Staff Spotlight

A Lifetime of Involvement

By Josh Sullivan 3/10/23

You may know Ms. Clain as a spanish teacher with rumors about how long she has been teaching. However, there are more layers to this bilingual onion. Ms. Clain is a perfect example of one of the core philosophies of the Hermon High School experience: get involved.

Ms. Clain is the advisor for the student council. It’s an organization that gets very involved with running most of the events our school has. According to Ms. Clain “Student Council focuses on helping students make positive memories about their high school experience and to build awareness of the community”. Student council doesn’t stop with just helping the school, and reaches out into the community with holiday parties and community cleanups. 

Ms. Clain doesn’t stop there. She extends her involvement out into the state and nature. She is the secretary of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club. She oversees the maintenance of a trail area around Gulf Hagas, “building stone staircases, bog bridges and stepping stones, all to control erosion.”. She personally maintains a section of trail near Jo Mary Lake outside of Millinocket, helping out the thousands of people who visit the trail every year.

If you’ve had Ms. Clain as a teacher, you might have heard stories of her travels. She frequently travels to national parks across the country; she has visited 40 so far. However some of her travels are not just for sightseeing: This will be her “fifth summer spending the first two weeks of August volunteering on Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage route that’s been in use since the late 10th century.”

If you’re an 8th grader who is looking to you their high school experience on the right track or even a senior who is looking to do some good before you graduate, take Ms. Clains lead. It doesn’t have to be as big as taveling to Spain or maintaining the Appalachian Trail. You can get involved with smaller stuff like the community clean up, join the band (which Ms. Clain also did in High School), or help out with student council. As I’m sure Ms. Clain can attest to, the best way to spend the four years in high school or even the rest of your life is to be involved.

A Run at the Peterslam!

By: Nick Fullerton

Mr. Peterson, being a fan favorite teacher, co-worker, and friend, just won both Fantasy Football and Basketball championships within Hermon High School. 

And he’s not done yet!

Mr. Peterson is now on the path to win what people are calling the Peterslam: a Fantasy Football crown, a Fantasy Basketball crown, then take home the crown in March Mammal Madness. 

Mr. Peterson is the person that you fear playing against in anything that has somewhat of a competition to it. His own wife won’t even play the simple game of scrabble against him because the strive to win is so intense. 

But what gives Mr. Peterson his strive to win so badly:  Mindset. Mindset. Mindset. 

“My goal is to make whoever I played that week so humiliated that they call out sick on Monday. The subs love me.” 

Mr. Peterson is the Kobe Bryant of Competition. So to be playing Mr. Peterson is something that you just don’t look forward to. IMG_7317.jpg

To complete the Peterslam, all he needs to do is win March Mammal Madness. This is no easy task, as the faculty at HHS are ruthless in their attempts to pick the world’s most fearless animal. It will definitely take a lot of preparation, but Peterson is stepping up to the plate with no fear, stating that his strategy to win is “to go on a walkabout during February break. I will live with the animals. Speak with the animals. Learn their natural pecking order. Return to HHS and fill out a flawless bracket.” 

Nothing other than Flawlessness is what Mr. Peterson expects and will be. As the late Kobe Bryant once said, “The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win.” There will be no giving up and no fear in Mr. P,  but this does not subside the fact that this will be an easy battle to fight. As he stated, “Everyone is tough.”

He knows what he is walking into, that there will be those close battles and fights; except “Mr. Garbe” he claims, his young and talented adversary. 

As a History teacher, Peterson would love to take this huge win: “it would mean a lot to know some day hundreds of years from now, people will be learning about me.” The historical significance that would come with the Peterslam would cement his legacy as a teaching great.

With huge anticipation comes great rewards. Watch out, be scared, because you will not outwork, out play; YOU WILL NOT WIN against HIM.  

Back in the Swing of Things  

By: Lyndsee Reed

Stephanie Biberstein is not a new name to those involved in the High School softball world in Maine.  With a strong 10-year coaching career in Hermon starting in 2003, she’s already built herself an accomplished reputation.  And now she’s back.  

