Friday, August 18, 2017

Business spotlight: World Class Taekwondo by Michelle Libby

World Class Taekwondo in the Windham Mall, next to Smitty’s, is so much more than learning punches and breaking boards. It is a place where children and adults learn respect, care, discipline and more. 
Grand Master Park

Taekwondo is good for kids. It teaches self-confidence and self-esteem. Mentally, it challenges people who worry and deal with anxiety. It teaches self-defense, but more importantly, it teaches students how to depend on oneself. This is the key to having self-confidence and trusting oneself, said Grand Master Park, who owns and runs the school.

“Respect is best for life,” said Park. Park is originally from South Korea, where he was an Olympic training coach and represented the country as an ambassador, traveling to developing countries to teach Taekwondo. He speaks French fluently and is now an American citizen and chose Windham to be his home.

“I always teach and travel overseas as dispatch from government of Korea. That’s why I am a qualifying person,” Park said. “I was one of twelve Taekwondo masters chosen by Korean International Corporation Agency to teach to developing countries.” With 30 years of experience and as a seventh degree black belt, he is qualified to teach Taekwondo to students in the area. 

Park lived in Portland, Oregon when he first moved to America, then he traveled across the country consulting with various schools until he arrived in Portland, Maine. 

“It’s a beautiful and peaceful town. There’s the lake, ocean and forest. There are very gentle people here,” Park said. 

World Class Taekwondo has three classes a day, all different levels divided by ages and abilities. On Wednesdays, there will be a junior class starting at 1:40 p.m. for those who get out of school at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays. 

The school has strict rules from: I will obey my parents and I will be faithful to my spouse, to respect others, the environment and myself. There are also tenets of success with courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control and indomitable spirit that are put into each lesson. 

“It’s more about building the whole person,” said Park. 

The students are asked questions that make them think about what makes a good role model and what makes a good student. All of the students from three to seventy call Park “sir”. Taekwondo is used for self-defense and students are taught to walk away from fights. 

The school is a melding of cultures where the students learn the Korean language fluently and are taught many customs during lessons. 

Linda Potter is a blue belt, one of the highest in the school which just turned one. She enjoys doing Taekwondo with her husband who is 70 and the oldest member of the school. She is also a student teacher for the junior classes.

“My husband and I wanted to stay fit. We wanted sharp balance, flexibility and to have focus. This is a magic pill,” Potter said, who moved to the area recently. “Finding a community was a huge factor,” she added. “This is a remarkable place for community.” Potter is a retired teacher. 

“She’s dealing with the soul. She is sharing her talent here,” said Park. 

“It’s a wonderful thing for kids. A lot of children find this to be very powerful in building their self-esteem,” Potter said. “The level of quality she brings to Windham is unbelievable.”

Parents who watch the class will often join the class after a week or two. 

There is rolling admission and students are invited to join any class they are qualified for at any time.  
For more information on World Class Taekwondo and to see the class schedule, visit

Friday, August 11, 2017

Business spotlight on Fiddlehead Art and Science Center by Michelle Libby

Learning and enrichment take center stage at Fiddlehead Art and Science Center on Shaker Road in Gray. The non-profit is in its 15th year as a preschool, before and after school program and private music, theater and art classes. 
The program started in the center of Gray, moved to Pineland and is now in its’ 10th year at the current location, where they have 16,000 square feet for all of their offerings; including a large backyard for gardening, playing ball and other outdoor activities. There are plenty of classrooms including an art room with clay wheels, a theater with a stage and private music rooms. Fiddlehead has offered 40 summer camps options this season, “and we have had about 60 campers each week enjoying art, science, theater and music” said executive director Kimberly Allen. 

“Based on the Reggio Emilia approach, it is child directed, explorative play,” Allen said. The children learn from the world around them, inside and outside and what is on their minds. Their creativity provides the learning opportunities. Teachers use art, story books and science projects based on what the children are interested in or have questions about. 

There are classes offered as a part of the afterschool program, along with additional learning opportunities for those that want to participate outside of the after school program. Classes in music, theater, pottery and art are offered most week nights. 

