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Scarborough assistant school chief takes top job in York County district

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Scarborough assistant school chief takes top job in York County district

SCARBOROUGH —Assistant Superintendent of Schools  Andrew Dolloff has been named superintendent of the newly formed Regional School Unit 21, which includes schools in Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel.

After two rounds of interviews, Dolloff was the RSU board's unanimous choice out of 19 applicants. He will start work July 1 and be paid $116,000 his first year, with a $5,000 goal-driven incentive.

"As we go into the new RSU, one big thing we have to deal with is people who are uncomfortable with the merger," RSU 21 School Board Chairman Maureen King said. "Andrew just seemed to be the type of person who is able to make people understand why it's good for everyone; he made us feel comfortable about a potentially uncomfortable situation."

Dolloff has worked in the Scarborough school system for 13 years. He began his Scarborough career in 1996 as the athletic administrator. In 2000, he became principal of the high school and was honored after four years by the National Association of Secondary School Principals as Maine's Outstanding Principal of the Year.

He took his present position in 2006. The job pays $92,545 annually.

Dolloff said he always tried to "create a culture of respect and a focus on high standards" in the classroom as well as in school sports and activities. Though he said he will miss many things about his time in Scarborough, especially the relationships he's built with staff and students, he looks forward to working with RSU 21 as they hone the operation of a consolidated district.

"I definitely look at this as a challenge; I'm ready for a new challenge," he said, adding that his goal is "making people feel their community school is just as valued as other communities' schools."

As he began to consider superintendent's positions, Dolloff said he
looked for a district within commuting distance of his home in Gorham,
where he lives with his wife and his youngest child, who will be a high
school freshman in the fall. His older three children will all be in
college.

Superintendent David Doyle said Dolloff let him know he was applying for the position ahead of time.

"I had given him a letter of recommendation," Doyle said. "It's a tough thing to write. If you tell it like it is – you know he's a good person, a hard worker."

The Board of Education was scheduled to discuss a job description at its Thursday night meeting with a goal of advertising the assistant's opening as early as the end of this week, Doyle said. Though he wouldn't rule out appointing an interim assistant superintendent, Doyle said he's hopeful they will have a qualified applicant pool by the end of June and can begin interviewing in early July.

"The board has a meeting on the third Thursday of July," he said. "I'd love a nomination by then."

Board of Education Chairman Brian Dell'Olio didn't sound quite as optimistic about the time frame Doyle suggested, but he said three board members had already looked at the assistant superintendent's job description and would be making recommendations to the board soon, though not necessarily as early as Thursday.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for Andrew (Dolloff); Kennebunk is very lucky," Dell'Olio said. "I'm sad to see him leave Scarborough, but I certainly understand."

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