Sarah Phillips (center, holding flowers) with LA French teacher Alison Welch and students in one of the French classes Phillips helped with during her time as a Kieve-Wavus Educator-in-Residence at Lincoln Academy.

Sarah Phillips, Lincoln Academy’s Kieve-Wavus educator for the 2021-22 school year, finished her Educator-in-Residence experience on April 14 after spending the school year working with LA students and teachers. 

This is the sixth year that Lincoln Academy has hosted Kieve-Wavus Educators in Residence (EIRs), who bring their training in outdoor education, leadership, and conflict resolution to schools in midcoast Maine. The Kieve-Wavus EIR program started in 2012 and currently serves 15 schools around Maine, including the AOS 93 schools. The Educators in Residence program strives to “spread the Kieve-Wavus message of kindness and respect” at local schools, according to their mission statement. 

Phillips grew up in Harmony Maine, and attended St. Lawrence University in upstate NY. She returned to Maine after college to work at the Kieve-Wavus EIR program after spending several summers at camps outside of Maine. This was Phillips’ second year in the Kieve-Wavus program; last year she did a residency at the Appleton School. 

During her time at LA, Phillips helped out in Alison Welch’s French classes and Ken Stevenson’s Leadership classes, and served as a staff advisor to Sources of Strength, a program that helps train peers to support each other with mental health challenges.

“I feel like I really found my niche in the high school French classes,” said Phillips, who studied French in college and participated in several French immersion experiences as part of her undergraduate education. 

She also applied her Kieve-Wavus training in team building and leadership in LA’s Leadership Class and Sources of Strength Focused Learning Block, where she kicked off each session by leading a game or icebreaker.

What surprised her during her time at LA? “I was surprised how much LA encourages kids to pursue a diversity of paths. There is so much support for pursuing trades, the military, and work after high school, just as much as college. That is really impressive to see here.”

Phillips, who is considering a career as a French teacher, plans to work at the Seeds of Peace camp in Otisfield, Maine this summer. Since Lincoln Academy is currently becoming a Seeds of Peace school site, Phillips may run into some of her students this summer. She hopes to return for another year at Kieve-Wavus in the fall.

“Graduating from college during a pandemic had its challenges, and the EIR program has been a great way to work on my teaching skills at several different schools,” she said. “I have really enjoyed being in the LA community, and I’m sad to be leaving. I hope it’s not the last goodbye!”