Deering News Letter

The Deering Weekly Update


At the Falmouth Speech and Debate tournament on Saturday, Deering competed in Public Forum and Lincoln Douglas style Debate.  Glynis O'Meara & Aidan Reid (far right), Aidan Blum-Levine & Linh Nguyen (center), and Balqies Mohamed & Emily Cheung (far left) finished 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively! Debate Coach Brian Dodge noted, "I've never seen one single school sweep the top three spots in an event in the 6 years I've coached this team."

Vol. 4, November 12, 2019.  If you have news you'd like to share or questions about something you read here, please contact Sarah Shmitt at

HERE is our new DEERING COMPREHENSIVE CALENDAR. This online calendar will be updated frequently and will be linked to the DHS website and the DHS facebook page.


Event and Info




Tuesday, November 12

Summer/Sem-ester Abroad/ Gap Year FAIR


Freeport High School Performing Arts Center

Tues., November 12

PTO Meeting


DHS Library

Guest: Karen Shibles, STEM Coord.

Wed., November 13

Intro to the College Process for Everyone Except Seniors!


DHS Library

Presenation by Deering Guidance staff. FOR PARENTS and STUDENTS.

Saturday, November 16

Deering Silent Auction to support ALL Deering students

4 - 7 pm

Woodford's Club

Raffles, games, light food

For Deering's Sport Schedules, visit

Don't Go Hungry!


Deering Center Community Church will be hosting a traditional Thanksgiving meal with Wayside on Thanksgiving Day. Free to all community members at 4 Brentwood Street from 12pm – 1pm. No registration required. Call 773-2423 for more information. 

Portland Club and Wayside will be providing a free meal on the day of Thanksgiving. All are welcome. Food will be served at 156 State Street from 11am – 1pm. No registration required. Call 775-4939 for more information. 

Preble Street Resource Center will be providing their scheduled free meals on Thanksgiving Day – lunch and dinner will be Thanksgiving Themed. Open to everyone. Call 775-0026 for more information. Visit 252 Oxford Street: Breakfast: 8 – 9:30am Lunch: 11:30 – 1pm Dinner: 4:30 – 6pm 

Teen Center, 343 Cumberland Ave.: Breakfast: 8 – 9:00am Lunch: Noon – 1pm Dinner: 6 – 7:00pm 



NEXT PTO MEETING: TUESDAY, November 12, 6:00-7:30 pm. Deering Library. HERE is the agenda. Science teacher Karen Shibles will share information on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and the STEM endorsement certificate at DHS. Also discussion and planning for the year.  If you have agenda items you would like add, email,  


MINUTES from the September 16 PTO / PAG meeting are HERE


Currently scheduled PTO meetings for the year are Tuesday, Nov. 12, Monday, Jan. 27, Monday, March 16, Monday, May 11, all 6-7:30 in the DHS library.  Hope to see you there! Questions, contact  PLEASE GET INVOLVED and SUPPORT YOUR SCHOOL! Contact us at  


**CLYNK bags are helping us raise money for our projects like books for teachers and the DHS community.    If you want any CLYNK bags, let us know and we’ll drop some off at your house.

Deering Consolidated Boosters Purple & White Club

NEXT MEETING: December 4

Are you a parent or guardian of a Deering Student Athlete? Come see what Deering Consolidated Boosters is all about! Please join us on Wednesday, December 4 at 6 pm in Room 219.  Can’t make the meeting? Email us at to find out how you can help.



Deering High School Teachers Win Grant Awards!


The Foundation for Portland Public Schools have awarded their 2019 Equity and Innovation grants to the following Deering teachers:


  • Tracy Menard for her project Changing Portland, Changing Maine for $1000.00.


  • Molly Callaghan for her project: Whole Story, Whole Student: The Penobscot’s Today and First Mainers, New Mainers for $725.00.


  • Elizabeth Cockrell for her project, Deering/Telling Room 2020 Collaboration.


  • Congratulations to Carolyn Aberg who won a Culture Club grant to take her students to Merrill Auditorium to see Viva MOMIX for $314.00



Raymond James speaks to the Quantitative Reasoning class at Deering about investment strategies.  The students are studying money management and heard from an expert about how to manage their assets in the future.  Payson Harvey, a senior said, "My plan for college is to be an accountant so with this deeper understanding of stocks and money really furthered my interest of working with money and hopefully in the future investing in the right stocks."  Students learned some of the basics of market management.














