SAD 17 principals cite successful start to classes

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PARIS — SAD 17 administrators told the board of directors Monday evening that opening day of school last week was successful, even with the hot, humid weather.

“We’re thrilled to be back,” said Principal Beth Clarke of Agnes Gray Elementary School in West Paris.

Classes began Aug. 29 and 30 and despite the heat and humidity, everyone, including many parents, made sure the children who did not have air conditioning, were comfortable with plenty of water, fans and even Popsicles.

“It was awesome and exciting,” said Paul Bickford, principal at Oxford Hills Middle School in Paris.

Many changes have taken place over the summer, including the new semester schedule at Oxford Hills Middle School. Bickford said it restored “a sense of calm” to the students who will no longer have to move between campuses in Paris and Oxford.

Other changes include Oxford Elementary School being hooked up to the town sewer system and Hebron Station School’s focus on “start with hello.”

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At Paris Elementary School students welcomed new Principal Lori Pacholski and Assistant Principal Cathy Bickford; at Otisfield Community School, Jessika Sheldrick is principal.

Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School saw the return of the successful mentoring program that brings junior and seniors to welcome the incoming freshmen. A total of 269 high school students are enrolled this fall in athletics.

The exterior of Waterford Elementary School has a new coat of paint.

At Guy E. Rowe Elementary School in Norway there are 10 new staff members.

In other business, the board declared the Streaked Mountain School building at 160 Main St. in Norway “unnecessary for educational purposes” and authorized the superintendent to dispose of it. Norway will have the first option on the building. If it declines, it will be sold at market price.

Last February, some board members said the 164-year-old building was no longer a viable educational space and asked what it would take to move students. Issues cited included the heating system and frozen pipes. 

The school is now in leased space in the strip mall across from the high school on Main Street in Paris.

The board approved of Supt. Rick Colpitts applying to the Department of Education for reimbursement for the cost of the lease.

Jane Morse, director of special services for the Oxford Hills School District in Paris, addresses SAD 17 directors Monday evening. (Leslie H. Dixon/Advertiser Democrat)

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