Board brought up to speed on activities and plans for new school year

by Mary Grow

Vassalboro School Board members and AOS (Alternative Organizational Structure) 92 and Vassalboro Community School (VCS) administrators spent most of the Aug. 24 board meeting catching each other up on summer activities and plans for the new school year.

While most students were on vacation, school personnel oversaw building repairs and improvements, welcomed new staff members and helped them get settled in and took part in numerous workshops, retreats and other group meetings.

Finance Director Paula Pooler said figures for the fiscal year that ended June 30 will not be final until the annual audit is finished in October, but the school unit “didn’t end the year in the red.”

Fall registration is also not complete, VCS Principal Dianna Gram said – she expects changes for the next two weeks.  AOS staff provided a 10-year enrollment survey which, despite errors and inconsistencies that school board members noted, showed a decline of more than 100 Vassalboro students since 2006.

Gram also reported that VCS’s JMG (Jobs for Maine Graduates) program received a citizenship award for the students’ community service.  AOS Superintendent Eric Haley added that the State of Maine’s JMG program serves as a national model.

School board members unanimously accepted four staff resignations and appointment of seven new staff members – an unusual number of staff changes, Gram said, and Haley said the same had been true in Waterville and Winslow schools.

New staff are: Sarah Leach, fifth-grade teacher; Breeanne Desmond, sixth-grade teacher; John Jefferson, special education teacher; Lisa Arzola, fourth-grade teacher; Destiny Poulin, third-grade teacher; Sheldon Eames, Title I Educational Technician II; and Hilary Martin, Educational Technician II.

Resignations were accepted from fifth-grade teacher William Brooks, Educational Technician II Ashley Gooldrup, fourth-grade teacher Jennifer Isbell and eighth-grade teacher Julie Houston.

The school board’s Sept. 20 meeting will be preceded by an informal gathering with new staff members, scheduled for 5:45 p.m. at the school.  The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m.


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