TURNER — School Administrative District 52 directors heard Thursday about an upcoming community event on suicide prevention and awareness that Superintendent Kimberly Brandt said was organized after the high school lost a student about a month ago.

The Hope & Help presentation at 6 p.m. Monday at Leavitt Area High School will be led by Greg Marley, the clinical director at the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It’s open to parents and adolescent students.

“They’ll be coming to listen to community members and talk about important things we need to think about to keep our children safe,” Brandt said. “It’s horribly sad and very upsetting because everybody thinks, ‘What more can we do?” which is a good, natural response, but what we are doing is we’re doing this community presentation and we are looking at our protocols in response to tragedies to make sure we have everything in place we need to.”

In other business at the school board meeting:

  • Members continue to work through the budget proposal for the next year in a line-by-line review, aiming for a final proposed budget next month.
  • Brandt told members that high school Principal Eben Shaw is a finalist for the Maine Principals’ Association annual Principal of the Year award.
  • Working with Shaw, trustees of Leavitt Institute for the first time gifted $300 each to 32 seniors who did well on reading and math SAT scores and Maine Educational Assessment science scores. Funds can be used for secondary education or workforce expenses, whatever the student’s next step is.

“It could buy a Chromebook if they needed that for college, or one child was going to buy scrubs because she’s going to go into nursing,” Brandt said. “Eben said students were so excited about it.”

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