Faculty and Staff

Grade 1

Janelle Miller

  Grade One



Tell us about yourself:

 I grew up in St. George, Maine. I attended the St. George School and I graduated from Georges Valley High School in 2008. After high school I attended Husson University for 2 years majoring in Occupational Therapy. I decided Occupational Therapy wasn’t for me so I moved back home and started going to college at UMA. I took an education course and I loved it so I changed my major to Elementary Education. I graduated from UMA with my teaching degree in 2014. My first job out of college was an Ed Tech II position at CCS. Halfway through the 2014-2015 school year I accepted a long-term sub position in the 1st grade classroom at CCS and I have been here ever since!


Tell us why you like to teach 1st Grade?

First grade is an exciting year. There is so much academic growth that takes place throughout the year, and it is fun to watch. I also like first grade because the students always make me laugh with their stories and compliments they share.


What are your favorite student units?

 I love to teach reading. There is a lot of reading growth in first grade so it is always exciting to watch students take off with their reading and really comprehend what they’re reading.



What is your parent contact plan?

Parents can reach me via email at jamiller@rsu13.org, or they can call me during school hours. I also send home a bi-weekly newsletter. 


What are your homework guidelines?

Students will get reading homework Monday-Thursday. Math homework may occasionally be assigned, and that will be due the next day.   

Grade 2

Nicole McLellan, Second Grade Teacher


Tell us about yourself:

I grew up in Rockland and moved to Pennsylvania for a nanny position after graduating from the University of New England in 2003. In April of 2004 I went to a teacher job fair and was hired for a Kindergarten position at a Charter School in Middletown, Delaware. I taught Kindergarten there for 8 years. I have always wanted to raise my family near my extended family back in Maine. In 2012 I took a K/1 multiage teaching position in Wiscasset, Maine. With budget cuts, I was moved to Chelsea (a 45 minute drive from my home in Thomaston) so I applied elsewhere. I have always wanted to teach an older grade and when the opportunity came up, I jumped at it!

My husband and I just celebrated our 8-year anniversary. We have two children: Noah (just turned 7) and Leah (will be 3 in December). My family loves being back by the ocean and our families. We spend a lot of time outside hiking, swimming, playing at the park, and the boys love to golf!


Why do you like to teach second grade:

This is my first year teaching second grade and I am so excited! I worked with two classes of first grades last year on Reading, Writer’s Workshop, and Math and I’m looking forward to continuing on from where I left off with a new group of 7 year olds! 


What are your favorite units?

I really enjoy teaching Reading and Writing together and look forward to doing written responses to books like Flat Stanley, Magic Tree House, Poppleton, and many others. 

Science is another great subject for little ones because it’s all new to them and they LOVE hands on work with bugs, worms, plants, and any living organism! 


What is your parent contact plan?

I really enjoy parents in my room and welcome it. I send home a parent volunteer calendar each month for parents to sign up to volunteer. The students also have home to school binders that go home each day and have a section for parent/teacher communication. I welcome emails and phone calls as well.


What are your homework guidelines?

Homework will go home on Fridays and be due back the following Thursday. Inside the packets will be spelling, math, and writing work. The students are expected to read for 15 minutes each night and record it in the reading log. I also ask that reading responses are completed for books that come home from reading groups with me. 

Grade 3



Darcy Payne, Third Grade Teacher

                                                                            dpayne@rsu13.orgr            354-2312


               I grew up in Northern New York State as the youngest in a large family and was fortunate to attend a K-12 school with 500 students. I earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Education through the State University of New York at Oswego. I taught pre-school and directed the Craig Child Care Center in Alaska for a couple of years. Then I moved to beautiful Midcoast Maine in 1994. Since then I have substituted K-8, taught P.E. K-4, taught in resource rooms K-8, taught in a behavior room 6-8, and taught Title I Literacy K-5. Now I am excited to be teaching 3rdgrade at Cushing Community School!

In my free time I like to take pictures, scrapbook, garden, read and spend time with my husband, good friends and my goldendoodle, Gracie.  We have family in Northern New York, Georgia and Alabama so we get to travel to see them.  We have just welcomed a new grandson to the world in Alabama; he joins his sister just turned 6.

I have found 3rd graders to be enthusiastic about learning both academically and socially.  I enjoy working with each child and discovering how they learn best and what they’re interested in learning about in this world of ours. Third grade is the year that all that students have been learning about reading really becomes rock solid!   We will be learning about weather, forces, plants and animals. Oh, and we get to learn to multiply and divide as well as to begin to understand and use fractions!  Map reading and understanding land formations will be fun, too! I look forward to reading to children as well! I really like teaching at Cushing Community School because of the community based atmosphere and being with wonderful co-workers, volunteers and of course the students.

Parents are a very important influence on children’s success. They can feel free to communicate with me through Class Dojo, by phone or e-mail; Class Dojo can be used as another a form of communication.  I plan to send home a newsletter at least twice a month if not more often (weekly) through Class Dojo. Students will be responsible for taking both the Home to School folder and resource binder home and return it each day.  Parents should look at this daily, too.  The “keep at home” side should be cleaned out each night.  I am happy to set up meetings as needed in addition to the Fall and Spring Parent Conferences.

