JAY — The Spruce Mountain High School Outdoor Club received permission from Regional School Unit 73 Board of Directors Thursday, April 28, for a canoe trip on Moose River in Jackman.

“This is a repeat of a trip that we took last year,” Athletic Director Marc Keller said. Four staff members, his daughter — who is a student at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington — and 15 SMHS students went, he said.

The cost for the trip is $75 per student.

“We started here on a Saturday, did some meal preparation,” Keller said. “The kid’s got to know the equipment that they would be using, did some dry land canoe strokes.”

The group left on a Monday last year and did some walking as there wasn’t much water in the river, Keller said. “A lot of the rifts we would normally run we didn’t get a chance to.” It looks like there will be more water this year, he noted.

This year, participants will spend Saturday, June 25, at the school, leave on June 26 and return the 29th, Keller said.


“I remember you talked about this last year,” Director Phoebe Pike said. “It is such a wonderful experience for the kids. I think it is wonderful to get the kids out in nature, just having a good time, building experiences and memories. I love this idea.”

Director Patrick Milligan was at the school during the training last year. “It was absolutely great,” he said. “It was canoes out in the field, kids going through their gear, packing down their food, putting it into smaller bags.

“This wasn’t just a canoe trip, this was an adventure like getting ready for an episode of Bear Grylls,” he noted. “I really appreciate the effort that goes into this. It is not just we are canoeing. It’s a whole thing.”

SMHS Principal TJ Plourde said he would be going again this year.

“This is a lifelong activity that kids can continue and teach their own kids,” Board of Directors Chairman Robert Staples said.

The trip is open to incoming freshmen, and is a good opportunity to become part of the school, Keller said.


Director Joel Pike asked if there was a mechanism in place for students who don’t have the money for the trip.

Last year a woman reached out, wanted to sponsor a student, Keller said. It wasn’t needed then but is an option this year, he noted. A statewide program, Teens to Trails, has twice provided Keller with $500 for equipment purchases and leftover money could also be used, he added.

Students are aware help is available if needed, Keller said.

It looks like you have a pretty well set up list, Director Andrew Sylvester said.

In other business, Vice Chair Robin Beck thanked all three school district communities for passing the district’s budget. “If you want to draw in people with money, you have to have good schools,” she noted.

Transportation Director Norma Jackman said the district could use bus monitors, as it does not have any.


Two-year contract renewals were approved for:

• Section 504 Coordinator Tina Collins

• Spruce Mountain Primary School Principal Michael Glynn

• Curriculum and Technology Coordinator Chris Hollingsworth

• SMHS Athletic Director Marc Keller

• SMHS Principal TJ Plourde

• Spruce Mountain Middle School Principal Carolyn Luce

• Spruce Mountain Elementary School Principal Patrick St. Clair

• Special Services Director Cherie Parker

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