Maine State Police Trooper Jason Wing trains Maine School Administrative District 58 staff on how to respond to shooters and other threats in schools. Mt. Abram Regional High School in Salem Township has received the first Non-Violent School Award from the Uvalde Foundation for Kids in recognition of its proactive approach to school safety. Mt. Abram Regional High School photo

SALEM TOWNSHIP — People of Mt. Abram Regional High School — and Maine School Administrative District 58 at large — have been training hard for a situation they hope never happens.

School officials have been training specifically to deal with shooters or other threats within the schools.

The training known as ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate, is led by Maine State Police Trooper Jason Wing.

High school Principal Tim Richards, who has been an educator for 36 years and has participated in this kind of training before, wants as many school officials as possible to get in on it.

“We’re including the entire district, so the elementary schools and middle school are involved,” Richards said. “And we also invited Eustis and Rangeley to come down and do the training with us.” 

MSAD 58 includes Phillips, Avon, Kingfield and Strong. There are two elementary schools, a middle school and the high school serving 580 students, about 183 of them from the unorganized territories of Madrid, Salem and Freeman townships and tuitioned from Eustis, Carrabassett Valley, Highland Plantation and Coplin Plantation.


Maine State Police Trooper Jason Wing leads staff in an introduction to ALICE training — which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate — the original civilian active shooter response education, delivered with a trauma-informed approach. This is a research-based method, designed to save lives in the event of an active threat incident. Mt. Abram Regional High School photo

Richards and Superintendent Todd Sanders engage in this kind of training so passionately because they want to keep students and staff safe. That’s the bottom line. Now, they also have a national citation to show for their efforts.

The Uvalde Foundation for Kids announced that Mt. Abram Regional High School is the recipient of its first Non-Violent School Award. 

“Mt Abram Regional High School, through proactive measures to ensure student safety — such as their most recent ALICE training, the original civilian active shooter response education, coupled with their ongoing focus on prevention of school violence and student well-being — serves as an example for schools across the nation to follow,” according to a news release from the foundation. 

The nonprofit foundation was formed in response to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in May 2022.

Recipients of the Non-Violent School Alliance Award will receive financial stipends to help them to expand safety programs.  

Richards said he has always taken a personal interest in the latest safety training, as have most school districts across the nation in recent decades. And staying on top of that training is important because philosophies are always changing. 


In the aftermath of the Columbine shooting in 1999, the emphasis was on sheltering in place. But that mindset has since changed and schools who continue training know to roll with those changes. 

“It used to be shelter in place and hide,” Richards said. “Now it’s get out if you can. Get out and run. I’m oversimplifying it, but that’s what it boils down to.” 

Richards is also involved with a Northern Franklin County School Safety Committee, using grant money for whatever is deemed necessary to improve school safety, be it radios, cameras or specialty doors. 

“What needs to be done,” the principal said, “there’s some grant money there.” 

On March 17, after a lot of sit-down ALICE training, the school will get active training, where participants are brought through various scenarios they might one day face if a threat comes to them. That training is expected to be an all-day event when no students are in the school.

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