2014-06-20 / Front Page

One last assembly for Wentworth

New Wentworth School will retain its sense of history
By Michael Kelley
Staff Writer


Sixth-grade students Josie Patten, left, and Maya Brooks greet Wentworth Intermediate students with high fives as they enter the wood-floor gymnasium last week for the school’s final assembly, the start of the official goodbye to the old school. The new school is nearing completion next door. Left, as one of their final writing assignments of the year, Wentworth students were asked to reflect on their time in the old Wentworth Intermediate School and write their responses on the large concrete bricks in the hallways outside their classrooms. For more photos, visit the Scarborough Leader Facebook page. (Michael Kelley photos) Sixth-grade students Josie Patten, left, and Maya Brooks greet Wentworth Intermediate students with high fives as they enter the wood-floor gymnasium last week for the school’s final assembly, the start of the official goodbye to the old school. The new school is nearing completion next door. Left, as one of their final writing assignments of the year, Wentworth students were asked to reflect on their time in the old Wentworth Intermediate School and write their responses on the large concrete bricks in the hallways outside their classrooms. For more photos, visit the Scarborough Leader Facebook page. (Michael Kelley photos) For more than 50 years, Wentworth Intermediate School has stood by the corner of Quentin Drive and Gorham Road. The school was named for Benjamin Wentworth, a doctor whose family owned the land where the school is located today.

According to “Scarborough at 350: Linking Past to Present,” Wentworth practiced medicine in Scarborough for 38 years and served as the superintendent of schools, as well as a member of the town’s Board of Health.

While the name of the intermediate school will officially change from Benjamin F. Wentworth Intermediate School to Wentworth School in the fall, all references to Benjamin Wentworth will be brought to the new school.

Students and staff have spent the past few weeks honoring the school and the memories they created in it.

In the closing weeks, Principal Anne- Mayre Dexter said she has looked for fun, yet educational ways for the students to say goodbye to the 52-year-old school. As one example, Dexter said, students were asked, “What has Wentworth meant to you?” and wrote their responses on large bricks in the wall in the hallways outside their classrooms. The bricks will be salvaged and placed underneath the asphalt parking lot.


Maddie Scammell, a fifth-grade student, shares what Wentworth has meant with her classmates Friday, June 13. Scammell said she will remember the friendly spirit of the students and staff and will miss the place where she has “learned so much.” (Michael Kelley photo) Maddie Scammell, a fifth-grade student, shares what Wentworth has meant with her classmates Friday, June 13. Scammell said she will remember the friendly spirit of the students and staff and will miss the place where she has “learned so much.” (Michael Kelley photo) “We are trying to find little poignant moments for the children, yet connect it to some sort of instruction,” Dexter said earlier this month.

Last week, the school held an assembly to, as Dexter said, start the “official goodbye” to the school.

Several students, including fourthgrade student Anna Borelli and fifthgrade student Maddie Scammell, were asked to share their responses to “What has Wentworth meant to you?” with their classmates.

Scammell recalled the friendly atmosphere that greeted her every day she came to school.

“Wentworth has always been a second home to me. Everyone is always so nice to me and the others as well. The teachers say hi when you walk by. Third through fifth grade has been my favorite years because I always have fun and learn so much. I hate to leave this place I call home. I’ll miss it,” Scammell said.


Joy Drew, left, leads the Wentworth Chorus in “Count on Me,” a Bruno Mars song that captures the feeling of saying goodbye to an old school and hello to another. In the fall, current third- and fourth-grade students will begin the school year in the new Wentworth School, a state-of-the-art school that is nearing completion. (Michael Kelley photo) Joy Drew, left, leads the Wentworth Chorus in “Count on Me,” a Bruno Mars song that captures the feeling of saying goodbye to an old school and hello to another. In the fall, current third- and fourth-grade students will begin the school year in the new Wentworth School, a state-of-the-art school that is nearing completion. (Michael Kelley photo) Borelli pointed out the school has been an important place of learning for both students and teachers.

“Wentworth has been a learning community for 52 years. At Wentworth, not only are kids learning, but the adults and teachers are learning as well,” Borelli said. “Wentworth has been a place where I experienced fun and serious learning. Wentworth is where I grew up. It’s where I entered double digits. I am going to miss Wentworth.”

The new school would not have been possible without members of the Town Council, Board of Education and Wentworth Intermediate School Building Committee, all of whom helped guide the new school from a vision to a reality. Members of Wentworth’s K-Kid, the school’s service organization, took time this year to send out 52 personalized letters thanking those individuals for their hard work.

“I couldn’t imagine a better school than the one you are building,” Mayne Gwyer wrote in her letter. In hers, Josie Caruso thanked Board of Education member Donna Beeley for her “dedication to the new school.”

The assembly marked the Gym Dandies’ final performance at Wentworth, the place the children’s circus troupe has called home for more than 30 years. It was a bittersweet moment for Jon Cahill, who founded Gym Dandies in 1981.

“There’s been wonderful things that have happened in this school, and many of those things have happened in your classrooms,” said Cahill, who got his start in education as a physical education teacher at Wentworth 42 years ago.

The assembly also featured several performances, including “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “Grandstand March” by Wentworth’s fifthgrade band; “Country Swing” on recorders by the fourth-grade students; and “Count on Me” by the Wentworth Chorus. There was also a photo montage of both the old and new schools and “Chain of Kindness,” a video created by the Wentworth Civil Rights Team. The assembly was capped off by students singing “All For One and One For All,” a song modeled after Pete Seeger’s “Build a Road of Peace.” The words to the song, which is sung to the tune of “Ode to Joy,” were adapted by Wentworth students in 1997.

When students walked out the door on the last day of school, June 17, it was the last time they would set foot in the intermediate school.

Soon the building will be decommissioned as a school and be torn down to make way for the parking lot for the new Wentworth School, which is set to open next to the current building in August.

The building is one of the few schools in the Oak Hill Area Scarborough that hasn’t been repurposed. The Bessey School is now a senior citizen apartment complex.

The Oakhill Grammar School on Black Point Road is being rented to an architecture firm and the White School/Oakhill Primary School on Route 1 is now home to Arlberg Ski and Sports Shop.

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