PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — As part of SAD 1’s growing Chinese Initiative at Presque Isle High School, the district will be enrolling six Chinese students for the 2014-15 school year.
At the July 9 board meeting, Superintendent Gehrig Johnson updated the board on the students’ arrival.
“We have six students that will start arriving Aug. 3 and they will all be here by Aug. 13. The majority are juniors and seniors, and they will be staying with host parents for the 2014-15 school year,” said Johnson. “We have hired a Chinese instructor from Xian, China, who will also be working on her master’s degree at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. We have 17 students signed up for the Mandarin course, and we are hoping she can teach an adult-ed class, as well. She will be tutoring these six students in their courses at PIHS.”
The students will all be paying tuition to attend the high school, Johnson said. The total net profit to SAD 1 will be $55,000. Johnson will be traveling to China in September to officially open a Presque Isle International School in Nanning and to visit high schools in four Chinese cities.
“There’s been a lot of interest in the PIHS Chinese Program both here in Presque Isle and in China,” he said.
Several other schools in Maine have similar programs, including Lee Academy, John Bapst Memorial High School in Bangor, and Stearns High School in Millinocket.
Three staff transfers were also announced at the July meeting. Kristi Greaves will leave her first-grade position at Pine Street Elementary School to teach third-grade at Zippel Elementary School. Sharlet Bishop and Doreen Archer will both leave third-grade at Zippel to teach second-grade at Pine Street.
Four staff appointments were made official, as well.
Shannon Blake will teach third-grade at Zippel, Charlotte Ala will teach first-grade at Pine Street (one year only), Lindy-Marie Boinske will be the special education teacher for the Second Chances program at PIHS, and Anne Blanchard will be the principal at Presque Isle Middle School. While the school board accepted Blanchard’s retirement effective June 30, she was able to reapply per state law and may only work for five years beyond her rehire date.
The next regular board meeting will be Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the board conference room at PIHS.