ROCKLAND — The Rockland area school board unanimously approved Thursday night, June 16, a contract with the district’s teachers, well in advance of the expiration of the current labor agreement.

The Regional School Unit 13 Board also re-elected its chair and vice chair at the meeting.

The contract runs for three years — Sept. 1, 2022, through Aug. 31, 2025.

The base pay for a starting teaching with no experience will increase from its current $40,225 to $41,400 in 2022-2023. That will increase to $42,575 in 2023-2024, and $43,750 in 2024-2025. The top pay for a teacher with a master’s degree and 15 additional credits with at least 19 years of experience will see their pay go from the current $73,025 to $75,675 next year, $78,325 in 2023-2024, and $80,975 in 2024-2025.

The district picks up the full cost of insurance for employees and 87% of the difference between a single plan and a plan for a teacher with children, or 80% of the difference between a single subscriber and a family plan.

Board Chair Loren Andrews said it was amazing to have a contract approved before the current one expires Sept. 1.

“Our amazing staff dedicates themselves every day,” Andrews said.

Board elections

Andrews of Cushing was re-elected as chair on a 6-3 vote. Board members David Martz and Chelsea Avirett of Rockland and Maria Devery of Owls Head voted against his re-election. They did not offer any comments during the June 16 meeting. There were no other candidates for the post.

Andrews has served on the school board since he was elected to a one-year term in March 2007 for the former School Administrative District 50 Board that consisted of Cushing, Thomaston and St. George. He was elected in 2008 to a three-year term, then elected in 2009 to represent Cushing on the newly created RSU 13 Board that was the result of the merger between SADs 5 and 50.

He has served as Board chair since January 2018. The election of officers is done annually.

Brad Choyt of South Thomaston was re-elected vice chair without opposition.

Choyt was appointed to the school Board by the South Thomaston Select Board in August 2021 to fill the seat vacated by Lane Sturtevant. Choyt was later elected by the RSU 13 Board to serve at its vice chair. He is seeking re-election to the Board and is unopposed. The election will be at the annual town meeting on June 28.

Choyt has an extensive background in education. He was head of the Blue School in New York City from 2009 through 2011, head administrator at North Yarmouth Academy in Maine from 2011 through 2014 and head of school at Crossroads Academy in Lyme, N.H., from 2015 through 2021.

Rebecca Roveto was elected to the RSU 13 Board on June 14, one of two representatives from Thomaston. She was appointed to the school Board in January by the Thomaston Selectboard and won election through write-in votes on Tuesday, June 14.

Roveto is a mental health therapist.

Rebecca Roveto of Thomaston is shown in this picture being sworn into office in January after being appointed by the town’s Selectboard. She was elected to the RSU 13 Board on June 14.