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To:                  Superintendents of Schools and School Principals


From:             Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner of Education


Date:              August 28, 2003


Subject:          Educational Plant Maintenance Association Awards



            It gives me great pleasure to announce two awards presented recently at the Educational Plant Maintenance Association (EPMA) 35th annual conference. Over 200 school facilities supervisors and workers gathered at EPMA’s three-day 2003 conference held June 23 – 25 at the University of Maine, Farmington.


            The Burleigh Oxton Excellence Award for work in school facilities was awarded to MSAD #72’s Guy Rowe School head custodian Murray Harding for his 13 years of exemplary service to his school and community. Mr. Harding will be further honored at EMPA’s October, 2003 meeting where he will receive a plaque from Burleigh Oxton. Terry Cram of SAD #17 was also a finalist for the Oxton award. I congratulate both of these gentlemen for this recognition.


            The Burleigh Oxon Excellence Award is named for Mr. Burleigh Oxon who, for many years, was the Facilities Manager of the Bath Public Schools. He is the last surviving founding member of the Educational Plant Maintenance Association.


            James Rier, former Chair of the State Board of Education, was also honored by EPMA for his many contributions to Maine’s school facilities, including his service as a local school committee member, the Chair of the State Board of Education, the Chair of the State Board’s Facilities Sub-committee, the Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on School Facilities, and a co-author of LD 2252 (1998) which among other things created the School Revolving Renovation Fund and the Maine School Facilities Management Template.


            EPMA is a professional organization of school facilities supervisors that offers training programs throughout the year for its members and others from Maine’s schools. For more information about EPMA, please contact