Our readers would not soon forgive me if I let such a popular guest author hide in the “comments” section.
Brace yourselves, the big lie on which the liquidation of Katahdin is predicated; that small schools are untenable, is about to fall…. “Timmmmmmmberrrrrrr!”
They need to look at the big picture. Easton Schools is roughly 15 minutes from Presque Isle High School, exactly half of the travel time from Katahdin to SACHS.
However, Easton chooses to keep their Class D School (which by the way is much smaller than Katahdin in terms of enrollment) open, even though they are so close to a large school.
With that aside, Easton manages to have one of the highest graduation rates in Aroostook County, one of the the largest percentage of honor students in the county, and many extracurricular groups to help their students thrive (a math team is one example).
If Easton can manage this with approximately 2/3 the enrollment of Katahdin, while providing a good education and plenty of educational opportunities, then there is no reason why Katahdin can’t. Washburn also does the same thing!
The problem lies internally. Consolidation is going to merely consolidate problems, not consolidate students.
I believe that the education that I gained from Katahdin was well rounded and it prepared me well for college. However, I had the option to take classes like shop, chorus, band, etc. These positions have simply been removed not due to a lack of student interest, but due to the fact that without them, they can toy the idea that “consolidation brings more opportunities.”
What needs to happen is the school needs to backtrack about 4-5 years and reestablish the same programs and morale that kept students and staff happy.
The voters are never going to approve consolidation, so you might as well not waste any more air Mr. Hammer.