PARIS — The assistant superintendent of School Administrative District 17 told the board of directors Monday night there is a growing shortage of teachers for social studies and physical education at the middle and high schools.

“It’s a little troubling,” Patrick Hartnett said.

Hartnett made a presentation on teacher recruitment and hiring trends, saying teacher shortages in areas such as mathematics and special education in the district and nationwide are not new. But, he said, areas such as social studies, physical education, early childhood and early elementary education indicate a new trend that is backed up by data from Maine colleges that are graduating fewer teachers.

The turnover rate is also a consideration as districts vie for a limited number of available and qualified teachers.

SAD 17 has about 20 vacancies across the eight-town district.

Hartnett said the Oxford Hills School District is addressing the issue in several ways, including a nationwide trend to “grow your own” teachers. The idea is to identify individuals with potential, such as educational technicians who work in the system, to assist them in getting certified as teachers.


In other matters, the board approved hiring Doug Kilmister as principal of Rowe Elementary School in Norway. He succeeds Dan Hart, who plans to retire at the end of this school year.

Kilmister is a former teacher and elementary school principal at schools in New Hampshire, and served in educational roles in Colombia and Nicaragua. He has a master’s degree in education from Harvard University.

The board also approved:

• Contracts for school principals, assistant principals and the director of athletics, among others.

• Wendy Coffey-Slattery as grade six teacher at Oxford Elementary School, Allison Pike as grade six teacher at Oxford Elementary School, and Savannah Sessions at kindergarten to grade six librarian.

• Field trips to Camp Susan Curtis in Stoneham on June 11 for sixth-graders at Guy E. Rowe Elementary School, and to Boston on June 5 for fifth-graders at Oxford Elementary School.

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