Mountain Valley High School Principal Tom Danylik, left, speaks Monday to the Regional School Unit 10 board of directors at the high school in Rumford. He said an additional science teacher is needed at the school due to “a huge increase in class sizes.” Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — Ross Chicoine of Rumford was hired Monday as interim assistant principal for Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico, effective Jan. 16.

The decision by the Regional School Unit 10 board of directors followed an executive session.

Chicoine has been teaching Special Education classes at the middle school and working on his certification in administration over the past three years, Superintendent Deb Alden said Tuesday.

Former Vice Principal Chris Brennick resigned from the position last fall and is working in the Special Education Department, mostly at the middle school, Alden said.

In other business, Alden said the district received waivers from the Maine Department of Education for school cancellations Oct. 26 and 27 because of the Oct. 25 mass shooting in Lewiston.

The district has used four cancellation days or storm days, which means that as of now the last day of school would be June 14, Alden said.


“We’ve been committed to not going past June 18 and so that gives us two more traditional storm days. And then our plan was to do remote learning days,” Alden said.

The district also canceled school Dec. 19 through the 21 because of the severe wind and rainstorm that clobbered areas of the state.

Alden said she has not yet heard from the Department of Education regarding whether those dates will be automatically waived, and she thought directors should wait to see how the department will handle those three days before deciding how the days should be accounted for.

“The only thing I’ll say to that is when they are waived, that’s just less days kids have school,” she said. “But I do think we’ve been committed to not going past June 18, so I think if you stay in line with that (we should be OK),” she said.

In other news, the district will put off the groundbreaking date “a little longer” for the new $92 million Mountain Valley Middle School building in Mexico to allow more planning time, Alden said.

The land behind Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico is prepared Jan. 4 for the new $92 million Mountain Valley Community School for prekindergarten to eighth grades. The groundbreaking for construction will move back to allow more planning time, Regional School Unit 10 Superintendent Deb Alden told directors Monday. The Submitted photo

The land behind the middle school in Mexico is being prepared for the new Mountain Valley Community School building construction. Two small storage sheds, an outdoor track and track lighting have been demolished and removed to prepare for construction, Brian Carrier, the district’s technology director, said Tuesday.


The school will serve more than 1,000 students in prekindergarten through eighth grade. It will replace the middle and elementary schools in Mexico and the Rumford Elementary School. It’s expected to open in August 2025.

In another matter, Mountain Valley High School Principal Tom Danylik and Athletic Director Jeff Pelletier presented their ideas for new staff positions for next school year.

Danylik said an additional science teacher is needed at MVHS due to “a huge increase in class sizes.”

Pelletier said implementing a varsity indoor track program “would help support our outdoor track program.”

Pelletier also said a stipend-paid coach position for Unified Basketball at the middle school is needed. The high school has a coach for its Unified Basketball Special Olympics program and “our numbers are great; our participation is awesome,” he said about the Special Olympics program at the school.

In another matter, Director Abbey Rice of Rumford sent her letter of resignation, effective immediately.

Chairman Greg Buccina of Rumford read Rice’s letter, which said her reason for resigning is that she will be applying for a staff position in the school district and if she is selected, she will need the board’s approval to be allowed to take the position.

If Rice isn’t hired for the position she may run again for the board in June, Buccina said.

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