Deadline looms for Topsham high school principal applicants

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TOPSHAM — A new principal for Mt. Ararat High School could be chosen by the School Administrative District 75 Board of Directors in April.

The deadline for applications is Friday, Feb. 28.

Craig King, the school’s principal for nine years, stepped down last year to become superintendent of Regional School Unit 10.

A search committee last year identified three finalists for the full-time job, who were interviewed by administrators. While all candidates had significant experiences and strengths, they lacked the qualities and characteristics sought by the SAD, Superintendent Brad Smith said at the time.

Donna Brunette, who was assistant principal, was named interim principal for the current school year.

Smith said the district has had three applications and expected more to arrive this week.

The search committee’s first meeting is planned for Feb. 28, and candidates should be selected for interviews by mid-March. Interviews could take place March 19, with a nomination ready for the School Board April 10, Smith said.

The committee is composed of teachers Mike Cooney, Meredith Cass and Julie Williams; secretary Kristen McLaughlin; administrators Bill Zima, Randa Rineer and Alison Pols; parent representative Lynn Sirois; students Kristyn Doughty and Charlie Gill, and board members Holly Kopp, Scott McKernan and Joanne Rogers.

Representatives from Topsham’s police and fire departments are also invited into the process, and SAD 75 Human Resources Director Debbie Anderson, Region 10 Assistant Director Cindy Hutchins, Assistant Superintendent Dan Chuhta and Smith round out the group.

“As always, we do a thorough and open process, including multiple reference checks, and site visits, if needed,” Smith said in an email. “Who we select to lead our schools is one of the most important decisions a superintendent makes. Principals are instructional leaders who set the expectations and climate of the school. They are entrusted with the responsibility to keep students as the highest priority and must be passionate about and committee to the the students, parents, staff and communities we serve.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.