Principal's Office

Address:  286 West Elm Street  Yarmouth, ME 04096
Phone:    (207) 846-5535    Fax: (207) 846-2326
Hours:     7:15 AM - 4:00 PM

Ted Hall

Jennifer Lainey
Josh Ottow
Assistant Principal

Beth Lucien

YHS 2013-2014 Behavior Data

posted Jul 21, 2014, 7:28 AM by Josh Ottow

HERE is a summary of behavior/discipline data from this past school year, 2013-2014.  Here a few highlights:

1.  Tardies were reduced by 18% from last year and 25% from the year before that; during the first year of the Restorative Justice "Dial Back" Tardy Plan, 110 dial backs occurred.

2.  Inappropriate use/care of computer violations were reduced by 63% from last year, most of that reduction was related to less damage to the new machines.

3.  Bullying/Harassing/Teasing incidents decreased by 58% from last year.

4.  There was a very large increase (72%) in incidents of inappropriate/immature behavior compared to last year. 

5.  There were 20 Extracurricular Code violations last year; there 30 violations the year before ('12-'13) and 39 the year before that ('11-'12);  this represents a 49% decrease in this 3 year period.

Thanks to Beth Lucien and Paula Roberts for all their hard work in helping put this data together.

Feel free to contact me at if you have any questions.

Leadership Development at Tuck School

posted Jul 21, 2014, 7:24 AM by Josh Ottow   [ updated Jul 21, 2014, 7:24 AM ]

On June 22-26, I was able to attend some excellent professional development at the Tuck School at Dartmouth College with Jodi McGuire, Ellen Honan, Betsy Lane, Joan Adler, and Bruce Brann. The week-long program was entitled "Executive Education for Education Leaders" and our instructors were the highly-esteemed professors at the renowned business school. The sessions focused on leadership, strategic thinking, and change management.  We engaged in activities that explored how new ideas would be applied to the challenged faced as a school leader in Yarmouth.

Restorative Justice TED Talk

posted Jul 21, 2014, 7:13 AM by Josh Ottow

YouTube Video

recently did some outreach on behalf of Youth Court, a program whose genesis was in part due to Yarmouth Schools and Yarmouth High School students three years ago.  Yarmouth School Committee was the first school board in the state to approve an official policy that allows restorative practices to be used in school discipline situations in lieu of traditional detentions/suspension.  This policy was enacted in December, 2012 after a year of policy creation work led by students, staff, and administration.  Since that time, several other school districts in the state have used our policy as a guide in creating their own. 

On June 9th, I gave one of the keynote TED Talks at the State Restorative Justic"Think TankConference held at Bates College.  I talked about my experiences in working with Youth Court as a school administrator.  

The goal of the conference was to explore the growth, impact and sustainability of restorative justice practices in Maine and to engage participants in a variety of ways to learn about the philosophy, principles and practices of restorative justice.  One of our soon-to-be seniors, Dylan Tureff, who serves on Youth Court, also attended and led a workshop in the afternoon.  The conference was attended by over 150 law enforcement officers, judges/lawyers, educators, and policy makers.

I am very proud of our students for helping create and grow this program and bring positive attention to the work we do in Yarmouth Schools.

YHS Update 6-14-14

posted Jun 16, 2014, 7:46 AM by Josh Ottow

Dear YHS Parents,

Our last two days of school are coming up on Monday and Tuesday.  Monday is the day for the last scheduled exams and Tuesday is a day for students to do make up exams or work if they missed school last week.  I have a few items for you as we close out the school year.

1.  This is a reminder for parents of spring sport athletes (not crew, sailing or ultimate frisbee) that we would like you to complete a survey at this link to give us feedback on our coaches.  The survey will remain open until the end of the day on Tuesday, June 17th.

2.  As part of our ongoing effort to get feedback from both parents and students, I am asking the parents of students involved in Playmakers to complete this survey to help Betsy Puelle in continuing to improve the experience for students in theater.The survey will also be open until the end of the day on Tuesday, June 17th.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.  

3.  As usual, our Lost and Found table is full of clothing, shoes, water bottles, backpacks and various other items.  Please remind your son or daughter to check the table before school gets out. A week after school is done, we donate any unclaimed items to local charities.

4.  Whether you attended convocation or graduation or not, you might be interested to know that a middle school student recorded both events and we will soon post them online.  As soon as the link is live, I will send it out to both students and parents.