“The private music program is really a secret,” said Allen. “People don’t realize we offer private music lessons once a week for adults and children.” The classes vary depending on the needs of the students: a music appreciation class for younger students, voice lessons or lessons in violin, guitar, piano, fiddle, woodwinds and brass. Many of the instructors are the same ones that teach in Portland. The half hour lessons are once a week September to June with an optional recital at the end of the year. 

Music classes are offered to those who know little about music to someone who wants to refine their current skills. “No experience is necessary,” said Allen. There are guitars and violins for rent from Fiddlehead. “We want it to be accessible for anyone interested,” she said. 

Fiddlehead has space for 60 students in its before and after school programs and 22 in its preschool program and 100 private music spots available each week. 

The fourteen employees are highly trained and knowledgeable in early childhood education for preschool. The after school program has instructors who are local artists, performers and formally trained teachers. The music teachers are professionals from the community and some are music students in college pursuing music education. 

“We have really talented staff. We are offering what people are looking for, a deeper experience in arts, science and music,” said Allen. “We are about caring and building relationships with people.”
Kids come back to visit even after they have left the school. One student came back to be a teacher and the present program manager was a music student. 

“It’s really a special place. You’re part of a community when you’re here,” Allen said. “I think the students enjoy being here, they are excited as they arrive to tell us about their day and look forward to what the classes are offering. Each child is welcomed and I hope that they feel cared for while in our center.”

Students come from a 20 mile radius for the programs offered at the center. Other places have components of the Fiddlehead’s program, but none have the all-in-one-place availability. Fiddlehead even offers an unlimited program for after school students, where they can partake of everything from music to pottery to acting for one price. “They have the opportunity to try everything and learn what they enjoy the most and go deeper into that subject,” Allen said. 

Fiddlehead isn’t only for children - as they offer private music classes, theater programs and pottery classes for adults. 

Fiddlehead is open from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with preschool from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and music from noon to 8 p.m. 

There are openings in the preschool class and for two after school teachers, particularly teachers that are well versed in science. 

For more information or to check for openings, visit, call 657-2244, email, or find them on Facebook under Fiddlehead Arts & Science Center.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Business spotlight: The Scholar Room by Michelle Libby’s teachers have much more pressure than ever before to teach, to test and to meet students where they’re at in a classroom of 25 students; and to meet the requests from the parents. Andrea Logan has the solution for parents and students who find themselves stuck moving forward on the treadmill of education. The Scholar Room is a private tutoring service that can help students meet their goals, learn study skills and meet benchmarks for math, reading and more. 
“The Scholar Room is small group tutoring designed to provide support within the Windham/Raymond and lakes region communities,” said Logan. She offers one on one tutoring and small group skills classes for extra practice in a specific area. Some small classes only last three to five sessions to catch the students up on something like subtracting with regrouping. 

“I work on anything to support educational goals teachers are working on, but in a different setting,” she added. “Ultimately I got into it to do consulting and be a support person for educators in the K-12 curriculum.”

Logan has been in education for 18 years and has dual master’s degrees in education and special education. She is a middle school language arts teacher in Portland and is dual certified to teach kindergarten to eighth grade in special education and regular classrooms. She started tutoring in 2008 and she is well versed in 504 plans, Individualized Education Programs (IEP) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

“I’m a lifelong teacher and lifelong learner,” she said. She is proving that by finishing her doctorate degree in transformational leadership. 

Tutoring “allows me to teach to each child and each family on a one on one basis. It’s a highly targeted intervention and specialized plan. I meet parents where they’re at in a personalized setting.”
Logan uses her background in special education and regular education to help all types of students. She will also work with a mom and dad who might not have the time or the resources to help their student. 

Her specialties are reading and writing, math, spelling and study skills. She helps those fifth and sixth graders who struggle with the transition of more homework and classroom work by teaching organization skills, executive functioning skills and decision making, that can take them on to success through middle and high school. She will come to the client’s home to set up a study station and work where the studying takes place to help the family establish good study habits with the students.

Logan designed her own spelling program that works in 20 minutes per week. In school it is always said that spelling will come later, but then later never comes. Logan can help students hurdle over the spelling gap. 

She teaches rote knowledge like multiplication tables, fact practice and handwriting. She believes in printing letters and writing. “As the kids age, just because we have technology, it’s not necessarily the best way to teach all of our children,” she said. 

