Wiscasset seniors get surprise

Fri, 05/22/2020 - 9:30am

Edgecomb’s Karen Potter had just gotten home from work at Dan’s Automotive in Boothbay Harbor Thursday when the family’s Labradors, on the deck, started barking.

“We’re like what’s that? Oh, my god, there’s the teachers,” she recalled her and daughter Natalie saying. Natalie graduates Wiscasset Middle High School next month, and the teachers who showed up,  Prema Long and Kim Andersson, came bearing surprise gifts: A lawn sign with her name, the Wolverine mascot and the message “Class of 2020 seniors #2020STRONG”; and a black sweatshirt that read: “You don’t need 2020 vision to see our pride.”

The messages were perfect and the surprise was incredible, Natalie, 18, said in a phone interview afterward. “It made my quarantine. That’s for sure,” she added, laughing.

“(The sweatshirt’s message) I thought was very clever to intertwine not only our school spirit but also our class spirit. You know, we’ve been through a lot as a class, and I think it kind of embodies our goofiness but also our school pride.”

“Oh I thought it was amazing,” her mother said about the surprise delivery. “Really cool ... These seniors, they work so hard. We look back on it in our generation and it’s a stepping stone, and (this class) didn’t get it taken away from them, but it just isn’t everything that they had hoped for and they had prepared for. So everybody’s just trying to make it special for them.

“They’re such a resilient bunch of kids. And this is such a small community, and teachers rally together. I just love this area, this community, and this is a further reflection of it,” Karen Potter said.

Technology Coordinator/VHS Site Coordinator/Student Council Advisor Deb Pooler and fellow senior class advisors Long, Andersson, Hollie Paul, Chris Hammond and Adrienne Frair made the deliveries, in face masks. Pooler called it a wonderful chance to “connect with kids and show them that they are important, that the community businesses (who have been donating) really care about them.” She said donors toward Thursday’s gifts or other help with graduation include Big Al’s, Ames Supply, Peggy and Wayne Averill, Maxwell’s Market, Larrabee Agency, The First Bank, Wiscasset Ford, Wiscasset Area Chamber of Commerce, Red’s Eats, WMHS Boosters, WHS Student Council, Rupert Flood, Charles Cromwell, Sea Basket, and Pat’s Barber and Patti-Jo Averill.

To help, contact Pooler at 207-837-2712 or dpooler@wiscassetschools.org

“The generosity of this small town has been so amazing! I am so proud to say that I am a member of this caring and supportive community,” Pooler said in texts Friday morning. “Helping our kids to have a memorable high school graduation experience is so important to everyone. I have always maintained that this community supports our kids (and) always has.”

Pooler’s fellow WHS Class of 1971 member Sheila Sawyer donated $500 on behalf of Larrabee Agency, the insurance agency she recently sold and still works at. In a phone interview May 14, Sawyer said as an alumna and secretary of the alumni association, which funds scholarships and normally also pays for the seniors’ dinners at the banquet that this year was canceled due to the pandemic, “I feel strongly we’ve just really got to support the kids. It’s been a really hard year.

“I would urge any alumni or community member that would like to help carry out the graduation, to make a donation,” Sawyer said.

Natalie will be Karen’s and WHS graduate husband and Edgecomb Fire Chief Roy Potter’s second WMHS’ graduate. Leah is in college, Ryan is a WMHS senior next year and Carolyn will be a sophomore.