Student Spotlight: Russell Hanscom



This  “student spotlight” is centered around freshman Russell Hanscom, the standout point guard on the varsity boys’ basketball squad. Although Russell enjoyed playing soccer in the fall, he concentrated hard on making the varsity basketball team; so hard in fact, that he earned himself a starting position!

When asked about playing four years at the varsity level, he modestly said, “It will be a great experience, and will make me a better player in the long run.”

When making the transition from junior high to high school, Russell says that he relied on knowing older students that he played basketball with at UMM’s Summer League. Though he kept many of his buddies from junior high, he found himself bonding with his older teammates, even off the court. “Overall”, he says, “the team gets along well and has good sportsmanship.”

Russell says that his focus on basketball motivates him to get good grades in school and work especially hard on the subjects he doesn’t enjoy. When asked what his favorite class is, he quickly replied, “science with Mrs. Gooch.”

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2015 Principal’s Welcome Message


Dear Parents and Students,

I would like to personally welcome you to Machias Memorial High School.  If this is your first year, or your last, the school’s goal is for you to have the best possible educational experience based on your interests and needs.

Machias Memorial High School continues to customize learning and encourage students to take advantage of early college classes, Career & Technical Education classes, Advanced Placement (AP) classes, honors level classes, internships, apprenticeships, and online classes.

There are also many organizations like Close-Up Washington, Band and Chorus, Jobs for Maine Graduates, Student Government, Math Team, Anime Club, Outing Club, Video Club, FCCLA, and athletics that can enhance your educational experience.

The school will continue to support student learning and development with Bulldog Block and JMG Essentials.  Bulldog Block is a daily block of time set in the schedule where all teachers are available for all students who need to meet with them.  We have found that it is sometimes difficult, or even a hardship, for students to meet teachers after school or during their academic labs.

JMG Essentials is a required freshmen class that has the goal of teaching students how to be a successful student academically, socially, and civically.  Students will learn about topics such as organization, study skills, time management, information research skills, how to handle and stand up to a bully or cyberbully, and digital citizenship just to name a few.  The school feels that these two supports will give students a solid foundation to excel in high school regardless of their current academic, social, or civic competencies.

Some areas of focus this year will be attendance, bullying and harassment prevention, and school safety.  Data shows that students who miss more than 18 days of school per year fall behind in their studies and increase their chances of not graduating on time.

Bullying and harassment has increased slightly over the last year.  The school will be delivering programming this year to prevent, reduce, and eliminate these behaviors from our school.  All students deserve to feel safe and be free of bullying or harassing behaviors while attending school.

School safety will continue to be a focus for the staff and I at Machias Memorial High School.  I take my responsibility of caring for your children very seriously.  I will continue to assess the campus for safety concerns, address them, and work with local and state law enforcement organizations to keep illegal substances out of our school.  More details on these areas will be sent home at the beginning of the school year.

We encourage students to enjoy their high school years.  Learning is important, but encourage them to join a club, sports team, or make a new friend.  Encourage them to be involved in their school and community to make it a better place for all.  Encourage them to take pride in themselves and what they accomplish while at Machias Memorial High School.  If I can ever help you with anything please come see me.  I am committed to helping your child succeed as a student and person.


Full Signature



Mr. Brian Leavitt

Principal/Athletic Director, Machias Memorial High School

Director, Coastal Washington CIT

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MMHS Athletic Boosters Purchase Scoreboards

The Machias Memorial High School Athletic Boosters have purchased two new wireless scoreboards for the gymnasium.  They are expected to be delivered soon and installed in the gym in time for basketball season.

Thank you to all of the Boosters for their continued support of Machias Athletics!

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Basketball Games this Week

Narraguagus vs. Machias – Wednesday, January 7
Boys JV and Varsity games – 5:00pm and 6:30 pm

Deer Isle-Stonington vs. Machias – Friday, January 9
Girls and Boys Varsity games – 5:00 pm and 6:30 pm

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Magenta Johnson

Magenta JohnsonOur student spotlight this week is on Magenta Johnson, a Junior at Machias Memorial High School. Magenta is the only girl on the boys’ soccer team, so we thought it would be interesting to talk to her about what that’s like. She said that playing soccer with the boys is “entertaining” and that, “It’s fun to push the guys around!”

