JMG off to a good start at SAD 46, says job specialist

By Mike Lange
Staff Writer

    DEXTER — The new Jobs for Maine Graduates Program at SAD 46 is off to a good start, with 44 students enrolled and a great deal of support from the community.
    JMG job specialist Marc Pullen addressed the SAD 46 Board of Directors’ meeting last week on the current status and goals of the program which is geared to students who face barriers to traditional education.

    Some of the most common barriers include:
• Low income household;
• Struggling with family or social issues;
• Underperforming academically; and
• High absenteeism due to a disinterest in school.
    These students may become disengaged in the education process “and yet are the least likely to be successfully served by traditional classroom environments,” according to a JMG fact sheet.
    Pullen, who joined the SAD 46 staff this year, is a graduate of Dexter Regional High School and was employed as an ed tech at Nokomis High School in Newport until this position opened up.
    The JMG program teaches 34 core competencies in six skill sets: personal, leadership, communication, job attainment, job success and career development. Students learn about time management, personal finance, teambuilding, good work habits and community service.
    “Our students are being exposed to things that they may not be able to do within a regular curriculum,” Pullen said. “I’m very proud of being a graduate of this school and the fact that they’ve partnered with JMG.”
    One unique part of the JMG program is that the staff is committed to a year of follow-up. “Basically, that means I’m in contact with them once a month to provide support when needed,” Pullen said.
    Statewide, 96 percent of JMG students earn a high school diploma; and within six years after they graduate, earn 14 percent more than their peers, Pullen said.
    Two students, Christine May and Dakota Chavaree, also spoke to the board about their experiences with JMG.
    Pullen is looking for guest speakers to address the JMG class about their occupations and career choices and he can be contacted at
    The SAD 46 Board of Directors also approved the following extra-curricular appointments at their Nov. 5 meeting:
    Peter Murray, boys’ varsity basketball coach;
    Michael Martin, boys’ junior varsity basketball coach;
    Mark Pullen, assistant boys’ basketball coach (volunteer);
    Chad Cooper, assistant boys’ basketball coach (volunteer);
    George “Jody” Grant, girls’ varsity basketball coach;
    Mark Melvin, girls’ junior varsity basketball coach;
    Brian Salisbury, varsity wrestling coach;
    Kacie Ladd, winter cheering coach;
    Brooke Haskell, winter cheering coach (volunteer);
    Harold Pratt, Ridge View Community School girls’ basketball “A” team coach;
    Cheslie Crane, Ridge View Community School girls’ basketball “B” team coach;
    Greg Crispell, Ridge View Community School boys’ basketball “A” team coach;
    Chad Cooper, Ridge View Community School boys’ basketball “B” team coach; and
    Ashley Kimball, Ridge View Community School cheering coach.
    Dexter Regional High School Principal Stephen Bell also reported that the gymnasium walls and floor have been repaired and should be useable by Nov. 17.
    The gym was damaged due to a freak accident during a rainstorm earlier this year. One of the gym roof drainpipes became clogged up during a downpour “and created so much pressure that the metal cap blew out,” according to Superintendent Kevin Jordan. The water seeped into the flooring near the entrance to the boys’ locker rooms and warped the floorboards about six inches from the wall.

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