Calais School Board Welcomes Two New Members

The Calais School Committee welcomed Kevin Niles and Thomas Robb to the Committee after Tuesday's election. They filled the two seats vacated by John Hill and Lea Farrar.

By Kaileigh Deacon

 

On Wednesday, November 8th, the Calais School Committee held their first meeting after the November 7th election. Tuesday’s election brought two new members to the Calais School Committee to fill the seats vacated by John Hill and Lea Farrar. The two new elected members are Thomas Robb and Kevin Niles. Robert Greenlaw was elected as School Committee Chair and Joe Footer as Vice Chair. 

During the moment of silence, Superintendent Ron Jenkins asked that those in attendance take the time to remember Calais Elementary Music Teacher Cynthia Dineen who recently lost her battle with cancer. 

Also at the meeting, the committee welcomed and congratulated the Calais Lady Blue Devils volleyball team, who claimed the State Championship. “The girls make more than just Calais High School proud, they make the community proud as well,” Jenkins said. “It’s not just their athletic ability on the court, it’s also the fact that they’re incredibly fine young ladies that we are happy to congratulate this evening.” 

The Calais Elementary School hosted the Commissioner of Education on Wednesday to observe their participation in the MoMEntum program. The commissioner spent time with the kids in kindergarten and first grade, talking with them and getting to see how they use the technology. They also talked with Principal Sue Carter about what the future might hold for programs like MoMEntum. While MoMEntum’s pilot program will end at the end of this school year, there are already discussions on what will happen after that. 

The Calais Middle School welcomed Jim Bolton who works for Apple. Bolton came to the Middle School to work with the students and teachers on showcasing what their tablets are capable of doing. He helped both students and staff learn the tech specifics of their iPads and how they can get more out of them. 

The new bleachers in the high school gymnasium are close to completion and are projected to be ready for the start of the basketball season. As a member of the Athletic Boosters, Sue Carter said that they were looking into purchasing new scorer’s seating for the bleachers. The Boosters have $1000 they are putting toward this and are working to see what will be required. 

The School Committee hired three new people as well as a Junior Varsity Girls’ Basketball Coach. The committee approved the hiring of Apryl Norris as an Ed Tech I at the Calais Alternative School. Also for the Calais Alternative School, the committee hired Zachary Benner as a teacher. Carrie Cropley was hired as an Ed Tech III at the St. Croix Regional Technical Center. Lauren Remington was hired as the Junior Varsity Girls’ Basketball Coach. Remington is a Calais High School Alum and current teacher for the Early Childhood Education Program at the St. Croix Regional Technical Center.

The School Committee also had the first reading on the staff cell phone policy. The policy states that teachers are free to use electronic devices such as cell phones when not in instructional time. The policy was developed at the request of the committee when the student policy was being drafted.  Some teachers expressed their concerns with the policy. The Committee approved the first reading with a vote of 3-1 with Kevin Niles, Tom Robb, and Joe Footer in favor and Bob Greenlaw opposed. James McDonald was absent from the meeting. There will be a second reading held at the first meeting of December to allow those that wish to weigh in on the policy to be present at the meeting. 

The next school committee meeting will be held on November 21 at 6:00 p.m. in the Calais Middle High School Library.