Homework in 3rd grade should average about 30 minutes per night. It is best to set up a consistent time each night or to make a plan each week for that time.  Each child should read to an adult for at least 15 minutes each day and complete the book log form; I also encourage students to read independently for fun.   If students are not given a specific math assignment, be sure to do some math each night and fill out the math log.  Students may also be given some handwriting to practice at home if not completed in class. My hope is that parents will be actively involved with their child’s education through homework and reading together.  Thank you!


*Math Ideas:





























Grade 4

About Miss Mank:


Hi Friends! I am very excited to serve as your fourth grade teacher for the 2018-2019 school year! We are going to have a wonderful time developing our classroom as a community.

    I am a Maine native who attended and graduated Oceanside High School. I moved to New York for college, and while working and completing my degree, I had the privilege of serving and working with people from many walks of life and from all over the world. My passion for teaching grew as I worked with international students. I draw from my life experiences when in the classroom in order to meet every child where they are at. It is my deepest privilege to be working with you and your family this year!

In my free time I love being near the ocean, playing board games, baking, and learning new skills and hobbies. I’m also an avid reader, and am constantly looking to add to my collection of favorite books!


Why do you like teaching 4th grade?


I have always believed that 4th grade is a magical age. There is a love and passion for learning and curiosity about the world. Young children have begun the gradual change into young adults, and I love mentoring and nurturing students during this stage of life. I had an amazing opportunity to student teach in a fourth grade class in New York, and I have loved it ever since!


What is your Parent Contact Plan?


This year I will be using Classroom Dojo as a primary communication plan. In addition, I welcome e-mails for questions and updates, and will check e-mail at least once daily. My e-mail is Amank@rsu13.org. I look forward to communicating with you this year about our students! Lastly, the fourth grade will have Daily Planners and a Home-School binder. I will occasionally send home notes, newsletters, and other forms of written communication. Please do not hesitate to send notes to school using the Home-School folder, and be sure to check it daily!


Your Favorite Units to Teach:


I am very excited for this year’s English Language Arts Units in Reading Street. I am especially excited about the writing units on Personal Narrative, because it allows writers to explore and share their own experiences with others. There no story as unique as your own! I am also a big fan of Social Studies, and especially enjoy studying local history with a Maine Studies unit.


What are your Homework Guidelines?


Homework should be 20-30 minutes a night and will primarily cover English Language Arts practice, with occasional math practice as needed. In fourth grade we will be growing as independent and self motivated learners, and so completing homework nightly is an expectation. In addition, Students should be reading a “free reading book” of choice for at least 15 minutes a night, and will be expected to answer a response question each night.


Support Staff

Grade 5

About Miss Moro:


Hello there! I am so excited to be the new fifth-grade teacher at Cushing Community School beginning this fall!

I was born and raised in a small suburb in southern New Jersey just minutes outside of Philadelphia. In December of 2012, I moved to the beautiful town of Rockland, and that’s currently where I reside with my two rescue dogs, Cam and Mattie. When I’m not teaching, I spend my spare time running a small photography business, as well as crafting, hiking, and traveling.

 I completed my student teaching experience in the second-grade classroom here at CCS, and after graduating from the University of Maine at Augusta, I spent time teaching fourth and fifth grade in a remote, native village in Alaska. Needless to say, I’m very excited to return to Midcoast Maine.

From a very young age, I knew that I wanted to work with children. Positive learning experiences are an essential part of the learning process, and I hope to help the fifth-grade students of CCS on their journey of becoming lifelong learners. I love to watch children flourish not only as students, but as members of society, too!


Why do you enjoy teaching 5th grade?

             I enjoy teaching 5th graders because they make my time in the classroom enjoyable, interesting, and challenging in the best way possible. There’s truly never a dull moment when you work with 10-11 year-olds. They have a great sense of humor, they still get excited about learning, they’re a wonderful blend of independent and dependent, and they’re capable of having deep, thoughtful discussions during both whole class and small group interaction.


What are your favorite student units?

            I thoroughly enjoy teaching (and still learning about) early U.S. History. I’ve always been fascinated by the American Revolution era, and I feel that living in historical New England makes it even more relatable for some students. I also enjoy teaching reading. I’m an avid reader myself, and I believe that any child can find a love of reading if they are given the proper tools to find the right genre, author, or reading material that interests them.



Special Area Teachers

We are very fortunate to have a number of special subject areas offered at Cushing Community School. Weekly, students participate in art, physical education, and music classes.


Other programs and resources at Cushing Community School include the Title I, Reading and Math Intervention, and Resource Room.


See the links below for information about individual teachers and special program areas at Cushing Community School. 

Library Media Specialist/ Technology Integrator

Special Education



Meet Mrs. Eddy

Tell me about yourself.

