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Remembering Ma Atherton

Mrs. Atherton (Ma), started me on Sax in 1954-1955 time frame when I was in the 4th grade in Winthrop Grade School. She also started the Music program in Winthrop. I would have to look high and low to find a woman that I respect more. She called it like it was and took no guff from anyone, but if you was fair with her she was fair with you. There was no grander lady in her time. Every spring there was a band weekend in some town and Winthrop band went. I always made it a point to look up Ma and say high. Ken Stewart was her relief at Winthrop, then he went to pursue his Masters and Doctorial degree. 61 or so Winthrop had an exchange concert with DoverFoxcroft. That was the weekend the band truck rolled over and destroyed most of our instruments. 65 Winthrop hostered the battle of the stage bands and I think DoverFoxcroft won. There was 8 to 10 stage bands there.


I took trumpet lessons from Ma Atherton from 1961-1963 ,until Bob Thorne took me on as a student. She was a fabulous lady and a great music mentor to me . I remember the music camp in Farmington,the Jacks,The Lords and a guy named Moose Morrisette. My time at the Conservatory 71-72 was amongst some of my favorite memories.Who would ever suspect I would spend the next 36yrs in Law Enforcement. Only way I figured I could stay out of jail, I guess!

Dave Roberts

I was there in 64 and I remember you...Lilla Atherton also taught in Dover-Foxcroft, semi retired and died in Dover..Lilla was the one who introduced me to the Conservatory.

Shirley Ruksznis Young

Impact on Cony HS...

School Year 1957-1958: Oakland, Maine

The legislature passed the Sinclair Act in the past session. This act had wide-ranging implications for Maine schools, in the areas of teachers' salaries, state subsidies, and plans for a new type of school district, the School Administrative District.
In the area of teacher salaries, Oakland ranked 47th of 63 similar-sized towns in 1956-57, and 52nd in 1957-58. Significant increases in the school budget were needed just to meet the minimum $3300 starting salary required by the Sinclair Act.

New staff included Lilla Atherton as music supervisor, assisted by Malcolm Lary and Kenton Stewart; Retha Boterf replaced Mrs Meader in commercial subjects; Merle Golding replaced Mr Scontras in English, Social Studies, and Math; Mrs Annie McLellan, grade 1; Mrs Doris Hesdorfer, Grade 2; Miss Mary Lawrence, Grade 2; Mrs Eleanor Merry, Grade 3; Mrs Jeanne Stevens, Grade 4; Miss Alicia Reynolds, Grade 7; and Mr John Eagles, Principal.

At Williams, more rooms were paneled and painted; the athletic field was seeded, and the Lions, Jaycees and Oakland Athletic Association donated a backstop.

Enrollment at Williams included 38 Seniors, 69 Juniors, 59 Sophomores, 74 Freshmen (total 240) and 67 in Grade 8, for a building total of 307.

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