Science teacher Ian McLean's marine ecology class made their way out to Kettle Cove State Park for a field excursion to mark the end of a four week unit on invertebrate zoology.  While the forecast called for showers and winds gusting to 25 out of the NE, they were instead blessed with only dramatic clouds and just enough breeze to carry away the scent of the exposed intertidal zone.  The goal was to fill their buckets with the greatest diversity of organisms and search for invasive Asian Shore Crabs, and to that end, they set a 15 year-and-counting record of 21 specimens - more than double any previous year.




JOIN the Angolan community in Maine at the Angolan Independence Gala Party!!

November 16 @ the Elks Lodge in Portland

There will be lots of music, dancing, cultural tidbits and typical food from Angola. 

Food and drinks are included in the price of the ticket.

Please Donate Warm Clothes!

The RAMily Market is asking for clothing donations to get students prepared for the winter season. Like new or gently-used contemporary high-school age clothing is needed. 


All donations are welcome, but winter gear (hats, scarves, gloves, jackets, etc...) are especially needed!  We have plenty of men's dress shirts, so no need for those right now.





Attention Class of 2020 Parents/Guardians! Please join the Project Grad Committee. Our next meeting is October 29th at Deering. The  meeting will begin at 5:30pm. Come learn what Project Grad is all about, and what you can do to help your Senior have an amazing year. “It takes many hands” to make project graduation successful, and we look forward to growing our committee. The meeting will be held in room 317. 


For additional information, e-mail:

Mr. Cherry at or follow our Facebook page “DHS Project Graduation 2020”. 

An Important Message from Nurse Nalli

Fall is definitely here and with the cooler weather and changing leaves comes the start of flu season.   Deering High School has flu shots available at Student Based Health Center (SBHC).  Students (under 18 years) must have a signed parent/guardian consent form to receive the flu shot.  Copies of this consent form are available in the nurse's office and at the School Health Center. Once the consent form is completed, an appointment can be made for the flu shot.  These are available regardless of ability to pay. Please let me know if you have any questions.  

~Nurse Nalli~

Deering Yearbook Raffle: Patrick Dempsey!

Enter Deering Yearbook's raffle to win a 2019 yearbook signed by Patrick Dempsey.  Tickets will be for sale starting October 15, 2019. Seniors Samatra Sam and Miranda Beard (pictured below) participated in a 5k walk as part of their senior capstone.  While taking part in the Dempsey Center event, the two students were able to meet Patrick Dempsey and leave with a signed yearbook!  

If interested in purchasing tickets--

1 ticket for $5

3 tickets for $12

10 tickets for $25


Tickets will be on sale during lunch, at various school events or just contact Mr. Lawless in Room 113 (

Drawing will be at the end of the semester in January

2020 YEARBOOK: Purchase Today! 

The 2020 yearbook can be ordered online at and the id number is 11227420.  The yearbooks are on sale for $60 and the sale will end by November 1st.  The original price is $70.   


The 2019 yearbook can be purchased for $40.  See Mr. Lawless in Room 113 if interested.


WEX Job Shadows: February and April Break

WEX will continue to offer job shadow opportunities to high school juniors and seniors who are able to commute to the Portland area over school break. In 2020, there will be two cohorts: one in February and one in April. Detailed information about the program - including a list of FAQs

Applications for both cohorts will be open until December 23, 2019.

Detailed information about the program - including a list of FAQs--as well as registration information is available from Ms Willams in room 214.

Week of 10/28/2019

STEM Newsletter Items

Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year. 

Look for STEM ELOs & STEM Scholarship opportunities to be posted here each week.

If your student is new to Deering or new to the STEM Endorsement work, encourage them to join the Google Classroom for program requirements, ELO trackers and general announcements. Google Code: xa03aiv


  • Students interested in learning more about the Maine State Science Fair can stop by Mrs. Shibles WINN on Tuesday or Thursday this week.

  • Juniors interested in learning more about UMaine’s engineering program are encouraged to sign up for the bus trip to the University of Maine in Orono on November 22nd. See Mrs. Shibles in room 303 to sign up.

