Riley Colby, a 1999 graduate of Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, speaks Monday to the Regional School Unit 10 board of directors at the school. Colby thanked directors for their responses to negative remarks about gender identity and education made at an Aug. 22 meeting. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

BUCKFIELD — Regional School Unit 10 hired Carolyn ‘Carrie’ Luce as its new principal for Rumford Elementary School, following an executive session Monday at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School.

Luce will begin Oct. 31, succeeding Jill Bartash who resigned in August to become curriculum coordinator for the Oxford Hills School District in Paris.

Luce has been the principal at Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay since July 2020. Prior to that, she was a Social Studies teacher at Skowhegan Area Middle School.

In another matter, Riley Colby, a 1999 graduate of Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, was the only public speaker to address the board Monday.

Colby, a transgender woman, spoke during the March 28 board meeting on the need for inclusion and validation in schools for LGBTQ students.

She said Monday that she attended the school board meeting Aug. 22 and heard other public commentators call people like her “a waste of time and resources” and “the dumbing down of society.”


“I was astounded and somewhat angry, but I did not speak,” Colby said. “We have been subjected to listening to the same hate speech for too long. My ears and heart are tired, and I (think) that others are as well.”

She also offered her “deepest thank you” to the school board for their responses against negative remarks about gender identity and education some public commentators made during the meeting.

“A lot of the resources that are being challenged would have helped me immensely when I was in school and struggling trying to find myself,” she said. “These resources are steps forward in the right direction and hurt nobody yet help so many.

“When challenging these resources, they are not only saying that their kids can’t have them, but they are also saying that ours can’t,” Colby said.

In other business, the board voted to begin posting their recorded meetings on the RSU 10 website with a link to the recording on the district’s Facebook page.

In the past three years, the district has sporadically posted the meetings on Facebook. although not usually until the following day or week. However, board directors and members of the public who could not attend the meetings in person have access to Zoom links, allowing them to view the meetings and communicate with the board as the meetings are in progress.


Director Janet Brennick and Bonnie Child, both of Mexico, said they thought it was better not to post the meetings on the RSU Facebook page.

“We offer for people to personally come to our meeting; we offer a Zoom link so they can view the meeting if they can’t come, I don’t think it’s necessary to record it and post it (on Facebook) any longer,” Brennick said.

Child added that people who are interested in finding out more about the meetings can read the minutes for the meeting.

Directors Joel Chapman of Sumner and Allison Long of Buckfield expressed a strong desire to keep the video recordings as accessible as possible.

“I believe that it provides a level of accountability both for the public and for us in terms of being able go back in, review not only what was said but the tone and the manner which that information was conveyed,” Chapman said.

“Looking around on Facebook also, things (comments online) get twisted, what happened at the board meeting gets twisted and I think it’s really great to have (the video) up so that people can look at exactly what was said and what was discussed at the meeting,” Long said.

In another matter, the board of directors approved the first reading of a policy on the public’s participation.

Brennick said changes made by the committee revising the policy include enforcing a three-minute time limit for each speaker, limiting comments agenda items and defining public speakers.

“We also added that the public is defined as residents or taxpayers of the community served by the school unit, or immediate family members of enrolled students or employees of the school unit,” she said.

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