SUMNER — Charlie Swan was appointed the new principal of Dirigo Elementary School on Monday night.
Swan, 34, has served as the assistant principal and athletic director at Dirigo High School for the previous several years. He also taught fifth-grade for a number of years at an international school before returning to the Dixfield area.
He will replace 20-year elementary school veteran principal, Kathy Richard, who will retire at the end of this school year.
The Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10 board overwhelmingly approved Swan's appointment. The only dissenter was Mexico board representative Betty Barrett. Linda Westleigh of Rumford, who has a conflict of interest, abstained from the vote.
Also at Monday's meeting that was held in the cafeteria of the Hartford/Sumner Elementary School, the board approved an effort by the Dirigo Speech and Debate Team to raise the $2,200 remaining so the team and several chaperons can travel to national finals in Washington, D.C., and Dallas, Texas, in May.
The team, advised by teacher Brad Conant, has raised several thousand dollars for travel to the competition, but has come up short because of the high costs involved in the two cities.
The team was directed to ask Dirigo High School Principal Michael Poulin to try to find the necessary funds in the high school budget, then return to the board.
Conant said this is the fifth year the debate team has qualified to compete in the nationals.
The board also approved two other trips for which all necessary funds have been raised.
All fifth-graders in the Mountain Valley and Dirigo regions will attend the Shrine Circus on April 16. The three buses needed will be driven by RSU 10 employees who have volunteered their time. The Oxford County Shriners Club has donated the admission tickets.
Buckfield fifth-graders are not included this year because chaperons could not be found. However, Westleigh offered to provide circus tickets for any fifth-grader whose parents may take them to the event.
An overnight, end-of-middle school class trip for all 40 Buckfield eighth-graders was also approved for May 31 and June 1. The youngsters have raised all the the required money through a variety of fundraisers during the past couple of years.