Education Foundation Second Annual Gala

The second annual Education Foundation Gala drew a big crowd of supporters, volunteers, educators and board members to celebrate the importance of a quality education, honor district employees and volunteers, and enjoy students’ imaginative artwork.

The honorees were Donna and Richard Jellison, custodians at Kennebunk Elementary School; Linda Mattuchio, secretary at Kennebunk Elementary School; Melanie Shmalo, Kennebunk Elementary PTA president and community volunteer; and Susan Cressey, teacher, IB Coordinator and Administrative Team member at Kennebunk High School.

Richard Pattenaude, Chancellor of the University of Maine System, was keynote speaker. He said that one of his major focuses is working with business leaders statewide to create jobs for Maine students – and conversely, making sure students are ready to fill those jobs.

He reminded the audience that one of the problems in Maine is that too often, students must leave Maine to find the job they want. Pattenaude said that it is critical that high schools prepare students well for a rigorous college experience, as the job market is challenging. “Businesses today want to see students who can write, who have mathematical and analytical skills, who are prepared to work with teams. They want solid core development of skills and education. They’re looking for people who are learning cutting-edge information in every discipline. Essentially, they want quality programs,” he said.