The Middle School of the Kennebunks will welcome Maine’s newest citizens on Friday, April 28, at 11:00am. This will be the school’s third ceremony, and a very special event for all.
In addition to our guests of honor, our newest Maine citizens, Ms. Bonita Pothier, regional representative from the office of Senator Angus King, will make welcoming comments. She will also bring a video message the senator will create specific to the ceremony, an official welcome from one of our public officials. Other highlights of the event will include the distribution of citizenship certificates and the recitation of the Oath of Allegiance.
In attendance will be the full administration, staff, and student body of the school, friends and families of our new citizens, and any member of the public who wishes to come.
The ceremony is organized in cooperation with the United States Customs and Immigration Services. USCIS works with residents who have decided to become naturalized citizens to process their legal paperwork and take their citizenship tests. Once applicants have successfully passed these measures, they are invited to celebrate their decision at a formal ceremony such as the one the school will offer.
Katie Hawes, superintendent of the Regional School Unit 21, has this to say of the ceremony: “RSU 21 is proud to host a naturalization ceremony at Middle School of the Kennebunks this year. It is our district mission to develop productive global citizens by building knowledge and character. To that end, it is incredibly compelling for our students to realize how hard people work to gain citizenship and to see an international presence in Maine.”
Assistant superintendent, Phil Potenziano, adds, “Holding the Naturalization Ceremony at the Middle School of the Kennebunks provides our students a first-hand experience of what is required to becoming a citizen of the United States.” and, “Aside from our indigenous peoples, every American's story is an immigrant's story and by having students witness the Naturalization Ceremony we will affirm our commitment to the practices of International Baccalaureate Middle School Years Program which encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world.”