Shirley Elementary Shuts Its Doors 

Shirley Elementary School was one of the last remaining one room school houses on the mainland of Maine.In May residents voted to close the school because of rising costs and declining enrollment.The Shirley Elementary School bell rang for the last time Thursday.”I’m sad to see the school close. I think it’s been a very unique experience for the children.” says Joyce Lessard, a teacher a Shirley Elementary.After nearly 175 years, the one room school house is closing.”It’s sad for the community. Cause the school is the center of your community. But it is reality, you know, when you’re down to two students.” says Jacqueline Stevens, an education technician at the school.Ian – a third grader from Shirley, and Dean – a second grader from Greenville, were the only students at Shirley Elementary this year.”I get help with my work a lot that’s the best thing I think.” Ian says.Both students will be go to elementary school in Greenville next year… and have twenty to thirty kids in their classes.”I think at first it’s going to be a real adjustment. But they’re both wonderful students and I think they’ll do fine.” Lessard adds.”I won’t be nervous because I pretty much have a good experience there, two years here, two years there.” Dean says.Ian says he’s, “Looking forward to going there a lot because I know most of the people there and I’m going to be in 4th grade with Mrs. Roberts and she goes on like two field trips a year.” The students and teachers closed out this year and enjoyed their last weeks together by taking a few field trips of their own – One was to the State House another up Mount Battie.”It was a wonderful way to end the school year.” says Lessard.Dean adds, “I had really good friends and we were just like a family, we played with each other, it was very fun…. I’m going to miss this school very much.”