SAD 4 officials contemplating PCHS digital sign design
GUILFORD — Piscataquis Community High School is the home of the Pirates, but over the decades the swashbuckler logo for the institution has varied. SAD 4 district officials have been seeking public input on the pirate design and lettering — including posting four options on the PCHS Pirates Sports Central Facebook page — for a new LED digital sign to be erected in the near future.
“The electronic LED sign is a go,” SAD 4 School Board Chair Niki Fortier said during a Dec. 11 meeting at Piscataquis Community Elementary School. Fortier said corporate contributions and donations from the alumni are funding the sign.
Fortier, Principal John Keane, Maintenance Director Mike Dexter, Superintendent Kelly MacFadyen, and Guilford Town Manager Tom Goulette have met with Dan Moore of AMB Signs in Dover-Foxcroft to plan the sign location, access, useage, colors, and design.
Four options for the top piece of the sign have been finalized, and students and parents have been voting on their favorites and Fortier also posted these on the athletics Facebook page. “I have a lot of alumni who say ‘we need to go old school, the guy on the gym wall with the sword in his mouth,’” she said.
“If you go to the gym there are five different Pirates,” Keane said, mentioning at some time in school history the original buccaneer design was changed. He said the Pirate painted on the wall cannot be precisely duplicated for the sign but a similar design could be a possibility.
“It is a decal and that decal can be changed at any time and it’s 400 bucks,” he said.
Those involved are hoping to have the initial sign structure in place before Christmas.
In other business, the school board heard reports from district administrators.
PCES Principal Anita Wright said she and grade 7-8 language arts teacher Robyn Rich have met with Stuart Kestenbaum of the Libra Foundation to explore the development of summer a “Young Writers’ Retreat.” The enrichment possibilities include having authors join classrooms for writers’ workshops and multiple day workshops at the Libra Foundation buildings up Route 15 in Monson. The programs could include students from other area schools.
“So we are excited about some of those possibilities too,” Wright said.
“Another piece of good news, the Cambridge Baptist Church donated $25 Walmart gift certificates to each homeroom teacher so they buy classroom supplies,” she said.
Keane reported that he worked with students Ethan Chadwick and Stephen Williams to develop a form for pupils and parents to fill out if the teenagers want to ride their snowmobiles, ATVS, and/or dirt bikes to school. The form includes a half dozen rules the riders agree to abide by, such as traveling only on trails, following safety precautions, and parking only in designated areas, and signing the document indicates the students and parents agree to having the privilege revoked should guidelines not be followed.
“We have got 11 kids, I think, signed up, two who have already ridden to school,” Keane said about the early arrival of snow this season.
MacFadyen said district employees looking to retire after the end of the school year need to provide notification by Dec. 15 and so far a half dozen have indicated their plans. The six are Transportation Director David Cotta, K-8 art teacher Jane Daniels, 9-12 Food Service and Drama Director Julie Harrington, 9-12 food service/head cook Therma Mitchell, food service/head cook Lucille Wright, and library ed tech Charlotte Violette.
“We will miss them, so a there will be a lot of new staff next year,” MacFadyen said.
“(PCHS English teacher Joseph Hennessey) is in full swing for his Teacher of the Year activities,” the superintendent said. She said she and Keane attended a gala in South Portland honoring Hennessey as the 2019 Maine Teacher of the Year.
“It is bittersweet for Mr. Hennessey because of the time he has to miss in the classroom with his own students because of his Teacher of the Year duties,” MacFadyen said. Hennessey is now working with the Maine Department of Education, as the teacher of the year, to travel across the state and the country to learn more about education and work with fellow educators and students and speak on the importance of education in preparing Maine people for the future.
Keane said an idea mentioned from the faculty could be to have a student-teacher in Hennessey’s classroom. The principal said he has reached out to the University of Maine on the possibility.
“It might be a long way to drive but is a chance to work with the Teacher of the Year,” he said.