POLAND — Regional School Unit 16 directors is still short one board member.

On Monday, the board voted to stand by the district’s anti-nepotism policy, which prohibits a person whose family member is employed by the school district from serving on the board.

Superintendent Tina Meserve told the board that it appears the only person to volunteer to fill the seat vacated by Joe Parent of Poland, who resigned recently, has a sister who teaches in the district.

According to law, when there is a vacancy on the board, selectmen are supposed to appoint a replacement to serve until the next regular municipal election.

Poland selectmen were notified of the vacancy and sought a replacement. However, Meserve told the board that Poland Town Manager Bradley Plante informed her that the only person who answered the appeal has a sister who is employed as a teacher in RSU 16.

Meserve said the district’s anti-nepotism policy is more restrictive than state law, which only prohibits someone from serving on the board if their spouse works for the district.


She said RSU 16’s policy would allow the committee to make an exception so a person could serve if they had a family member who is a district employee but is not their spouse.

School board members expressed surprise that such an exception existed and voted against any consideration of the exception clause.

Meserve said she would inform Plante that selectmen should look for another person.

In other business, the board approved a measure that allows Meserve to make decisions in situations where parents have appealed to the school district for exceptions to school bus-stop policy when it is evident the change would be in the best interest of the district and the family.

Meserve said she has a request from a day care a short distance over the town line with more than 20 children going to school in the district, a situation similar to that of children attending M & M Preschool and Daycare that the board dealt with in August.

In that instance, the board recognized that, although the day care was just over the Mechanic Falls/Oxford town line, nine of the 14 children attending the day care go to school at Elm Street School, and denying the children relatively easy access to a bus stop could mean that four or five of them might not be able to attend preschool in Mechanic Falls.


That matter was resolved following appeals by parents and the day care operator and by the person owning the property where the turnaround was located agreeing to accept the liability.

The board also approved a request from Don King, athletic director at Poland Regional High School, to join in a petition to the Maine Principals’ Association to allow district students to play on a girls’ ice hockey team with students from Edward Little and Leavitt Area high schools in Auburn and Turner, respectively.

The team is known as the Edward Little-Leavitt Red Hornets.

King said he has met with his counterparts in the other two schools and, while they will have to pass the matter before their respective school boards, they agree that adding students from Poland Regional High School is a good idea.

King said that while only two or three high school students have expressed serious interest in playing ice hockey on a girls’ team, there are several times that number at Whittier Middle School in Poland.

While the details are still being worked out, King said there is a possibility some Poland girls could be skating for the Red Hornets this winter.

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