Chinese youth excited to attend Presque Isle High School

10 years ago

   PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Three of the six Chinese students who are attending Presque Isle High School this school year were guests at last Wednesday night’s SAD 1 board meeting. The other three students have since arrived as the first day of school is today.
“This is part of our growing Chinese initiative,” said Superintendent Gehrig Johnson, “which we’ve been working on for three-and-a-half years. The students are staying with host parents for the 2014-15 school year.
“These students will be paying tuition to attend the high school,” he said, noting that the total net profit to SAD 1 will be $55,000. “We also have a Chinese student attending the University of Maine at Presque Isle who will be helping us with our Chinese program.”
Johnson will be traveling to China next month to officially open a Presque Isle International School in Nanning and to visit high schools in three Chinese cities.
“We have been cultivating a relationship with the Chinese which we feel will be of great mutual benefit going forward,” Johnson said.
“I’m very excited about this,” said Christina Qiu, a freshman, as she addressed the board. “I really like my host family and they have been so nice to me. I love to be in a new environment to learn and to live, and that’s very inspiring to me. Thank you for the opportunity.”
Chloe Ru and Layla Zhan, both seniors, are equally happy to be here.
“I really enjoy the landscape here and the air is much fresher,” said Ru. “I’m looking forward to studying here.”
“I’ve been enjoying things so far, and our host family is very nice,” Zhan said. “I’m very excited about our year here.”
Also attending the meeting was a group of 11 Beijing students who were weeklong guests of UMPI and SAD 1.
“Many of these students are interested in attending PIHS and/or UMPI in the future,” said Johnson, “and this provides them an opportunity to explore our school and community.”
In other SAD 1 meeting news, directors:
• Were notified that Pat’s Pizza was awarded the low offer of $6 per pizza to supply pizzas to PIHS as a lunch option.
• Accepted the resignation of Charles Anderson, business manager, effective Sept. 30.
• Awarded a low bid of .1025 cents for unleaded gas to Dead River Co. and .0950 cents for diesel fuel to Foster Holdings.
• Approved an increase to school lunch prices. At both the elementary and secondary levels, meals will increase by 10 cents for students. Adults at the secondary level will see a 25-cent increase bringing meals to $4.65, which is in line with adult prices at the elementary level. Breakfast at all schools will remain the same for students ($1.30), but will increase to $2 per meal for adults.
“I have contacted surrounding schools and the increase is consistent with their prices,” said Kathy Allen, director of the SAD 1 School Nutrition Program. “Schools have reported the need to increase prices due to the implementation of the Federal Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, creating an unfunded mandate for school systems. It is our goal to continue to provide nutritious meals at a reasonable price and to meet regulations.”
The next regular board meeting will be Wednesday, Sept. 3 at 5:30 p.m. The location has yet to be determined.