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Holy Savior School in Rumford Welcomes New Staff Members as Blended Learning Partnership with Saint Dominic Academy Enters Second Year

RUMFORD---After the successful implementation of a new blended learning program last year, Holy Savior School in Rumford (pre-kindergarten through eighth grade) is pleased to welcome new staff members as the school continues to enhance the project-based, educational approach that has been embraced by students, families, and teachers.

Michelle Ladd has been named as the school’s new head teacher and will focus on the fifth, sixth, and seventh grades. Ladd, who is a member of Holy Savior Parish and previously served as a middle school teacher at Holy Savior School, most recently worked at Dirigo Middle School in Dixfield.

Paul Condello has been appointed as Holy Savior’s new elementary school teacher and will assist with technology implementation. He has experience teaching students of all ages and most recently was an ESL teacher, working with Chinese students through an online educational program.

Marianne Pelletier, principal of Saint Dominic Academy’s Lewiston campus, will assume the role of administrative liaison between the academy and Holy Savior, in addition to her current duties at Saint Dominic. Pelletier holds two master’s degrees (special education and school administration) and has served as a public school and Catholic school principal, a special education teacher, a teacher for the blind, and a director of a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed children. In 2014, Pelletier received the Innovation in Catholic Schools Award, presented by Today’s Catholic Teacher. She has also served on the executive board of the National Catholic Schools Association (NCEA).

“We couldn’t be happier with the new members of our Holy Savior School family,” said Fr. Nathan March, pastor of Holy Savior Parish. “They are committed to ensuring that Holy Savior School remains an innovative and welcoming center of faith, service, and learning.”

The first year of the blended learning program was a success. The research-proven strategy combines traditional teaching methods with the delivery of content and material via digital and online media. The application of the material is adjusted on a student-by-student basis and encourages a true communal learning experience through projects conducted inside and outside the walls of the school.

“Collaboration has been the key to implementing the program. Collaboration between students and teachers, teachers and parents, and even community organizations,” said Jim King, superintendent of Maine Catholic Schools. “For instance, Holy Savior has a great relationship with Black Mountain. Last year, the students visited the mountain several times and learned about the physics of sledding and did experiments with different materials to design better sleds. Projects and experiences like this allow students to maximize their abilities at their own pace.”

The infrastructure at Holy Savior School was improved with an investment in new technology and independent learning software, and staff members continually participate in professional development designed to create a classroom experience with both modern and traditional components.

“Students using the blended learning software actually complete a year and a half of school work within one academic year,” said King.

In the second year of the program, the collaboration between Holy Savior and Saint Dominic Academy will increase as staff members at the academy will offer assistance with enrollment, communication, information technology, and administrative duties.

“Having that additional support will allow the Holy Savior staff as well as myself to focus more on curriculum oversight, the student experience, and ensuring a pastoral presence at the school,” said Fr. March. “It’s an exciting collaboration and there is a lot of room and motivation to grow.”

Registration remains open for the 2017-2018 academic year with a student rate of $2950 or a family rate of $7400. For more information, to register, or to tour Holy Savior, call the school at (207) 364-2528.