RUMFORD — The RSU 10 board unanimously approved a community-wide event Monday night for April or May that aims to show students the possible lethal results of using drugs, alcohol or texting while driving.

Mountain Valley High School Principal Matt Gilbert and Rumford Police Department Sgt. Tracey Higley described a program known nationally as “Every 15 Minutes” wherein students, staff and community members including parents, clergy, business owners, funeral directors, doctors and others create a scene where unwise decisions resulted in a student “death.”

The program involved almost the entire community three years ago, Gilbert said. He said he believed it was time to do it again.

Every 15 Minutes refers to when a death occurs because of poor decisions, Gilbert said.

“Every 15 minutes, someone dressed as the Grim Reaper will tap a student or staff member on the shoulder, then, with the help of a police officer, escort that person out. The “victim” will not be allowed to talk or have a cellphone, and the parents will be notified of that person’s “death.”

“Parents have said that this has changed their families. Some students still contact me,” Higley said.

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Planning for the two-day community event requires nearly a year.

Videos of the previous MVHS “Every 15 Minutes” event are available on YouTube.

Although the event is planned for MVHS students, principals from Dirigo High School and Buckfield Junior-Senior High School are also invited to participate.

When this event was first conducted, the former SAD 43, SAD 21 and SAD 39 had not yet merged into one district.

Also at Monday’s board meeting, a number of staff positions were filled, including several with people who had graduated from MVHS.

Carly McCann was hired as the district-wide speech and language clinician; Brittany Milligan, a former long-term substitute teacher in the district, was hired as a third-grade teacher at Meroby Elementary School; and Kati Mazza, who has served as an educational technician in the district, was hired as a kindergarten teacher at Rumford Elementary School.

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The board also hired Jillian Martins as half-time music teacher at Dirigo Elementary School.

Following a presentation by assistant superintendent and curriculum coordinator Gloria Jenkins, the board also approved creation of a new literacy coach position. She said the position will be funded through federal funds.

In a related matter, Superintendent Craig King said the district received a $7,800 grant from the United States Department of Education to support professional development for literacy teachers.

The RSU 10 board will hold its annual joint meeting with the Region 11 School of Applied Technology board in South Paris at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 9.


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