Coming up to Bridgton Academy in the fall of 2011 I had no idea what to expect. Spending a year in North Bridgton, Maine at an all-boys school at the time did not sound like the most appealing idea. But, from the second I stepped foot on campus, I was welcomed, encouraged, and helped towards my goals. The faculty and staff here at Bridgton planted a seed in my head, which ultimately made me want to come back to Bridgton Academy to work and give the same experience that I received several years ago. I know I was not alone in with that drive to help other young men have a year that makes the difference. Five alumni in all had that goal. Five out of the seven interns for the Class of 2017 are Bridgton Academy Alumni. Charlie Bachelder ’07, Matt Gallery ’09, Will Groves ’12, Marco Spisso ’11-’12, and Nick Swim ’12. We are all working as teachers, coaches, dorm parents, and advisers to this incoming class. I think can speak for all of us when I say we are honored to represent our classes and provide insight to the Class of 2017 as men, who lived through what they will experience in the next 33 weeks.

Charlie Bachelder ’07 and Matt Gallery ’09 return to the gridiron and will be assisting Coach Juwan Jackson and the football team as they prepare for the quickly approaching season. Gallery will also be teaching SAT prep. Bachelder will also be working in the Admissions Office under Chris Webb.

Fresh out of college, three members of my Class of 2012 make their way back to Chadbourne Hill and return to the Bridgton Academy community. The three of us coming back after four years of college truly encapsulates how much of an impact our year had on us. One of my good friends in my year here at Bridgton is two-time grad Marco Spisso ’11-’12. Marco recently got his degree from Nazareth College in Rochester, NY, where he also played hockey. When I asked him what made him want to return he quickly responded with, “to give back to students who were in the same position as I was just in a couple years ago.” I also asked Marco to give some advice to this class: an important message that was instilled on us was “as Mr. Peter Gatley always said, ‘don’t count the days, make the days count.’” Marco will be interning with the hockey program and also in the Writing Center preparing the class of 2017 for the rigors of college.

Another member of my class, Nick Swim ’12, was a successful baseball player at Castleton State in Vermont. Nick will be assisting Coach Izaryk and the baseball program. Along with his role on the baseball diamond, Swim will be interning in the Institutional Advancement (IA) office. When asked I asked Nick about how he wants to ensure that this is the year that makes the difference he answered like a true alum of Bridgton: “I’m going to push students to not take short cuts… These students took the risk of being here and I want to ensure that they get the most of their experience.”

Being at Bridgton Academy is an honor and we are all excited to spread our knowledge and wisdom of this place to the Class of 2017, ensuring that this is the year that makes the difference for yet another class.