MEXICO — Vocational students were welcomed back to school Wednesday with the staff of the Region 9 School of Applied Technology cooking lunch for them.

The decade-long tradition will be repeated Thursday when the A-day students begin their school year.

Mark Beaudoin, Jerry Pelletier and Chris Gorham, educational technicians for one of the school’s 10 vocational programs, cooked hamburgers and hot dogs on grills.

Director Brenda Gammon said she was pleased to see the students.

Some, mostly freshmen in the employability skills program, were absent, but she thought that was because they were receiving orientation at Dirigo and Mountain Valley high schools in Dixfield and Rumford, respectively.

During the first week or two, the number of students in each vocational program will fluctuate.


“We have to be patient and go with the flow,” she said. “There were some delays in busing and scheduling.”

Also affecting enrollment is a change from two semesters to three in the sending schools, which include Telstar Regional High School in Bethel. Region 9 still uses semesters, which is causing scheduling complications with students’ high school classes.

Students greeted each other with high-fives and instructors provided tours for new students.

Several new students have enrolled in the employability skills and building trades programs. All but the certified nursing assistant program still have a few openings.

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