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Fort Kent councilor makes pitch to have school system get involved with recycling effort

FORT KENT, Maine — Town councilor Joey Ouellette met with the SAD 27 board members Monday to discuss recycling efforts in the community.

“I’ve lived in other communities where recycling was much more involved,” Ouellette said. “There are many, many different ways that the municipality can recycle.”

Ouellette told school board members that he was impressed when Chuck Pelletier, director of Valley Recycling Facility presented on the topic at a recent town council meeting. From that presentation, Ouellette said he came to believe that including the local education system is important to encouraging recycling activity in a community.

“From a school perspective, I think school really is the key component as far as education (about recycling) is concerned,” Ouellette said.

Following that town council meeting, Ouellette said he has begun putting together a committee to explore recycling in town.

He said eight community members have agreed to serve on the committee, including representatives from Northern Maine Medical Center and the University of Maine at Fort Kent. The councilor told the school board that he would like to include a member of the SAD 27 staff on the panel.

“I think it’s vitally important to get someone from the school on board,” Ouellette said.

School board member Barry Ouellette asked superintendent Ben Sirois what actions the district currently takes with regard to recycling.

“Our efforts now are minimal. When you have a system in place, it’s easy to educate the kids (about recycling) …,” Sirois said. “We don’t have a system in place right now.”

The board took no immediate action on the matter but Sirois said the district may be able to provide two staff members who are interested in serving on the recycling committee, one from the elementary school and one from the high-school.

Also during their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, the SAD 27 board of directors approved filling several district winter sports coaching positions.

Leslie Marquis will serve as Alpine ski coach, with Josh Roy as assistant coach. Roosevelt Smith and Fred Sanchez, both University of Maine at Fort Kent basketball standouts, will coach grades 6-8 boys basketball. District athletic director Eric Werntgen will coach the middle school girls basketball team. And educator Vincent Malinauskas, who is head coach of the middle school wrestling team, also will help as an assistant coach of the high school wrestling team.

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