Malaya Somers – Young and Successful
By: Ryan Shorey
Malaya is a 20 year old realtor agent for the company Realty Of Maine. She is a Hermon High School alumni, graduating in the class of 2020. She attended college for two years at Husson University earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing communications.
Some may wonder how she achieved a four year degree in only two years at Husson? She did this through the Bridge Program at the United Technologies Center in Bangor. She would go to UTC for half the day and stay for the other half at the high school. Doing this helped her achieve her associates degree during her junior and senior year. Although this took lots of work in between her high school classes and her Gen. Eds. she was doing at UTC, Malaya says it was worth it in the end. She hopes that many other kids will take advantage of the opportunities UTC provides.
Despite Malaya’s age, she has found ways that helped her adapt and ease her way into adulthood and the workforce. The one big thing she did was internships at different companies that fell under her interests and degree. This is how she found Reality Of Maine. She was coming up on her graduation from Husson and decided that real estate might suit her. She was an intern for a while and once she graduated she became an administrative assistant. This all led to her becoming an agent for the company and selling her own houses, which she has been doing for a little under a year.
When asked what her favorite aspect of the job was she responded, “I enjoy helping people who are close to my age achieve homeownership”. Malaya also listed an achievement that was very impressive for working there for such a short time. She achieved $1,000,000 of houses and properties sold cumulative in her first four months of being an agent at Realty Of Maine.
Devon’s Kitchen: Made From Scratch
By: Meah C.
Devon Curtis, the owner of Devon’s Kitchen, grew up with cooking and baking always being very significant in her family. Since she was 14, she has worked in restaurants and kitchens: “I’ve always liked making good food that people enjoy eating.” Devon has always had a very strong work ethic and loves to stay busy, so when the pandemic shut everything down in 2020, she felt that only being able to work a desk job and then go home was just not enough for her. So, she started baking here and there at night; she didn’t want to sit around, so she started to bring her food to work for others to enjoy.
Whenever she would find herself bored at home, she would cook and bake. Slowly, she started posting things on her Facebook. Her daughter came home one day and asked if they could try making donuts. They ended up finding a good recipe and Devon posted the donuts on Facebook. Somebody ended up commenting on that post asking if they could buy some. She made him a dozen donuts, posted the rest of the batch, and sold them all. Later that same day, people were commenting and asking for donuts too. Over the next few weeks, she started making more things such as whoopie pies, biscuits, and bread, and selling them to family, friends, and even strangers who heard about her food.
Devon started to get very busy trying to keep up with everybody ordering and asking for new things, and word of mouth was spreading fast. Her little hobby started transitioning into way more than just a hobby. She ended up becoming so busy that she quit her full-time job, and started renovations on a friend’s house to open her very own bakery.
After building, meeting all criteria, and contacting the state to get the new place inspected, she finally got licensed and opened on October 1st, 2021. Just over a month of being open, a news reporter stopped into the bakery and asked if they could do an article on Devon’s Kitchen opening. After the episode aired, people were coming in more and more and she was getting more business than she could ever dream, and it didn’t slow down there. She started getting order after order for birthday cakes, food, and cakes for different showers, and even weddings.
“Transitioning from a normal adult desk job to being self-employed and owning a business, was one of the best decisions of my life.” Devon has always wanted to make people happy and she definitely found the perfect way to do so.
To The Hermon Public – Check Out the New Dollar General
By: Ryan Shorey
As of January, 2023 Hermon has added a Dollar General to the middle of their town off of route 2.
For those who don’t know, Dollar General is a store that sells discounted goods while maintaining name brand goods. This would be the third food and goods store to be put in Hermon. Alongside some familiar names for residents including: Danforth’s and C&K Variety.
You and I are both wondering if there are too many stores producing similar products in a small town for the general dollar to succeed? Danforth’s is still going to be the best for your weekly groceries to buy, and C&K is still the only of the three that takes orders and cooks food for pickup while also still having isles with products to buy.
