SAD 61 to drop ‘interim’ status?

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Sometimes, the best candidate for a job is already in one’s midst.

SAD 61’s next superintendent could be the same person already occupying that position.

School Board member Erica Pond-Green suggested Monday night that the board simply remove the “interim” tag and make Dr. Kathleen Beecher the next SAD 61 superintendent of schools.

“I believe we have the best candidate sitting amongst us,” she said.

Director Janice Barter agreed. Having served on the school board for 13 years and having been a member of several superintendent search committees, Barter questioned whether SAD 61 could find a better candidate than Dr. Beecher. Barter cited the “growth” she has seen as Dr. Beecher has climbed the administrative ladder here — serving as principal, curriculum coordinator, assistant superintendent, and now interim superintendent. Barter believes Dr. Beecher brings a high degree of professionalism to the job, and has earned the respect of administrators and staff. She has also fostering greater rapport with area town officials in attempts to developing a budget that meets educational needs while staying affordable to cash-strapped taxpayers.

“She (Dr. Beecher) may not be able to find a solution to everything, but she will do her best to solve a problem,” Barter said.

One hitch in immediately offering the job to Dr. Beecher, who indicated to the school board that she would indeed apply for the position if an open search is conducted, is a district policy that calls for the position to be advertised.

The board’s Personnel Committee was nearly ready to launch a superintendent search. Committee chairman Donna Norton reported that the group had discussed where SAD 61 might advertise the position, including various educational publications and websites.

Through past experiences, Barter found that the “quality” of a candidate pool drops off word circulates that a strong “in-house” option exists.

Several directors felt money used to develop a search would be wasted since the best candidate is likely already here.

Directors seemed ready to move ahead with hiring Dr. Beecher, but decided to table action to seek legal opinion on whether they could sidestep the district’s hiring policy.

Facility fees

Use of SAD 61 facilities by nonprofit community and for-profit groups could soon cost more.

Andy Madura, director of transportation, maintenance and food service, has revamped the district’s fee schedule to include “middle of the road” increases to cover costs.

“We’re trying to get a little closer to what we should be receiving,” he told the school board.

Under the proposed fee schedule, these rates would be charged: classroom, $30 (up from $15); LRHS gym, $200 (up from $100; cafeterias, $80 (up from $40). Other rates such as utilities would increase slightly.

A second reading approval by the school board will be forthcoming.

White House for sale

The White House is for sale. SAD 61 is working with Schiavi Home Builders in Oxford to market the sale of the vocational center’s modular unit, known as “The White House.” The unit needs to be removed by this summer as part of the school construction plan.

Madura noted that the other modular unit on the eastern side of the high school, which houses some classrooms, will likely be kept.

Good Kids

Good Kid awards were presented to the following:

Sebago Elementary: Ella Newcomb, Kindergarten, nominated by Eileen Mains; Adrianna Wood, Grade 1, by Randa Vitala; Emily Johnston, Grade 2, by Kathy Harmon; Dilon Plummer, Grade 3, by Cindy Jones; Benjamin Johnston, Grade 4, by Anita Quinlan; Libby Knudsen, Grade 5, by Kim Tibbetts.

Songo Locks School: Owen Stuart, Kindergarten, by Judy Hatch; Elizabeth Brewer, Grade 1, by Marjory Swick; Wilson Secord, Grade 2, by Diane Geiser; Jack England, Grade 3, by Kim Nielsen; Dayle Gray, Grade 4, by Melissa Arbour; Mya Market, Grade 5, by Betsy Mayo.

Stevens Brook Elementary: Lauren Roy, Kindergarten, by Jaime Fontaine; Dexter Thayer, Grade 1, by Gayle Granger; Riley Neal, Grade 2, by Pam Jones; Ayden Foster, Grade 3, by Karen Lepage; Lucas Emerson, Grade 4, by Marlena Gloff-Straw; Brandon Ross, Grade 5, by Elizabeth Shane.

Lake Region Middle School: Meaghan Goodine, Grade 6, by Jenn Schaffer/Cadillac Team; Daria Bosworth, Grade 6, by Kim Cowperthwaite/Kathy Minigell; Rachel Bolling, Grade 7, by Matt Dunckel; Adrianna Merrill, Grade 8, by Katahdin Team; Michael Angelone, Grade 7/8, by Sugarloaf Team.

Lake Region High School: Kyle DeSouza, Grade 9, by Katie Cash-Staley; Sarah Hancock, Grade 9, Brian Cushing; Mackenzie McHatton, Grade 10, by Peter Robertson; Kasey Hoyt, Grade 11, by Gloria Verrill; Jack Mills, Grade 11, by Peter Robertson; Samantha Dole, Grade 12, by Peter Robertson.

Personnel

Alanna Doughty was approved as an English Second Language consultant and tutor for Grades K-6. There were two applicants for the position, and two were interviewed.

Betsy McGettigan was approved as a social worker at Lake Region High School, replacing John Fitzgerald, who is retiring. There were four applicants, and two were interviewed.

Sarah Peck, a drafting instructor, will be on family medical leave of absence through Jan. 3.

Troy Bell has transferred from a custodian at Stevens Brook Elementary School and a district-wide maintenance technician to a custodian at Lake Region High School.

Ashleigh London and Kelly Tibbetts were approved as varsity cheerleading co-coaches.

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