RSU 58 board announces hires, resignations

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KINGFIELD — Regional School Unit 58 directors bid farewell to several staff members and welcomed others Thursday night.

The board welcomed Johanna Prince as Kingfield Elementary School principal. Prince is the director of University of Maine at Farmington’s graduate programs. She also served until recently on the RSU 58 board as a representative for Kingfield.

She will replace Jamie Ela, who has accepted a position in another school district.

The board approved hiring Stephanie Brochu, who will replace Alison Gamache as the district’s business manager.

Superintendent Susan Pratt told directors they desperately needed to provide support for teachers faced with unusually large classes in the lower grades.

“We have two two elementary schools that have two classes, each with 24 students in them,” Pratt said.

The board approved hiring an education technician for $13.36 per hour, plus benefits. The employee will work with fourth-graders for three days a week and with sixth-graders for two days a week.

Board member Stephen Hagerstrom of Strong asked for the current ed tech numbers.

“Currently, we have one pre-K ed tech and one multi-age classroom ed tech,”Pratt said.

The board approved hiring Sara Gould as a special education teacher at Mt. Abram High School.

Mikaela Zelie has been hired as the high school’s library ed tech and study hall monitor. Valerie Oswald, Jessica Hughes and Paula Murray have been hired to fill additional ed tech positions in the district.

Custodian Dean Gamble has received certification as a bus driver for the district, so he can fill an available position.

Pratt also announced the resignation of Mt. Abram High School English teacher Shellen Raley-Masterman and secretary/registrar Laura White, effective the first week of October. Both have been with the district for many years.

The board approved having science teacher Jacob Boone supervise the formation of a new student Running Club. He agreed to waive his stipend to cover students’ costs to participate in events.

Board member and liaison for the district’s facilities department have negotiated a plan to start the repaving of the Kingfield Elementary School parking lot. Scott LeHay, the district’s facilities maintenance director, said some of the most urgent work will be done before the ground freezes.

The board cheered the news, because deep pot holes have become increasingly dangerous obstacles, with drivers having less visibility as the days become shorter.

“We’re moving multiple projects in multiple lines to make this $7,900 available,” Pratt said.

The community discussion about the future of the district will continue, with meetings Nov.1, at Mt. Abram High School, Nov. 29 at Phillips Elementary School and Dec. 13, at Strong Elementary School. All meetings are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The board also approved Sean Tennent’s proposal to start a district Facebook page, with strict restrictions, supervision of comments and posting. The board agreed to have a committee start the discussion.

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