Dollar General has selection and extremely fair pricing! If you are looking for snacks or drinks this is the place to go. They have isles and refrigerated shelves of every type of drink you could want, on top of that they also have a large selection of alcohol for adults. They have lots of your name brand chips and crunchy snacks, and are stocked with new products these companies are making, such as the new puff’d Cheezits by Kelloggs. They even have cleaning supplies, a small section for clothes, blankets, bedding, rugs, and even dog and cat products!
When you walk in the store is extremely organized, it is not overwhelming for someone new to the store. The only downside for a new shopper there is that they only have one cash register alongside eight self checkouts that are a bit tricky to use.
(Photo Credit: The Chronicle CT)
The self checkout is not straight forward, and after you scan all your items it requires you to click multiple buttons just to get to the payment screen. This could be a one turn away for those who prefer cash register checkout opposed to self checkout. Although they do have very friendly staff on hand to assist you using the self checkout for the first time, which is a huge bonus. So go check out the General Dollar and see if it is the store for you!
What Goes Into Calling a Snow Day?
By: Sophia Lindsey
It’s 5:00 AM on a snowy morning and you get a message from the superintendent that school is canceled. There are always some mixed emotions flowing through the air. The kids are excited, and the parents are upset.
But, do you ever wonder what goes into that decision?
There are lots of things you have to take into consideration before calling it a snow day. Whenever we have snow the district can get some interesting comments and opinions about how the superintendent makes the decision, and whether or not it was the right decision.
Even before the snow starts to fall, Mr. Grant, the superintendent of the Hermon School Department, looks at many different factors. He starts looking either a few days before, but it really comes down to about 24 hours before the storm. He looks at many different news stations to see what type of storm is coming and where the storm is coming from. Then all the superintendents in the region talk through email about how much snow is predicted in the area. They talk about what precipitation will happen: if it’s freezing rain, snow, sleet, or hail. Mr. Grant states that “a lot of times six inches of snow might sound really bad, but if it’s just snow it can easily be moved and they can keep up with it.”
He looks at what schools are closing in the area, especially schools that go to UTC (United Technologies Center): “There are seven sending high schools, so if half of us, four, cancel then they (UTC) cancel.” He says that if he is the only school of the seven not canceling then there is no place for the UTC students to go. Mr. Grant prioritizes speaking to Mr. Turner, the superintendent for RSU 87. Mr. Turner is “the one that I always communicate with because we have shared high school students, and shared bussing, and we like to be on the same page.”
Hermon, for the most part, has pretty good roads and are good at keeping up with plowing and such when it’s snowing. In Carmel and Levant, there are more back roads; if Mr. Turner were to feel like school should be canceled because the back roads are bad, than Mr. Grant would agree. If Mr. Grant was to call a snow day the morning before school, he would wake up around 4:30 AM and contact the Hermon transportation director Jason Davis, who checks the roads on his way into work that morning. Mr. Grant then gets in contact with Mr.Davis and Mr.Turner to make the final decision, which he ultimately passes along to staff and students.
Snow days are gold for children. Finding out there was no school was the happiest feeling in the world. You get to go outside and play, or watch movies and drink hot chocolate all day long. Though since the pandemic in 2020, remote learning has changed snow days for some districts. During the Covid-19 pandemic school districts across the world had changed to remote learning when it was no longer safe to gather. When the pandemic began to simmer and children went back to school, remote learning became the staple when a “snow day” were to occur. Though Hermon sticks to the traditional snow day, lots of northern states seem to follow that trend. Thirty-nine percent of principals and district leaders say their district has converted snow days to remote learning days, and another 32 percent say their districts are considering the change, according to an EdWeek Research Center survey conducted November 2020.
When calling a snow day there are lots of things your superintendent takes into consideration than you realize. The superintendents in the area talk for days in advance sometimes, and the weatherman can only predict so much. Some days you expect no snow the next morning and there is a foot of snow on the ground, the weather is unpredictable.
Mr. Grant looks at three main things: The What: What type of precipitation will be falling? When: When is it coming? How: How much precipitation will there be?
In all, the goal is to keep everyone safe.