PARIS — Veteran School Administrative District 17 Director Ron Kugell was re-elected chairman of the board during Monday’s meeting.

Kugell, a 30-plus-year veteran of the school board and longtime chairman, has been a part of the district since 1961, teaching math and science and eventually serving as the Oxford Hills High School assistant principal from the mid-1970s until 1983.

“I appreciate your confidence (in me),” he told directors after the vote.

Donald Ware, another longtime board member, was unanimously re-elected as vice chairman.

The board also unanimously elected four board members to serve on the Finance Committee, as required by law. The board chairman sits on the Finance Committee, along with four elected members. Bob Jewell, Barry Patrie and Al Lisowski were re-elected, along with new member Lew Williams.

Debra Hertell was appointed voter registration clerk for the district meetings. The appointment is also required by law.


In other appointments, the board approved Superintendent Rick Colpitts’ nomination of Donald Thorne as principal of Hebron Station School under a first-year probationary contract and Kevin Ryan as the SAD 17 athletic director.

Thorne has been serving as assistant principal at the Rowe Elementary School in Norway.

Ryan comes from the Scituate, Rhode Island, school department, where he served as athletic director, health, physical education and adaptive physical education teacher and chairperson of the health/physical education department. He replaces Jeff Benson, who retired this year.

Colpitts told the board that the district will receive $1.05 million in additional state funding, but he has recommended that the Budget Committee meet to review how the money will be spent. The state has urged school districts to be patient while they sort out issues created by the additional funding that requires half of it to be used to lower local taxpayer costs for their schools.

The Budget Committee is expected to come back to the full board in late August or early September with a recommendation on how to use the additional money.

The board also voted to approve a one-year, recurring agreement between the district and the Hebron Historical Society to lease land at the Hebron Station School for $1 a year for the placement of a railroad building that will be moved from down the street. The society has been trying to preserve the vacant building that was threatened with demolition in its present site by the Hebron town garage.


The agreement is contingent on the society ensuring all lead paint is removed from the building before it is placed on school property and that it be maintained by the society and that the school not be liable for any issues with the building.

The board also heard a presentation by Scott Vlaun, executive director of Center for an Ecology-Based Economy, on a solar charging station.

The group has proposed placing a solar charging station on the school parking lot. Solar panels will generate solar energy for charging electric vehicles. It is expected to produce energy credits for the school district and will not cost the district anything.

The board accepted the system as a gift from an anonymous donor. The station includes solar panels and tracker and inverters all valued at approximately $45,000.

In other action, the board voted to authorize $473,153, including $10,590 in interest, for the total cost of a three-year lease agreement for the purchase of Chromebooks for students and staff. The lease is being financed through the Androscoggin Bank.

In other news, directors approved:


• The appointment of Philip Catanese and Christopher Titone as science teachers and Mercedes McClean-Wheeler, language arts teacher at Oxford Hills Middle School; Crystal Cochran, special ed teacher at Guy E. Rowe School; Lynne Pelletier, math teacher at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School; Pamela Marshall, grade five and six teacher at Otisfield Community School; Allison Kirby, grade five teacher at Oxford Elementary; and Kimberly Struck, elementary schoolwide counselor.

• The appointment of department heads, including Brewster Burns, English Department; Torrey Poland, math; Mike Morrill, science; John Pinto, social studies; Brandy Seames, special education; and Anne Smith, world languages.

• A total of 14 cocurricular assignment stipends, including class advisers, choral, band and orchestra, drama and National Honor Society.

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Ron Kugell, veteran School Administrative District 17 board of directors representative from Oxford, was unanimously elected chairman of the board by his fellow members at Monday night’s meeting.

Guy E. Rowe Assistant Principal Donald Thorne, pictured seated behind Rowe Elementary School Principal Daniel Hart, was appointed principal of the Hebron Station School at the School Administrative District 17 board of direcrtors meeting Monday night.

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