BRUNSWICK — Cathy Folan this week became interim principal at Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary for the remainder of the academic year, after a search committee declined to nominate a candidate for the permanent position.
According to a Dec. 16 letter from Superintendent Paul Perzanoski, Folan spent 23 years as an elementary principal at Auburn’s Fairview School, West Bath Elementary School and Sabattus Elementary School. She was appointed by Perzanoski from a pool of 15 applicants.
Stowe has been without a permanent principal since late July, after former Principal Jean Skorapa left to for an assistant superintendent post in Regional School Unit 3.
Long-time administrator John Paige took over as interim principal in August, when a search committee was formed to find a replacement under the supervision of Assistant Superintendent Pender Makin. Paige, who is semi-retired, said he would take up the post on the condition that his appointment would not last through the fall term.
By October, the search committee of staff, teachers and parents narrowed its search to Tonya Arnold, principal of the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences at Good Will-Hinckley, and Patricia Crowley-Rockwell, assistant principal of King Middle School in Portland.
But the committee declined to choose either candidate after receiving opinions from faculty, staff and parents following a Sept. 12 public forum with the candidates.
The committee will renew its search early next year. At an October School Board meeting, Makin said the search committee hopes to have a permanent pick by March, with the goal of having a new principal on the job starting July 1, 2017.
In the meantime, Perzanoski said in an email Monday, Folan was chosen for her experience; in addition to 23 years as a principal, she spent 19 years teaching a range of elementary school grade levels.
Folan started at Stowe on Friday, Dec. 19, and is sharing duties with Paige during a week-long transition period.