5.  If you are wondering about quarter, semester and year long grades, please know that it takes a few days after school finishes until grades are truly final grades.  Most will be completed and accurate by the end of the day on Tuesday, but they become official on Friday, June 20th.  If you have any questions, it is best to email the teachers before school gets out on Tuesday

6.  The school is open in the summer for a variety of activities as well as being available for any questions you or your child has about school.  You can count on the office being open from 8-2 Mondaythrough Thursday and often someone is here at other times as well.  

I hope that we have great weather this summer and that we can all enjoy a great Maine summer.


Ted Hall, Principal

YHS Update - April 30, 2014

posted Apr 30, 2014, 12:43 PM by Josh Ottow

Dear YHS Parents,

It is our second day back from spring break so we are on the home stretch until the end of the year.  This is always a busy time of year with a very compressed sports season, SATs, AP tests, end-of-year events, and hopefully good weather.  I have some information to share with you today.

Spring Music Concert, Wednesday, April 30th, 7:00 PM:  Please join us in the YPAC for our spring concert where you will be able to hear the band, jazz band, chorus, advanced vocal ensemble, and chamber choir.  This is the last concert for our seniors.

Teacher Appreciation Week, May 5-9:  Brenda Whitney has volunteered once again to organize events for teacher appreciation week May 5-9. There are three specific events:  a breakfast on Wednesday morning for the teachers, a number of raffle prizes to be given to teachers Thursday and Friday, and a student-run carwash for teachers on Friday.  She needs help with all three events and you can sign up at this link to make your contribution.  Thanks to Brenda and to you for recognizing the hard work and dedication of the YHS teachers.

Exchange Student Hosting:  Please consider hosting an exchange student next year.  We have been very fortunate to have seven students with us this year from Belgium, Spain, Norway, Brazil, Japan, and Vietnam.  Prospective host families select their students from applications approved by a sponsoring organization.  These non-profit organizations work with the U.S. State Department to obtain a visa and to ensure that students are qualified and properly cared for while in our country.  The major responsibility of a host parent is to parent the student, feed them, and, when necessary, transport them.  No fees are paid or received by the host family. Your reward is the pleasure of having a new member of your family, not only during the exchange period, but often forever, as these students continue relationships with you through visits and correspondence over the years.  If the idea appeals to you, you can contact one of the sponsoring agencies below.   Alternatively you can contact Janice Cooper or 847-3193, who hosted one of our exchange students this year through Cultural Homestay International.  You can click on the names to take you to the organizations' websites:  Cultural Homestay International American Field Services Rotary International Youth ExchangeCCI GreenheartCIEE, and Youth for Understanding

As always, if you have questions, please be in touch.


Ted Hall, Principal

YHS Update March 30 2014

posted Mar 31, 2014, 8:03 AM by Josh Ottow

Dear YHS Parents,

I have information about a number of items in this email.  We are beginning the very busy season of spring at YHS (even though the ground doesn't look like spring just yet) as you will see from the long list below.  I hope this is helpful to you.

  • Congratulations to the Playmakers for winning the Class B One Act Play State Championship last Saturday night.  They will travel to St. Johnsbury, VT April 15-17 to represent Maine at the New England One Act Festival.
  • Pizza Regatta, Tomorrow, March 29 from 11:30-2:30:  Come to the YHS Cafeteria and support Yarmouth Crew at the Pizza Regatta where you can spend $8.00 for an all you can eat lunch.
  • Opening Day of Spring Sports, Monday, March 31:  If your son or daughter has not yet signed up for a spring sport or if you have any questions about the athletic program, be sure to contact Susan Robbins.
  • "Science Augmentation" Test, Wednesday, April 2:  This is the day that all juniors take the "Science Augmentation" test as part of the Maine state tests.  This will take place starting at 8:40 AM and will go through until approximately 10:45 AM.  Most of the Maine state test is done through students taking the SAT in May, but since there is no science tested on the SAT, this assessment will give us information about how our students are doing in science.
  • College Information Night, Wednesday, April 2, 6:30-8:00:  This is an opportunity primarily for sophomores, juniors and their parents to hear first hand from college admissions professionals about the college admission process, including information about course selection, types of admission (early, rolling, regular, etc.), the value of a campus visit, and the role of the interview.  We will have admissions staff from Bates, University of Maine and Wheaton.
  • Power of One Exhibition, Thursday, April 3, 6:30-8:00 This is the night that the ninth graders share their learning from the Power of One project that focused on addressing hunger.
  • Senior Talent Show, Friday, April 4, 7:00 PM, Yarmouth Performing Arts Center:  This is a great opportunity to be entertained by lots of different seniors with music, dance, performance, and film.  Tickets are $5.00 and all proceeds go to Project Graduation.
  • School Physicals, Thursday, April 10, 8:00-11:00 AM:  If you would like to have a free physical so that your son or daughter can remain eligible for athletics, please complete the attached form and return it to Margi Moran, School Nurse, no later than Friday, April 4.  If you have questions, please call (846-5535) or email Margi at
  • Reminder about Driving to School:   With many students recently getting licenses, please remember that if you want your son or daughter to drive to school, we ask all student drivers to drop off a copy of their car registration to the main office to keep on file.  This information will be kept in a confidential database that can be accessed by school personnel.  This is helpful if a car's lights are left on or if there is a minor "fender bender" in the parking lot.

