BETHEL — Superintendent Dave Murphy announced Monday night that Abbie Richardson is School Administrative District 44’s new athletic trainer. She will begin Dec. 3.

“From a personal point of view as your superintendent, I have really thought that an athletic trainer is an essential position for our students,” Murphy told the school board Monday evening. “More and more school districts across the state have them.”

The district budgeted for the full-time position and advertised it through the summer and fall. Richardson contacted Murphy a few weeks ago after finding the job on the university’s website.

“She is very excited about coming to SAD 44,” Murphy said.

She is a recent graduate of the University of New England.

“Having an athletic trainer, basically it’s not just sitting on sidelines and taping up people when they get hurt,” Murphy said. “It’s making sure they’re OK, it’s checking for concussions these days. It’s also working with the kids in between games and during the season and making those connections.”

Board member Danny Whitney asked if she would travel with the teams.

Telstar Middle and High School Principal Mark Kenney said Richardson will primarily be used for home games, but there may be a chance she is used on the road.

Board member Sarah DeCato asked if Richardson has a required state license.

Murphy said she will not be able to start work until she does.

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