SALEM TOWNSHIP — Regional School Unit 58 directors started the new fiscal year with good news and an ambitious set of goals.

On Thursday night, new Superintendent Susan Pratt attended her first board meeting, giving an overview of board responsibilities and basic codes of conduct and ethics.

New board members attending included Strong directors Barbara Worthley and Jessie Stinchfield, Phillips directors Amy Alexcovich and Lynette Abbott, and student representative Abby Brackley of Strong.

Board members elected Kingfield director Kim Jordan as chairwoman and Faith Richard of Phillips as vice chairwoman.

Pratt told the board that the Maine Department of Education announced the state subsidy to RSU 58 increased by $84,000.

Pratt also asked board members to consider an alternative to negotiating strategies that have failed to produce a contract with the teachers’ union for three years. The interest-based, or win-win bargaining, requires the negotiating teams to work together.


Pratt said she has seen this method work successfully in four meeting sessions. The teachers’ current contract expires in August, and Pratt suggested board members try this approach, with the option to return to traditional methods if no progress is made.

The goals of interest-based bargaining will attempt to move the teachers’ union and the school board from confrontational negotiations to a problem-solving approach, Pratt said. Team members identify issues and ways to solve problems together.

“I think we should give it a shot, and build some bridges, and see if we can’t come out of it with good feelings on both sides,” Pratt said.

Designated the district’s truancy officer, she said attendance in each of the schools has been excellent.

Pratt announced the resignations of teachers Tracy Knapp, Christine Mine, Nykola Dentico and Kathy Houston.

Anna Soule will teach fourth grade and Brooke Gilchrist will teach kindergarten in Kingfield. Beth Milewski will teach second grade at Strong Elementary School. Steve Milligan accepted the position of technology director for the district.

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