OAKLAND — Messalonskee High School recently announced its January Students of the Month, according to a news release from Cindy McCarthy, MHS administrative assistant.

Michael Poulin admitted he was surprised — maybe even shocked — when Messalonskee Principal Paula Callan announced he had won the senior Student of the Month award for January, according to the release.

“I literally don’t know how I managed that at all,” Poulin said, according to the release. And then, after a brief pause, added rhetorically, “Maybe because I’m so straightforward?”

Callan would agree with that self-assessment. In fact, she described that core characteristic in announcing Poulin as the senior winner.

“My first interaction with this student was on his first day of high school when he came into my office, pulled his chair up to my desk, said ‘I don’t know who you are,’ pushed the paper aside, and told me in plain English, ‘Lady, you need to get me out of this class.’ From that day forward, I knew there would be many funny moments like that to come,” said Callan, according to the release

Poulin, though, didn’t always seek help to overcome challenges he encountered. Instead, he said, that was a lesson he came to learn over the course of his high school career — and perhaps the most invaluable.

“Don’t push people away,” Poulin said, according to the release. “Get them to help you. The more you push people away the more they are not going to want to help you.”

Fittingly, the other student of the month recipients — each in his or her own way — are the type of students eager to provide help and support to both classmates and teachers.

Junior Molly Calkins, sophomore Hana Lavenson and freshman Noah Wood are kindred spirits in this respect.

Calkin’s, according to her nominating teacher, comes to class fully prepared every school day, well versed on whatever the subject might be. She also is considerate about the views of classmates, according to the release.

Lavenson took on a major role in the fall theater production “The Addams Family,” which required a major investment in time and energy. Nevertheless, Lavenson not only made sure to meet all her academic obligations, but also maintained the same level of quality, a testament to her dedication as a student, according to the release.

Wood’s nominating teacher described him as a model student, a learner with a strong work ethic who is always prepared academically and willing to engage in class discussions. At the same time, he is a kind and considerate person, according to the release.

Callan also recognized Geoffrey Fotter, whom Mid-Maine Technical Center named a student of the month for his efforts in the precision machining program.

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