STRONG — Mt. Abram High School students got the OK from Regional School Unit 58 directors Thursday to start an after-school arts club.

Student Bradley Frost said the club would provide an opportunity for feedback from other artists.

Student Serena Sitz said the club would offer more time for individual art projects beyond the time in a traditional classroom setting.

Meetings, they said, would be semimonthly after school, and students could go home on the late bus.

Art teacher Stephan Mitman said 22 students came to the preliminary meeting to learn about the club, and there was enough interest to move forward with the request.  

“I expect approximately a dozen students would be regular participants,” he said.  


Mitman will be the club’s facilitator.

In other board matters, the board approved of 40 students in French language classes traveling to Montreal on Memorial Day weekend. Instructor Francois Moretto showed slides of some of the historic destinations in the itinerary.

A highlight of the trip will be a visit to the Biosphere environmental museum, the former United States pavilion for the 1967 World’s Fair. Students are responsible for their own costs, which include meals, lodging and chaperones.

Strong Elementary School Principal Felecia Pease received a standing ovation from the board and audience in appreciation of her 38 years in education. She is retiring at the end of the school year.

Mary Stinchfield, the school’s secretary, is also retiring and has worked for the district a little longer than Pease.

Superintendent Susan Pratt read both resignation letters.


Under Pease’s guidance, the elementary school was recognized for being in the top 10 percent of schools nationwide in 2005 by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Schools were selected based on test scores and other performance standards.

In 2011, the school was selected as one of the two National Title I Distinguished Schools for 2011. More than 400 schools nationwide applied for the recognition, which has been awarded annually based on student scores on standardized math and reading tests over the previous three years. 

In other matters, Mt. Abram High School guidance counselor Ben Milster offered his advice on a board policy to address the difficult decisions a school must make when recognizing students who have died. Although students may have died from natural causes, illness or accidents, others may have taken their lives, he said, which does not diminish the thoughts and feelings of classmates, staff, family and the community, Milster noted.

The board accepted his recommendation for policy wording that addresses appropriate methods of recognition, regardless of the cause of a student’s death.

The board also selected Phillips Elementary School special education teacher Casey McMullin as the district’s Employee of the Month.

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