SAD 61 notes: Busy summer for students, teachers

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

While local schools may have looked quiet from the outside during summer vacation, there was plenty of activity going on inside the facilities.

SAD 61 Assistant Superintendent Pat Hayden provided an overview of programs to school board members Monday night at Lake Region Middle School.

First up was the Summer Kindergarten program. All three schools — Bridgton, Naples and Sebago — took part this year with 43 students (eight at Sebago Elementary, 15 at Stevens Brook and 20 at Songo Locks) enrolled.

From kindergarten screenings, students were selected based on having no prior preschool involvement or daycare socialization experience, and having scored low on a standardized test. Of the eligible students identified, 90% attended the three-week program, which was held July 31 through Aug. 17. Eight Kindergarten teachers worked with the students, who attended classes for four hours each morning, Monday through Thursday. SAD 61 provided bus transportation, and served breakfast and lunch.

Hayden said the program touched on school routines and expectations in hopes to set up youngsters for a “positive beginning to school.” There were weekly themes as students “explored outside” while also receiving literacy and math work.

Hayden plans to track student achievement to see if the program helps with early transition into the school system, charting results over a three-year period.

Next up was discussion regarding professional development work, which involved 56 teachers representing all grade levels, all content areas and all schools.

There was also a Skillful Teacher Training held over four days in August, worth three graduate credits. Fifteen people attended, focusing on proficiency and assessment strategies.

Joshua Sturk, the district’s technology director, also ran a Tech Institute for the 13th year, which had 24 participants.

Hayden said three key messages regarding expectations of students were emphasized — “This is important,” “You can do it,” and “I won’t give up on you.”

Hayden added a fourth — “It’s okay to make mistakes here.”

“Teachers need to know it is okay to make mistakes and that it is fine to ask for help. We need to let people know if they don’t understand things, there is help,” she said.

In other school board news:

Withdrawal proposal accepted. Superintendent Al Smith reported that the state’s Commissioner of Education has accepted the Sebago Withdrawal Agreement, and has set the Sebago vote on the issue for Election Day, Nov. 7.

Smith and Financial Director Sherrie Small will begin to develop numbers as to what the financial picture will look like for the remaining district towns — Bridgton, Casco and Naples — if Sebago decides to leave SAD 61.

Smith also suggested to school board members that discussion regarding the Crooked River project should commence in “the not too distant future.” Smith noted that district enrollment numbers “are not decreasing” and SAD 61 had strong kindergarten numbers this fall.

No hats inside. When school is in session, no hats are to be worn inside school buildings, unless one is required for safety, medical or religious reasons, under the Appropriate Dress, K-12 policy, which received first reading approval.

School Board member Debra Albert did note that another exception to be added was the need for hats to be worn by culinary arts students.

Personnel. Directors approved the following nominations:

Angela Greene as a full-time Spanish-long-term substitute at Lake Region Middle School, replacing Elimar Caron, who is transferring to Lake Region High School. There was one applicant for the position. She will complete a bachelor’s of arts in Hispanic Studies and a minor in Linguistics in December 2017.

Megan Sullivan as a full-time Grade 2 teacher at Songo Locks School, replacing Jaime Fontaine, who resigned. There were 20 applicants, five were interviewed. Most recently, Sullivan was employed as a Title 1 Ed Tech and long-term Kindergarten sub in SAD 6.

Heather King as a full-time Grade 2-3 Math teacher at Stevens Brook Elementary School, replacing Dawn Bonnevie, who transferred to Title I at Stevens Brook Elementary. There were four applicants, one was interviewed. Upon graduating from the University of Maine at Farmington with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Special Education and Mathematics, King accepted a summer position as an Ed Tech at Learning Works in South Portland.

Martin Graef as a full-time School Counselor at Lake Region High School, replacing Whitney Nelson who resigned. There were five applicants, two were interviewed. Previously, Graef was an admissions counselor at the University of Southern Maine.

Emily Wentworth as a full-time French teacher at Lake Region High School, replacing Julie Cabrera (who rescinded acceptance). Julie replaced Linda Freese, who retired. There were nine applicants, two were interviewed. Wentworth has 22 years of teaching experience, most recently as a French teacher at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls, Conn. She earned a master’s degree in French from the University of Maine at Orono.

Eric Custeau as a full-time Health and Physical Education Teacher at Lake Region High School, replacing Frank Pollack who has retired. There were 12 applicants, three were interviewed. Previously, Custeau was a physical education director at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Portland (2012 to present) and Assistant Director for Windham Parks & Rec (2010–2012).

Janice Deer as a Day Treatment Support Tech at Songo Locks School, replacing Kate Dargie who has resigned. There were eight applicants, five were interviewed. Previously, Deer was a re-entry extended leave room (special education) at Minuteman Regional High School in Lexington, Mass.

Peter McFarland as a new Day Treatment Support Tech at Lake Region Middle School. There were three applicants, two were interviewed. Previously, McFarland completed student teaching in Art at Songo Locks School and Lake Region M.S. in 2017.

Alex Welch as a physical education teacher at Stevens Brook and Sebago Elementary Schools — three days per week (60%), and as an Ed Tech at Sebago Elementary two days per week (40%). He is replacing Kristin Fournier, who resigned. One applicant, one interview. Previously, Welch was an Ed Tech at Bayside Learning Community in Portland and the Portland Public School Department.

Cynthia Ross as a custodian working eight hours a day for 260 days at Lake Region Middle School, replacing Joanne Robbins who retired. There were seven applicants, four were interviewed.

Retirements. Frank Polak submitted his intent to retire as a Health and Physical Education Teacher at Lake Region High School, effective July 24, 2017.

Resignations. Madeleine Lane-Duigan resigned as an Ed Tech III at Lake Region High School, effective July 26, 2017.

Carisa Miner resigned as an Ed Tech at the Lake Region Vocational Center, effective July 28, 2017.

Jamie Fontaine resigned as a Grade 4 teacher at Songo Locks School, effective July 31, 2017.

Ashley Damboise resigned as a Title I Math teacher at Songo Locks School, effective Aug. 18, 2017.

Kristin Fournier resigned as a Physical Education teacher at Sebago Elementary School, effective Aug. 25, 2017.

Transfers. Kathleen DeVoe has transferred from a Title I teacher at Stevens Brook Elementary School to a District Special Education Literacy Coach/Coordinator.

Elimar Caron has transferred from Spanish teacher at Lake Region Middle School to Spanish teacher at Lake Region High School.

Donations. The value of a FlashForge 3D printer donated by Mr. and Mrs. David Perloff was incorrectly reported as a $360 value. The correct value is $430.

  • The Kula Foundation donated $5 to the Stevens Brook Elementary School Greenhouse fund.
  • Bill White made a coin jar donation of $30.58 to the Stevens Brook Elementary School Greenhouse fund.


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