CONWAY — A retired high school teacher, Stephen Arsenault of Wolfeboro, has offered his services to fill in as a long-term substitute teacher at the Mount Washington Valley Career and Technical Center at Kennett High School until machine tool and metals teacher Andy Shaw returns from suspension on May 15.
Virginia Schrader, director of the MWV Career and Technical Center, confirmed Wednesday the district is in the process of screening Arsenault for the post.
Schrader said Arsenault taught machine tooling in Massachusetts and Nashua high schools prior to retiring.
“He loves the program and has even donated tools to the (Kennett machine tool) program,” Schrader said.
School and law enforcement are in the process of conducting a criminal background check on Arsenault. If he passes, which officials believe he will, he would then be recommended to the Conway School Board as a long-term substitute teacher. The Conway board is scheduled to meet again on March 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Conway Professional Development Center at Kennett Middle School.
Shaw, who was charged last November with hosting a drinking party with underage guests and threatened with being fired by the SAU 9 School Superintendent Kevin Richard, was suspended following a hearing by the school board on Jan. 31 in the Professional Development Center.
About 80 people of all ages appeared at the hearing. They were not allowed to speak.
Shaw teaches at the Mount Washington Valley Career and Technical Center at Kennett High School.
According to the Conway police complaint, Shaw had been charged with holding an underage drinking party at his home. The alleged offense occurred Nov. 3 at Shaw’s home at 33 Southview Loop, off East Conway Road in Center Conway, at about 10:33 p.m.
The complaint, written by Conway Police Detective Dominic Torch, said Shaw had knowledge “that people under the age of 21 possessed or intended to consume alcoholic beverages” during a party that he organized at his residence, and, while he was present at the residence, at least five individuals unrelated to him were present and under the age of 21, while at least one individual under the age of 21 consumed or possessed alcohol.”
The school board, after meeting behind closed doors on Jan. 31, to suspend Shaw for more than three months without pay, effective immediately, until May 15.
In addition, Shaw was placed on a three-year, last chance improvement plan with conditions to be established by the superintendent.
Thanks to Shaw’s tutelage, many students have built parts for NASA as part of the HUNCH (High schools United with NASA to Create Hardware) and have interned at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The Eagles are still on track to complete the parts they were asked to build last fall, according to Schrader.
Schrader said master craftsmen Rod Henry and George Abbott have been regulars in the machine tool shop at KHS mentoring students on the project for the International Space Station.
“We’re working on it,” Schrader said. “We ordered the last of the tooling equipment today. George Abbott and Rod Henry are great guys and are contributing a tremendous amount of time and expertise. This is why it pays to have a great advisory board.”
Schrader plans to take the machine tool students on a field trip to Lake Region Vocational Center in Naples, Maine, on March 14.
“They are hosting a manufacturing career day,” she said, adding that representatives from Pratt & Whitney, an American aerospace manufacturer with global service operations, and Hunting Dearborn of Fryeburg, Maine, “a world leader in Precision CNC Machining services and mission-critical machined components for the most demanding applications,” according to its website.
Reporter Daymond Steer contributed to this story.