 5 p.m. on Sunday. For Islesford, email Sally Rowan at [email protected], and for Great Cranberry, reach Jennifer Walls at [email protected]


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