Superintendent Marc Gousse. "I can give credit for unique experiences," said Gousse regarding placement of new teachers on the salary ladder. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Teacher pay is questioned

BAR HARBOR — After approving five new teachers for the upcoming school year Monday, school board members had questions about how their experience is calculated for the purposes of compensation.

Under the two-year, district-wide teacher contract, the entry-level salary for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no prior experience is $36,236. The contract is negotiated every two years between the teachers’ union and school administration. Two of the new teachers are considered “entry-level” per the contract even though they have experience in the schools as ed techs, summer school teachers and long-term substitutes.

“I can give credit for unique experiences,” Superintendent Marc Gousse said. He cited a school social worker position where he was able to consider an applicant’s two years of experience in a nonschool setting, because her job tasks had been “almost exactly” what she would be doing at the school.

“I give people as much credit as I can for real-world experience while following the provisions of the contract,” he said.

The new teachers include Marcia Rechholtz, who is set to teach second grade following Rochelle Sprague’s retirement this spring. She has been a long-term substitute in the district and worked as an ed tech at Pemetic Elementary School.

Abbie Pappas will fill the fourth-grade position created by Missy Gaston’s retirement. She has been an ed tech and summer school teacher.

Christina Parkinson is set to join the school with seven years’ experience, teaching science in grades five and six, following David Keefe’s retirement. She also has worked an educator at Acadia National Park in programs for visiting schoolteachers.

Bryan Dionne, who left Conners Emerson seven years ago in a family move, is set to return to the school next year to teach physical education and health in all grades. He would fill the position currently held by Hellen Jolley, who is leaving the district.

Technology specialist Rick Barter is retiring from full-time work at the school at the end of this year, but has been nominated to continue on a part-time basis (three days per week) for a maximum of five years.

The board is set to consider nominations for two other positions, a social worker and a first grade teacher, at a brief meeting later this month.

The retiring teachers were honored at a celebration at the Maine Seacoast Mission earlier this month.

The school board also approved a one-year extension of Principal Barbara Neilly’s current three-year contract, to 2020.




Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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