Maine Ocean School Foundation nets $50K donation

Donor pledges to match the next $50K raised
Sep 10, 2018
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez The Duncan House at 5 Church St., Searsport, on the Penobscot Marine Museum campus, is now home to administrative offices for Maine Ocean School, which opened Sept. 4 with 11 students.

Searsport — The Maine Ocean School Foundation has received an anonymous donation of $50,000 to help fund the new public magnet high school, Maine Ocean School.

According to James Gillway, chairman of the foundation's Board of Directors, an anonymous donor from the Midwest has provided a seed donation of $50,000 in appreciation of the school's entrepreneurial spirit and to encourage Maine Ocean School students to pursue their dreams.

The donor is looking to the foundation to continue its fundraising efforts in hopes of generating another $50,000 over the next year, Gillway said, in which case the donor then will match his original contribution.

Maine Ocean School, the first of its kind in Maine, offers specialized tracks in marine science, transportation, engineering, and management. The school welcomed its first class of 11 students Sept. 4. The school is located on the campus of the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport.

The school's mission is to provide a theme-based high school education focused on Maine’s maritime connection with an emphasis on leadership, work ethic, and the transferable skills associated with careers involving the ocean.

Its operation is made possible, in part, through the support of community partners that include Maine Maritime Academy, University of Maine, Cianbro, Maine Marine Trades Association, Front Street Shipyard, Mook Sea Farm, Friends of Sears Island, and many others.

To learn more or to make a charitable contribution, visit

Students interested in pursuing a marine-based career after high school are encouraged to apply for admission online at

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