School assemblies are often an interesting mix of awards, celebrations, and just a bit educational information. This past fall our school honored Madeleine Walsh ’21, at a school assembly for her Irish Step Dance achievements.
Walsh started her dancing career when she was just seven years old and a year later she began competing. Walsh has said that she is partly Irish and that was her motivation to start dancing, she wanted to feel closer to her culture.
“I am part Irish, so I wanted to try Irish dancing out and I kept doing it because I loved it.”
Every year a new group of faculty, staff members, and students seem to magically appear here at school. A few years ago, Ms. Sampson was one of them. She was a new English teacher here at Thornton, but certainly not new to the state of Maine.
Before she started teaching at Thornton Academy, she had
an intriguing past. For seven years, she worked in the heart New York City with less fortunate students, helping them to become extraordinary, leaving the feeling of being less fortunate behind.
Kylie Bedard, ’21, has used track and field and the genetic gifts of her parents to propel her across the nation as she competes in track and field at the highest levels.
“I started track when I was 5-years-old. My dad (Joe Bedard) was a national champion decathlete. So he kind of wanted me to follow in his footsteps,” Bedard said. “He ran track at the University of Virginia in Lynchburg where he was a two-time national champion.”
SACO – With 1,600 students roaming through the halls of our school, almost everyone shares a first name with someone else. The one exception might be Dominic Dadiego, or just Dom to his friends.
Dadiego has found a way to use more than just his name to stand out. He has been involved in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities during his four years and has been a leader in soccer, track, student council, and dance.
Dadiego was elected as the class president for the class of 2019 since his sophomore year.
SACO - Hockey is a fast-paced competitive sport and at Thornton Academy, the players are willing to get to the rink early in the morning, late at night, or any time they have a chance to skate together.
"From the time I was a small boy, hockey has been my sport," said Garon Woods, a senior on the TA team.
SACO – Soccer has always been a part of senior, Eric McCallum’s life. He made the varsity team as a sophomore and by the time his junior year rolled around, he was starting every game. As a senior, he was named a co-captain of the team and playing nearly every minute.
“Whether I’m at home, or sitting in class, my team and the game is always on my mind,” McCallum said.
During McCallum’s junior year he had a moment that most players only dream of. One of the playoff games ended in a 0-0 tie and the team was told the winner would be determined by penalty kicks. Eric was one of the five players picked to take a shot. He stepped up to the PK line knowing that if he scored, the team would move on to the next round. Without hesitation, he buried the ball into the right-hand side of the net. The team, his coaches, and the fans erupted in celebration.
In the middle of his senior year, his soccer career changed. Most of his life, McCallum played as a central midfielder, but after four or five games, Coach Carlson approached him and asked him to move and play as a forward. Without hesitation, McCallum agreed – the team always comes first.
“I knew that once I moved from the center of the field, I might not achieve all of my personal goals for the season. That didn’t matter. I realized after last year that the team mattered more than any of my individual hopes.”
Before she was even enrolled in any classes, Sun entered a local contest and submitted some of her paintings. She was only 5-years-old, but she won. She and her parents decided to formally enroll her at two schools, one for traditional subjects and one for art. But her art classes met only once a week.
“When I was young, I loved watercolors,” Sun said. “It was difficult, but I loved the final images on the paper.”
By the time she was 15, she and her parent wanted her to attend a high school where she could study traditional subjects and focus on the arts. Lorraine came to Thornton Academy halfway through freshman year, and three years later, she has taken nearly every drawing and painting class offered. Sun now has a complete portfolio of work and is looking forward to the next step in her art education.
At home, when I was in middle school, teachers seemed more concerned with other subjects. Here, I have learned so much and I hope to get into the art schools I’ve applied to. Someday, this might lead to a fashion line of my own.
“Ending the season with only one loss and one tie during my freshman year, just made me super excited for years to come,” Nason said.
Jones said the trip was important and unforgettable in many ways. “The trip
made me think differently about the sport because it broadened my horizons on how many people actually love the game as much as I do,” Jones said.