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Rebecca Pollard
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MAINE’S FIRST CHARTER SCHOOL UP AND RUNNING
MAINE ACADEMY OF NATURAL SCIENCES AT GOOD WILL-HINCKLEY WELCOMES 46
STUDENTS FROM 27 SCHOOL DISTRICTS, ANNOUNCES NEW PUBLIC-PRIVATE
PARTNERSHIPS TO FUND RESIDENTIAL COSTS AND SCHOLARSHIPS
HINCKLEY, MAINE (Monday, October 1, 2012) – The first charter school in the state of Maine
opened its doors today to 46 students from as far away as York and Columbia Falls and day students
from as close as Fairfield attending the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences at Good Will-Hinckley,
a venerable Maine institution that has served as a home and school for children in various capacities
since 1889.
―We are making history here today,‖ said Good Will-Hinckley President and Executive Director
Glenn Cummings, Ed.D. ―We are proud to be home to the first charter school in Maine because it
represents a new chapter in the educational opportunities that are available to kids across the state
who haven’t fared as well as they should in traditional classroom settings. Our state’s economy
needs our kids to graduate and go on to college and careers, and we’re here to make sure that
happens.‖
The state Charter School Commission approved the school’s application in July. The school opened
with an orientation program September 19th and classes officially began today. The academy, also
known as MeANS, will operate year-round and on a four-day school week to take advantage of
seasonal learning opportunities tied to the school’s innovative educational model, which allows
students to work toward graduation and mastery of the Maine Learning Results using hands-on,
project-based learning rooted in themes of agriculture, sustainability and the environment.
All MeANS students also are required to take at least one course at adjacent Kennebec Valley
Community College (KVCC), which purchased 600 acres and 13 buildings from GWH in January
and plans to relocate there permanently—a deal made possible by a major gift from the Harold
Alfond Foundation and state funding.
Cummings said MeANS would not have been an option for students statewide—from 27 different
school districts this year alone—without a business model underscored by public-private partnership,
through which both public and private sector entities committed to the school’s success and offered
both financial resources and leadership.
Statewide access to MeANS is made possible by its residential program, which currently includes 27
students residing in four cottages on campus. Students live with Campus Living Advisors and

contribute to the cooking and cleaning of the cottage, an experience designed to provide stability and
social and independent living skills that help prepare them for success in college and in life.
―Another word for choice is option. If we are striving for more successful outcomes for our students
we must offer multiple options,‖ said Gov. Paul LePage. ―It is choices like The Maine Academy of
Natural Sciences at Good Will-Hinckley that will help us meet the needs of all students, and meeting
the needs of all students is the only way we improve our educational system.‖
The state has provided annual funding that helps to fund the school’s residential program, which
costs approximately $16,000 per student per year.
―For over a year the Governor and I have been saying we must do something different because what
we’ve been doing has not been working,‖ said Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen. ―Public
charter schools are an important part of an effort to give families and students more choices, and to
foster more innovation in Maine schools.‖
Greg Powell, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Harold Alfond Foundation, thanked
Governor LePage, Commissioner Bowen, and members of the state legislator for providing the
funds.
―Our state’s leaders have ensured that this school is an option for students from all corners of
Maine,‖ said Powell. ‖If Harold Alfond were here today, he would be applauding this terrific
leadership and for what it means for education in Maine.‖
Powell also announced today that the Alfond Foundation is awarding $1 million to GWH’s restricted
endowment to fund the residential component of the school. The HAF gift, along with state funds,
will help defray the cost of boarding students who live outside the local area and cannot commute to
school on a daily basis. Powell said the gift was made contingent upon MeANS’ successful
attainment of charter school status and receipt of residential funds from the state.
Cummings also recognized two other private sector partners who have contributed significantly to
the school already: the Unity Foundation, who recently donated $50,000 in scholarships to MeANS
students, and the Wal-Mart Foundation, whose recent $75,000 gift is funding a teacher specializing
in agriculture curriculum and forestry.
―The Unity Foundation is proud to be a longtime supporter of Good Will-Hinckley and to be
continuing that commitment as it opens Maine’s first charter school. We are providing funds to help
students from outside central Maine take advantage of a unique educational opportunity that will
prepare them for life beyond high school and explore careers in the natural sciences,‖ said Larry
Sterrs, President and CEO of the Unity Foundation.
Cummings also announced that a longtime GWH supporter and former board member, Shirley
Bastien of Skowhegan, who passed away earlier this year, bestowed $40,000 to the new academy for
education and campus upgrades.
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud was on hand to celebrate the school’s first day of classes.
―This school is an example of what can happen when the public and private sectors work together to
get things done for the community. Students attending the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences will
benefit from the curriculum it will offer as well as real-world, hands-on experiences that are so
valuable to learning and development. This innovative model will help prepare this first class of

students for a future in careers that are not only in demand, but very important to our state,‖ said
Congressman Michaud.
Also speaking at the event were two MeANS students, Olivia Broadrick, a senior boarding student
from York, and Nicholas Fothergill, a junior boarding student from Wiscasset, who shared their
reasons for attending MeANS.
Cummings said next year the school’s goal is to enroll between 62 and 82 students. They also are
seeking to raise approximately $4.2 million to fund a major construction project that will rehabilitate
a campus building known as the Moody School, which will ultimately serve as the primary indoor
classroom building for MeANS students.
Those interested in making a donation to the Moody School effort can contact Heather Hodgkins in
the development office at Good Will-Hinckley at hhodgkins@gwh.org.
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