BETHEL — A move is underway to enhance the educational experience of students and teachers at Telstar Regional High School by having residents of SAD 44 share their experiences and expertise.

“We want community members to get together to become more involved in the school,” Rosemary Laban of the recently formed Telstar Community Partnership said.

Students will learn about the partnership’s plans and goals at an assembly Friday, Principal Dan Hart said.

“We want students to be aware, to be open to new things,” he said.

The group, now at 12 members, aims to connect students and teachers with people who have experiences and interests that could heighten student learning.

So far, two databases are being developed. One lists the interests, experiences and expertise of volunteers and the other lists the needs of teachers.

Partnership Co-Chairman Al Cressey said activities could include helping to build an outdoor center, panel discussions on various topics, tutoring or other assignments teachers may want for students. Other activities may involve giving talks and arranging trips to cultural institutions.

Cressey said many of the volunteers are retired and many come from out of the area.

“We have diverse professional backgrounds and I believe we have something to offer,” he said.

Newry resident William Andrews is the other co-chairman. Partnership members also include several teachers, including health and physical education teacher Steve Keane. He and Dean of Students Charlie Raymond, along with other volunteers, held a panel discussion on harassment.

“It’s about the whole community coming together to show we care about the children in the community,” Raymond said.

Cressey is getting the word out among organizations, such as the Rotary Club, and occasional letters to the editor of The Bethel Citizen.

Hart said one of his goals is for the school to become an extension of the community.

“This makes sense,” he said of the Telstar Community Partnership.

A long-term goal is to develop a formal mentoring program to bring community resources to students.

Raymond said because the school and SAD 44 communities are small, students and families are very aware of each other.

SAD 44 towns include Andover, Bethel, Greenwood, Newry and Woodstock.

The group generally meets twice a month. More members are needed. Anyone interested in joining the group may contact Laban at [email protected] or call the Telstar office at 824-2136.

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