PARIS — Two School Administrative District 17 elementary schools will have new principals this fall.

Beth Clarke, who served as interim principal of the Agnes Gray School in West Paris this year, has been named principal of the Agnes Gray and Hebron Station schools.

She will take over from Melanie Ellsworth, principal of the Hebron Station School, who is leaving to concentrate on her skills as a literacy coach trainer.

Mary Lou Peterson, assistant principal of the Paris Elementary School in Paris, will take over as principal there, replacing Jane Fahey, who submitted her letter of retirement from the post she has held for 15 years.

The recommendations were made by Superintendent Rick Colpitts to the SAD 17 board of directors at its meeting Monday night and backed by the Personnel Committee.

Colpitts said the interview process was lengthy and involved input from administrators, fellow teachers and parents.


“Both can aptly lead their two schools into the future,” he said.

The appointments followed the reception celebrating the top academic 5 percent of Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School’s Class of 2015. Kyleigh Roberts, Lauren Emery, Hannah Mathieu, Abbey Nolan, Julia Dillon, Mary Bryce, Savanna Morin and Monica Harthorne were introduced to board members by their principal, Ted Moccia, along with Kathryn Davie, Eva Gabrielsen, Christian Gregory, Christopher Burns and Jade Morin.

“They’re just a kind group of kids,” Moccia said.  “They’re a tremendous representation of our school, our community and who we try to be.”

The students, who graduate at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 6, at the Gouin Athletic Complex at 7 p.m., said they are going to schools such as the University of Maine, Boston College, Bates College and others to study early education, nursing, biology and business. Jade Morin is entering the United States Air Force to train to be an aircraft load master.

In other news, the board agreed to pay the fourth and final bill for tuition for 15 students attending three charters schools. The $28,037 bill includes $5,441 for three students in the Fiddlehead School of Arts and Sciences; $19,695 for 11 students attending the Maine Connections Academy and $2,050 for one student attending the Baxter Academy.

The funding is coming out of the contingency budget this year, but the state is expected to pick up future costs.

Michael Dunn, district technology director, presented his next three-year technology plan.

Dunn said an action plan has been developed which sets expectations for the use of technology to enhance curriculum, provides professional development and stresses accountability.

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