Other issues she helps with are dyslexia, dysgraphia and orthographic processing, which is seeing and writing at the same time, where students see and remember letters in the mind’s eye. 

Tutoring sessions are offered at her home on Pasture View Road in Windham or in the client’s home. Small groups sometimes meet at the Windham Public Library. She works with students from K to 12.
Logan also serves on the board of directors for the Maine Association for Middle Level Educators and is a consultant through the New England League of Middle Schools. 

She also offers Make and Take Party Events as fun learning experiences. Watch Facebook for those announcements. 

For more information or to schedule a session, call or text 207-418-4807, email, or visit on Facebook or at The

Friday, July 28, 2017

Business spotlight on Assist2Sell with E. Leonard Scott by Michelle Libby and selling homes can be a stressful time for people who want to get the best deal for the money or make as much as possible on the sale of their property. Assist 2 Sell at 510 Main Street in Gorham can help buyers and sellers make and keep more money as well as provide the same services offered by a traditional real estate office.

E. Leonard Scott has been involved in real estate for 43 years. He started as a funeral director in Calais then sold the business after 10 years. He started a real estate business in Calais, but got cabin fever and moved to Portland. 

“I was in northern Maine where real estate is a blood sport,” Scott said. When he first arrived in Portland, he bounced from agency to agency, picking up information and tricks of the trade along the way. He took CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) Institute courses to sell commercial real estate, but never got his designation. He is a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), however. 

“I’m a curious person,” Scott said. He uses the knowledge he has learned to help his clients, and he keeps on top of what is happening in the industry with different websites. He found Assist 2 Sell and became the 53rd agency to join the company 17 years ago. Now there are hundreds  of Assist 2 Sell offices in the United States. 

“Assist 2 Sell is based on high volume, reduced commissions, full-service real estate,” he said. Agents with Assist 2 Sell can be listing agents, selling agents or disclosed dual agencies, but Scott said that is very rare within Assist 2 Sell. 

E. Scott Leonard
“We save people 50 to 60 percent in the cost of selling their home. We represent them exclusively,” Scott said. “It takes 66 hours of training to get a real estate license in Maine. It takes 2,500 hours to be a barber. Screw up a real estate transaction and it could cost someone a lot of money.” With a barber, hair grows back, he finished. 

“I try to teach and try to help them,” Scott said. “We’re real estate agents just like any other agent.” The hardest part of his job is spreading the word that Assist 2 Sell is just like other agencies, but they will save money for their clients. 

Last December, Scott moved from Falmouth, where he had been for 17 years, to the present location in Gorham. He is happy with the space and location of the new office he shares with his daughter, Kris Clark, and agent Jon Tupper. Between the three of them, they have over 80 years of experience. 
When a client comes to meet with Scott or his team, he helps them set a price; he does a competitive market analysis, holds open houses, and once ready, will put the listing on all of the multiple listing sites (MLS). Scott estimates that it takes approximately 23 hours to list a house. Some properties sell quickly at an open house, others might need a little more time. Assist 2 Sell is there through the whole process. 

The times have changed in the real estate market. “The buyers are very knowledgeable. They come to the table knowing exactly what they want,” Scott said. With dual agency, a client working with a broker acting as the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent “might not be getting full service. We provide full service in the straightest sense,” he added. Agents at Assist 2 Sell are Realtors® in all ways, except they do not do disclosed dual agency.” 

Assist 2 Sell agents charge $3,250 as a listing commission regardless of how much your home sells for. This can save homeowners tens of thousands of dollars especially on more expensive homes. The agents help clients save money, and if they can’t, Scott will tell the customer that as well.

To see if Assist 2 Sell can help sell a property, visit, call 207-781-2856 or email <

Moving? Don't forget to make insurance changes too by State Farm

We all know how stressful moving can be - there's a massive list of tasks to perform. So it's no surprise that making new insurance arrangements might not jump out as your first priority.

But do yourself a favor: Don't wait. The process isn't as tough as it seems. Below are a few key questions to investigate about moving and transferring insurance. They don't cover everything, but they should get you going in the right direction.

Have you talked to your agent?

