RSU 10 board provides temporary salary increase for Dirigo administrators

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DIXFIELD — The Regional School Unit 10 board agreed to provide the principal and assistant principal at Dirigo High School a one-time salary increase because they are also administrators at Dirigo Middle School.

Board members voted 9-5 to grant high school Principal Mike Poulin an $8,000 raise for 2014-15. They also granted Assistant Principal Mike Hutchins a $5,000 increase.

Superintendent Craig King said the position of principal at the middle school was eliminated from the budget. It paid $92,000, including benefits.

To make up for that position, he said, “we assigned both schools to the (high school) principal and assistant principal,” King said. “The Negotiation Committee met last week, after the union proposed a salary augmentation, and recommended this for this year only.”

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“If this goes beyond one year, we’ll talk about it again,” board Vice Chairman Jerry Wiley said.

Voting against the salary increase were Linda Beaudoin of Hanover, David Lynch of Hartford, Judy Boucher of Byron, Denise Carrier of Roxbury and Michelle Casey of Buckfield.

Voting in favor were Brad Gallant and Jennifer Leduc, both of Rumford; Barbara Chow and Bruce Ross, both of Dixfield; Jerry Wiley of Buckfield, Faith Campbell of Canton, Ronnie Hutchinson of Carthage, Peter deFillipp of Mexico and Lolisa Windover of Peru.

King said that although the total number of middle and high school students are just over 450, Poulin and Hutchins supervise two staffs, two curricula, two sets of building meetings and other work that must be completed by a principal or assistant principal.

The board and an architect are studying the use and condition of each of the district’s 10 school buildings. A report of their findings is expected to be presented within a few weeks.

As of the beginning of the school year, 201 students who live in the district attend schools outside RSU 10. The number has more than doubled in the past five years.

According to a study compiled by King, 80 students are home-schooled, 114 attend private schools, three attend charter schools and four attend a school in another district under superintendents’ agreements.

DeFillipp asked why there is such as increase in.

“There are a lot of options out there,” King said. “I suspect this would mirror other districts. I’m not opposed to school choice.”

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