St. John Valley

Madawaska School Committee appoints Madore for Valley Unified Board of Directors

MADAWASKA, Maine — The Madawaska School Committee appointed its chairwoman, Bev Madore, as the third member to represent Madawaska for the Valley Unified Board of Directors at the school committee’s meeting on Monday.

 

The decision to appoint Madore came after the Valley Unified Board of Directors voted to remove administrators from the board due to looming conflicts of interest. 

After more than a year in the making, the Valley Unified Board of Directors changed the makeup of its board, after issues surrounding a conflict of interest arose during a Dec. 10 meeting.

The original make-up of the Valley Unified Board of Directors included three members from each school administrative unit — one administrator and two school committee members. During the Jan. 28 meeting, the board first voted to remove, and then removed the administrators. The outgoing administrators participated in the vote.

During Monday’s School Committee meeting, Madore was nominated and selected with no opposition. 

During the February regular board meetings of SAD 33 on Feb. 9 and SAD 27 on Feb. 23, each individual board will appoint a third representative to serve on the Valley Unified Board. 

Joined under the umbrella of the Valley Unified Educational Service Center, the three school administrative units of SADs 27, 33 and the Madawaska School Department have worked together to address declining enrollment and rising costs in education.  

In 2018, the state authorized funding the Valley Unified effort up to $100 million for a new St. John Valley educational facility that would replace three high schools and serve students from Grand Isle to Allagash.

Residents of the member communities will be asked a non-binding straw poll question Tuesday, Feb. 11 and Wednesday, Feb. 12, to gauge public support for the project. That question will help the Maine Department of Education determine whether to move forward with providing up to $100 million toward construction of the new St. John Valley school. Residents will also need to vote to approve the final project as well as have the Maine Department of Education sign off on the plan before it moves forward.

The first Valley Unified straw poll will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Madawaska Middle/High School library. The second will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, at Dr. Levesque Elementary School cafeteria. The final Valley Unified straw poll will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Fort Kent Community High School cafeteria.

While there will be a meeting to read the results of the straw polls Feb. 13, there will not be any action taken that night, Valley Unified Educational Service Center Superintendent Ben Sirois said. The new members will be on the board in time for the Valley Unified Board meeting on Feb. 26 at Fort Kent Community High School.

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