Calais School Committee Hires Five

By Kaileigh Deacon

The Calais School Committee held their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, July 17 at 6:00 p.m. in the Calais Middle-High School Library. After a few adjustments to the previous meeting’s minutes, the corrected minutes were approved and the agenda approved with three additions. 

Superintendent Ron Jenkins started his report with the proposed restructuring of the food service program at both the high and elementary schools. The proposed restructuring would eliminate a director and dissolve the position into two lead positions, one at each school, that would run each program while meeting monthly to coordinate. The restructuring would also allow for a raise in salary for all positions in the Food Service for both schools.  

Jenkins: “We’re getting our food service salaries more in line with our other staff.”

Also, the food service’s summer program had a state inspection on July 13 which went very positively. Jenkins complimented Robin Roehrich on her program, particularly given her short notice on preparing the program. 

Jenkins also advised the committee that he would be signing the transportation contract in the next week with the addition of Robbinston and removal of Baring. The school department will also receive extra revenue from the state with the state budget though he was unsure of the exact amount. 

With the first item on the new business agenda, the committee approved the one year absence of elementary school music teacher Cynthia Dineen for health reasons. The committee would go on to appoint former CHS graduate and recent UMaine graduate Amelia Moody for the one year position. 

Due to the resignation of Steven Rogers at the beginning of the summer from his custodial position and the moving up of another custodian into that position, a new custodial position opened up. The committee elected to fill this 30 hour per week position without benefits with Jacob Scott. Scott will work as a custodian at the new day treatment building on South Street. 

Earlier this year, long time Calais High School and St. Croix Regional Technical Center instructor Sandie Sawyer retired after teaching Business for 47 years. The Committee interviewed for the position and unanimously appointed Katie Grass as the new business instructor for St. Croix Regional Technical Center. Bob Greenlaw abstained from the vote. 

The Committee also approved the second year probationary teacher contract for Julie McPhee as the hearing and speech specialist. The committee also approved the hiring of Calvin “Jerry” James as the building trades instructor, a position vacated by Stan Sluzenski when he moved into the director role at St. Croix Regional Technical Center.  James was also appointed as the cross country coach. 

St. Croix Regional Technical Center also asked that the committee appoint Ann Skriletz as the advisor of the National Level Skills USA and Anne Louise Eagan as the National Technical Honor Society advisor. 

The committee reviewed two as of yet unfilled positions and the job duties assigned to each. The first was the assistant to the principal position and the second was the Study Hall Monitor/Interventionist position. 

The committee then looked at and considered bids on the construction work to be done on the former DHHS building on South Street which will be the new home to the Day Treatment Program. The project went out to bid and only one bidder submitted. The sole bidder was Brian Marshall Construction with a bid of $15,459. After consideration, the committee decided that they would send the project out to bid again and Calvin James and Stan Sluzenski would put in the fire door prior to the start of school so the building could be used. 

The final thing the committee considered was the two proposals received by Superintendent Jenkins to complete the HVAC project at the elementary school and complete some final adjustments at the Calais Middle-High School. There were two proposals by XLAutomation and Honeywell. The totals for each project were $62,547 and $89,455 respectively. The committee unanimously elected to go with the proposal from XLAutomation who had done the previous work at the Middle-High School with the lower bid amount and to keep consistency with the systems. 

Before the committee adjourned there was a brief discussion about the cell phone policy at the high school. The policy had previously been brought up at an earlier school committee meeting and was sent to a newly created Policy Committee for review and suggestion. Tuesday night’s discussion had many perspectives but it was decided to let the Policy Committee do their work at the first meeting sometime in August before any action is taken. 

The next school committee meeting will be held on August 14 at 6:00 p.m. in the Calais Middle-High School library.