Public meeting July 17

Years of experience retire from RSU 40

Interim superintendent bids farewell
By Beth A. Birmingham | Jun 25, 2014
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Some of the retirees from RSU 40 honored at the June 19 board meeting were, from left, Cathy Ardman, Hazel Kopishke, Bonnie Robinson, Irene Hawes, Nancy Karvounis, and Carolyn Rasmussen. Also shown are Interim Superintendent Michael Cormier and Chairman Danny Jackson.

Union — At its June 19 meeting, the Regional School Unit 40 Board of Directors acknowledged 12 teachers who are retiring this year and taking over 300 years of experience with them.

Carolyn Rasmussen, Irene Hawes, Hazel Kopishke, Nancy Karvounis, Bonnie Robinson, and Cathy Ardman were in attendance to receive a gift from Interim Superintendent Michael Cormier and Board Chairman Danny Jackson.

The remaining retirees not present were Jolly Hall, Nancy Heyer, Deborah Smith, Kenneth Martin, Joan Benner, and Glen McFadden.

Hawes and Robinson share the title of most years of the retiring educators — each with 42.

Hawes taught at Union Elementary School. She noted the highlight of her career was the International School Curriculum the Union teachers wrote and executed.

"Students loved the hands-on educational, experiential project-oriented curriculum," she said in a school newsletter. She also enjoyed the enrichment programs the students benefited from with Audubon, Camp Tanglewood, Agriculture in the Classroom, Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District, and various other groups.

Hawes said the biggest change in education she has seen has been a year-to-year sequential skills-based reading/writing program to a whole language program and now back to the Common Core requirements.

Robinson taught first and second grade at Miller School in Waldoboro. She said the most enjoyable part of her career was being surrounded by the enthusiasm and excitement of young children learning and enjoying life.

"I am really going to miss my students," said Robinson, who added "anytime I could see I had made a difference in a child's life was my greatest accomplishment."

"I have thoroughly enjoyed working in the district," said Robinson.

Kopishke has taught first grade at Prescott Memorial School in Washington for 29 years.

"I enjoy teaching all subject areas, but helping them become readers is rewarding," said Kopishke. She said she will stay involved with the Gibbs Library in Washington so her love of reading and reading to children can continue.

"I have enjoyed working with wonderful staff members at Prescott and with the families of our students," said Kopishke. "It's been fun having the second generation of many students in my classroom," she added.

Karvounis taught literacy and early math for the past 27 years at Miller School and Prescott Memorial School. She said she enjoyed watching the progress the students made to become successful readers.

"My greatest accomplishment was developing personalized academic programs for each student," said Karvounis.

Rasmussen taught kindergarten in RSU 40 for 24 years. During her career she said she enjoyed the professional atmosphere, true friendships of staff and support staff and conferencing with parents.

"I love to learn and introducing children to quality literature with rich vocabulary was an important part of my literacy goals," said Rasmussen. Encouraging discussions about "why things happen" and "what did they notice" was fulfilling as an educator for Rasmussen.

Hall came to Waldoboro to teach home economics 21 years ago. When that position was eliminated she continued as a health educator.

"I loved teaching those everyday skills that are so necessary in life," she said.

The meeting was Cormier's final as interim superintendent for RSU 40.

"You have an incredible school district," said Cormier to the board. "I think you are going to be happy with what Steve brings to the district," he said about the new superintendent.

Steve Nolan begins his superintendent role July 1.

Public meeting set

Camden Hills Regional High School and Medomak Valley High School have agreed to accept tuition students into their respective districts should St. George leave RSU 13.

The committee has asked Medomak Valley High School to become its School of Record, and contract to accept secondary students.

Cormier said it would have to be taken to a public meeting.

Jackson confirmed the meeting will be held Thursday, July 17, at 7 p.m., most likely in the gym at Union Elementary School.

RSU 40 serves the towns of Friendship, Union, Waldoboro, Warren, and Washington.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at

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