If you're happy with your insurance company, give your agent a call. Your agent should be able to tell you whether you'll need to find a new agent and how to transfer your policies to your new address.
What about new insurance? And transferring insurance?

Talking with an agent is the best way to find out what you'll need to do to get new insurance or transfer your insurance to your new address. Your agent will also help you understand insurance requirements in your new location. you're moving between states, keep in mind that insurance coverage varies across states. For example, in California, due to the high frequency of earthquakes, you need to take special precautions to make sure your home is safe and secure in case of an earthquake. That's not the case in Indiana! Different states also have different auto insurance laws, and if you're moving to a new state, you'll need a new auto insurance policy - plain and simple.

Most state laws require you to have homeowner's insurance before you even buy a home. If you're
covered by State Farm, you should be able to get a prorated credit from your old homeowner's policy when you're signing up for a new one in a new state.

Are your possessions covered while you're moving?

Depending on how you've chosen to move - hired movers, rental truck, a portable container, or DIY in the back of your old Honda - your property may or may not be covered between the time it leaves your home and arrives at its final destination. Some homeowner policies will cover your property everywhere, regardless of whether it's in your home or in a moving truck. Other policies won't cover anything once it's out your door. So double-check your policy or call your agent.

If your own insurance policy won't cover your property, you can get coverage through your moving company. By federal law, moving companies have to offer supplemental insurance for your property that will cover a set percentage of replacement costs, but you'll need to increase that amount to get full coverage.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Business Spotlight on Fishermens Catch by Michelle Libby red A-frame proclaiming lobsters is an icon on Route 302 in Raymond. Fishermens Catch is known for its lobster rolls, but also has a fresh seafood market in the same building. Open from Mother’s Day to Columbus Day, Fishermens Catch serves typical Maine seafood like fried clams, steamers, mussels and of course, lobster and lobster rolls. 
Owner Bill Coppersmith, Jr. grew up in the seafood business. He lobstered in Portland, worked in the industry during high school before going to college for one semester to major in business administration. He decided he wanted to work in a business, not just learn about business. He established the restaurant in 2009. Working at Fishermens Catch for 14 and 15 hour days, 7 days a week, has taught him more than he could have learned in school. 

Lobster rolls are the biggest seller at Fishermens Catch. “We stuff them heavy with all fresh, never frozen meat. We grill the roll. There’s no complicated method,” Coppersmith said. The lobster rolls were named one of the best lobster rolls by Down East Magazine two years ago; something Coppersmith takes pride in mentioning. In a weekend, it is not unusual for them to make between 500 and 600 lobster rolls.
Coppersmith and his family

“We give them quantity and quality and that’s what they’re looking for,” said Coppersmith. “What you see for prices is what you get. There’s no bait and switch.” They also don’t use tricks like putting egg whites in the roll or using imitation crab meat. “We take the tricks out of the equation,” he added. “People work hard for their vacation. They worked hard for their money and we want to give them something good.” 

The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, all lobster friendly, with an eye toward extreme cleanliness, according to Coppersmith. “We slave over trying to keep this place clean,” he said.
For all the land-lovers, Fishermens Catch also serves chicken fingers and chicken sandwiches.
Quality food is the mission of the 12 employees at Fishermens Catch. There is no typical fishy smell inside the building, which is a bonus for some. 

“Raymond has the most amount of shorefront,” said Coppersmith. His location is perfect to catch summer people traveling up Routes 302, 85 and 121. He hooks people from all area lakes and ponds.
“We see repeat customers, friendly faces. Some we might see every night. Or we see them at lunch then see them at dinner,” he said. One group bought Fishermens Catch T-shirts and it’s become a tradition to wear them to dinner, all 12 of them. 

Fishermens Catch provides all of the lobsters for the area summer camps and Point Sebago for their lobster bakes. They can cook 400 to 500 lobsters at a time in specialty pots Coppersmith had made.
When looking for steamed lobsters, it is recommended that customers order ahead Thursday through Sunday, as it’s a busy time. 

Coppersmith offers the Maine experience of a lobster bake, fresh seafood and more within a 50 mile radius of Raymond. Lobster bakes are great for: rehearsal dinners, birthday parties, anniversaries or to celebrate summer in Maine. From Cape Elizabeth to Frye Island and anywhere in between, Fishermens Catch will provide all of the fixings for a down east lobster bake. The minimum size is 30 people. 

