GEAR UP Maine Bulletin
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National GEAR UP Week
is coming!

September 21- 25!
Welcome Back from summer vacation GEAR UP Maine schools! Here at Syntiro, we hope you had a lovely summer vacation. We are thrilled to begin this new school year with you! As you enter into your second year with GEAR UP, we need to get the word out about WHAT GEAR UP IS and what it means to be a GEAR UP SCHOOL & STUDENT!
Visit the National GEAR UP Week page on our GEAR UP Maine portal website for ideas and examples of how your school can celebrate and inform parents, students, and staff about GEAR UP. 

Remember, the Bulletin has been designed to use as a resource of all things GEAR UP! If there is something you need support with, feel free to reach out to us and fill out a survey by clicking, "Tell us what you'd like to know more about" at the bottom of the bulletin.
Here's to your best school year yet!

The GEAR UP Maine Team
CAT team Must Do's
September Must Do's
October Must Do's
  • Part of Maine College Access Network (MaineCAN) Aspire Higher? Check out the checklist here.
  • Follow-up on student and parent surveys (will be sent out through GEM in mid-September)
  • Make sure your Regional Facilitator (RF)  has your CAT membership updates.
  • Update student eligibility for GEAR UP in GEM (please see your RF for grade levels requiring eligibility documentation)
  • Begin draft for Year 2
  • *High School Guidance Counselors, please make sure you have fee waivers for all GEAR UP students for college applications and PSAT/SAT/ACTs. 
 A must read by a GEAR UP Maine Colleague
Week One is Just Week One
Week One Is Just Week One
by Dan Ryder. 

Dan is an educator, design thinker, improviser
, who is exploring learning & teaching in Maine & beyond.  #dtk12chat   #EdChatME   #dare2design

Get to Know Your GEAR UP Maine Staff

Leigh Alley, M.S.Ed, ABD 
Regional Facilitator for Washington & Hancock Counties

The book I could read a hundred times over:  To Kill a Mockingbird.  One hundred probably isn't an exaggeration of the number of times I've read it. (As an addendum, I've read Go Set a Watchman four times now.  The jury is still out.)
I would love to travel back to: 1992, to convince my 7th-grade self to step away from the teasing comb and the Aqua Net hairspray.  I owe my head some serious restitution for those and the spiral perms. 

When I'm not working I'm: Finishing my dissertation, or lost down the rabbit hole of Pinterest, lamenting my dissertation.  If it's 2am, I'm still awake and doing one or the other.  What can I say?  Pinning recipes I'll never make and gifts I'll never give is strangely soothing. 
Leigh received her B.A. in English and writing from the University of Maine at Machias and her M.S.Ed. in Instruction from Saint Josephs College. She was the former Executive Director of the Washington County Consortium for School Improvement, and a longtime instructional strategist. She understands the challenges and needs unique to rural Maine's educators and students. Leigh is currently enrolled in a doctoral program in educational leadership. Whether serving on the Board of Directors for Maine ASCD, the Board of Editors for the Journal of Maine Education, traveling the Downeast region working as a "teacher teacher," or offering professional development opportunities at workshops and conferences statewide via GU, Leigh keeps the people of this place she loves—and feels privileged to serve—at the heart of her efforts. A servant leader and proponent of Celebratory Learning, Leigh’s heart feels at home with Syntiro.
Whats Happening?
Offering a FREE pilot year of
Interested GEAR UP Schools should contact Eleni to learn more! is an online career planning and career exploration resource that provides all the tools and resources for charting students career path by choice, not chance. It's highly-engagingfun, and works perfectly on any computer, tablet, or smart phone, making job shadowing a uniquely cool digital experience!
Upcoming Professional
Learning Events
Professional Learning Opportunities for GEAR UP Schools

GEAR UP Maine is fortunate to have wonderful partnerships with UMF and with MELMAC.  Click here to view some upcoming professional learning opportunities that support our work. As district College Access Teams begin planning for year two, they may want to consider these great resources!

Washington County Leadership Team

"The newly formed Washington County Leadership Team (WCLT) (which is one of three in the state) will be off and running during the 2015-16 school year!

The Team met for three days under the facilitation of educational consultant, Judy Enright with support from Syntiro representatives: Leigh Alley, Curt Jack, and Corda Kinzie and has a solid foundation from which it will work...

The Team was brought together through the GEAR UP Maine grant...There was great energy at WCLT meetings, as participants show the tremendous potential for working collaboratively as systems implement new initiatives and work to improve programming already in place."

~Beth Clifford, Curriculum Coordinator, Maine Indian Education 

Interested in learning more? Contact Curt at Syntiro!
District Portal
Upcoming Events
Tell us what you'd like to know more about
In case you missed it last month...
CAT Must do's for August
  • Schedule a match meeting with your Regional Facilitator and Eleni
  • Schedule financial aid information nights and college visits
  • Update student data info in GEM
Here's why this Bulletin is important:
The Bulletin will give GEAR UP schools the opportunity to stay updated on the following:
  • Grant Mandates & Deadlines
  • GEAR UP news and events
  • Resources to support GEAR UP initiatives
  • Information about other GEAR UP Schools
  • Connections to GEAR UP staff
  • The GEAR UP Maine Bulletin will also be linked to the newly created GEAR UP Maine District Portal, a website just for GEAR UP Maine participating schools.
GEAR UP Maine Graduates had a great time at the UMF Summer Experience that ran June 21st-27th. Click here to read about two of the students' experiences.
CONGRATULATIONS to our GEAR UP Maine Scholars iPad mini contest winner, Tavia Robshaw!! Tavia attended Mt. Blue High School and is attending Thomas College in the fall. GEAR UP Maine wishes you the best of luck and we hope this iPad mini will help make your college experience that much more enjoyable! Tavia was presented the iPad by GEAR UP Regional Facilitator, Sally Beaulieu and Mt. Blue Guidance Counselor, Ben Milster.
We have begun a pilot texting project for GEAR UP Maine graduates who are starting their first year of college. This program keep graduates connected with their school counselors from July 1st - September 30th. So far, counselors have received great feedback from graduates that this texting program is a great way to keep them on track for college in the fall.
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