RSU 10 board honors literacy coach

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DIXFIELD — Jill Bartash was recognized as one of only four certified district-level literacy coaches in the state at the Regional School Unit 10 board meeting Monday night.

Marcia Boody, director of the Maine Partnerships for Comprehensive Literary at the University of Maine, said Bartash was previously honored as an advanced literacy coach.

“Jill’s job from school-based to district-level coach allows her to train literacy coaches in RSU 10,” Boody said.

She said the three other districts in Maine with similarly qualified literacy teachers are in Lewiston, SAD 17 in South Paris and RSU 19 in Newport.

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Bartash’s honor reflected the major emphasis RSU 10 has placed on reading and writing.

Superintendent Craig King said multiple studies have shown that students who are on grade level-three reading indicates a strong prediction for future academic success.

He also said that finding well-qualified candidates to serve as literacy coaches is difficult.

“We go after the best people,” he said.

King also told the board that because neighboring Region 11 School of Applied Technology received additional funding because of a judicial decision, the vocational school will offer a plumbing program when classes begin. The school is affiliated with Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

“It’s an extraordinary opportunity for students,” he said, adding that interested RSU 10 students can visit the program and attend if desired.

Most vocational students from Mountain Valley High School and Dixfield High School attend a variety of vocational programs at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology in Mexico, but plumbing is not offered there.

The board also hired several new staff members.

New staff appointed Monday who will attend a special orientation session Aug. 27 are Serena Williams, part-time social worker for Hartford-Sumner Elementary School, and Carrie Gaudette, first-grade teacher for Meroby Elementary School. Montana Barrett was hired as a van driver/custodian.

Shane Smith was hired as the girls’ varsity soccer coach for Mountain Valley Middle School.

The resignation of Rumford Elementary School special education teacher Kristen Scott was accepted.

The next regular board meeting will be Sept. 14.

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