MEXICO — The Vocational Region 9 board Wednesday night approved a $2.24 million budget for secondary education and a $308,207 budget for adult and community education.

They also heard a report from some of the 15 students at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology who attended a Skills U.S.A. competition in Bangor recently.

The $110,000 increase in the secondary education budget was prompted by the addition of culinary arts and business programs for the next school year and a small increase in staff salaries.

Adult Education Director Nancy Allen said the $10,000 increase in that budget pays for teaching hours for an academic staff position and for a hike in health insurance premiums for one position.

Vocational Region 9 residents will act on the budgets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 6.

The two new vocational programs were established in response to interest from students, community members and businesses.

Pete and Jen Barlow, Region 9 staff members, introduced nine of the 15 students who competed in the Skills U.S.A. contest.

The group brought home 11 medals, including a gold for Nicole Dumond, a senior at Dirigo High School in Dixfield, who will travel to Louisville, Ky., in June to compete in the nationals. She won for her knowledge of medical terminology. She is raising $1,800 needed to compete.

“We want to thank you for representing Region 9 and sharing your experiences with the board,” board Chairman Norman Clanton said.

“These students put Region 9 on the map,” Barlow said.

In other matters:

* Region 9 Director Brenda Gammon said Andover should appoint a member to the vocational board now that it has withdrawn from SAD 44.

* Board officers re-elected were: Clanton, chairman; Kevin Kaulback, vice chairman; Gammon, treasurer; and Melanie Regnere, secretary. The Financial Committee will be named later.

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