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RSU 40 hires new staff

By Christine Simmonds | Jun 19, 2020
Photo by: Christine Simmonds RSU 40 school board meets online June 18.

Union — The RSU 40 School Board approved new employees for the district at their online meeting June 18, including two administrators and five teachers.

The two new administrators are Gabrielle LaPerriere and Jamie White.

LaPerriere will be the Assistant Principal at Warren Community School, replacing Jessica Berry. White will be Assistant Principal at Miller School, replacing Casey Lufkin. White was previously a Pre-K teacher at Miller School.

The five new teachers are Heather Emerson, Calvin Morin, Sara Pfahler, Caitlin Raye and Mikayla Sintiris.

Emerson will be the school nurse at Warren Community School, replacing Linda Jacoby. Morin will be the 4th grade teacher at Warren Community School, replacing Jan Costigan. Pfahler will be the guidance counselor at Warren Community School, replacing Joanne Shuman. Raye will be a classroom teacher at Miller School, replacing Jean Brewer. Sintiris will be a resource room teacher at Warren Community School, replacing Deb Escorsio.

In other news, the school board voted to suspend teacher evaluations for the 2019-2020 school year.

Superintendent Steve Nolan said Education Commissioner Pender Makin had released a notice advising that school districts suspend teacher evaluations for the school year due to the closure of in-school learning. However, Nolan said Makin does not have authority over the RSU 40 contracts or district policies, so the decision had to be made by the board.

Board member Morgan Hynd asked if there was a process in place to address RSU 40 staff who were not meeting expectations. Nolan said there was.

Nolan said the Department of Education had released guidance for opening schools in the fall. There will be “an effort to assign risk regionally to indicate whether it’s advisable or not to open schools.” He indicated it was unknown if RSU 40 could safely open for in-person learning in the fall.

The superintendent said the information from the Department of Education does not address transportation in the fall.

Board member Sara Andrews asked if distance learning would look the same as it had in the last few months of the school year.

Nolan said the district would be looking at how to change distance learning during the summer.

“We are anticipating something with some more structure,” Nolan said, and that more information would be coming.

Nolan said three additional staff resignations had been submitted: Wayne Turner, a district-wide maintenance staffer; Sarah Nelson, the social emotional coach for Warren Community School; Laura Mewa, the guidance counselor for Medomak Valley Middle School.

Business Manager Karen Pike said that lunch deliveries would stop on June 19, but the summer lunch program would begin almost immediately after to continue ensuring RSU 40 students have access to food.

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