Ted Hall, Principal

Multitasking Workshop

posted Mar 20, 2014, 7:40 AM by Josh Ottow   [ updated Mar 20, 2014, 8:03 AM ]

Today, I led a workshop on teenagers and their ability to multitask.  As a warm up, I asked students to play this online game that tests their multi-tasking ability:

This workshop is part of our "Digital Citizenship" sessions that all 9th graders do throughout the year.

YHS Update - 1/27/14

posted Jan 28, 2014, 1:22 PM by Josh Ottow

Dear YHS Parents,

Our second quarter (and first semester) ended last Friday.  Today, all of our second semester classes began.  Although the marking period has ended, there may still be a few changes to grades in PowerSchool over the next few days.  The grades for second quarter and first semester become official at the end of the day on Friday.  That would be a great time to get together with your son or daughter to look at PowerSchool together to review the grades.  You can get to the PowerSchool parent/student portal at this link.

I have a couple of upcoming events that you may be interested in attending.

On Wednesday evening, January 29th from 7:00-8:30 PM in the YHS Library, I will be hosting any interested parents who would like to view the results from the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey that was administered last winter to our students.  The survey asked lots of questions about a variety of youth health topics.  At this evening event, I will focus our discussion on the results concerning student alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.  I will share some of the key data with you at this time and be available for any questions you might have.

On Thursday evening, February 13th, from 7:00-8:00 PM in the Yarmouth Performing Arts Center, the first public showing of the student-made film titled, "Keeping out the Bad Guys," will be held.  This film explores the current state of school safety and security from a variety of perspectives of Yarmouth residents, including students, teachers, parents, community members and administrators.  The film project is supported by the Yarmouth Alumni Association.  Seniors Amelia French and Ihila Lesnikova worked with juniors Mary Coyne and Nate Gallagher on this film.  They were assisted by local filmmaker and YHS parent Kendall Harnett.  I hope you can join us to see the film and engage in a discussion of this important issue.


Ted Hall, Principal

YHS Update 1/11/14

posted Jan 13, 2014, 7:33 AM by Josh Ottow

Dear YHS Parents,

We have been back to school for a week following our holiday break.  I have a few items for your information today.

Snow Days and Delayed Openings:  On Monday, we had our first delayed opening since I have been in Yarmouth.  It turned out to be a good call because conditions did improve in the morning and driving was safe by the time students were coming to school that day.  For your information, you can find school closing information on the local TV stations and their websites.  In addition, you can sign up to have any of the three commercial TV stations send you a text message if we have a school closing.  