  • Students interested in joining a Robotics ELO during WINN on Fridays should sign up outside of Mrs. Shibles’ room (303). It’s not Battlebots but we plan to build, code, and design challenges. No experience needed.

  • Please see prior posts as some program deadlines are approaching.

STEM Scholarships:

  • Jackson Lab is once again awarding a $10,000 scholarship to three graduating high school seniors from Maine, Connecticut, and Sacramento County, California who are pursuing a degree in biomedicine

    • Candidates must: demonstrate either significant financial need or status as a first-generation college student, including individuals whose parents have not completed a Bachelor’s degree; be on track to complete their high school diploma with a cumulative GPA greater or equivalent to 3.5 on a standard 4.0 scale; be nominated by a teacher, administrator, or guidance counselor

    • Teacher/counselor nomination deadline: February 1, 2020

    • Student application deadline: February 15, 2020

    • Students who are interested and believe they meet the above criteria can meet with Mrs. Shibles to discuss how to proceed. Learn more at the JAX  College Scholarship site.


⇨ Please check descriptions/deadlines from prior posts.

November 4, 2019

DHS Guidance News


with DHS Guidance Cluster Coordinator, Libby Heselton

Wednesday, November 13th


in the DHS Library

This evening is an important one for 9th, 10th and 11th grade parents and students to learn all about the college application process!!!  Topics discussed will be how to narrow down a college search, finding the right matches, how to schedule campus visits, financial aid, scholarship info, resources within Deering, and more.  DON’T MISS IT! Help your child get a head start on their college search and post-Deering goals.

The World is Too Large to Stay 

in One Place! 

IF YOUR 9th, 10th, or 11th GRADER FEELS THIS WAY THEN YOU’VE GOT TO GO TO THIS IMPORTANT NIGHT!  Many DHS students over the past years have attended a number of these unique semester/ or gap year educational programs.  Not only did they earn high school credit but they often come back to Deering excited to talk about the life-changing and awe-inspiring opportunities they have experienced.  


Tuesday, November 12, 2019  6:00 – 7:30 PM

Freeport High School Performing Arts Center




Discover ways to enhance your educational experience!  Representatives of summer, semester, year and gap programs will come together to provide information on the enriching opportunities they offer. This event is offered through the Freeport High School Guidance Department. For more information contact Dana Clark, FHS School Counselor, 865-4706 ext.304


The following programs are confirmed to attend:

High Mountain Institute (HMI)

The Island School

The Mountain School

The Experiment In International Living


Where There Be Dragons

The Oxbow School


Maine Coast Semester @ Chewonki

Alzar School

School Year Abroad

Greenheart Exchange



For Families of Juniors

Last week School Counselors went into English 11 classes to talk to Juniors about the different criteria that Colleges and Universities look at when deciding whether to admit, waitlist, or deny student applicants.  We went over the importance of taking appropriately challenging classes, earning solid grades, preparing for SATs and what a “good” score is (this is a tricky one!), extra-curriculars and/or after school jobs and why it is essential to have interests outside of academics, and many more related topics around the variety of criteria colleges look at when assessing applicants for admission.  

In the month of December, we’ll go back into these same classes to do a Part II presentation which will entail talking with Juniors about what criteria they should be looking at in order to begin the process of finding colleges or universities that match their unique, individual academic and social goals.

For Families of Sophomores

If your child is enrolled in English 10 and/or Early US History this semester, ask them to show you the results of one or both of the surveys they took on Naviance.

In October, School Counselors went into English 10 classes to do a “Do What You Are” survey with Sophomores.  

What is the Do What You Are Survey?

Do What You Are is a Personality assessment based on Jungian typology.  It identifies these dimensions of personality: Introvert, Extravert, Sensing, Intuitive, Thinking, Feeling, Judging and Perceptive.  It helps students to identify their natural preferences, gifts and talents. This information helps students increase self-understanding and enhances personal development.  After completing the survey, students are often better able to do the following:

  • Identify potential college majors and/or career fields

  • Understand learning style

  • Improve communication and relationships

  • Increase appreciation for diversity

  • Enhance study skills

  • Increase motivation

Counselors also went into Early US History/AP US History classes the week of Oct 21-25th to do a Strengths Explorer with 10th graders. 

What is a Strengths Explorer?  

