LIVERMORE FALLS — The RSU 73 board on Thursday unanimously approved a trip to Legoland in San Diego, Calif., for an all-girl Spruce Mountain Middle School Lego team to compete in the North American Open Championship.

The approval came following a presentation on their natural resources disaster project by the four eighth-graders and three seventh-graders on the team.

The students, wearing orange and yellow fish-shaped hats, got the competitive spot by earning several trophies at the Maine State Lego League Championship in Augusta in December.

“I’m proud of how far they have come in the season,” said Rob Taylor, founder of Lego and robotics teams at Spruce Mountain middle and high schools.

The girls who make up the team, Just Keep Swimming, their coach, Jay Lindsey, and other chaperons, will leave Jay on May 16 and return May 20. The cost of the trip was estimated at between $8,000 and $10,000.

Taylor said he spoke with the girls’ parents, and fundraisers are already planned, including several tag days, a bottle drive, a car wash, a Lego build-a-thon, a dinner and an auction.

He said the Just Keep Swimming team was one of only two all-girl teams of the 75 that competed in December.

The team was required to program and build a small robot and design a potential solution to a natural disaster. The Spruce Mountain girls researched and created a PowerPoint presentation on flooding in Franklin County, then built a Lego house that could be raised above flood waters by a hydraulic lift. They also put together natural-disaster emergency bags that contained various items people would need in such an event.

Teams members are Brooke Bolduc, Destiny Daigle, Tanna Herlihy, Skyler Lewis, Alana McDaniel, Hallie Pike and Sydney Shaffer.

In other matters:

* The board accepted the resignation of Janet Eastman, a longtime third-grade teacher at Livermore Elementary School. Eastman is retiring. She will leave the district at the end of the current school year.

* Spruce Mountain Middle School Principal Scott Albert said the annual eighth-grade yard sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8, in the school cafeteria. Proceeds will help defray costs for the annual eighth-grade trip to Boston in the spring. He said about 100 of the approximately 120 eighth-graders are expected to go.

* The board appointed Daniel Labonte as drama adviser at the middle school; Margaret LeClerc as high school track coach; Josh Newhall as high school varsity tennis coach; Donna Kenney as part-time adult education literacy teacher; Chris Ellingwood as part-time adult education high school credit recovery United States history teacher; and Bryana Chapman as part-time adult education high school credit recovery English teacher.

The board will meet next on Feb. 13 at the Central Office on Cedar Street.


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