FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 board voted unanimously last Wednesday to hire John Jones of Falmouth as special education director, according to Superintendent Tom Ward.

Jones will succeed Christine Gatto-Shea, who is leaving in July to return to being a children’s psychologist.

There were several applications, three of whom were interviewed, Ward said Thursday.

Jones’ salary was set at $89,500, which is less than what is in the budget, he said.

Jones is most recently the assistant director of special education in the Camden-Rockport school system.

Before that, he was director at Governor Baxter School for the Deaf in Falmouth. He has 16 years of experience.

The board also accepted a three-year contract with the support staff, which includes bus driver, custodians, education technicians and secretaries.

The contract factors in the minimum wage increases and keeping competitive with other school systems to retain staff, Ward said.

The minimum wage goes up by $1 to $11 in 2019, and then to $12 in 2020.

During the first year, the overall increase is 5.06 percent; second year, 5.05 percent; and third year, 4.67 percent, Ward said.

“We stayed within budget,” he said.

In other matters, the board approved hiring an additional kindergarten teacher at the Cape Cod Hill School in New Sharon.

Twenty-five students have already enrolled, and the school is expecting more by the time school begins in August, he said.

With salary and benefits, the district is planning on up to $50,000 for the teacher. The money will come from the contingency fund.

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