Message April 25, 2016

Congratulations to the five finalists for MSAD #51 Employee of the Year: 

Carrie Begley, Grade 4 Teacher, GMS 4-5
Leanne Brainard, Kitchen Manager, MIW
Sallie Hunter, Grade 4 Teacher, GMS 4-5
Peter Scott, Social Worker, GHS  
Daphne Sprague, Educational Technician, GMS 4-5  

There were 43 nominations for Employee of the Year, all of them written by staff members on behalf of other staff members.  One of the five finalists will become the 2016 MSAD #51 Employee of the Year and will be named at the annual Staff Recognition program at Val Halla on May 18.  

Many thanks to the nominating committee, led by Ashley Caswell, Director of Development and Community Resources; Board members Bethany Hanley and Mike Brown; Finance, Operations & HR Director Scott Poulin; and Chris Bolduc, Cumberland's Assistant Town Manager.

Here are some recent highlights of activities related to the Strategic Plan:
  • Held a final meeting with all 1st Year teachers to the district as part of the new staff orientation program that was newly implemented this year;
  • As part of our ongoing review of the Pathways Specialist position, we have recently completed a long-range vision plan for this position that will be shared with the Board in an upcoming meeting;
  • An RFP has gone out seeking vendors to help develop a composting program on campus, as part of the work of the Environmental Stewardship committee;
  • Continued with the use of "RTI Summits" to align all schools with best practice and consistent protocols for universal screening, progress monitoring, menu of interventions, and a systemic K-12 model;
  • Technology advisory committee helped to support the new implementation of BYOD (Bring Your Own Learning Device) at GHS next year;
  • Formation of a Pre-Kindergarten advisory committee which will begin its work shortly;
  • Parent survey going out this week to provide 360 degree feedback on the district and schools;
  • As part of the plan's commitment to student voice, several district and school leaders heard presentations from juniors around what could improve the district;
  • Martha Leggat and myself continue to meet with employee groups, most recently with all K-12 ed. techs. and next with operations employees;
  • Supported our students with STEM through our partnership with UNUM's Tech Day for middle schoolers;
  • The Strategic Planning committee is working on advocacy for budgetary items that align to the Strategic Plan;
  • Installing pole banners on the campus that help "speak, paint, splash, spray, banner, and live" the Strategic Plan's tag line.

Earlier today, I presented a daytime budget informational meeting at the Prince Memorial Library to any members of the public who wanted to learn more about the FY 17 budget.  This idea was generated at the Aging In Place forum back in October and I am pleased that we were able to provide this opportunity for those who attended.

Also on the topic of the budget, the inaugural Coffee Talk program featuring the budget was postponed to this Wednesday, April 27 @ 12:30pm.  To access this program, go to our website and click on "District Links".

On Tuesday, April 26, a group of students whose art work is on display at the Maine State Capitol building will travel to Augusta to talk with First Lady Ann LePage as part of the Celebration of Excellence in Maine Visual and Performing Arts.  Also on hand will be the GHS Madrigal Singers who will be performing in the Hall of Flags.