One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century is to prepare the next generation of citizens and policy leaders to face the complex challenges of the global community. The subtleties of multi-national issues can easily get lost in a world of oversimplification and 140-character bytes. In response to this, in 2015, a pilot education program was initiated by the Camden Conference and seven high schools in Maine. Dubbed “Camden Conference in the Classroom,” the goals were to promote courses being offered on current foreign affairs in Maine high schools and to increase the attendance of high school students at the Camden Conference. The teachers were given support in the form of resources about the topic of the Conference (Russia) and a workshop in September featuring presentations by experts on Russia. As a direct result of this program, 56 high school students attended the Conference in 2015, up from 9 who attended in 2012!

The program has evolved and currently eleven high schools in Maine are participating. The curriculum is designed by each teacher within the guidelines of the school.  These for-credit courses range from a full year’s course, to a theme or topic within an AP course. or to a mentored independent study.  

Student attendees obviously benefit from hearing world-renowned speakers sharing their expertise in current global topics, and because the students are prepared both before and after the Conference in the classroom, the students are ready to absorb the information and the atmosphere with other adults.

Feedback from other attendees about the students has been overwhelmingly positive, expressing appreciation at the fresh perspectives and youthful energy added by their presence.

The CCC program is funded with a combination of grants and individual donations specifically earmarked for the Student Education Fund. This allows the Conference to offer reduced price tickets for participating teachers and their students, as well as a welcome reception on Friday night and Saturday lunch, which often includes guest speakers and facilitated discussions on the topic of the day.






Oceanside and Medomak Valley high school students talk of ‘China’s Global Ascendancy’

Pen Bay Pilot article, posted June 10, 2019 Students from Oceanside High School in Rockland and Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro addressed the public Wednesday evening, May 22, with presentations on China’s Global Ascendancy as part of the continuing Informed Young Leaders Series. At the conclusion of the presentations, the students engaged with the audience in an active round of Q & A, answering questions such as ‘What was the biggest surprise you encountered when researching this topic?’ to which a number of the students replied, “Finding out how quickly China’s economic and technological gains are accelerating,” according to the Series, in a news release. One member of the audience commended the students, saying, “I learned a lot about China tonight that I suspected but never knew. I can’t tell you how impressed and grateful I am for your thoughtful presentations.” Jake Newcomb of Medomak Valley High School, and…


Students from Portland High School present their Capstone projects

Two Portland High School students, Mariam Douale and Elisa Membreno, presented their Capstone projects to the Portland Board of Public Education on May 21. Their projects were based on this year’s Conference topic “Is This China’s Century?”, which they attended in February 2019 with their teacher, Troy Crabtree, as participants in the Camden Conference in the Classroom program.


Students at the Camden Conference-2019

Volunteers at the Camden Opera HouseWorld Cafe on Saturday nightJohn Bapst Memorial HS in BelfastPiscataquis Community HS in PortlandPortland HS in Rockland

Piscataquis Community High School Teacher and Camden Conference in the Classroom educator, Joe Hennessey, Named Maine 2019 Teacher of the Year

Press release from Maine Department of Education: In an all-school assembly today at Piscataquis Community High School, Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr. named English teacher Joseph Hennessey Maine’s 2019 Teacher of the Year. Hennessey was selected earlier this year as the 2018 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year. He began his teaching career in 2012 and has held teaching positions as both an English teacher and a teacher for at-risk youth ever since. He specializes in English literature and composition and has taught speech and debate as well. In his current position at Piscataquis Community High School, Hennessey has implemented a college prep, literature based interdisciplinary course that focuses on students’ interests and aims to prepare them for life after graduation. “Mr. Hennessey is a unique and highly effective teacher. His formal manner and personality combined with a dry sense of humor and setting high standards…


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