Monday, December 9, 2013
BY JOHN HALE, Correspondent
NORTH MONMOUTH — Going back to school had special meaning this year for Lilliane Verrill, 14, of North Monmouth, because she's moving up from middle school to high school.
Lilliane Verrill, 14, of North Monmouth, who began high school this week, poses for a photo on on Tuesday in Monmouth.
Staff photo by Joe Phelan
"It's the bottom of the food chain again," declared the freshman, whose favorite activity is playing video games. "We ruled the school in eighth grade. Now we're going to be all new and have no idea what we're doing."
The transition from Monmouth Middle School to Monmouth Academy isn't a big one, distancewise, for Lilliane, a typical upcoming high school freshman, and her classmates. The two schools are right across Academy Road from each other. Lilliane said she will be reunited with some old friends in the upper classes at high school.
But other changes, not as easy to measure, are coming, too.
"I'm really excited to go into high school," she said last week just before school started for the year. "There are a lot of 10th graders that I went to kindergarten with. I'll be meeting new kids and seeing old friends."
Lilliane has attended Monmouth schools all the way from kindergarten to high school. She went to Henry L. Cottrell School in grades kindergarten through three, Monmouth Middle School in grades 4 through 8 and plans to attend Monmouth Academy through high school.
She and her freshmen classmates will be in the class of 2017 at the academy.
Lilliane's 15th birthday is Sept. 25, another milestone for her.
Monmouth schools use a numerical grading system with 4 corresponding to A, and 3 to B, and so forth.
"I feel really accomplished because eighth grade was difficult," Lilliane said. "I did well with all A's and B's in the regular grading system, but there's always that nagging fear that you're going to fail."
Chorus was Lilliane's choice for a freshman elective course this year. She also will be taking algebra 1, social studies, English and science.
Lilliane also plans to go out for dramatics and track and field.
She's already performed in several plays in the lower grades that were presented at Cumston Hall, the castle-like home of The Theater at Monmouth.
As a member of the Monmouth Middle School track team, Lilliane competed in shot put, 100-meter and 200-meter dashes and sprint relays. "I can throw the shot 24 feet," she said. In the sprints, she said, "I usually came in first in my heat and then seventh to ninth overall."
Lilliane spent a lot of time learning karate. "I made it up to a purple belt (close to a black belt), but we had to stop because of expenses," she said.
In swimming, Lilliane placed first in the state in the breast stroke in 2009, swimming for the Kennebec Valley YMCA team.
More recently, she's been active in Western Maine Young Marines, a group based in Mount Vernon. "I am a lance corporal. I take care of the privates and the recruits," she said.
Looking ahead, Lilliane said if she decides to join the military after high school, it will be the Marines.
"Otherwise, I'll go to college and take technical classes so I can build and design things with computers," she said.
She does spend a lot of time on the computer now, especially at home, she said.
"I play Minecraft, League of Legends and World of Warcraft," she said. "I read Web comics."
She also meets people with the same interests on social media gaming sites such as Omegle and Homestuck.
She and her mother, Linda Verrill, like to play games on their Xboxes together, Lilliane said. "We play Call of Duty and Zombies together. I play Gears of War."
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