Welcome to Powers Place – Special Ceremony held for New Offices
It was an afternoon full of tributes to two individuals who have devoted their lives to serving Aroostook County families and the communities of the area. A wonderful ceremony was held by Aroostook County Action Program to commemorate the opening of the new early childhood education/head start offices next door to the Gouldville school, one of the head start locations for ACAP.
The new office building will now be known as Powers Place, named after Sue Powers who is the Director of Programs for early childhood education for ACAP. Sue is approaching her 40th year of working with the agency. She has dedicated her life to families and young children of Aroostook County for her entire career. Jason Parent, Executive Director of ACAP said of of Powers "The list of roles she has held is long – from leader of Maine’s Head Start Directors Association to her more recent seat on the early childhood task force of the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet. In official role or not – she’s the voice of Early Childhood education recognized statewide and we are most fortunate to have her,” The first item moved into the new offices was "the chair" that Sue has had in her office for many years.
The ceremony started with a special tree planting in the back yard of the property. An apple tree was planted in memory of Valerie "Val" Delong who had worked for ACAP for 23 years. ACAP Executive Director Jason Parent said that "Val served over 100,000 meals during the height of the pandemic" to families in Aroostook County. Val's husband, daughter with her husband and children were in attendance for the dedication.
The naming of the new building caught Powers by surprise. She did not know the plans were in place to name the offices after her when coworkers presented it to the board of directors. However, she felt something was up when she saw that her husband and two daughters were in attendance with their families. After the announcement, she was asked by Parent if she wanted to say anything about the surprise. Sue relayed that she was truly surprised and it meant so much to her to even be considered for the honor. Powers took a moment to tell the story of how her and Valerie had worked together for many years. Their daughters had become friends early on the two started their ACAP journey together.
Powers Place ties together nearly 100 years and multiple generations of family serving The County. Sue's grandfather Charles Wiley was the first custodian at Gouldville School when it opened in 1923. She recalled when she was younger riding around with her father to check the boiler rooms at times. When she walks into the Gouldville school the memories come rushing back when she can get hints of the smell of the boilers. Now her offices will sit next door and share a parking lot with Gouldville where one of her daughters has also worked in. This is a picture of Mr. Wiley that is displayed at the school.
The dedication of the fruit tree and the naming of the offices are honors that are truly deserved. The trees will bear fruit that the students will be able to make apple sauce with when they walk behind Powers Place. This writer can say that "we” your family are proud of you, Sue. I think that this article now makes me your favorite son-in-law!
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