Lincoln County Courts

Atwell sentenced to community service

Posted:  Tuesday, November 27, 2018 - 2:45pm

Nancie Atwell, 67, of Southport was sentenced to 250 hours of community service and one year of administrative release during sentencing on Nov. 26, according to Lincoln County court records. Administrative release is similar to probation.

She was arrested in 2016, a year after winning a million-dollar international prize for teaching honoring her for her role in founding the Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb. Atwell had taken a blouse worth less than $15 at Reny’s in Damariscotta; she received a deferred disposition to dismiss the charge if she had no more criminal activity and donated the funds to the school as she had pledged to do. She was then charged six more times with shoplifting, including a dog leash and dog treats at Ames Supply in Wiscasset, and pled guilty to all seven counts, including the original 2016 Reny’s charge, in September.

The state sought a seven-day jail sentence. Judge Paul Matthews suspended that part of the sentence, citing  Atwell’s long service to the community and her recently diagnosed struggles with mental illness and alcoholism. According to court documents, Atwell is in therapy.