WMHS, BRHS consider combining athletic talent
Wiscasset Middle High School and Boothbay Region hope to pool their boys’ and girls’ athletic talent in the upcoming academic year. Tuesday evening, Wiscasset's school committee took the first step for adoption of a co-operative athletic agreement.
Declining enrollments have forced many smaller high schools to consider similar arrangements, explained Superintendent Terry Wood. “The problem is not having enough students to field a particular sport,” she said.
Boothbay Region has boys interested in playing soccer but not enough interest to field a team. The agreement will allow them to play on WMHS’s team this fall. A few years ago, Boothbay Region opened its football program to Wiscasset boys but got no takers.
The two high schools are looking at combining their boys and girls cross-country running programs. Boothbay is also inviting WMHS girls to play on the high school’s field hockey team.
Before moving forward, Wiscasset’s school committee wants to be sure the added numbers won’t impact the school’s athletic status. This past academic year, WMHS dropped from Class C to Class D status due to its declining enrollment.
Wood told the school committee she was settling into her new position having met recently with newly hired special services director Susan Prince, School Resource Officer Craig Worster and facilities director John Merry.
She noted Merry updated her on the summer construction projects underway at the schools. These improvements will make the buildings and bus garage more energy-efficient, saving on winter heating costs.
New windows are being installed on the north side of the high school’s old wing. Gym windows are being replaced in the elementary school. New LED lighting is being installed in the middle high school and improvements are being made to the heating system. Merry will update the school committee on the construction progress next month.
The board’s Aug. 14 meeting will begin an hour earlier at 5 p.m. for a Maine School Management Association workshop. Wood said training was also required for the board’s newly elected members, Desiree Bailey and Indriani Demers.
In other business, Tracy Johnson resigned as an educational technician III at the elementary school.
New hires included Jesse Hinman, science/engineering teacher; Samantha Crawford, pre-kindergarten teacher; Rachele Hartley, elementary school guidance counselor, and Bonnie Morton, WMHS kitchen assistant.
At the outset of the meeting, Michael Dunn was unanimously re-elected chairman. Jason Putnam and Michelle Blagdon were both nominated for vice chairman; Putnam was elected 3-2.