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News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, September 13, 2012
Adams School’s French program turns Spanish
Lack of applicants behind switch

by Anne Berleant

School board members met on Wednesday, September 5, for their regular monthly meeting, where Superintendent Mark Hurvitt said he had hired a Spanish teacher and filled two ed. tech. III openings—after the normal interview process—under “hire and inform” approval granted to him at the August meeting.

The Adams School had previously had a French program, with seventh- and eighth-graders traveling to France twice and Montreal last year to supplement the program.

After the board cut the 2.5 day per week program to one day in the 2012-13 budget submitted at town meeting, voters restored funding to two days a week, with some voters questioning the emphasis on French over Spanish. However, the motion to restore about $15,000 specifically for French carried.

Funds added to the school budget during town meeting vote may be used at the board’s discretion, and the inability to find a French teacher led to the hiring of Joelle Bouchard in August.

“There were no applicants,” Principal Kate Frothingham said, in conversation prior to the board’s September meeting.

The position was advertised as two days per week, with two days at Brooksville Elementary School also offered. Brooksville kept its candidate search open through August, but ultimately suspended its program for 2012-13 because of a lack of teacher.

New Spanish teacher Bouchard will teach two days of Spanish, and also fill an open ed. tech. III position previously filled by Cameron Frothingham, who submitted a letter of resignation in July. Robert Kufrovich filled the second open ed. tech. III position.

In other business, open coaching positions were filled with unanimous board approval as follows: Jennifer Henderson as cheering coach; Katie Frothingham as eighth-grade advisor and new physical education teacher Katrina Dagan as athletic director.

Ryan King, a member of the Maine Maritime Academy cross-country team, returns as a volunteer for after-school cross-country running, with unanimous board approval.

The board also unanimously passed a motion to add language to the sports policy stating that a student must turn 10 years old before October 15 or be in the fifth grade in order to compete on an athletic team, with exceptions needing board approval.

The board asked for a written plan in October for athletics, “in order to look at the current sports budgeted and determine whether to make any changes,” with Dagan to write the plan, according to unapproved meeting minutes.

The board next meets on Wednesday, October 3, 5 p.m., at the school.