Meroby school opens after volunteers clean up damage

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MEXICO — Meroby Elementary School opened Thursday, after staff, emergency personnel and the community cleaned up damage by vandals this week, Principal Kim Fuller said.

The school “didn’t miss a beat,” she said Thursday, because of help and support from the community and the Mexico police and fire departments and Med-Care ambulance service.

“The bulk of the cleanup work was done by the teachers,” she said, with help from Med-Care and the Fire Department.

Rumford Elementary School sent breakfast for the staff Thursday and the Oxford Federal Credit Union replenished the snacks in the teachers’ room. Others sent emails and called with messages of support for the school. Regional School Unit 56, headquartered in Dixfield, also reached out with a message of support.

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“All of the support made us feel loved,” Fuller said.

At the school’s assembly Thursday afternoon, Fuller acknowledged and thanked the community and the local emergency services for their support. She also read a letter written by first-grade teacher Tami Roy, who thanked the community and local police and fire departments.

Mexico Police Chief Roy Hodsdon and Lt. Dan Carrier, and Mexico firefighters Timothy Haas and Jamee Theriault represented their departments at the assembly. Hodsdon reassured the children and staff that it was the Police Department’s intention to visit the school to be sure that they “feel safe.”

Also at the assembly, RSU 10 Superintendent Deborah Alden thanked the staff and the community for helping clean the building and get it ready for students.

During the assembly, students watched a video about safety rules on buses and were introduced to all the teachers. Other activities included a chant of the school’s motto: “Be kind, be safe, be respectful and be responsible.”

Hodsdon said police charged a 16-year-old Mexico male and 18-year-old Anthony Silva of Rumford on Wednesday with breaking into the school and causing $3,000 damage to equipment, cabinets and books with a bat and their hands and feet late Tuesday night. They were charged after police obtained video footage from the school surveillance cameras.

mhutchinson@sunmediagroup.net

Meroby Elementary School in Mexico held an assembly on opening day of classes Thursday, with, from left, Principal Kim Fuller, Police Chief Roy Hodsdon, firefighters Timothy Haas and Jamee Theriault, and Police Lt. Dan Carrier. Teachers, police, firefighters, ambulance personnel and others helped clean up the mess made by vandals, which postponed Wednesday’s scheduled opening.
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