Before the largest crowd in years, colleagues, family, and friends attended the annual Yarmouth Education Association banquet last Thursday evening at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport to honor four retiring teachers: Bruce Brann, Elaine Fletcher, Alan Hall, and Diane Reynolds. Collectively they spent about 120 years teaching in the Yarmouth schools.
Bruce Brann After serving as Assistant Principal at Bath Junior High School, Bruce Brann first came to Yarmouth in 1988 to serve as Assistant Principal under Ken Nye. He had a wonderful touch with the students who were most likely to end up in his office for misbehavior of one sort or another. He became great pals with his secretary, Nora Perry, who could not resist the temptation to roast him at the banquet. Bruce left Yarmouth in 1992 to become principal of Wiscasset High School. Lured back to Yarmouth in 1994 by Superintendent Ken Murphy, he became the Principal of Harrison Middle School. Very popular with students, faculty, and staff, he will be missed by all.
Bruce received his undergraduate degree from the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and did graduate work at USM. He and his wife Gail live in Brunswick.
Elaine Fletcher moved around a lot in her career as an art teacher in Yarmouth. She started as a long-term substitute teacher in 1982 at the Yarmoth Intermediate School and Rowe before being hired on a permanent basis. After taking a few years off to be with her young family, she returned to Rowe School in 1992 as the half-time art teacher. In 2005 she moved over to Harrison Middle School as a half-time teacher, then became full-time in 2007, introducing art to the hundreds of students who flocked to the art room.
Elaine is the mother of three hockey-playing YHS alumni: Cory ’99, Jay ’02, and Ross ’04. An accomplished artist in her own right, she now will have the time to paint in a more leisurely fashion.
Alan Hall started his legendary career at Yarmouth in 1971, teaching at both the Junior High and YHS. The next year he commenced teaching both social studies and English at YHS. Proof of his immediate impact is the fact that the Class of 1973 dedicated their yearbook to him. After a few years he dropped English, teaching a variety of social studies courses for the remainder of his career and serving as Department Head for many years. His two daughters – Gabrielle ’95 and Daniella ’96 – are YHS alumnae.
Alan became an innovator in the social studies curriculum at YHS. He and Nancy Shaw team-taught a Humanities course for 9th and 10th graders. He started the AP HIstory course for 11th graders, and later the AP Modern European History course. His Human Behavior course attracted so many seniors that at least three sections were required to meet the demand.
Alan is a true Renaissance man. Before coming to YHS, he taught wood-working and industrial arts at Windham High School for a short period. The podium used in the YPAC was built by him, gift of the Class of 1995. He developed his life long love of sailing growing up in Falmouth near Town Landing, and working at Handy Boat during the summers. After his graduation from Harvard, this led to a job as crew member on a luxurious Dutch yacht. He and his wife Katie cruise the coast of Maine each summer in their sloop “Firefly”. A top-flight basketball player at Falmouth High School, he coached 8th grade boys basketball and the varsity girls basketball for a number of years early in his career.
Now Alan will have time to devote to his true passion – history. Regarded as unofficial Yarmouth’s historian, Alan writes an occasional column for The Notes on a topic of local interest, and has published a book on Yarmouth history. He has many ideas in mind, and is anxious to pursue them.
Diane Reynolds came to Yarmouth in 1982. She started as the Home Economics teacher at Yarmouth Junior High School. When Harrison Middle School opened in 1992, Diane moved down to the new school, where her teaching has been respected by students and colleagues alike. Her Home Economics course gradually evolved into the Health course at HMS. Diane and her husband have two daughters, both YHS alumnae: Jessica Reynolds Walton ’00, and Amy Reynolds Mullen ’03.