Message April 11, 2016

The MSAD #51 Board of Directors voted April 11 to begin the process for building a Performing Arts Center (PAC).  This first step allows the district to advertise for and hire an architect to work with a building committee to develop a concept design for the PAC. This concept design requires the approval of the Board, when completed, and the subsequent vote of the Board to move to a referendum if they choose to do so.  A possible referendum date would be November 2016, if approved.

The Board also voted to move forward with an energy project at Mabel I. Wilson School. This project will seek to mitigate heating and cooling issues at the 20-year-old school over the next year.  

Susie Robbins, currently Interim Principal at MIW and assistant principal before that, was approved as the permanent principal of the school Monday night.  The position of assistant principal will be advertised shortly and a process to fill the position will be developed.

Google Expeditions was "pioneered" at Greely Middle School recently by all 6th, 7th and 8th graders. Expeditions is a new product that allows teachers to take their classes on virtual field trips related to their curriculum. Thanks to Google for letting us pioneer this innovative program!  

Related to this, 20 middle school students attended a STEM Day a couple of weeks ago at UNUM.  This event introduced students to the creative and innovative designs in the business world.  One of the highlights was a "walking iPad" that ended up chasing some of the students around the room.

                                             UNUM STEM Day                                              "Google Expeditions" 

Congrats GHS Math Team for their 4th place finish @ Maine State Math Meet, going on to New England Invitational Meet.

                                                              GHS Math Team

Spanish teacher Margaret Corral has been selected as an Inspiring Educator to be featured on News Center, Channel 6. The Maine Education Association is working in partnership with News Center to feature educators who are doing something remarkable to benefit their students or students in their district.

Colleague Grace Leavitt nominated Margaret for the award saying:

Margaret goes above and beyond to connect students with the world--she has been a Fulbright Exchange Teacher, brought students from Mexico to our schools, has organized various trips, and is currently working on a trip with a group of students to go to Guatemala this summer with Partners in Development as well as establishing an exchange program with a school in Chile.  Her energy and enthusiasm are boundless, she is always smiling and upbeat, and she knows the importance of our students' learning about the world and others' cultural perspectives.

GHS student Matt Pisini receives MPA award for academic excellence & citizenship.

                                                             Matt Pisini with Principal Dan McKeone

Alyssa Coyne recognized as the 2016 Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrator's Scholarship recipient. Awarded at the 2016 Spring Athletics Administrator's Conference Banquet.

                                                               Alyssa Coyne with AD David Shapiro 

On Wednesday, April 27 @ 12:30 PM (tentative), I will be hosting the inaugural edition of MSAD #51 Virtual Coffee Talk.  This broadcast will focus on the proposed FY 17 budget.  I will be providing a brief background on the budget before I take questions live from the public.  To access this program, simply go to and click "District Links" then Virtual Coffee Talk.  You can submit online questions during the broadcast using the embedded form once you access the Coffee Talk page.  I am hoping to sample various types of coffee as part of this new program (kidding!)

Virtual Coffee Talk