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The founding of academies in Maine during the early nineteenth-century expanded educational options for rural families, but academies also played an important role in the development of a rural middle class. In her study of Limington Academy, Lynne Benoit-Vachon finds that the school's by-laws, curriculum, course materials, and extra-curricular activities all worked to inculcate middle-class values of hard work, sobriety, self-improvement, and self-reliance in the Academy's young charges - training which would lead many of them into middle-class occupations beyond Limington’s borders. Benoit-Vachon, a graduate of the University of Maine, works as Education Programs Coordinator at the Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, N H and is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New Hampshire where she is writing a dissertation on labor relations in Maine's pulp and paper communities.