Regional School Unit 3 has not officially started looking for a new superintendent, and now will also need to find an assistant superintendent as well.

Superintendent Paul Austin announced on Monday the departure of Assistant Superintendent Jean Skorapa at the end of the school year.

Austin said Skorapa will take over as the new superintendent of Regional School Unit 67, serving the Chester, Lincoln and Mattawamkeag communities.

Skorapa said in a phone interview that she grew up in the area and is "going home."

Also departing, music teacher Dawn Boden will be retiring at the end of this school year.

Boden has been a music teacher for 35 years, 19 of those with RSU 3. She said in an email message to The Republican Journal, "Teaching music has been a lot of fun and I certainly wouldn't have traded it for any other career."

Austin said he wished her the best.

In other district news, Waldo County Technical Center Director Kevin Michaud talked about expanding the Adult Education from an "enrichment" style program to a more job-centered training ground, citing, as an example, emergency medical technician (EMT) training.

Other possible demand-driven occupations he said would be a "good fit" include a commercial driver's license program, an oil burner technician program and a solar technician program.

The Tech Center would be a perfect location for an occupational learning center, Michaud said. It would also make the school eligible for state subsidies.

To that end, he talked about an initiative that is currently underway, where students have been working on an older district bus that had been used in the diesel program, and now is being converted into a food truck, complete with a mini-classroom. The project began a couple of years ago, he said, thanks in part to a grant the school received to start it.

Michaud updated the board on the recording studio currently being constructed at the Tech Center. The board approved the initiative last year as a viable revenue stream for the adult education department. The planned fee for use would be $40 per hour and the studio would be available to any student or community member, Michaud said.

He said $40,000 worth of audio equipment was supplied by Tim Woitowitz, a community-minded volunteer and musician, and another $25,000 of donated lumber, wiring, etc., came from area businesses.

"The studio is built and the wiring will be completed in the next couple of weeks," Michaud said. There will be "beta testing" in April. Once tested and approved, he said, a big unveiling will be planned and advertised.

Austin spoke briefly about the district's enrollment trend, which shows about 150 fewer students over a five-year period. The bulk of that decrease, Austin said, is at the high school, which had an Oct. 1 enrollment of 338,down from 464 on Oct. 1, 2015.

He noted in an email that this was because of a "bubble" in the high school group. If numbers hold true in K-8, "our enrollment at the high school will grow to about 400 in the next four years," Austin said. He cited families moving away from the area as a possible reason for the drop in high school students.

Mount View High School Principal Zachary Freeman said a group of nine educators will be conducting an onsite accreditation visit of the high school, March 31 through April 3. The visiting team will be led by Jan Radowicz, principal of Nute High School in Milton, New Hampshire.

“The purpose of this accreditation visit is to review and determine from an outside professional viewpoint the extent to which the school is aligning with the Standards for Accreditation," Freeman said.

"As part of the evaluation, the visiting team will meet with all school constituents, review the school’s self-study, visit a number of classes, and examine examples of student work submitted by the school.

"During the comprehensive self-study, the faculty will attempt to identify the school’s strengths and determine areas in which changes would be beneficial.”

Lastly, Austin said two teacher development days, Friday, March 15, and  Friday, April 12, would become full student days to avoid extending the school year. The two teacher development days will now be tacked on at the end of the school year.

Graduation day will be June 9 this year, and last student day is projected for June 14, assuming no more snow days are used, Austin said.