Principal Troy Eastman of Buckfield Junior-Senior High School speaks Monday about extended learning opportunities during a meeting of the Regional School Unit 10 board of directors at the Buckfield school. The program for high school students is funded by grants from the Maine Department of Education and Jobs for Maine Graduates. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

BUCKFIELD — Rumford Elementary School Principal Carrie Luce will become principal of Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico on July 1, Superintendent Deb Alden told Regional School Unit 10 directors Monday evening

Luce will succeed Cheryl Gurney, who resigned April 10 after nearly a year in the position. Gurney had been assistant principal at the school since 2012.

Gurney is on family medical leave and “doesn’t want to be an administrator next year,” Alden said in an email Tuesday.

Alden also announced that Jodi Ellis, principal at Meroby Elementary School in Mexico, will serve as principal this fall for Meroby and Rumford elementary schools. The district is seeking an assistant principal for those schools.

The two schools will close when Mountain Valley Community School in Mexico opens in August 2025. The new school is planned for the site of Mountain Valley Middle School at 58 Highland Terrace and Meroby Elementary School at 21 Cross St., both in Mexico. It would serve more than 1,000 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade. The estimated cost of the building project is $91.8 million.

In another matter at the meeting held at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School, Alden told directors that representatives from the town of Mexico have asked if the board would consider leaving the middle school building “as is, on the site it is,” rather than demolish it after the district no longer needs it.


“If we plan to not use it then (Mexico) would have first dibs at using it, and they would be interested in using it to replace some of their office buildings and space,” Alden said.

She also said the district would save $625,000 to $650,000 in demolition and asbestos abatement work.

Alden plans to ask the new school’s architect about the possibility of returning rubber-floor tiling and a backup heating system to the plans in consideration of savings and the timeframe for the building, she said.

In other business, Bethany Meehan-Poulin was appointed assistant director of Special Services for the upcoming school year following an executive session, Alden said Tuesday by email.

Meehan-Poulin has served as a special education coordinator for the district for the past two years. “We have 525 students identified with special needs and most districts our size have two administrators,” Alden said.

In other news, Buckfield Junior-Senior High School Principal Troy Eastman told directors about extended learning opportunities funded by grants from the Maine Department of Education and Jobs for Maine Graduates for students at the high school and in school districts in 13 Maine counties.

“The extended learning opportunities are hands-on, and the big deal is that they are credit-bearing courses,” Eastman said about the program. “If somebody has a passion or interest and it may not fit into one of our traditional classes,” the extended learning opportunities program is a way for students to get into the community and learn from people in business.

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