Calais High School

Quinn Sluzenski

Last week was witness to many developments in the struggle to fix the Calais school system’s budget.  The Calais High School cafeteria was packed full of concerned students, parents, and community members last Tuesday night as the school board gathered to vote on which cuts would be made.  Before they began, however, there was an opportunity for members of the public to speak about the issues.

Dozens of people spoke on behalf of the programs and positions that may be cut.  Several community members spoke passionately and eloquently.  A few elementary school students were brave enough to speak to the huge group of people about what they loved about their school.  There were also several representatives from the high school.  Senior class president Conor McCadden and student council representative Dominic Gayton both made thought-provoking points concerning how the budget deficit was being handled.  Conor invited all of the students in the room to stand, creating a powerful image of the students and their determination to fight for their school.

Part-time senior Katy Tickle spoke about the probable negative effects from the cuts.  Student council president Jordan Hatch read a letter from the senior class president of the class of 2012, Rachel Cundiff.  It outlined all of the benefits she had received and lessons she had learned from extra-curricular activities.

Senior class treasurer Matt Bridges spoke on behalf of the senior class officers about the monetary benefits of extra-curricular activities.  The officers, led by vice-president Kate Cundiff, recently conducted an anonymous survey in which they asked students whether they would consider transferring schools if all activities were cut.  Over forty tuition-paying students said they would like to transfer, which would create a large financial loss on top of the consequences that cannot be easily quantified.

Everyone at Calais High School would like to express deep pride and appreciation for the students who attended the school board meeting.  The students who spoke represented Calais with confidence and grace, reminding everyone in the room what they’re fighting for.  They, along with everyone else that spoke, convinced the school board that the best course of action would be to table the cuts and speak again with the city council.

With a renewed sense of hope, students and community members attended the city council meeting last Thursday.  During this meeting, the city council made some great strides with the budget.  Although the struggle is far from over, there has been progress.  Soon the final decisions will be made.  Until then, we will continue to fight and hope for the best.

While this has been going on, some very important elections have taken place.  The freshman class chose their officers last week.  Congratulations to Jack Lander, president; Halen Harris, vice-president; Riley Sluzenski, treasurer; Greg Mitchell, secretary; and Jarod Marshall, Kobey Gillespie, and Joey Harding, student council representatives.  The student council also selected their executive board.  President is Jordan Hatch, vice-president is Conor McCadden, secretary is Dominic Gayton and treasurer is Taylorae Carter.  Congratulations again to everyone.  At a time like this, our student representatives are more important than ever.  We are confident that these people, as well as the rest of our student leaders, will do an excellent job.