“Four hundred is the biggest we’ve done, but the sky’s the limit,” said Coppersmith.
For those who don’t get enough lobsters on vacation, live hard shelled lobsters can be shipped next day air.  

In the fish market, most of the items are from the Gulf of Maine including lobster meat, scallops, Maine caught halibut, tuna, and swordfish. Additional items are big shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico and Alaskan sock-eye salmon. Items are fresh daily from local fishermen. With the biggest tank system in the lakes region, the capacity to have on hand and cook large quantities is massive, Coppersmith said. “It sets us apart. Don’t call around. We can do it,” he said. “I like cooking the lobsters - being on the back deck at 140 degrees out there. The owner is out back cooking the lobsters, so you know we’re doing it right.” The lobsters are steamed, unlike at most lobster pounds. On average they steam 1,000 lobsters a day. 

Coppersmith is married and is the father to a 6-year-old son, Eli, and a 4-year-old daughter, Haddie. His wife, Whitney, makes the homemade seafood chowder and the homemade tartar sauce.
Fishermens Catch is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. They have live music every other Saturday in the summer. 

For more information or to order ahead, visit, find them on Facebook, or call 207-655-2244.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Business spotlight on K.J. Bancroft LLC by Michelle Libby Bancroft has been moving earth since he was 14. He started out in landscaping before starting his own landscaping company. In 2006, he went to school to earn his national heavy equipment operator’s certificate through National Construction Center for Education and Research (NCCER), which he is putting to good use all over the Sebago region.
“There is a lot of work available,” said Bancroft. “I knew being outside is where I was meant to be. I enjoyed my job and basic maintenance landscaping, walkways and retaining walls.” The business evolved into where Bancroft is now a general contractor for his clients. As a LLC, K.J. Bancroft will be able to grow as business needs grow. Now he works with a team of one full time employee and one part time employee focusing on residential and light commercial development. 

The connections in various industries he has vetted over the years, allows him to pick and choose who he will work with on different projects, to have the best of the best working for the clients from CAD drafters and plumbers to electricians and builders. Bancroft examines the work history, Internet and social media presence for everyone he works with. “Essentially they’re carrying our name. We try to vet them very carefully,” he said.    

The company is insured, but is not required to be licensed in the State of Maine. “Being nationally certified stands out among the competition. It puts us ahead of the curve to take the step to legitimize ourselves,” he said. “What I was taught and learned was like spending 25 years in the business.”
As a rule, he travels within a 25 mile radius of his home base in Raymond. He does work in Falmouth, Scarborough and is involved in a development project in the Standish/Buxton area.
“We’re proud of every project we roll out of,” he said. 

K.J.Bancroft clears, stump grinds and moves trees, they cover the earthwork side and then they manage the project to completion. 

“Our goal is to take it from A to Z, so the homeowner can sit back and have a point of contact,” Bancroft said. People who don’t use a general contractor can often have set backs that can throw off the entire timetable for subcontractors, putting projects behind for months. 

K.J.Bancroft offers three different construction plans for homes featuring a ranch, a cape and a colonial, but all can be customized, he said. “They are canvases to start. What would you like to see?”

Land can already be owned or found first, then the home built, or K.J.Bancroft can do a whole building package from start to finish. 

“We make sure the customer is completely happy. Communication is effective. Customers say it’s so easy to get in touch with me. It’s about customer service whether it’s a small $800 job or building a house,” Bancroft said. “If you’ve got a spot for us, we can make it happen.”

The company was named for himself and his son Kolton James. “I wanted to start something for him to continue,” he said. 

Bancroft is very involved in the Raymond community. He was born and raised there. He is on the planning board, making him familiar with permitting in Raymond and thus in other towns. He is part of the Raymond Fire and Rescue Department and is a pilot for the Raymond Fire and Rescue boat. 

He is a member of the Raymond Rattlers Snowmobile Club and donates from the business as well.
K.J. Bancroft wants the opportunity to use their skills to create projects that enhance the communities of the area. 

K.J. Bancroft is a member of the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. 

For more information, visit, call 207-807-0842 or email