A collage of images from Lincoln Academy's Friday Assembly. Visitors are invited to attend LA's Open Assembly on Friday, December 11 at 7:50 am.

A collage of images from Lincoln Academy’s Friday Assembly. Visitors are invited to attend LA’s Open Assembly on Friday, December 11 at 7:50 am.

On Friday December 11 from 7:50-8:50 am, Lincoln Academy will host an Open Community Meeting. Members of the public: parents, neighbors, alumni, grandparents, and anyone else with an interest in Lincoln Academy, are invited to come and experience this Lincoln Academy institution. Chairs will be set up in the gym to accommodate visitors, and both the band and choirs will perform.

Anyone who has been a student, parent, or staff person at Lincoln Academy in the last decade knows about the school’s Friday Community Meeting. Every Friday morning during the school year the entire school community of students and staff–around 650 people–gathers in the LA gym for an all-school meeting.  

Community Meeting always includes announcements of events and honors, whether they are academic, athletic, musical, theatrical, or extracurricular. Every week includes a reading (usually chosen and read by Associate Head of School Andy Mullin, but sometimes selected and read by a student), trivia based on “This Day in History,” and spirit awards presented by Phil Page. Other than those basic elements, no two Fridays are the same. The meeting often includes a student performance or presentation. Sometimes there is a guest speaker or performer. In the last two years both sitting Maine Senators have spoken: Susan Collins in 2014 and Angus King in 2015.

“Having the entire school in one room every week means we all see each other,” said Science Teacher Charlie Scimone. “No one can hide. Friday meeting gives us a chance to know each other as a whole school community.”

Student involvement in the assemblies: performances, announcements, speeches, etc. are what impress technology teacher and ATEC Program Coordinator Maya Crosby. “Friday Community Meeting renews my faith in education. Every week students show integrity, courage, and talent–it brings out the best in our students.”

Performing in front of peers impacts the listeners as well as the performers and presenters. “At Friday Meeting, kids learn how to be an audience. The audience is always kind,” commented history teacher Brian O’Mahoney.

“We love it when the kids perform at assembly. Whenever anyone sings or plays music, the entire gym is silent and supportive,” said vocal music teacher Beth Preston. “The December open assembly is a great occasion for bringing together the community and the entire Lincoln Academy student body.”

Visitors often say that Lincoln Academy’s Friday Community Meeting is a unique display of adolescents being given responsibility and rising to the occasion. The weekly assembly shows the best of the LA community, and for this reason the school is opening to doors to parents, friends, neighbors, and alumni.

“At Lincoln, we count the spirit of community as a major focus and theme of our educational mission. We talk with students about being part of a school community, part of our local midcoast community, and part of a global community,” Head of School David Sturdevant wrote in a recent message about Community Meeting, “Perhaps our best reminder of the spirit of community comes every Friday morning during our community meeting. During this time, students and faculty make announcements, celebrate accomplishments, and perform for the student body and faculty.”

Anyone interested in attending the Open Community Meeting on Friday, December 11 just needs to show up. No RSVP is necessary. The meeting begins at 7:50 am. Visitors can park in the lot across from the gym, enter through the gym lobby, and sit in chairs at the back of the gym.