BETHEL — The SAD 44 board voted Monday evening to hire Ann Bell, assistant principal and athletic director of Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, as principal of Telstar Regional High School, Superintendent David Murphy said Tuesday.

Murphy said Bell was one of five candidates interviewed for the position, and was signed to a two-year contract.

“We’re very excited about Ann,” Murphy said. “She was very enthusiastic about the job and has good experience with standards-based education. She came highly recommended by the people she’s worked with over the years and seems to be a great fit for Telstar High School.”

Murphy said Bell is the first female principal of Telstar Regional High School, which opened in 1968.

Bell has a master’s degree in leadership from the University of New England and previously taught science at Oxford Hills Middle School in Paris. During her 28 years in education, she has also coached many high school and middle school sports teams.

In other business, Murphy said the board voted to approve Paula Leavitt as SAD 44 special education director and assistant superintendent for special education, curriculum and special projects.


The board also voted to reappoint Levi Brown and Jolene Littlehale as teaching principals of Crescent Park School and Woodstock School, respectively.

Murphy said Brown was approved for a $13,260 stipend and Littlehale was approved for a $14,280 stipend.

“Every year, Levi and Jolene have taught in a classroom and acted as principal of their respective schools,” Murphy said. “There’s a salary schedule for serving in that role that increases every year that you serve as teaching principal.”

Near the end of the meeting, Murphy said the board voted 15-1 to approve the creation of the Telstar Regional High School Grade Nine University of Maine 4H Learning Center program.

“This is something we’re very excited about,” Murphy said. “The idea is to get more freshman students off-site and participating in innovative learning programs at the Learning Center at Bryant Pond.”

He said the state recently determined that the incoming Class of 2018 will be the first students to receive a standards-based diploma, and that the 4H Learning Center program is a step in that direction.


“This year, we’ll be doing what they call a ‘soft start,’” Murphy said. “For the first semester, students will have sporadic opportunities to attend the Learning Center and participate, with the hopes of moving to full implementation for the second semester.”

As an example, Murphy said 4H Learning Center director Ryder Scott pitched a milfoil project, which would allow students to do science and math work in the classroom while using kits crafted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to build underwater submarines that would plot out the location of milfoil.

“This way, the students are able to work with the community and study science and math at the same time,” Murphy said.

The board’s next meeting is at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 11, at the Telstar school library.

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