RSU 5 superintendent announcement approaching
FREEPORT — The new superintendent for Regional School Unit 5 is slated to be named next week.
The Superintendent Search Subcommittee was expected to interview two candidates on Wednesday and present a recommendation to the Regional School Unit 5 Board of Directors on March 11.
The full RSU board is then expected to deliberate in private before announcing its decision.
No official announcement has named the two candidates. However, public comments made during previous meetings indicate that the board will decide between Elaine Tomaszewski, the current superintendent of Freeport and Pownal, and
Shannon Welsh, the superintendent of Union 30, which includes Durham and Lisbon.
Laurie Poissonnier, chairwoman of the RSU board and the Superintendent Search Subcommittee, said a decision needs to be made quickly, as the budget season is fast approaching.
"We need one person, one leader to help the RSU board," she said. "This board needs clear leadership and the community needs clear leadership."
Tomaszewski and Welsh have been working together throughout the consolidation process.
The RSU board decided to search internally for candidates, and Poissonnier said no one else has applied for the position.
"These two superintendents are very qualified, and bring different styles of leadership to the table," she said. "They have been working together as a team and have handled this situation very professionally."
The 11-member Superintendent Search Subcommittee, made up of RSU board members, teachers, school staff, parents and community members, are residents of Freeport, Durham and Pownal. The group was charged with gathering public input before determining the most important qualities of superintendent leadership.
Poissonnier said the three communities have shown a lot of interest in the process and have offered assistance in making this decision.
She said nearly 70 surveys were returned from community members and 20 residents volunteered for the subcommittee.
"We have a very well rounded group of people with different backgrounds and experience on the selection subcommittee," she said. "We have people with education backgrounds and we have parents and we have school staff."
Board members on the Superintendent Search Subcommittee include Poissonnier and Melinda McKechnie from Durham, John Morang and Beth Parker of Freeport and Eric Dube of Pownal.
Representing the town's school staff, administrators and community members are Linda Deming and Elaine Moore of Pownal, Will Pidden and Eliza Damone of Durham and Thomas Morgan and Bob Strong of Freeport.
Poissonnier said when the decision is made, the superintendent chosen will run their current school district through June 30, and also help the RSU board through budget season and negotiating teacher contracts.
"There is a lot to do," she said. "The superintendent will have two roles to play until the start of the RSU."
The next RSU board meeting will be held Wednesday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Freeport High School library.
Poissonnier said that RSU 5 would honor the existing contract of the candidate that isn't selected. Both Tomaszewski and Welsh have contracts that run until 2010.