Fisherman's Academy students launch handmade skiffs

By Beth A. Birmingham | Jun 01, 2018
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Silas Miller, rear, and Garrett Young make their maiden voyage in the skiffs they and fellow students crafted as part of the first cohort of the Fisherman's Academy at Oceanside High School.

Rockland — Five students from Oceanside High School had their mission as aspiring workers in the marine/fishing industry put to the test May 31 with the launch of a pair of handcrafted skiffs.

Led by instructors Nina Noah and Terry Moore at The Apprenticeshop in Rockland, the students received specialized skills and experiences to help prepare them for a career in the industry.

Garrett Young, Silas Miller, Kurt Illvonen, Sabastian Sarmanian and Noah Morse are the first cohort to complete the boatbuilding program that was started in 2015.

"I'm really impressed with the boats, but I'm more impressed with you guys," Moore told the students. He said his favorite part of the program was being able to spend  time with them.

"It has been a really great exchange," he said, noting the end result isn't only the boats, but what's in their hearts.

Each of the young men expressed gratitude to Noah and Moore for their guidance and to The Apprenticeshop for allowing them the opportunity to use its facility for the project.

On hand to witness the launching was Regional School Unit 13 Superintendent John McDonald, Assistant Principal Jesse Bartke, science teacher and mentor Paul Desaulniers, as well as a group of other interested boatbuilders.

As a token of their hard work and love of the fishing industry, Young and Miller each got to take home the fruits of their labor -- both being fishermen themselves. Miller fishes in Tenants Harbor and is a fourth-generation fisherman.

It was a group decision, Noah said.

"I commend the students for a job well done," McDonald said. "Not only were they learning and applying math, science and language skills, but they developed the ability to work as a team, collaborate to solve problems and to communicate effectively with each other and with others involved. The high praise from their teachers, parents and project partners is well deserved."

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at

Students launch faith into Fishermen's Academy
The first cohort of the Fisherman's Academy and their instructors prepare for the launching of the skiffs they crafted at The Apprenticeshop May 31. From left are Sabastian Sarmaian, Silas Miller, Noah Morse, Terry Moore, Kurt Illvonen, Garrett Young, Nina Noah and Paul Desaulniers. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Members of the Fisherman's Academy and supporters carry two skiffs to the water for their maiden voyage May 31. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Christening their skiffs, from left, are Garrett Young and Silas Miller during the launching ceremony May 31 with the Fisherman's Academy. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Supporters listen as the first cohort of the Fisherman's Academy at Oceanside prepare to launch the skiffs they crafted at The Apprenticeshop. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jun 01, 2018 15:58

Congratulations! It is so good to see young people achieve good results and learn life long skills.

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