Cape Elizabeth School Board narrows superintendent search

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CAPE ELIZABETH — The School Board is gearing up to choose a new Superintendent of Schools from two finalists chosen by a committee made up of residents, parents, teachers, town officials and administrators.

The board was expected to meet in an executive session Wednesday, May 25 to discuss the candidates and potentially reach a consensus, School Board Chairwoman Mary Townsend said.

There will be no announcement until the first week of June, and the board expects to have a signed contract by their next business meeting June 14, she said.

Former Superintendent of Schools Alan Hawkins retired at the end of December, and worked as a consultant through April 15. Ken Murphy, the former school chief in Yarmouth, has served as the interim superintendent throughout the search process. 

This is the second round of applications evaluated by the School Board since the search was reopened in March, after an initial search earlier this year did not identify any appropriate candidates. Townsend said the most recent search has revealed 18 highly qualified candidates.

“I’m not sure what changed the climate, but we have been very pleased with the applicants,” Townsend said. “This is not going to be an easy decision.”

Townsend said the former Credential Review Committee, formed for the initial search, worked once again to review applications, screen candidates and make a recommendation to the board.

“We are looking for the candidate to have good communication skills, someone who is accessible, authentic and well-versed in education policy,” she said. “We want someone with good budgeting skills and really strong leadership skills. For us, a strong leader for the district is paramount.”

Townsend said the person selected will have to do his or her best to learn about the district and become familiar with the curriculum.

“The summer is a good time to do that,” she said. 

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson