Cape Elizabeth school chief takes New Hampshire post

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Superintendent of Schools Meredith Nadeau is resigning after five years to become superintendent of the Newmarket School District in Newmarket, New Hampshire.

The School Board accepted her resignation at its Jan. 12 meeting. Nadeau will begin working in Newmarket July 1.

“The board is disappointed Superintendent Nadeau is leaving and is grateful for her five years of outstanding service,” School Board Chairwoman Elizabeth Scifres said in a press release. “We understand the strong pull of family and wish her success as she starts a new chapter of her career in her home state of New Hampshire.”

At Tuesday night’s meeting, Nadeau acknowledged the board’s disappointment, but said she wants to return to the area her family is from.

“Certainly the board knows this has been a bittersweet decision for me,” she said. “The district in New Hampshire happens to be the district where my grandmother and great-grandmother graduated from high school, which is a unique opportunity for me.”

Last February the board extended Nadeau’s contract by one year to June 2018, so she could be in the post for the entirety of the School Department’s five-year strategic plan.

The contract extension was approved after Nadeau sought new employment last year. She was one of three finalists for a superintendent of schools position in Weston, Massachusetts, last January, but wasn’t offered the job.

Prior to starting in Cape Elizabeth in July 2011, Nadeau was director of instruction at the Oyster River Cooperative School District in Durham, New Hampshire. She has also been a teacher and a principal.

According to the press release from Scifres, the School Board will meet within a week to start planning the search for a new superintendent.

“Community participation and input is a key component to finding the right fit for Cape Elizabeth schools,” Scifres said. “The great news is that we have extensive survey data – from teachers, administrators, students, and parents – from the past two years that will be critical to targeting the right type of candidate and shaping our search.”

Newmarket School Board Chairman Nathan Lunney, in a statement on the district website Jan. 12, said Nadeau “was chosen from a highly qualified field following a very rigorous selection process.”

According to the website, there are approximately 1,180 students enrolled in two Newmarket schools. Cape Elizabeth has three schools with a total enrollment of more than 1,600 students.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Nadeau said she will miss Cape Elizabeth and knows the district will continue to do well in her absence.

“Teachers and administrators here have so much to be proud of in the work that this district does every day,” she said.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.