Former Governor Speaks to Foundation Gala Guests

Contributed by Carol Bousquet
February 12, 2010
Kennebunk Post

Former Governor Angus King said the approach to public education has to change if America is to keep up with the rest of the world, during last Thursday’s celebration hosted by the Education Foundation of the Kennebunks and Arundel and the RSU#21 School Board. The basics, he said, are necessary but the real skills students need to succeed are the ability to process information, to think critically, to learn how to learn.

“It isn’t written in the stars that America will always be number one,” King said. “Education and innovation are our only comparative advantage. We’ve got to think about motivating kids to engage them. We don’t have time to wait.”

Several educators and community members were recognized with awards during the evening. linda McCluskey, guidance secretary at the Middle School of the Kennebunks, was honored for her willingness to take on any task for students and teachers. Roger Plummer, member of the district’s maintenance team, was hailed as the “go-to guy” for any problem. Cathy Bansmer, a Mildred L. Day teacher for more than 30 years, was honored for mentoring new staff and dedicating herself to Arundel children both in and out of the classroom. Ted Damon, founder of the foundation, was applauded for his unfailing devotion to bring creative educational opportunities to the students of RSU#21.

Superintendent Andrew Dolloff commended the winners and all of his staff, praising them for helping students here consistently test in the top 5 percent in the state. “It is a thr/ill to work with these people who are so concerned about education.”