SAD 27 board discusses France exchange trip and service vacations

FORT KENT, Maine — MSAD 27 Board of Directors approved an upcoming student exchange trip to France during its meeting on Monday, Feb. 24. 


The board unanimously approved a request by educator Robert Daigle to allow 10 Fort Kent Community High School students to travel to Cholet, France in March. 

“This is our seventh year and I would really love to continue to have your support,” Robert Daigle told the board. 

SAD 27 student representative Caitlyn Daigle, who is planning to participate in the exchange, told the board members she is looking forward to the trip. 

“I’m really excited to go to France,” Caitlyn Daigle said. “I’ll get to see the social and cultural differences between there and here.”

The board voted unanimously to approve the student exchange.

Fort Kent educator Margaret Guimond asked the board for permission to pursue future service learning-based vacations for the students to countries in need in the next two to three years. 

Guimond said she is passionate about the potential for offering high school students a chance to travel to other countries and perform service-based learning projects.

“A lot of the projects in my classroom are UNICEF-based,” Guimond said. “A lot of the kids in my classroom have no idea what a Third World country is.”

Guimond wants to research it further and gauge student interest.

“I think it would be a nice opportunity and it wouldn’t hurt things to give it a try,” Fort Kent Community High School Principal John Kaleta said. “It’s just another opportunity to see the world and see how other people live.”

The board unanimously agreed that Guimond could go ahead with exploring the project.

Also at the meeting, SAD 27 Superintendent and Valley Unified Executive Director Ben Sirois informed the SAD 27 board that he and other Valley Unified administrators will meet on Friday with representatives from WBRC, the engineering firm hired by Valley Unified to help select a site for the proposed new regional school, as well as with a representative of the Maine Department of Education. 

“As part of WBRC’s contract with Valley Unified, they have the requirement of setting up meetings with the Department of Education School Construction Team to keep them updated on the regional school project. Now that the straw poll for the site has been conducted, the results will be formally presented to the DOE construction team’s Director of School Facilities and Major Capital School Construction, Mr. Scott Brown,” Sirois said on Tuesday. 

“This is an informal meeting to not only provide them the results, but to discuss what must now occur before all of the information about site selection is presented to the State Board of Education.”

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