The tile floors at Wiscasset Middle High School are being stripped, sealed and waxed, WMHS head custodian Daniel “Dan” Lincoln said as he and custodian Debbie Gagnon showed the Wiscasset newspaper around Friday. “We really want it to look good for the students and the audience,” Lincoln said. Manager Charles Lomonte said he was delighted with the results.

Lincoln and Gagnon said custodial staff there and at Wiscasset Elementary School have been working hard to prepare for the new Sept. 6 school year.

According to phone, email and in-person interviews last week, the same is true for administrators and other employees – whether honoring veteran staff or helping to ensure that colleges and high schools have their own identity.

Acting Superintendent of Schools Robert “Bob” England Jr. explained, “This year we basically have three schools like (in) Wiscasset history. Elementary School (WES) and WMHS (which) are basically two schools in one building now: WHS (grades) 9-12 and WMS 6-8, each with its own identity Staff at each school site are focused on how to meet the educational needs and experience of each student.

England cited a new goal for the entire school department: Wiscasset Educational Collective Efficacy (WECE). He said staff will work together weekly “to assess what each school, each teacher, each support staff needs to do to get each student where they are … and to support their academic, social and emotional development. We have a very committed and talented staff that I am very proud to work with, (and) with the collective focus of this incredible team, we will achieve our goal. Every student will reach their potential,” he added. England said staff had been working on year-round targets and safety protocols over the past week, “so that all new and veteran staff are prepared”.

Lomonte and WES Director Kathleen Pastore described an exercise hosted by Lomonte in which staff stood up to show how long they had served. Pastore said it was a welcome for new employees and a way to honor the long-standing service of others.

Recounting it via email, Lomonte said it was “a true testament of dedication and love for the field of education. As (those with) many years of service were recognized, educators (at longer term) who remained (standing) were all applauded by the entire Wiscasset School District. Alan Small, Custodian at WMHS, said, “This is a place I love to come to work every day. Knowing that I’m involved in the preparation of everything makes me feel good inside.’” Lomonte added, “We all smiled as the group was celebrated for their long-term service to the students of Wiscasset.”

The round of applause was resounding, said music teacher Carole Drury. Other highlights she shared via email included school committee chair Jason Putnam’s encouraging remarks to the group, team-building activities and a barbecue lunch hosted by the team. food service: grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, salads and desserts.

“Everyone left the morning feeling excited and positive for the school year ahead,” said Drury, who is in her 23rd year with Wiscasset Schools. “We can’t wait to welcome our amazing students from Wiscasset back to school on Tuesday!”

In phone interviews, Pastore and WES Education Technician Jessica Bailey also expressed excitement for the new year. Pastore said the work and activities leading up to the school’s start have invigorated her, especially for how staff continue to “regroup” to accommodate unfilled jobs that include a special education teacher, a library media specialist, a one-year opening for a pre-K teacher, and like last year, a gifted and talented teacher.

In her 34 years as a Massachusetts educator before becoming director of WES last year, she has never seen “a group of teachers and a community that will rally around their students the way they do. (here),” Pastore told the Wiscasset newspaper.

Jessica Bailey, Education Technician for the K-2 Resource Room, is in her eighth year with the school department. The 1996 Wiscasset High graduate said the school has a great team and feels positive about the new year, including helping new staff learn about student routines and needs.

What makes her come back? “I would say it’s the children, the family, the teachers and only the community. This is where I grew up and I love it. »