New Kittery, Marshwood adult ed director has big plans

Screen Shot 2019-09-07 at 6.45.42 PMBy Hadley Barndollar hbarndollar@seacoastonline.com September 7. 2019 

 KITTERY, Maine — The new director of Kittery and Marshwood Adult Education has big plans for English language learners, career certification pathways and avenues to high school completion.

Linda Greer comes off a more than 30-year career at the Hannaford supermarket company, where she helped employees transition into new work assignments. Her passion for helping people harness their skill sets led to her pursuing a graduate degree through the University of Southern Maine’s adult education program.

Now she’s ready to push adult learners in Maine’s southernmost communities to success and self-sufficiency. Greer takes over the Kittery and Marshwood programs following the departure of Lorraine Robida at the end of last school year.

“I would always look at a person and say, ’What is their next best development step? What gets them to the edge of just outside their comfort zone, where they could step forward and make progress?” said Greer, of South Portland. “For me, adult education began there.”

The Kittery and Marshwood post is Greer’s first director position. She was an adult education intern in the Westbrook school system during her graduate work, and then became employed as an administrative assistant in the program.

“In that first year, I was fortunate to work with the fast-growing English language growing population that was occurring in Westbrook, and the growth of a career certification program,” Greer said. “We doubled the size of our graduating class. In those two years, it was a fascinating look at important tracks of adult education.”

With English language learners, of which Kittery and Marshwood has a robust program, Greer seeks to channel language acquisition into growth opportunities; looking at English skills as a pathway to a career. Greer called this “a real big passion” for her. Next week she’ll head to Boston for an English language learners program that takes a look at how ELL education relates to art and citizenship training. She’ll also be looking at the “learning lab” at Portland Adult Education, and the structure that program has for helping speakers of other languages excel in the community.

“We have the resources here with tutors and technology and space, and I’m excited to be able to help grow that particular part of it,” Greer said.

Kittery already offers a free preparation course for the U.S. citizenship exam, for example, which many ELL students take in tandem with their literacy classes.

Greer also looks forward to expanding the RISE Up program, a partnership with the Kittery Outlets designed for entry-level and first-time job seekers. Upon completion of RISE Up, students earn the Retail Industry Fundamentals Professional credential, and have a resume prepared, along with a cover letter.

Greer will bring her retail experience from Hannaford to amplify that program, while also expanding the high school equivalency program, known as HiSET, to be accessible to students online. Greer also has interest in reaching out to employers about creating incentive programs for employees who don’t have their high school diploma.

Many community members enroll in adult education classes for the enrichment aspect. Offerings by Kittery and Marshwood this fall include everything from goat milk soap-making, to ukulele for beginners, to debt management. Some classes even focus solely on local history, like Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and infamous murders in Kittery.

No matter the topic, Greer hopes to steer the enrichment program toward potential entrepreneurial experiences.

“If any of those students actually want to take those skills that they’re learning and move them into an economic career path, I would bring into that the ability to help students see and build partnerships with entrepreneurial programs,” she said.

Updated Emergency Procedures and Protocols

Dear Members of the Marshwood Community,

At various times throughout the year, our region experiences both anticipated weather events such as snow storms, wind and ice storms as well as unanticipated emergency events such as power outages. In the fall of 2012, the district worked together with the Emergency Management Directors for both Eliot and South Berwick, each town’s Chief of Police, Fire Chief and Public Works Directors to develop a coherent set of emergency protocols and a communication system for both anticipated weather events and for unanticipated emergency events. These clear protocols essentially require me to gather as much information as possible to make an informed decision regarding our schools’ opening, closing or delayed start times before 5:30 a.m. and then to communicate any change to our usual school opening times to over 2,600 contacts. Since weather and conditions surrounding other unanticipated emergency events can change quickly, there will always be a myriad of nuanced contingencies that present themselves within the decisionmaking process. As a result, there may be occasions when you decide to keep your child home when our schools are open. Notwithstanding the decision of the district to open, close or delay the start of its schools, as your child’s parent, you are the best judge of what road and weather conditions you believe are safe or unsafe for your family’s travel. If you believe that your child(ren) should not come to school during an inclement weather event, you should keep your child home. In these cases, your child will be listed as having an “excused” absence and any schoolwork missed on that day will be able to be completed in a timely manner. Finally, although we cannot predict what media systems will be operational or offline at your home or workplace during a weather event or other unanticipated emergency, we have developed numerous pathways for delivering information regarding our schools’ status. These information pathways include: Ø Posting on the district’s website front page: www.rsu35.org Ø Posting on the district’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/MarshwoodSchools/258524500918045 Ø Notification via TV channels 6, 8 & 13 Ø Notification via radio stations WTSN, the Portland Radio Group, WHEB/WERZ Ø Phone message and email via Connect-ED It is my hope that at least one platform of information will be available to you during a storm or other emergency event so that you can have the latest information regarding your child’s school status. As your Superintendent I want to assure you that I hold the safety of our students and staff as my highest priority and I strive to make the best decision I can with the best available information I have at the time regarding school closings or delayed starts. Thank you for your continued support!

Sincerely,

Mary Nash, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools

School Resource Officer Jeff Upton

SRO Jeff Upton

Serving RSU #35 and the Town of South Berwick

jeff.upton@rsu35.org

website:  https://sites.google.com/a/rsu35.org/school-resource-officer-jeff-upton/

This site is set up to be a resource to the entire RSU #35 community in both South Berwick and Eliot.  It is not all inclusive of the issues that our students and parents face on a day to day basis, but it does provide information for many of the topics that are brought up throughout the school year.  If there is information that you feel would be helpful on this site, please email me so that I can get the information out.  Also, please understand that this is a basic resource and you are more than welcome to call me or email me should you have further questions.

MARSHWOOD ADULT AND COMMUNITY EDUCATION CHECK OUT THE COURSE CATALOGUE: https://marshwood.maineadulted.org/classes/ Babysitter’s Training The primary purpose of the Babysitter’s Training course is to provide youth who are planning to babysit with the knowledge and skills necessary to give care safely and responsibly for children and infants. Participants will learn how to …

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