My name is Janelle Eddy and I am the K – 8 art teacher in Thomaston. I grew up in Cushing and attended Cushing Community School and Thomaston Grammar School. I graduated from Georges Valley High School in 1996 and graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelors Degree in Art Education in 2002.


Why do you like teaching art?

I enjoy teaching art because it allows me to share my passion for art with my students. I enjoy this quote by Pablo Picasso, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” I truly believe that all children are artists and that it is my job to give them the tools to believe and realize that they are.


What are your favorite student units?

I have always enjoyed working with clay, so any lesson in which we work with clay would be my favorite lesson. We make frogs, turtles, cupcakes, vases, and many more items out of clay.


What is your plan for parent contact?

Please feel free to call Lura Libby School at 354-6464, or email me at jeddy@rsu13.org.


What are your homework guidelines?

I do not assign homework. However, I encourage students to draw at home.



The Philosophy of Art

Philosophy of Art Education:

The art program is dedicated to educating and caring for each student as a person and individual ~ accepting all students, whatever their ability, and playing upon it to enhance their imaginative and natural talents.

Art Room Expectations:


2.~ Come to class prepared.

3.~ Participate in classroom activities.

4.~ Write down homework assignments.

5.~ Complete homework.

6.~ Respect individual classroom rules.

a)~ respect teacher, classmates and yourself

b)~ no talking during directions

c)~use materials properly

Personal Expectations:

1.~ Accept responsibility for personal decisions and behavior.

2.~ Express your needs appropriately.

3.~ Respect others opinions, feelings, and beliefs.

4.~ Work cooperatively with others.

5.~ Show a willingness to take risks and meet challenges.

                    6.~Show an ability to start, continue and complete tasks.

                  Grading/ Evaluation:

Evaluation is an on going process.~ Student expression both visual and verbal including creative thinking, problem solving, class participation, willingness to learn and try different ideas and individual effort are all important parts of evaluation.

Evaluation will not be based on whether a student finds the right answer to a problem presented- as there are really no wrong answers in art.~ Rather, evaluation will be based on the the following:

1.~ Ability to follow directions.

2.~ Completion of projects to the best of his/her ability.

3.~ Proper use of materials.

4.~ Ability to use new art vocabulary in context.

5. ~Willingness to be creative.


~ Most Important:






Ashley Boden, Music Teacher


Tell me about yourself.

Hello! My name is Ashley Boden and I am the music teacher at Cushing Community School and Thomaston Grammar School. I have been teaching general music and band for 2 and a half years. I grew up in Liberty, Maine with two music teacher parents and have been an active clarinet player and singer my whole life. I graduated from Mount View High School in Thorndike in 2011 and I graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. I currently live in Damariscotta with my adorable cat Singer.


Why you like to teach your grade or special area?

I love to teach music because I feel that every child should be able to communicate their artistic side, whether it’s via music, art, or another media. Music has been my passion my whole life and I am excited to be able to share it with our community. One of my favorite quotes is from a professor I had at the University of Southern Maine, “Music sounds how feelings feel.” I feel that this perfectly describes why I love to teach music.


What are your favorite student units?

I really love to teach band. I feel that being an instrumentalist is a skill that takes a lot of hard work and dedication and I love to be able to help foster those traits in our students.


What is your plan for parent contact plan?

The best way to reach me is by email at aboden@rsu13.org



Physical Education



Occupational Therapist

Mrs. Lauren Watts

Occupational Therapist



Tell us about yourself:

I am one of the Occupational Therapists for RSU 13. I work in the schools on the west side of the district (Cushing, Thomaston Grammar, Lura Libby, Oceanside West and the St. George School). I live in Tenants Harbor with my husband and our two dogs. We have three grown daughters and one granddaughter.

I love working with students in the various schools because I get to know a lot of different students of all ages. Every one of them is unique! It is very rewarding to see my students progress with their skills.


What is your parent contact plan?

I can always be reached via my rsu13 email if parents have questions. 




Sue Foltz

Speech Pathologist



Teacher Biography:

Most of my working career has been in the area of education.  Besides running a theater and working at the YMCA in Pennsylvania, full time educating has been my life's work.  My friends think of me as a "grammar snob."  Currently I'm working on that flaw.  Besides teaching I enjoy antiquing, playing the drums, playing bridge, attending church groups, and reading.


Why you like to teach your grade or special area:

 Since I now have the gift of being able to work with only a few speech students, it is my delight to have time to prepare daily lessons that combine many of the areas of speech, such as articulation, fluency (stuttering), voice, social skills and language.  Language has always been a stronger skill for me than math and the sciences and speech gets to include so many "fun" topics to teach.  My own children roll their eyes when I gather my grandchildren around the kitchen table to share traditional grammar with them.


Your favorite units:

This is difficult to choose.  It's fun putting definitions to music which aids memory.  Using antique "props" is meant to give students some history along with their speech lessons.  I love to use Dick and Jane and David and Ann books for a twist in teaching reading.  Social skills can sometimes be targeted while having a tea party, and of course there is always repetition, repetition, repetition.