MEXICO — The Vocational Region 9 board heard reports from the fire science and metal trades instructors, approved an overnight trip to Skills U.S.A. program, and was updated on the new high school equivalency requirements last week.

Peter Barlow, last year’s career technical education Teacher of the Year, said nine students are in their first year of the metal trades class and six are in the second year of the program.

Last year, students helped out with many projects for the fire science class. This year’s focus will be on rebuilding and working on heavy equipment vehicles.

He said a representative from the Western Maine Economic Council has planned a class visit later in the month to discuss possible grants available for vocational programs.

Barlow also received permission from the board to take several students to Skills U.S.A. leadership training in Bangor on Oct. 25 and 26.

Fire science instructor Jon Longley told the board that some of his students have assisted with fighting area fires recently, and that the Canton Fire Department has donated a significant amount of surplus equipment to the class. The Hebron Fire Department has also donated a 1994 squad truck.


The Region 9 firefighting program has received numerous pieces of equipment for students to learn about.

“All of our previous students have passed the Firefighter I exam,” he said. “These kids are ready to work.”

Four second-year and six first-year fire science students have enrolled in this year’s program.

In other matters, student services director Cheryl Ellis said students have begun making college visits, and some colleges have scheduled visits to Region 9.

The annual open house is set for the evening of Oct. 8, she said.

Recently hired adult education teacher Duane Dorion updated the board on the new process for enrolling in high school equivalency or diploma programs.

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