MEXICO – As Deborah Guimont surveyed the smooth, new parking lot, the spic and span lobby and the neat classrooms, she said she is thrilled about the beginning of a new school year.

The first day for classes at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology is Tuesday.

Guimont, the director, said she is pleased with the progress made in renovating the school and looks forward to working with the new administration in two of the region’s member districts.

“So much of the building renovation is done. There is still much more to do, but it won’t be as time consuming as it has,” she said.

Building modifications have been taking place since Region 9 moved into the River Road school three years ago.

And perhaps even more important, the final papers were signed just a few weeks ago turning the building over to Region 9.

“We’ve come a long ways in our work and we’re ready to move forward,” she said.

Guimont meets monthly with the region’s four superintendents to discuss vocational issues. When they meet for the first time this school year, she’ll be working with new SAD 43 Superintendent James Hodgkin and new SAD 21 Superintendent Tom Ward, along with Peru Superintendent John Turner and SAD 44 Superintendent David Murphy.

Curriculum work to bring vocational education in line with the Maine Learning Results will continue for the region’s nearly 200 students. This is the largest number of students Region 9 has had in its more than 25-year history.

In addition to providing nine vocational education programs for secondary students, and an academic, vocational and enrichment slate of courses for adult education students, the Region 9 school will also continue to offer use of its building for a millwright program for Irving Forest Products employees. The local vocational school will also provide basic math and English courses as part of the Central Maine Community College and River Valley Technology Center precision metal trades course.

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