News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, August 2, 2018
CSD looks to fill open positions

by Tevlin Schuetz

During a July 19 meeting, the CSD Board reviewed several positions the school administration hopes to fill.

Superintendent Christian Elkington said the Island schools are in need of the following staff: first grade teacher; grades 5 and 6 teacher; grades 7 and 8 math teacher; library teacher and intervention specialist; alternative education teacher; marine trades teacher; guidance counselor; secretary; and multiple educational technicians (ed techs).

There is also likely to be a vacancy in the Planning Room position at the high school, Elkington said, adding that filling this spot—plus the half-time marine trades teaching position and the full-time alternative education position—could be difficult with respect to the skill sets needed for the work. Elkington suggested a possible solution of nixing the planning room position, hiring two full-time professional staff for alternative ed and marine trades, and moving the programming for those areas to a regular classroom. This would reduce staffing overall by one half-time position and keep things within the budget, Elkington said.

Board member Skip Greenlaw questioned the need for a full-time marine trades teacher.

“Marine trades has had less participation over the last few years,” he observed.

Elkington explained that whoever fills the position would also work to support the Maine Skippers program, and there is a lot of overlap of students’ needs in alternative ed, marine trades and Hancock County Technical Center programming which could be supported by the new arrangement.

While a number of spots remain open, some positions have recently been filled, Elkington said. The high school has a new principal in Dennis Duquette, and former teacher Shel Pierce has returned to the district to teach special education. Carla Magoon will be the new technical director for the CSD.

The board also discussed a needed addition to its own ranks. The vacancy left by Vice Chairman Stephen York’s recent move off the island needs to be filled. Stonington selectmen must appoint a replacement, Elkington said. The board decided to wait until a new member arrives before choosing a new vice chairman.

In other matters, the board discussed student retention at the elementary school. Principal Tara McKechnie reported the total K-8 population currently as 205 with the following breakdown: 26 students in kindergarten; 25 in grade 1; 29 in grade 2; 21 in grade 3; 17 in grade 4; 22 in grade 5; 21 in grade 6; 24 in grade 7; and 20 in grade 8.

Elkington said that while he has reviewed some repeat requests for existing out-of-town placements, no new requests have been sought by parents of K-8 students.

“It does bode well for the work being done at the school…and Tara’s leadership,” Elkington noted.

The board also decided to again hold its regular monthly meetings in the high school cafeteria.

Next meeting

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 15, at 5:30 p.m., at the high school cafeteria.