50th Woodland Winter Carnival honors the memory of Joseph ‘Pete’ Toschi, former school principa

15 years ago

The Woodland Consolidated School was the recent location celebrated the 50th Woodland Winter Carnival brining back the kid in all in attendance.
Over 400 Woodland students, staff, alumni, and community members gathered over a 3-day celebration to commemorate a milestone anniversary of the Woodland Winter Carnival.
This year’s carnival was dedicated to the memory of Joseph “Pete” Toschi, who was a principal at the Woodland School for 20 years before leaving  the area to relocate in Connecticut.
During a dedication ceremony, former student and principal, Phil Caverhill said, “Pete Toschi set the academic and athletic standards for Woodland School. The students had a great deal of respect and love for Pete.”
It was Mr. Toschi’s vision of a winter carnival that set things in motion and the tradition has continued. Caverhill, who replaced Toschi, spoke of how the former principal had always inquired about former students, teachers and school board members. He was always very interested in how the school was continuing in his absence.
According to Caverhill, Pete Toshi had a great love for teaching and especially for the Woodland School and was responsible for creating the framework for most things happening at Woodland School today,” concluding,” it is appropriate that he be honored today and be remembered for everything he did for the Woodland School.
Joseph “Pete” Toschi passed away in 2005, however, those in attendance during the milestone winter carnival were honored to have four generations of his family join them. Family members included Lucille Toschi, his surviving spouse, Dorothy Hartt, daughter, Leslie Marquis, granddaughter and Fletcher Marquis, great-grand son, all of whom live in the Fort Kent area. Toschi’s son Peter, who resides in Connecticut, was unable to be present but was equally thrilled and very touched that his father was being honored.
Woodland PTA President, Tracy McCrossin, presented Mrs. Toschi with an anniversary basket as well as a brick, which will be engraved recognizing her late husband’s vision and later to become a permanent part of the community playground, anticipated to be constructed this summer.
The three-day celebration kicked off with a community/alumni lasagna supper brining the past and the present together in a time of reminiscing and r endless story-telling of memories of previous winter carnivals.
Tom Drew, a Woodland alumni, lent his talent as auctioneer for the evening as he auctioned off limited edition 50th Anniversary Alpine Cowbells. Current Woodland students were each presented one as a gift from the Woodland PTA to mark this special year.
The annual Winter Carnival Speaking Contest was held Friday for the current 8th grade students followed by a Union 122 dance.
Saturday morning brought young and old alike together to compete in a variety of racing and timed events outdoors. While races were taking place outdoor, other activities were taking place in the gym including socializing, tours of the school for returning alumni and a variety of lunch choices and desserts.
Once the races were completed, activities turned indoors where a program started off with the procession of the crown bearers: Sage Dubay, daughter of Shawn and Shannon Dubay and Madison Bubar, son of Sonya and Brian Bubar,  Both students are in first grade.
Next in the procession were the reigning King, Joshua Kovach and Queen, Marigan Doody.  Following them were the six contestants vying for the 2009 titles of King and Queen.
Contestants included Chelsea Bard, daughter of Lee and Sandra Bard; Dylan Greenier, son of Scott Greenier and Heidi Marshall; Alexis McCrossin, daughter of David and Tracy McCrossin; Katherine Page, daughter of Fred and Karen Page; Kristin Plante, daughter of Tom and Jill Plante and Logan Sutherland, son of Paul and Deborah Sutherland.
Each of the contestants competed for the crowns through a speaking contest held earlier in the week.  Judges for this event were:  Kristine Bondeson, John Hedman, and Jennifer Plourde.
The newly crowned 2009 King and Queen were Logan Sutherland and Chelsea Bard. It was also at this time that a plaque was presented to Teaching Principal Mrs. Schloeman. The plaque, crafted by Leroy Bard of Woodland, bears the names of 50 years of winter carnival kings and queens.
Logan and Chelsea then presented their speeches for a standing room only crowd. The program concluded with the awarding of gold, silver and bronze medals to the winners  of the race events.
Plans for this celebration began in May 2008, and it was non-stop after then. Everyone was ready to pitch in with ideas and resources to make this a special day. Another tradition of this event has been a drawing contest for the Winter Carnival pins.
Students from all grades may submit their drawings and two are selected to become the official pin for the year. A third winner was selected and the design was imprinted on an anniversary cake which was displayed at the supper.
This year winners were:  Sydney Dubey, grade-four; Josh McCormack, grade-five and Megan Thornton grade-four.
Students of Mrs. Swan grade-six class were in charge of taking the winning drawings and creating the buttons that were selected. Each had to be individually colored by hand.
Students in grades 4 – 7 participated in the creation of a paper quilt which reflected all 50 kings and queens. Woodland staff members then put together the quilt which was displayed during the festivities.
Another tremendous support were the indoor and outdoor teams of staff and volunteers who either helped in the kitchen serving hundreds who had worked up an appetite or braved the outdoors all day to keep the races moving along, whether by timing or lending a muscle in pushing countless students and adults down the hill for various races.
Woodland PTA President Tracy McCrossin stated, “The success of this celebration was truly a collaboration of many individuals and could not have been done without all their help. Woodland staff, PTA members, students and alumni generously donated their time, energy, and enthusiasm. We also were very thankful for our community and neighboring businesses that all generously donated  items which were raffled off throughout the three day event. In the end, we know we all made Peter Toschi proud and we look forward to continuing his legacy through this tradition.”