Most of the time, Magenta plays left or right full back, a defense position. She said that her teammates are great because they get along on and off the field. The Bulldogs ended their season with a record of 3-11 but failed to make it into the post-season.

Besides soccer, Magenta is also involved in other sports, including softball and basketball. She enjoys taking a Latin course at the University of Maine at Machias, which she says is very hard. In class, they read passages out of a book in Latin and then translate it into English. Some of the words that she can say are “fontum” and “casa”, which mean fountain and house.

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Downcast Athletic Conference Cheering Competition

The DAC Cheering Competition will be held at Woodland Jr./Sr. High School on Saturday, January 10th. The competition begins at 10:00 am. Good luck to the Machias Bulldogs and to all the other teams participating.

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Boosters Make a Difference

In the fall of 2011 a group of parents, alumni, and interested community members came together to form the Machias Memorial High School Athletic Boosters Club.

Since forming the Boosters have been raising money to supplement the athletic budget. Some of the accomplishments, to name a few, have been the purchase of new backboards for the gymnasium, contributing to the purchase of new cheering mats, and providing each team with funds to use at the coach’s discretion.

By supplementing the athletic budget the school has been able to purchase some long needed items such as a new washer, medical kits for each team, and specialized training equipment.

The Boosters raise money by collecting voluntary tolls at soccer games, running the annual Bulldog Blitz Basketball Tournament, and selling concessions and 50/50 tickets during home basketball games. The Boosters have enjoyed the support of students, parents, and community members who attend these events.

The Boosters have also organized and hosted Bulldog Pride Weekend for the past two years. The goal of this special event is to bring alumni back to their school, experience the school now, and be proud of what the school is currently accomplishing and the positive direction it is heading.

The Boosters have made a huge difference in the athletic programming, the lives of students, and the school. I am thankful that the school has an active dedicated group that spends countless hours standing in the cold collecting tolls, waiting on customers in the concession stand, picking up trash left in the bleachers after a basketball game, and meeting to discuss how the school can be a better place for students.

Thank you Boosters for continuing to take pride in your school and making it a great place for students. You make a difference!

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Class of 2014 Honor Parts

2014 Honor Parts Announcement

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How Did We Play the Game?

I wrote my last blog entry at the beginning of the basketball season. In that entry I challenged student athletes and coaches to a high level of sportsmanship and asked them, “How will you play the game?”

Well, how did we play the game? In my assessment we did pretty well.

The cheering team placed runner up in the Downeast Athletic Conference competition, the Eastern Maine Regional competition, and the Maine State Class D competition. The two plaques look great in the school. The Lady Bulldogs Basketball team earned a record of 17-1, won their preliminary game, and earned a spot to play in Bangor. The boy’s basketball team finished the season with a 10-7 record and played a home preliminary game.

More importantly all the teams competed with an exceptional level of sportsmanship and class. It was not a perfect season, but overall I was very pleased with the way our students represented our school and community.

A great example of this level of sportsmanship is based on a conversation I had with the Fort Fairfield coach after their win in Machias. He told me that our team showed a lot of class especially towards the end of the game. He went on to tell me that he has played teams that have taken their frustrations out on his team physically once the game was out of reach.

I thanked him for the compliment, congratulated him and his team, and moved my attention to our team. I thought about our team and their season. Our boys had just lost a chance to go to Bangor. They could have chosen to be rough or chippy. They could have been sore losers. Despite all the frustration and disappointment they chose to do the right thing and be good sports. I saw the same actions from our Lady Bulldogs cheering and basketball teams. Everyone did their best and that’s all anyone can ask.

Some of my proudest moments as a principal have come from watching our students do the right thing. That’s one of the things that keeps me going as a principal. Regardless of the outcomes of games or seasons I appreciate and respect how are teams chose to play the game.

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Pep Rally for MMHS Cheerleaders

On Friday, January 10th a pep rally will be held for the cheerleading team. The pep rally will begin at 10:30 am in the Machias Memorial High School gymnasium. The team will be competing at the DAC competition to be held at Narraguagus High School on Saturday, January 11th beginning at 10:00 am. Good luck to the team!

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