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Falmouth High School principal to become school chief in Kittery

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Falmouth High School principal to become school chief in Kittery

FALMOUTH — High school Principal Allyn Hutton will be the next superintendent of schools in Kittery.

The Kittery School Committee, in a press release Tuesday, said it plans to nominate and approve Hutton at its Feb. 23 meeting, after negotiating details of her contract. As Falmouth High School's principal, Hutton currently earns more than $95,000 a year.

Smaller than Falmouth, the Kittery district is made up of about 1,000 students, Hutton said Wednesday morning. "It is a very good school district where they're doing some wonderful things," she said.

Hutton added she was attracted to the district by its desire to make some changes and improvements and "move to the next level."

She said her experience in Falmouth and the district's "high quality of people" have prepared her to take the new position. Hutton said she expects her biggest challenge as superintendent will be maintaining contact with students.

"When my office work here is overwhelming, I close the door and visit the classrooms and it energizes me," she said.

Hutton said she plans to use Falmouth's model of community dialogues, initiated by former Superintendent George Entwistle, to generate discussion and ideas from students and residents.

Entwistle left Falmouth in June to become superintendent of schools in Belmont, Mass. He was replaced by Barbara Powers.

Kittery's search began last fall, with an application deadline of early December, Hutton said. It included a search committee site visit to Falmouth and a panel interview. Hutton was also required to make a public presentation before the committee made its final choice from in initial pool of nearly 20 candidates.

Hutton has been Falmouth High School principal since 2002, after working in education for 25 years in School Administrative District 55 (Sacopee Valley). In 2007, she was named Maine High School Principal of the Year.

Hutton praised the commitment level of Falmouth's high school students, both in and out of the classroom.

"They value everything that the school offers them and they come here daily to learn," she said. "They are so focused on the most they can get every day out of their education."

Powers Wednesday called Hutton "an outstanding principal" and said she would miss Hutton's open-door policy, evident by the steady stream of students who visited the principal's office.

"Her leadership has been marked by her care and concern for every single student and her passionate commitment to a culture of respect and equity," Powers said. "She's been a great colleague and friend."

School Board Chairwoman Beth Franklin on Wednesday said she is confident Hutton will be successful in her new position and the Falmouth district was fortunate to have employed her.

Powers said she expects the board to begin the process of selecting a new principal after the February school vacation.

"It's going to be a really tough job for us to fill her shoes, but I'm confident that Falmouth as a district will be able to attract outstanding candidates to the high school," Powers said.

Peggy Roberts can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or proberts@theforecaster.net.