SAD 1’s Lisnik, Fox to retire

10 years ago

SAD 1’s Lisnik, Fox to retire

Donna Lisnik Larry Fox

By Scott Mitchell Johnson
Staff Writer

    PRESQUE ISLE — Two veteran SAD 1 administrators will be stepping down at the end of the school year.
    At the Feb. 12 board meeting, it was announced that Presque Isle High School Principal Donna Lisnik and Curriculum Director Larry Fox will be retiring effective June 30.

    Lisnik has been the principal at PIHS since 2010. Before that she was the assistant principal for five years, was the principal at Easton Junior-Senior High School for five years, and was a math teacher at PIHS for 13 years.
    “I have loved every minute of working at PIHS and have achieved so many of my lifetime goals while here,” Lisnik said in a letter announcing her decision. “It has been a rewarding experience working with the students, the faculty and staff, and fellow administrators. I thank you for the many opportunities I have been given in the last 27 years, and although I would love to be able to stay for another 27 years, I know it is time to spend some special time with my husband, children and grandchildren.”
    In his 25 years with SAD 1, Fox has held a variety of positions. He has taught science at both the middle and high school level, was the principal at Cunningham Middle School and later Presque Isle Middle School, and has served as the director of the Presque Isle Regional Career and Technical Center, adult education director and curriculum director.
    Fox said in his letter “there is significant and important work to be done as schools transition to a proficiency-based learning model and in the development and implementation of performance evaluation systems for principals and teachers.”
    “I feel that the next curriculum director needs to be in place relatively soon to help coordinate and implement that work over the next several years,” he said.
    Both Lisnik’s and Fox’s retirement letters were accepted by the board.
    Directors also unanimously approved the 2014-15 school calendar.
    “This year’s calendar includes 176 student days and five staff development days. That’s been the case for the last couple of years,” said Superintendent Gehrig Johnson. “Prior to that, we had 175 student days and six staff development days. To comply with new education statutes, we thought it would make sense to reinstate the extra staff development day as our staff implements new student mandates over the next couple of years. Next year’s calendar includes 175 student days and six in-service days.
    “We’ve also tried to develop a common calendar within central Aroostook County — especially trying to link up the two vocational regions [SAD 1 and Caribou] because the students commute daily from school to school. The calendars have never really been in sync, so we’ve tried to address that,” he said. “Given that we have a different harvest schedule than they do, this calendar is as close as we can realistically make it.”
    Students in pre-K to grade 8 will begin school Sept. 4 and end June 12. High school commences Aug. 20 and will end June 19.
    Also at the February meeting, directors:
    • Received a brief update from Business Manager Charles Anderson about the 2015 school budget.
    “Football season ended a week-and-a-half ago, but the goal posts keep moving in Augusta,” he said. “At one point, we [the state] were looking at a $40 million deficit, then $119 million deficit, now it’s magically up to a $160 million deficit.
    “Unfortunately we have less information than we normally would have by this time of year. The acting commissioner [Jim Rier] had indicated earlier that we might expect to see something around the middle of February, so maybe we’ll hear something soon,” said Anderson. “We’re hopeful that at the March meeting we’ll have some preliminary numbers because we are at least a month — maybe longer — behind our usual schedule.”
    • Approved a word change to an existing policy. Since students now have laptops and iPads, Policy IJNDB “Student Computer and Internet Use” was changed to “Student Electronic Device and Internet Use.”
    “We thought it was time to make it a more generic title to include all of the electronic devices that students now use,” said Fox. “There’s no substantive change here; just an update on what we’re calling it.”
    The next regular SAD 1 board meeting will be Wednesday, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the board conference room at PIHS.