Career Exploration Project (CEP):  On Tuesday, all sophomores and juniors were introduced to this year's Career Exploration Project, a 3-day job shadow starting on Wednesday, March 19 and going through Friday, March 21.  Students will be working with you and their advisors to find a good placement for this job shadow opportunity.  There are no classes on those three days for sophomores and juniors.  We have all of the information about CEP on our website under the Student Handbook link.  You can go directly to the CEP site at this link.  You will find a specific link for parent information that we hope will be helpful to you and your child.  [sophomore and junior parents only]

Hunger Banquet (please keep this a secret from your child):  On Tuesday, January 14th, all ninth graders will participate in a Hunger Banquet in the gym as a kick off to the Power of One project they will be doing with their advisor.  The Hunger Banquet is designed to help students to understand the inequities across the world in terms of food availability.  Students will be randomly chosen to be a part of a group of people that will either receive plenty of food for lunch or limited food.  After the activity, there will be discussions in advisor groups about the experience and some brainstorming about ideas to address hunger in Maine, the United States and the world.  After the "banquet" part of the experience, will have food available so that your son or daughter won't be going without food for the whole day.  If you have any questions, please contact Catie Wooten ( or Julie Hutchinson (, the two teachers who are organizing the Power of One project.  This is the third year we have done this project and it has been very successful in the past. [freshman parents only]

Parent Coffee, Wednesday, January 29, 7:00-8:30 PM:  I would like to invite you to a Parent Coffee to learn about the results of last year's Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey.  All students were surveyed about a variety of factors contributing to youth health, including use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs.  We recently received the results and I would like to share results and have a discussion with parents about ways we continue to help our students to make good choices. 

Junior Book Discussions:  Every year, the entire junior class participates in a book discussion project. We pick a theme, students select titles, then we invite members of the whole Yarmouth Community to join the discussions. If you can, I hope you'll consider joining us by reading a book and participating in a discussion. This year our theme is the art of nonfiction narrative. We've looked for nonfiction works that have a strong narrative or authorial voice that brings meaning to the information or stories the work describes. The students have made their choices, and we have 19 books on the list (included below).  The discussions will take place on either  Thursday and Friday, January 30 and 31 from 9:30-10:40. If you're interested in joining us, please let Anne Tommaso (  know which title and which day--Thursday or Friday--works best for you, and she will get back to you to confirm.  All you need to do is read and show up! All are invited to join, not just parents of juniors.   Here are the books for this year's discussions:

Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo
Bomb, by Steve Sheinkin
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, by Christopher McDougall
Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard, by Liz Murray
Eiger Dreams, by Jon Krakauer
Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho, by Jon Katz
Good Soldiers, by David Finkel
Hiroshima, by John Hersey
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
Lolita in Tehran, by Azir Nafisi
A Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah
Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder
The Other Wes Moore, by Wes Moore
A Streetcat Named Bob, by James Bowen
Stick Figure, by Lori Gottlieb
Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time, by Richard Conniff
A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson
Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers

If you have any questions, please be sure to be in touch.


Ted Hall, Principal

YHS Update 12/11/13

posted Dec 11, 2013, 11:35 AM by Josh Ottow

Dear YHS Parents,

I have two items for you today--second quarter progress reports and Public Policy volunteers.

1.  Second Quarter Progress Reports:  It is the middle of the second quarter so today is our official progress report day. Since grades are continuously updated on PowerSchool, this simply serves as a reminder that it is a good time to check your child's grades.  This year, we made a change in teacher comments so that you have an update at the mid-point of the quarter.  When you sign into PowerSchool, you will see a link for Teacher Comments on the left side.  You will be able to see both first and second quarter comments.  To access PowerSchool, go to this link.

2.  Public Policy Volunteers:   It is time for YHS students in College Prep sections of U.S. History to present their Public Policy Projects. Students have been researching their chosen issues for several weeks and will be presenting their findings and recommendations to panels of students, teachers and community members. We still are in need of a number of volunteers from the community to serve on these panels. Panelists are not asked to grade the student presentations but will have an opportunity to ask probing questions and provide feedback. The presence and participation of community members are key elements that help make this a rich and authentic learning experience for our students.The presentations are scheduled for the following dates and times:
  • THURSDAY, DEC. 12: Period 3 9:28-10:38
  • MONDAYDEC. 16: Period 3 9:28-10:38, Period 4W 10:54-12:24, Period 5W12:55-2:25
  • TUESDAYDEC. 17: Period 3 9:28-10:38
  • WEDNESDAYDEC. 18: Period 4W 10:54-12:24, Period 5W 12:55-2:25
If you are interested in serving on a panel, please go to the following link to sign up:  At that link, you will be asked for your Entry Code, where you should  enter 5AR149566.    When you sign up for a time slot it will ask for a student name- please just enter X in that field.  If you have questions please contact Caitlin Ruthman, Social Studies Learning Area Leader,  via


Ted Hall, Principal

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