Van Buren school forges forestry partnership with UMFK
VAN BUREN, Maine — Laurie Spooner, high school science teacher at Van Buren District School, reached out to the University of Maine at Fort Kent’s RuralU program at the beginning of the school year. Her goal was to establish a concurrent enrollment forestry class at her school.
As a result of that partnership, UMFK personnel recently delivered a donation of classroom equipment to the high school class.
Spooner and Jeff Dubis, UMFK Forestry Instructor, and Program Chair Scott Voisine have worked together sharing UMFK’s curriculum and resources to develop the program at Van Buren District School. Spooner teaches Introduction to Forestry just as Dubis does at UMFK, allowing her students to earn credit from both Van Buren District School and UMFK.
There are seven students enrolled in the class and if these students decide to continue with the forestry program at UMFK, this class counts towards their degree.
“I work with different schools in Maine and Vermont and this is by far the best group of students and teacher to work with. They have great questions about the program and are really engaged. Mrs. Spooner and her students came to UMFK this fall and have planned another trip this spring to work with me,” Dubis said.
On Monday, March 2, Voisine, who is also dean of community education at UMFK, and Dubis traveled to Van Buren District School to surprise Spooner and her forestry class with $4,500 worth of brand-new forestry equipment. The equipment included; diameter tapes, biltmore sticks, clinometers, prisms, angle gauges, increment borers, compasses, a bark gauge, calipers, and two new tablets with GPS software and imaging to use for their class.
Spooner and her class were excited and appreciative of the gift. Voisine also students with bags filled with items from UMFK and a forestry company.
This is just one of many partnerships between UMFK and Van Buren District School. They hope to be able to continue this partnership in the years to follow and potentially bring more learning opportunities to Van Buren students.