Last Thursday, the Maine Principal’s Association announced that all Maine high school spring sports would be cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Pictured here is Telstar’s upper baseball field. Usually filled with ball players throughout April and May, this year the field and dugouts will be empty. Bethel Citizen photo Samuel Wheeler

BETHEL — Board members Monday, through a roll call vote via Zoom, unanimously approved the nomination of Ashley Savage as a fourth grade teacher at Crescent Park School to a First Probationary contract, which will be effective at the start of 2020-2021 school year.

Savage attended CPS and is a 2016 graduate of Telstar High School.

Murphy said multiple candidates were interested in the position, but that the conclusion was that Savage was the best fit.

Savage was doing her student teaching through the University of Maine at Farmington at the middle school with Tamara Davis, up until a few week ago.

Savage is graduating from UMF this spring with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education.

Superintendent Dave Murphy said he spoke with Savage’s supervisor, who oversees all the student teaching at UMF, and that he gave a great review of Savages work.

CPS Principal, Tanya Arsenault, and a team of people, interviewed  three candidates for the job and recommended Savage. Murphy said he has also met with Savage.

“I think she is going to be a fantastic addition to CPS and to the district as a whole,” Murphy said.

Savage has worked summer school ed tech over in RSU 10, she has  done some substitute teaching while in between her student teaching  stints at Buckfield Middle/High School, Strong Elementary in RSU 56 , Dirigo Elementary School and most recently Telstar Middle School.

“She was a very active and positive contributor to our class when she was at Telstar and she was highly recommended by everyone we spoke too,” Murphy said of Savage.

Other business

In his superintendents report, Murphy announced that between seven and eight thousand meals have been prepared and distributed to MSAD 44 students. The meals are being distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with enough meals being provided to cover the following day/days.

The school has been working with the Bethel Area Neighborhood Response team (BANR).

“Throughout the district everybody has been pulling together and we are all very fortunate,” Murphy said.

Murphy said the school received a $750 donation toward their food service efforts through a Full Plate grant opportunity. The school has been invited to reapply for another grant every two weeks, for up to $1,000.

Murphy also said he has been working with the Department of Education, Community Concepts and The River Fund to try and set up WiFi hot spots for students who do not have internet service.

Murphy said an estimated 10-15 percent of students do not have proper access to internet services.

Murphy said the hot spots arrived last Friday and that they started being delivered on Monday.

In regards to the SAD 44 public budget meeting, Murphy said that it will likely have to be pushed back until June, because the meeting has to be held in person. No decision has been made on an exact date yet.

The 2020-2021 School Year Calendar was unanimously approved by board members.

The calendar is done in cooperation with many other school districts, as required by state, according to Murphy.

RSU 10, RSU 56 and SAD 44 worked together because all three schools have students attending Region 9. Since RSU 10 also has students at Region 11 at Oxford Hills, SAD 17, along with Region 11 and Region 9 are also part of the development process.

Murphy noted that due to the effectiveness of remote learning so far, snow days could become “a thing of the past.”

“We are experiencing some success with the learning right now,” Murphy said.

Murphy said discussion on eliminating snow days may continue during the next school year.


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