News Feature

Deer Isle
Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, June 9, 2022
Big turnout at CSD 13 school board meeting
Athletic plan most discussed agenda item

by Maggie White

On Tuesday, June 7, the Deer-Isle Stonington CSD 13 School Board held its monthly business meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the Reach Performing Arts Center. Due to the turnout of close to 40 community members, school board chair Jane Osborne welcomed everyone with a reminder that the meeting was not an open forum and therefore “not a venue for discussion or debate” on agenda items.

Acting Superintendent Mark Hurvitt introduced his successor, Dan Ross, who will take over the position July 1. “He’s a great guy. We really like him,” said Hurvitt.

Of note during the meeting was the audit review reported by Ron Bean from Wadman’s. Bean stated there were “no issues with financial statements” and he praised the school, noting the “atmosphere has changed in the superintendent’s office.”

John Lincoln, director of the Reach Center, took to the microphone for his yearly report in which he included information about arts programming—both past and projected. The center is applying for 501(c)(3) status and one identified need is a $150,000 upgrade to all LED lighting. The latter will be funded through an as yet to be determined capital campaign.

The list of discussion items on the agenda opened with “Athletic Plan for 2022-2023.” A new position is being created: a full-time, salaried Athletic Director (AD). A job description with salary information will be finalized at the next board meeting. Interviewing will take place in July, with a hire anticipated by August.

On June 21, work will begin on the baseball field; an anticipated $40,000 will be spent getting the playing space back in order. From there, other fields will be revamped/maintained. Several audience members voiced concerns regarding the AD position and the fields. More than half of those in attendance exited at the conclusion of the athletic plan discussion.

Other agenda items included meeting a state deadline of September 30, 2022, to eliminate PFAS particles from Deer Isle-Stonington High School’s drinking water. (The water tested at 112 parts per trillion; the standard limit is 20 parts per trillion.) Bids will go out for the installation of a filtration system.

Also discussed were summer school plans for both the elementary and high schools and a debate (ongoing) on whether or not the fitness center should be available for community use.

Three new hires were approved, and offers will be extended for a middle school English/language arts teacher, a third grade teacher and an RREV (Rethinking Responsive Education Ventures) grant point person.

There was one resignation. The letter read aloud by Hurvitt clearly stated a positive experience at DIS schools. A motion was passed to allow the superintendent to hire during July, without board approval, due to a plethora of job openings and the need to act swiftly to secure the best candidates.

The meeting adjourned at 6:52 p.m. The “July” meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 29, at 5:30 p.m. due to the holiday, with an extra meeting (TBD) on the calendar for July 13.