Strengths Explorer assesses 10 talent themes and identifies each student’s three strongest emerging talents such as Confidence, Dependability, or Future Thinker. It provides explanations of these themes, strategies for capitalizing on each, and action items to help students gain insight into their greatest talents – natural patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior – to leverage in the classroom and in life.

StrengthsExplorer Themes:

  Achieving     Caring

Competing         Confidence

Dependability   Discoverer

Future Thinker Organizer

Your child’s School Counselor at Deering will often utilize the information gleaned from the Do What You Are and the StrengthsExplorer surveys later in the junior and senior years when we are working with your teen to map out their unique plan for career, college, and/or military after high school.  


College Representatives in Guidance. 


If your child is interested in attending any of these information sessions, they can sign up on the home page of Naviance


All upcoming college visits to Deering High are listed in Naviance on the bottom right of the Home page.   For more info or for assistance on getting into Naviance, students should see Ms. Adams, Guidance Secretary (874-8264).





No upcoming College Rep visits for the next week or so  as most Admissions personnel are busy reading applications for fall 2020 admission.  Stay tuned for future rep visits.  





University of Maine at Orono (UMO)

University of New England (UNE)


University of Southern Maine (USM)

Wouldn’t it be great if your child knew in November that they had been accepted at one or more of these schools? You bet!!


College Admissions Reps from UMO, UNE, and USM will be at Deering High to meet individually with 12th graders who have completed the Common Application and are interested in possibly attending their institution in the fall of 2020.  The College Reps will go over your child’s completed application, high school transcripts, and SATs, if required, and determine on the spot whether your child can be admitted. It really is an instant admission! Here are the dates of each Admit Day:

University of Maine/Orono (UMO) Thur., Nov. 14th

University of New England (UNE), Tue., Nov. 19th

University of Southern Maine (USM), Thur., Nov. 21st


Interested Students Must Register to Participate in an Admit Day!

Please go to  to register for one or more schools.

You will see  “Search for a sign up by creator’s email” type in:

Any questions about an Admit Day can be directed to your child’s School Counselor.


Calling all Juniors and Seniors Interested in Taking a USM Course for this Upcoming Spring 2020 Semester!


The USM Early College Application Portal ExplorEC is now LIVE with Spring 2020 courses!


Please note, registration for completed applications will not begin until November 23, 2019. Your application is not complete until all required signatures have been received.


We recommend searching and applying for classes during the week of November 18, 2019! If you apply for a course before then, and it becomes full, you will not be registered until you select an alternate open course! Courses may fill quickly as USM’s full-time student population registers over the next two weeks. Students who register for USM courses that want Deering to reimburse them for the tuition must complete a form that can be picked up with their counselor in Guidance.


If you have questions about course selection or prerequisites, please reach out to your DHS Counselor or to Jamie Austin, the Early College Coordinator at USM who works explicitly with Deering High students.    Jamie can be reached via email at:>




Take a gander at this Boston Globe Magazine article

"12 Signs You’re Losing It Over the College Admissions Process"




Important Upcoming PSAT and SAT 

Testing Dates

Click here for all 2019-20 SAT/SUBJECT TEST  dates, deadlines and registration info

12th graders  interested in taking an SAT should use the above link to register for the December 7 test date.   Taking the SAT/Subject Tests after the December test date may jeopardize making college application deadlines. 

 11th Graders will be taking the SAT at Deering in April, however any Junior can register for an SAT or Subject Test prior to that April date.  A number of Juniors choose to take the SAT one, two, sometimes even three times in order to get comfortable with the test. As they become more familiar with the actual test, they learn where their strengths and weaknesses are and can utilize Khan Academy for FREE practice in order to improve their test scores for college admission and heightened opportunities to get more merit scholarships.

Test Date Registration Deadline Late Registration (additional fee) DEC 7, 2019 NOV 8, 2019 NOV 19, 2019

MAR 14, 2020 FEB 14, 2020 FEB 25, 2020

MAY 2, 2020 APR 3, 2020 APR 21, 2020

**JUNE 6, 2020 MAY 8, 2020 MAY 27, 2020

** The June 6 Test Date is the last one for the 2019-20 school year 

Where Can Your Child Get In With Their SAT Scores?  

