LIVERMORE FALLS — At their meeting Thursday, the Regional School Unit 73 board of directors approved a cooperative high school wrestling program between Spruce Mountain and Mt. Blue high schools.

The board heard a presentation from Spruce Mountain High School Athletic Director Marc Keller, who said a freshman boy at the school was looking to participate on Mt. Blue High School’s wrestling team. The problem, said Keller, was that the boy wouldn’t be able to score in meets or qualify for tournaments unless there was a cooperative agreement between the two schools.

RSU 9’s board has yet to consider the proposal, RSU 73 board members noted.

“Basically, what it boils down to is we would create a cooperative team called Mt. Blue-Spruce Mountain at no cost to the district,” said Keller. He said the boy’s parents would transport him to and from practices.

He added that if other students were interested in participating in the future, “we’ll have to look at sharing the cost of a coach.” If it is the same student who participates, then the current cooperative agreement would continue.

Board member Dale LeBlanc asked about busing costs if parents didn’t want to transport students to practices. Superintendent Kenneth Healey said the cost would be roughly $500, although he didn’t have an exact figure.

District librarian Amy Ryder reported that the libraries at RSU 73 schools were recently awarded a $50,000 grant through the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation to purchase updated high-quality books and reference sources in the areas of culture, countries and history. Once the books are purchased, she said, the library staff will promote the new titles in all the schools to ensure students and teachers use them in teaching and learning as well as for personal information.

The work teachers put in to help Spruce Mountain High School students is paying off with higher SAT scores, noted SMHS senior Alexa Harmatys.

“From the students’ perspective, what helped me with the SATs was taking more challenging classes and getting one-on-one help from the teachers,” she said. “Teachers are willing to stay after school or come in early to make sure we learn the material we need to learn.”

Spruce Mountain High School teacher Michelle Brann said the school had the highest percentage of students who exceeded the academic standards in all three subject areas among area schools. SMHS students also scored above the state average, she said.

“We worked a lot to make sure it’s part of the culture,” she said.

In other business, the board

• Approved a trip to Florida by the high school softball team during April vacation. The trip will be at no cost to RSU 73; and

• Set a date of Thursday, Nov. 9, for the next school board meeting. It takes place at 6 p.m. at the Superintendent’s Office.

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RSU 73 Superintendent’s Office. (File photo)

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