After making the decision to accept the Athletic Trainer position in 2013, she was forced to give up the coaching side of her life.  Yet a few years later, and another position change to Assistant Principal, has allowed her to get back into the coaching game this past season. “It was an incredible experience” being back, but definitely a learning curve getting into the groove of things again.” (Photo Credit: Ron Hawkes)

At first it was “difficult to balance work, family, and coaching.  With the coaching staff, we had to find a way to work around everyone’s work schedules”.  And with two sons in High School, it also became difficult missing their activities during the season.  Yet while getting back into the rhythm of a softball season has its fair share of challenges, the rewards far outweigh them. 

“Having an amazing coaching staff made it so much easier.”  Along with Coach Biberstein, she has called back her old coaching staff consisting of Dewane Graves and Aaron Oaks,  while also adding Graves’ daughter Shannon, to round out the crew.  She emphasized how incredible it was “working with the coaching staff again and getting back together” and the importance of their return in her decision to come back. 

But ultimately it’s the kids and seeing them succeed and improve that keeps her coming back to the sport.  And this past year was no different.  “The character, work ethic, and positivity of the team was always there.  They were always challenging each other and everyone worked hard each day.  There was never a doubt or a struggle to get 110% out of them.”  (Photo Credit: Ron Hawkes)

It’s a true joy for her to be “able to see the improvement in the players during the season and see the excitement when something is done right. It’s always good to see how the hard work of the players pays off and the support they have for each other.”  Teams go through a lot throughout a season together and to see that bond grow stronger and stronger is an important part of the game that she enjoys being a part of.  

But being a coach isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.  With success there also must come some form of defeat.  “When we lose I feel like I put that loss on myself.  But if we win, that’s all the kids’ effort and work.”  Carrying that burden as a player is hard enough, but as a coach it can be even more of a struggle.  But a defeat is only a small detail in the big picture of the game of softball.  

And that idea has turned into the foundation for one of the main pieces of advice she touches upon each year:  “I really try to emphasize the importance of not playing tight, but instead to play more relaxed.  If you’re focused on your last mistake, chances are you’re going to make another one.”  She recognizes the importance of playing in a focused, but free and relaxed manner.  Pushing her athletes to not “worry about mistakes, they’re going to happen in the game of softball”,  but instead “recognize the mistake, learn from it, and work together to improve and fix it”.  

That’s the game of softball, and in a bigger picture, the game of life.  Hermon has been truly blessed to have this veteran coach back in the dugout this past year and hopefully more seasons to come.  For in her eyes, it continues to “always be about the kids”.

Captain T

Staff Spotlight: Ms. Trenckmann

By: Allie Cameron 

Many know her as just Ms. Trenckmann, science teacher at Hermon High School.

But did you know she played volleyball in college? 

Trenckmann was a Marine Biology major with a minor in Business and Logistics at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine. Not many can say that they play sports at the collegiate level, but she can. 

Not only did she play in college, she set records! She has the most assists in school history. 791 assists. 

That’s right. 791 assists. 

Trenckmann was nominated by her coaches and teammates to be co-captain her junior year, and senior year as main captain: “I think they would have described me as dedicated and determined to win,” she says. “I also would think my teammates would say I’m intense and overly competitive.” 

Her competitiveness in athletics transferred to the classrooms as well, where she was recognized as the Marine Biology programs Scheel Scholar at MMA.  

All of these experiences from being a leader on and off the court have helped lead her to the person and teacher she is today: “in practice I would say I’m familiar with how I am as a teacher: supportive and giving feedback.” 

With her competitive spirit, it was always her goal to win the NCAA championship, but having that family bond was just as important. 

“I was a big believer in leading by example,” Trenckmann adds, “I would show them how to act in school and on the court.” She didn’t just care about her teammates while in practices, and games; she cared about them in the classrooms as well. 

Collegiate sports can sometimes be tough and overwhelming, but Trenckmann tried to always be there for everyone: “I wanted it to be fun and us to have family within the team since most of our families were far away.”  

A lot of responsibility lies on the team’s captain and leaders, and that can feel like you’re carrying the world on your shoulders. “I relied on my co-captain a lot and she made it easier, as well as my coaches,” she stated, “when it’s me and my team on the floor my mind goes blank, and I focus on the task at hand.”

With her kindness, leadership, and competitiveness Trenckmann dominated as a student athlete at Maine Maritime Academy, and has excelled as a teacher at Hermon High School.

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