Lincoln Academy Alternative Education students traveled to Ontario, Canada in April. Back row from left: Hollis Farnsworth, Erik Harvey, Shane Cookson. Front row from left: Sierra Crawford, Nathan Fraser, Dawson Wall, John Corey, Keanan Pitcher, Austin Grant

Nine Lincoln Academy Alternative Education students traveled by bus to Toronto, Ontario, Canada April 8 to 12, 2019. Students explored much of the city on foot, seeing many different neighborhoods and sights. Highlights included Allan Gardens, a historic botanical conservatory, St. Lawrence Market, featuring vendors from all over the world, and Ripley’s Aquarium. On the way to and from Toronto, students visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, Niagara Falls, and Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts. Participants enjoyed new experiences, connections with classmates, and delicious food along the way.

Traveling with the students were Anna Myers and Jody Matta, Alternative Education teachers, and Matthew Moss-Hawkins, Kieve Educator in Residence. The trip was funded by a donor who supports making travel accessible to young people.

“Experiential learning is central to Alternative Education, so the trip fit well with our philosophy,” said Alternative Education teacher Anna Myers. “From filing for a passport to converting currency to being far from home, students all had transformative experiences.”

Students cited various stops as their personal highlights. Senior John Corey said that “Niagara Falls was incredible. It truly was one of the great wonders of the world.”

Senior Erik Harvey enjoyed Toronto, which de described as “a huge, busy city. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Senior Shane Cookson’s highlight was Cooperstown. “The baseball hall of fame was fun. It was cool seeing actual artifacts from over the years.”

Alternative education teacher Jody Matta summed up the as “a great opportunity for students to get their feet wet for future international travels.”

Lincoln Academy’s Alternative Education program was founded in 1991, making it one of the longest successfully operational alternative education programs in the state of Maine. The philosophy of the program is to provide a positive learning environment for students for whom the traditional high school classroom is not a good fit. The program is based on the “Empowerment Model” that is designed to help students assume primary responsibility for their own education while providing them with a caring, nurturing, and highly individualized educational experience. The Alternative Education Program primarily serves 11th and 12th graders and is located just off of the LA campus at 4 Hillcrest Road. Click here for more information about the LA Alternative Education program or contact program director Luke Suttmeier at