I hope this finds you well rested and enjoying some beautiful weather this summer. It is always bittersweet to write this letter as summer memories are still being recorded while we simultaneously prepare for a new school year. It is hard to believe that August is upon us and the school year is right around the corner. I hope that many of you made some wonderful new memories with family and friends! The weather was certainly wonderful this summer and I can’t remember so many hot days during a Maine summer in quite a long while. However, I will take those over snow days! I wonder what it would be like to have the hill at Doyle field covered in snow during one of our hot summer days! I imagine the children would love that!!!
First off, I want to recognize all employees for the enthusiasm and caring spirit that is brought to the Department, day-after-day, year-after-year. You bring it to one another, and you bring it to our learners, whether they are in the lunchroom, the hallways, on the fields or in the classroom. I truly believe that the energy our students have for learning, which is palpable as you walk through the schools, comes from the work being done by each of you – on the front lines as well as behind the scenes – throughout the Department. The enthusiasm, conversations, and activities stemming from the diverse learning environments exemplify the excellence of this Department and our community. I am eager to see what we will accomplish together this year.
Second, I am eager to collaborate with each of you. This is our second year of implementing our student-centered proficiency-based model at the high school. Some of you have asked questions regarding the change in statute and what this means for education in Brewer. Brewer holds itself to following the best teaching practices. We will continue those practices of being transparent in what we are teaching and why, formative and summative assessment practices to guide student learning, and offering students multiple pathways to demonstrate their learning as we know students do not learn in the same way or time frame. We will also take this opportunity to review our current policies to see if we can open up more opportunities for students to earn a diploma but still hold firm in our current mission/vision and core values. Below you can find a link to our Vision 2019 goals for all of you to review as it addresses this very topic.
Third, we will have the opportunity for professional development throughout the year as we learn from each other. Peer review will be required through our evaluation tool this year. We will have continued opportunities to learn about best practices, classroom tools and structures, and assessment strategies to impact student outcomes and raise student achievement. Through our Comprehensive Needs Assessment that was submitted to the Maine Department of Education, we have identified goals that are aligned with our district vision and mission. These are also discussed in the Vision 2019. Through themes of professional development and small steps, we will continue our storyboard and create the “Brewer Way” as we strive to meet our vision and mission together incorporating best practices in instruction and assessment with all teachers and learners.
Fourth, I would like to welcome several new staff to the Department this year. It has been a busy summer of hiring, and we are lucky to have each one of you join the Brewer School Department.
- Julie Vinson – Title I (from one year position)
- Michelle Leclair- Custodian III
- Carl Crossman – Custodian I
- James Robertson – Custodian I
- Robert Ponzo – Custodian I
- Carol Degrasse – Custodian I
- James Degrasse – Custodian I
- Hunter Pelkey – Custodian I
- Heather Lyon – Ed Tech I
- Blair Mamaril – Ed Tech I
- Joshua Monroe – Ed Tech I
- McKayla Gastia – Ed Tech I
- Emily Penner – Ed Tech I
- Olivia Lowery – Ed Tech I
- Brianna Dorr – Ed Tech I
- Darlene Mogul – Ed Tech I
- Jennifer Bowman – Grade 3 Teacher
- Belinda Gauvin – Grade 6 Teacher
- Brenda Clawson – Elementary Integrative Tech Teacher
- Ginger Stoneton – BHS Technology Teacher
- Amy Clement – Social Studies Teacher
- Stephanie Mishou – BHS Guidance Secretary
We also had some staff change positions within the Department this year. We wish them well in their new roles within our School Department. They are:
- Robert Dominick – Grade 7 from Grade 6
- Patricia Kelley – Ed Tech III from Ed Tech I
- Yvonne Goodall – Ed Tech III from Ed Tech I
- Robert Simko – Ed Tech I from IT Assistant
- Sara Flagg – Ed Tech III from Ed Tech I
- Kristi Carney – BCS Office from BHS Guidance Office
We also had some staff decide to leave us for new roles or retirement this summer. We wish them well in their new positions or retirement.
- Brenda Crosby – retirement
- Michael Jeffrey – retirement
- Janice Libbey – retirement
- Cathy Atwood – retirement
- Carrie Nadeau – retirement
- Debra Egan – retirement
- Bernie Rudnicki – retirement
- Fred Ravan – new employment
- Crystal Jackins – new employment
- Shane Boyes – new employment
- Phillip MacDougal – new employment
- Vicky Bennett – new employment
- Scott Magnan – new employment
The administrative team has just completed a very productive administrative retreat at Machias Savings Bank. During this retreat, the administrators reviewed the strategic plan, the vision 2019, the comprehensive needs assessment goals and planned professional development around these three documents. We practiced observation and feedback methods to help support teachers in continuous improvement and created an action plan based on staff feedback and district needs. We also spent a lot of time reviewing truancy/attendance protocols and procedures for our learners. We are eager to share this work with you during our three opening days starting on August 27th, 2018.
You will find links below to a copy of the agenda for the first three days of school. It is very important you look over the three-day agenda to see when you are expected to be at which events. It was very important that all faculty be with us on the opening days of training and we have made special arrangements to pay our Ed Tech I’s for an additional half day of work this year to make sure we are all together and that we receive the same information. This year’s theme is “Being a Champion” for all!
Please enjoy the remainder of the summer. Take time to pause, reflect, rekindle, renew, to create memories, and to celebrate life. I look forward to seeing you soon!
Go Brewer Witches!
Superintendent of Schools