LIVERMORE FALLS — James Black of Wilton was hired as Spruce Mountain High School assistant principal/athletic director by the Regional School Unit 73 board Thursday evening.

Black has served in a similar position at Mt. Abram High School in Salem Township. He has also taught social studies and served on the RSU 9 board, based in Farmington.

Also Thursday, the board assigned Julie Bolduc, Bernadette Bessey and Chris Ellingwood to GEAR UP positions, and Mike Methvin as seventh-grade baseball coach.

GEAR UP stands for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. The discretionary grant program is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education, according to the U.S. Department of Education website. 

GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to pay for services at high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP grantees serve a group of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow them through high school. GEAR UP funds are also used to provide college scholarships to low-income students, according to the website.

Also on Thursday, teacher and robotics adviser Dan Lemieux displayed one of the robots the SMART robotics team created. The team earned an Engineering Design Award. He said all seniors on the team plan to further their education in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics.

A summer robotics camp will be held June 22-25.

The board also received an update on the design of evaluation tools for teachers and administrators from teacher Nate Harnden. He said the plan will be submitted to the state by July, and will become a pilot program in the district at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year.

Superintendent Kenneth Healey said the last day of classes will be Friday, June 19, and will be a half day.

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