SAD 61 board notes: Another leadership change as Jaronczyk named SLS assistant principal

Mark Jaronczyk, new assistant principal at Songo Locks School, replacing Elizabeth Peavey. (Rivet Photos)

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

The reshaping of SAD 61’s leadership team continues.

Elisabeth Peavey will resign, effective June 30, as assistant principal at Songo Locks School in Naples. She will become the new assistant principal at Raymond Elementary School.

“Raymond is really lucky to get her. We are sad to see her (Beth) go,” said Al Smith, SAD 61’s superintendent of schools. “She has done a terrific job for our district.”

Mark Jaronczyk will be the new SLS assistant principal. He was a unanimous selection for the post, and was in attendance at the board’s meeting held at Songo Locks Monday night. Twenty-one people applied for the job, and seven were interviewed.

Presently, Jaronczyk is the assistant principal at Windham Middle School. He was a teacher at Oxford Elementary School for a year before accepting the Windham M.S. position in July 2011.

Jaronczyk earned a bachelor’s of arts in Sociology from the University of California (Los Angeles) in 1996 and a master’s of Art Education and a minor in Educational Psychology at California State University (Long Beach) in 2001.

He pursued Assistant Building Administrator certificate coursework at St. Joseph’s College in Standish in 2009.

SAD 61 lost Vocational Center Director Rosie Schacht (25 years) and Lake Region High School Assistant Principal Guy Stickney (18 years) to retirement.

Board Chairman Janice Barter followed by recognizing the hard work and dedication shown by administrative assistant to the Central Office/School Board Cathy Gerrish, who will retire this month after 33 years.

In other school board news:

Chance to comment. Landowners abutting the Songo Locks School property and the general public are invited to a public information meeting regarding parking expansion at the school site.

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 5 at 6 p.m. at SLS.

As part of the DEP application process, an engineer will give a brief overview of the project and answer questions.

KYLIE COHOON, a fifth grader at Sebago Elementary School, shows off her artwork, which was purchased by the school district to be part of its permanent art collection.

Mission accomplished. Walter Ridlon couldn’t hide his passion and pride when talking about Lake Region Vocational Center’s first Agricultural Fair.

The one-day fair this spring lured over 80 vendors and created awareness of the importance of agriculture to between 900 to 1,000 district students, grades 3 through high school.

Ridlon told directors that when he and LRVC Director Rosie Schacht sat down to plan and organize the fair, the first order of business was developing a mission statement.

The goal: to bring awareness regarding agricultural-related careers and jobs available in Maine.

To make contacts with vendors, Ridlon attended the Maine Agricultural Trade Show in Augusta and also hooked up with those vendors attending Maine’s fairs, including the Blue Ribbon Classic in Fryeburg, the Fryeburg Fair.

While initially the Agricultural Fair was slated for the fall, Ridlon realized quickly that those vendors he was hoping to draw to LRVC would be either tired or unavailable after taking part in the busy state fair tour.

So, he moved the fair to the spring.

One vendor — Wolf’s Neck of Freeport — happened to see the Agricultural Fair announcement on the school’s digital sign and inquired. Ridlon told the vendor that the date had been moved to spring.

Word was getting around. What excited Ridlon and students was the variety of exhibits — from a portable saw mill to the Moo Milk Mobile — the fair managed to draw. If LRVC is to put on a second agricultural fair, Ridlon’s goal is to keep bringing in “fresh ideas” to perk student interest. He credited a number of volunteers — from LRVC law enforcement students who assisted with directing vendors to assigned spots to LRVC’s culinary art students who whipped up breakfast items for attendees — who helped him “pull off” a successful fair.

CALIE SOUCY, a senior at Lake Region High School, displays her art piece, entitled "The Watcher," which joins SAD 61's permanent collection.

Signs of improvement. To measure improvement, LRVC students undergo program assessment testing in the fall and spring.

For the most part, students took the testing seriously — Walter Ridlon, who collected the data, told directors that a small number of students “blew it off” and turned in their tests within five minutes — and gave LRVC officials a good indication on learning progress.

Ridlon presented the following results:

Health Occupation, all students successfully passed their Maine State Board of Nursing certified nursing assistant (CNA) exam.

Fire Science, all students earned their certification. The class had an average improvement score of 21.4%.

Construction, all students improved their scores, average improvement score of 15.1%.

Culinary, all students in the morning class improved their scores, average improvement of 5.6%. In the afternoon class, 85.7% of students improved their scores. Two students didn’t improve.

EMT, all students that took the final improved their scores, an amazing 43.1%.

Law enforcement, 87.5% of students in both morning and afternoon classes improved their scores. Four students had scores that were lower than the fall assessment. The two classes combined had a class average improvement of 5.6%.

Business, 85.7% improved their scores. Only two students had scores that were lower than the fall assessment. The ones that did improve had an average improvement score of 4.5%.

Diversified Occupations, 88.4% either improved their scores or stayed the same. Three students had scores that were lower than the fall assessment. Average improvement, 6.2%.

Automotive, 96.8% of the morning students improved on the four sections of the Automotive Service Excellence exam. Out of a total of 32 tests, 31 tests illustrated an improvement. 92.5% of the afternoon students improved. Out of 40 tests, 37 tests illustrated improvement.

“This is amazing. 92.6% of the students improved,” Ridlon said.

Of all the students Ridlon tested, only 12 scored lower than the fall. He suspects half of those students did not take the assessment seriously.

Where federal dollars are going. The name has changed, but federal dollars will continue to help SAD 61 keep class sizes manageable and provide support for teachers.

Assistant Superintendent Pat Hayden gave a brief overview of where ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Funds are used here.

