FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 Superintendent Christian Elkington presented his report to the board of directors on Tuesday, Sept. 19, wherein he stated that, while RSU 9 is in a better position than other school districts in the state, several key positions need to be filled and the applicant pool has run dry for now.

According to Elkington, RSU 9 saw a steady stream of applicants until mid-August, stating, “We’re in a pretty good position as compared to previous years with a number of openings, but we have seen a deep decline in people applying for all the remaining positions.”

I am wondering if we have finally seen the end of the line for all of those who wanted to work in our public school system,” Elkington shared in his report. “I hope not.”

In his report, Elkington listed the following positions that need to be filled:

• Six educational technicians [Full-time]

• School counselor [CBS, Full-time]


• Mechanic [Full-time]

• Band teacher [Full-time]

• Physical therapy assistant [Part-time]

Elkington also shared that the district has seven long-term substitutes that are currently filling in, with three of those substitutes in special education.

“We are fortunate that overall, we have filled a number of positions,” Elkington stated. “We are happy about that. Special ed continues to be an area that everyone across the country, across the state is having difficulty.”

In his report, Elkington shared an article from the New York Times titled “People Don’t Want to Be Teachers Anymore. Can You Blame Them?” by opinion writer Jessica Grose. In her article, she accredits the shortage of teachers to a number of factors, including compensation, the threat of school shootings and the volatile political climate that many schools are facing.


“I’m talking about teachers getting fired after criticizing a school district’s ban on students learning a Dolly Parton and Miley Cyrus song about rainbows and acceptance,” Grose said in her article, “or for attending drag shows on their own time, away from school grounds; or for using a worksheet that went along with a [young adult] novel about a Black teenager being stopped by police. Last year, The Washington Post tallied more than 160 educators who had been fired or resigned in the prior two years due to “culture war” issues.”

Grose also included Matthew Kraft of Brown and Melissa Arnold Lyon of the University at Albany in the conversation, with Kraft stating that the “trend of declining respect and interest and entry and satisfaction in the profession” wasn’t a new phenomenon and the signs of decline started more than a decade ago.

Grose wrote that Kraft attributed the gradual decline to “stagnant real wages for teachers while wages were rising in other sectors for college-educated workers, the increasing cost of higher education in general, and declining respect for the profession overall.”

In other business, Director Alexander Creznic of Farmington announced his resignation from the board. Creznic’s seat on the board would not be up for reelection until 2025.

“This wasn’t an easy decision to make,” Creznic told the board. He stated that he had a personal situation that would interfere with his ability to adequately serve the board.

“I wanted to say that I’m grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had so far to be a member of the board,” he said, “and for the patience and understanding and amicability of everybody here.”


The Farmington Board of Selectmen will decide whether to hold a special election or appoint someone to hold the position until the next election.

The Regional School Unit board of directors vote to adopt two new policies and three revised policies on Tuesday, Sept. 19. One of the policies adopted details how members of the board must conduct themselves on social media. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

The board of directors had second readings on two new policies and three revisions, which are policies KE: Public Concerns and Complaints, BEB: School Board Use of Social Media, BHC: Board Relationships and Communications with Staff, CHCAA: Student Handbooks and FF: Naming Rights.

In policy BEB, it states that “The Board recognizes that many, if not most, of its members are active users of social media, including but not limited to, online social media platforms and other digital media such as blogs and personal websites. The Board understands that while social media can be a positive tool for supporting schools and encouraging community engagement, Board members need to be aware of the legal and ethical considerations that arise when they post, ‘message,’ or otherwise interact with others on social media platforms.”

The policy will prohibit directors from “posting on social media or engage in online discussions as a substitute for deliberations at Board meetings” and “disclosing confidential or personally identifiable information about students [including images], school unit employees, or Board matters or discussions that have taken place in executive sessions.”

The policy will also encourage behavior such as “inviting the public to upcoming school district events, share information about public hearings on bills that affect the schools, and share links to public information about the district.” The policy details how a member of the board must conduct themselves when posting on social media.

The board voted to accepted and adopt the policies as written, with Director Will Jones abstaining due to his absence from previous meetings.

Comments are not available on this story.