Telstar High School will graduate 37 students in June. An exact date for graduation will be determined at the end of May. submitted photo

REGION — Telstar Middle and High School Principal Mark Kenney spoke via Zoom at Monday’s School Board meeting, describing event planning for the senior class of 2020.

One of the first projects was displaying posters of each senior on the edge of the Telstar parking lot. The posters have been there for a couple of weeks.

Seniors have also been recognized daily on Facebook, Kenney said.

Kenney said the school is working on both in-person and virtual celebrations to try and keep the upcoming graduation week “as normal as possible.”

“Scholarship Night” will be held virtually Tuesday night of graduation week. Channel 11 is going to help broadcast the event, according to Kenney.

For Wednesday of graduation week Kenney said they are looking into holding a public gathering, where the town can come support the students.

“Coming Together,” will be held on Thursday, with all students and some members of the administration showing up in-person at the auditorium.

Kenney said he is working with the school nurse, Christine Cole, and is also following state guidelines in terms of social distancing. Masks have been ordered for all teachers, students and administration who will be participating.

The school is working with Sunday River Ski Resort President Dana Bullen regarding graduation events on Friday. The school wants to do a “version of their own drive-in” for graduation, Kenney said.

Superintendent Dave Murphy asked how the school will be able to coordinate holding “Coming Together” in-person.

“Since our graduating class only has 37 students, along with the film crew and administration, we believe we can stay under 50 people,” Kenney said. “The big thing they really want to have is to be together to watch their slideshow. They’ve looked forward to this the whole time they’ve been in school.”

Kenney also said that students would be spread throughout the auditorium at a distance of six feet and that all of them will be masked.

The event will be broadcasted live for those who will not be able to attend, according to Kenney.

Kenney said the school is trying to organize a senior class assembly also. The assembly would only be for students, administration and teachers that want to present. To limit the crowd size, teachers interested in presenting would have to come in one at a time and make their presentations at the podium.

“It gives them a chance to wear their caps and gowns a few times and to be in the building again,” Kenney said.

“We’re working out the final details and making sure we’re following all the guidelines,” he added.

More precise information on graduation week, like dates of the events, will be announced at the end of the month, according to Murphy.

In other news, Region 9 Director Norm Clanton reported that the budget vote and Region 9 meeting was scheduled on Wednesday, May 13 at the Region building in Mexico.

The meeting was planned a drive-in gathering, with people parked in the school parking lot. People voted from their vehicles and a wireless microphone was there for people to ask questions.

Clanton said the board meeting would occur immediately afterward in the parking lot. He said he would try and keep the meeting as brief as possible.

Other business

Murphy announced his intention to retire at the end of the school year, effective June 30.

He is willing to continue working full time for the district, but cannot return until Aug. 1, due to state law, which requires that he take a 30-day separation before returning to service.

“It’s been an honor to spend the better part of my career here,” Murphy said.

Murphy has been working in SAD 44 since 1984 and has been superintendent the last 18 years.

“You work hard everyday to make real time decisions that benefit us and keep us safe,” a TMS eighth grader wrote in a letter to Murphy. “Thank you for being the best superintendent we’ve ever had. You care about every single teacher and student in SAD 44.”

Dean of TMS Lindsey Luetje read the eighth graders’ letter to board members and other staff over Zoom.

Murphy received praise from board members also.

“I want to say I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Dave. I know how much he cares about the school,” Board Chair Bonnie Largess said.

Largess has worked with Murphy on the board the past 13 years.

“I was on the board when Dave came to SAD 44 to apply for a job. I voted for him and I have never regretted it,” member Sheryl Morgan (Woodstock) said.

The board unanimously accepted Murphy’s letter announcing his retirement.

The school also got its third full plate grant award. The grant was for $1,000. The two previous grants the school received were for $750.

 


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