Southern Aroostook

August 26, 2021

Dear Elementary Students and Families,

Welcome back to another school year.  The staff here at school has been very busy getting ready for your arrival on Monday, August 30th.  We look forward to seeing you!  

Each new year comes with excitement, anticipation and some nervousness for students and staff.  Please reach out with any questions or concerns.  As a reminder, my email address is and the phone number is 757-8206.  

I want to update you on a couple of procedures:

  1.  The drop off and pick up process will remain the same as last year.  Please drop all elementary students off at the elementary school entrance no earlier than 7:30 am. At the end of the school day, parents will meet their children outside at the elementary entrance.  Please park in a parking spot, and get out of your vehicles to come meet your children as they exit the building. Staff members on duty will need to see who each child is leaving with before they are allowed to leave. Be sure you have called the  school ahead of time to let Diana Betschner know if you plan to pick your child/children up. 

  2. We are still trying to keep outside visitors in the building to a minimum. If you need to dismiss your child/children early, please call the office and a staff member will bring your child/children out to you at the elementary entrance.  

  3. There will not be an Open House this fall. Teachers are available to talk via phone/Google Meet or email with you if you would like to speak with them.

  4. At this time, we plan to hold the scheduled conferences on October 7th and 8th virtually.  More information will be forthcoming.

  5. Masks are required inside the school building and on buses.  Students will be allowed to have mask breaks during the day when social distancing is possible, and teachers will take students outside at times.  All PE classes will be outside as long as weather permits.  Our students were champs with these procedures last year.

We have two new staff members in the elementary school that I would like to introduce:

  1. Jill Starrett is our new 4th grade teacher.  She grew up in Patten and went to Patten/Katahdin Schools. She attended Plymouth State University for her Bachelor’s Degree and The University of Maine for her Masters Degree. She has been married to her husband Craig for 28 years and has a grown son, Grant, who is a Registered Maine Guide in the Allagash for several months each fall. She has taught Special Education (K-4), Grade 1 and Grade 3.  She loves to read, camp, bake and spend time with family. She and her husband have recently bought land on Spaulding Lake and are beginning to build their retirement home. She is very excited to move back “home” and looks forward to meeting her 4th Graders.  Welcome, Jill!

  2. Ryan Pelletier is our new K-5 PE / 6th grade health teacher.  He grew up in Orrington, ME and went to Brewer High School. He attended the University of Maine at Farmington for Community Health and Health Education. He has been married for almost a whole year and has two  fun cats. He has taught in public, private and alternative education settings.  He loves to do anything outside, such as playing sports, skiing, hiking and surfing/ snorkeling. He  and his wife have recently bought their first house in Island Falls. He has roots from the Fort Kent / Eagle Lake area, and is happy to be closer to family. He is extremely excited to become a member of the community and is looking forward to helping in any way! Welcome, Ryan!

Here’s hoping that we all have a happy, healthy, learning year!

Mrs. Bates

Elementary Principal