Hayden explained that the No Child Left Behind Act has been renamed ESSA. One shift in the federal program has been to allow states to identify areas of assessment. Maine has chosen graduation data and attendance numbers.

SAD 61 receives three forms of federal funds — Title 1, which assists disadvantaged students — socio-economic and/or having language issues — who struggle with math and reading; and Title 2, which assists in preparing and recruiting high quality teachers, principals and school leaders.

Hayden showed an overhead slide that listed what funds SAD 61 has received and will receive in each category:

Title 1 — $569,726 in 2016, $591,834 in 2017, and $598,288 in 2018. These funds will be used for support staff and supplies.

Title 2 — $92,857 in 2016, $90,930 in 2017, and $91,860 in 2018. These funds will be used at the elementary level to reduce class sizes, and the balance will be used for professional development.

The public is welcome to comment or make suggestions regarding how funding could be used before Hayden submits the district’s application to the federal government, the deadline is Aug. 1.

Comments and suggestions can be directed to Hayden by calling 647-3048 or by e-mail at

Welcome, Jon! Directors welcomed Jonathan Chappell as Bridgton’s new school board member. Chappell accepted the one-year post, receiving the most write-in votes.

Goodbye Mallory! Director Tom Hancock commended recent LR graduate Mallory Strain for her dedication and outspoken approach as the student body’s representative on the school board.

Before departing, Strain said, “I liked serving, I love Lake Region and I hope I contributed. And, I have a few suggestions.”

First, she reminded school board members it is not their job to give students diplomas, but their job is to give students an education. “There is a difference,” she said.

Secondly, she told directors to never underestimate the intelligence of the Lake Region student body. She encouraged the Curriculum Committee that every time they think they are asking too much from students, they should ask for more. Strain said the school needs more teachers like math instructor Barry Johnson, who refuses to lower standards, but rather looks to raise the bar and challenge students.

Finally, she felt directors should “pat themselves on the back” for always putting the best interest of students first.

Board leadership. Janice Barter of Naples will serve another year as chairman of the school board, while Karla Swanson-Murphy of Bridgton was elected vice chairman.

Members elected to the Finance Committee include Karen Elder of Bridgton, Karla Swanson-Murphy of Bridgton, Stan Buchanan of Casco, Tom Hancock of Casco and Phil Shane of Casco.

Personnel. Rachel Hubka was approved as a special education technician at Lake Region Middle School, replacing Nicholas Orgo, who resigned. There were six applicants, three were interviewed. Previously, she was a program technician in special education department and academic behavior intervention in grades 2-3 at Windham Primary School.

Derrek Schrader as a Day Treatment support technician at Songo Locks School, replacing Paul Maddocks. There were six applicants, three were interviewed. Previously, he was an actor, stage manager and properties master at the University of Maine Theatre/Dance Division.

Deborah Strong as a special education technician at Songo Locks School, replacing Kathy Winde, who is transferring to another position. There were six applicants, three were interviewed. Previously, she was a certified occupational therapy assistant at Holy Family Hospital, Center for Behavorial Medicine in Methuen, Mass.

Faith Halterman as a part-time permanent substitute from five days per week to three days per week at Stevens Brook Elementary.

Gretchen Audo as a part-time substitute for two days per week, replacing Faith Halterman.

Rachel Legere as a special education permanent substitute. There were three applicants, two were interviewed. Previously, she was owner and operator of Crooked ELM Childcare in Naples.

Resignation. Richard Doble as a head custodian at Songo Locks School, effective June 27.

Retirements. Elizabeth Craffey as a first grade teacher at Songo Locks School, effective the end of the school year.

Gordon McLaren as a custodian at Lake Region High School, effective June 5.

Years of service. At a previous board meeting, the school board held employee recognition. Staff members honored included:

Sebago Elementary

Michelle Willey, 10 years

Kathy Harmon, 35 years

Songo Locks School

Sandra McNeill, 15 years

Holly Tremblay, 15 years

Diane Geiser, 20 years

Shantelle Roberts, 20 years

Roxanne Mayhew, 25 years

Rosemarie Dyer, 30 years

Stevens Brook Elementary

Jessica Hunt, 10 years

Tammy Clark, 37 years (retiring)

Lake Region Middle School

Paula Boyce, 35 years

Linda Dutil, 18 years (retiring)

Richard Fox, 38 years (retiring)

Sandra Hamblin, 20 years (retiring)

Lake Region High School

Jennie Burnette, 10 years

Bruce Hilton, 20 years

J.R. Warren, 25 years

Brian Clark, 37 years (retiring)

Linda Freese, 23 years (retiring)

Paul Greenstone, 13 years (retiring)

Faye Levasseur, 35 years (retiring)

Judy Morin, 32 years (retiring)

Brook Sulloway, 7 years (retiring)

Guy Stickney, 18 years (retiring)

Lake Region Vocational Center

John Mayo, 25 years

Jeannette Vanidestine, 40 years (retiring)


Rebecca Cross, Central Office, 10 years

Madelyn Litz, Adult Ed director, 10 years

Andrew Madura, director of Transportation, Facilites and Food Service, 35 years.

Also recognized were:

Susan Shea, SBES, master’s of science in Education, University of Maine at Farmington, Early Childhood, June 2017.

Margaret Thornton, LRMS, certificate of advanced study, University of Southern Maine, Educational Leadership, May 2017.

Joseph Dorner, LRHS, master’s of science in Education, University of New England, Curriculum and Instructional Strategies, December 2016.

Jamie Riel, master’s of science in Education, University of Southern Maine, Educational Leadership, May 2017.

Sandra Arris, master’s degree.

School board members receiving the Lamp of Knowledge plaque for six years of service were Cynthia LeBlanc and Karla Swanson-Murphy, both of Bridgton.

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