Eastern holds first board meeting of the year

Schools still in need of substitutes and other employees

The Eastern Regional High School district held its first board of education meeting for the new year on Sept. 21, a session that had no major announcements but one in which the board  expressed a need for substitute teachers, bus drivers and referees. 

Superintendent Robert Cloutier told meeting attendees that Eastern has had to cancel athletic matches due to a shortage of referees. Principal Robert Tull noted that he has been conducting interviews for substitute positions. 

- Advertisement -

“Right now, our most glaring staffing need is referees,” said Cloutier. “Our (teaching) staffing situation is currently (under control).” 

Cloutier was referring to a slight staffing shortage that the high school experienced at times last year. A number of teachers were forced to cover unoccupied classrooms and instruction blocks,  most notably in the science department. The potential for a shortage was a concern given that the board did not want to risk burnout among teachers.

“I have begun to interview some great candidates for substitute teaching roles,” said Tull, but he did not confirm whether any candidates had been hired or if positions would be filled anytime soon. 

Among other motions at the meeting, the Bi-Annual  Student Data Safety Systems report was conducted by Bill Westerby, who found that Eastern remains highly safe. He reported a few minor fights and acts of vandalism and three incidents of weapons found. 

“Off the top of my head, the weapons found were one can of pepper spray and two pocket knives,” Westerby noted.

There were no instances of firearms or anything more serious. Westerby also reported four alleged instances of HIB (Harassment, Intimidation or Bullying), one of which was confirmed. 

Last year’s report showed that some students were convening in the bathrooms to use vape devices during breaks, resulting in more than a dozen disciplinary actions. Cloutier said the district has looked into nicotine and electronic cigarette-detection technology to screen students before school.

“We (should soon be) having devices that can scan for the possession of vaping devices or nicotine,’’ he noted. “I’m sure parents will be happy to hear that.”

New to the district this year is a full-time student representative who will sit with elected board members. Eastern’s 2022-’23 student rep will be Zanna Ahmed, who is the student body president. 

The next board of education meeting will be held on Oct 19 at 7:30 p.m.. For updates and all things Eastern, to the district website and Facebook pages,

- Advertisment -