RUMFORD — The Regional School Unit 10 school board voted Monday to relocate the district’s central offices to Mountain Valley High School in Rumford.

Superintendent Deborah Alden, who began her duties in November, said that she and the Buildings and Grounds Committee reviewed different proposals to address the issue that the current RSU 10 Central Office is at Dirigo Elementary School in Dixfield, one of the four towns that recently withdrew to form a new RSU. 

The towns of Canton, Carthage, Dixfield and Peru voted Nov. 8 to withdraw from RSU 10, leaving the other eight towns of Rumford, Mexico, Byron, Roxbury, Buckfield, Sumner, Hartford and Hanover.

“We would potentially move two areas, the nursing area and the guidance area, (of MVHS),” Alden said.

Access to outside parking is also important for the new RSU 10 office space, she said.

Building and Transportation Director Kenny Robbins would likely prepare a timeline over December break to make plans for the new RSU 10 office area at Mountain Valley High School, she added.

“At the same time, we felt it would be really important for us to have a satellite office at Buckfield (Junior-Senior High School),” Alden said. “I can plan to be there at certain times, (and we can) make ourselves a little more available so that people in that region wouldn’t have to run up to Rumford.”

Two new board members, Natalie Sneller of Canton and Charlie Maddaus of Sumner, were in attendance. Sneller replaces Faith Campbell, who was unable to attend meetings, and Maddaus is replacing member Martha Sheldon, whose term has expired.

In other business, the board voted to increase wages for educational technicians and substitute teachers.

“As of Jan. 1, we’re looking at a change of minimum wage, and so what we were paying at least for ed techs wasn’t necessarily going to fit the new minimum wage requirement,” Alden said.

Business Manager Mary Dailey presented information to the board and explained that a “substitute teacher with only one year of college would be making under the proposed rate (of) $65 a day and would have to be hired on an emergency-only basis because subs are supposed to have at least two years of college.”

Substitute teachers with two or more years of college under the proposed pay rate would receive $70 a day, and certified substitute teachers would be paid $85 a day.

Dailey noted that the rates meet the minimum wage requirements because RSU 10 subs work seven hours per day at $9 an hour, or $63 per day.

Board member Jeremy Volkernik said he thought substitutes should be paid a flat rate rather than an hourly rate.

“Somebody has to pay for this, and it’s the taxpayers who will have to foot the bill,” Volkernik said.

“We need subs; they are vital,” said board member Barbara Chow. She said the RSU needs to be competitive with other schools in terms of substitute pay.

The board approved a three-day trip to Quebec City in May for MVHS and Dirigo High School students. DHS French teacher Mary Kaubris and MVHS French teacher Marie Russell presented information about the trip to the board.

The board also approved a ski trip to Jackson, New Hampshire, for the DHS ski team.

Ski team coach Ann Speth and student Lily Meehan spoke about the trip, which would be potentially two days over Christmas break, but not overnight, Speth said.

The board also voted to hire longtime substitute school nurse Nicole Pinkham as a full-time nurse at Meroby Elementary School. Her position is shared with MVHS.

Others new hires include:

• Kelly Lyons, special education ed tech III, Dirigo High School;

• Rochelle Soohey, title 1 ed tech III, Dirigo Elementary School;

• Jennifer Sanford, driver, Pennacook Learning Center; and

• Brianne Johnston, special education ed tech III, Dirigo Elementary School.

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