Students and Parents Can Search Colleges by Admission Test Score

College Simply

College Simply parsed admissions data from over 4,000 U.S. colleges and analyzed what SAT and ACT test scores get in where. Select your test score to find out where you may fit in best and estimate how likely you are to get accepted. The guide is organized by SAT and ACT score and presents the best colleges which have historically accepted students for each score.

 Attention Families of College Bound Seniors

The 2020-2021 FAFSA is now available- FAME has tools to help you file!

The FAFSA became available on October 1. Now is the time to get the FAFSA completed for the 2020-2021 academic year! There is no downside to filing early, and it is one of the best ways to maximize financial aid eligibility. 

The 2020-2021 FAFSA requires 2018 income information. We strongly recommend using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool within the FAFSA to transfer 2018 income information directly from the IRS to the FAFSA. To make the process easier, be sure you have 2018 federal tax returns, including Schedules and W2s, in front of you when completing the FAFSA.

At least one school needs to be listed on the FAFSA, but additional schools can be added after the FAFSA has been submitted -- just return to 

Need help filing the FAFSA? Free help is available from FAME anytime:

1. Attend an In-Person FAFSA Help Session:

FAME will be offering 14 In-Person FAFSA Help Sessions statewide starting on Thursday, October 10.

Find and register for an event near you:

2. Use FAME's Online Help:

Prepare to file by reviewing FAME's Get Ready to File the 2020-2021 FAFSA checklist. 

View our Filing the FAFSA video.

Follow our 3-step guide: What You Need to File, Filling Out the Form and After You File

Find answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

3. Contact a FAME expert:

 Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-4:30 PM

Phone: 1-800-228-3734; TTY 207-626-2717



Scholarships and Resources for Finding Them


Here are some reputable resources for scholarship searches:

FAME (the Financial Authority of Maine) lists many scholarship and financial aid resources on their website (  Look through the Maine Scholarships list and have your student apply to several.  This is the best site we have found for advice on paying for college.  MES is another scholarship resource, as in the Maine Community Foundation.

We found a good resource for scholarship information from  This is a website “dedicated to conducting data driven and unbiased research about topics that can help make an impact in people's lives.”  Below is a link that covers the best scholarship search sites, what you should know about scholarships, and how best to apply, etc: scholarship search  

 LendEdU for scholarships and search tips:

Calling all Juniors with Leadership Experience!

Become a Bezos Scholar.

Bezos Scholars hail from rural Texas, Morocco, the Bronx, Zimbabwe, and even Portland,  Maine—and everywhere in between. What they share is a rich diversity of experience, thought, and passion for making a difference.

  • Applicant must:

    • Be a junior during the current academic year and a senior the following academic year.

    • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or have received DACA status.

    • Have a proven track record of demonstrated leadership in their school and/or community.

    • Have taken and received scores for at least one of these tests: PSAT, SAT, ACT, or ACT Aspire.

    • Be enrolled in, or have taken, one or more Advanced Placement (AP) classes, International Baccalaureate (IB) classes, or college-level courses.

    • Be available to fully participate in the year-long program and attend all dates for the Aspen Ideas Festival trip in Aspen, Colorado: June 27 - July 3, 2020. We apologize in advance, but no exceptions for late arrival or early departure (barring an emergency) can be made.


For More Information and to Apply online, click here:

Local Portland and Maine State Scholarships

More and more Local and State Scholarships are being added all the time on your senior child’s Home Page of their  Naviance Account this time of year! If you want to see that comprehensive list, ask your child to show you their Naviance Account.  The Scholarship List is on the Naviance Home Page in the left, bottom corner of the page.  (Students who may have forgotten their Username & Password for Naviance can always see Ms. Adams in Guidance to get refreshed on that information.)

Summer 2020 Study Opportunities



DON'T FORGET--Your student can also study abroad!  Check out CIEE's Global Navigators Programs for high school students here

What Are The 25 Best Jobs of 2019?

Health care jobs dominate the list, but software developer wins the crown.

Click here to read the latest from the Money section of US News & World Report:

Career Opportunities in Maine 



So. . . What do you want to do?  Destination Occupation is the place to go for an insider’s look at Maine’s best careers with some of the state’s most dynamic employers, from entrepreneurial ventures to Maine’s largest organizations!  This is a great site for teenagers wanting to know more about specific career fields as well as what job opportunities are available in Maine today. The site is also superb for adults as well.  Click here for more information.