Decision expected on new principal for Brunswick High School

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BRUNSWICK — Brunswick High School could have a new principal lined up by Saturday morning.

That’s when the School Board is expected to make a hiring decision after interviewing a finalist nominated by Superintendent of Schools Paul Perzanoski.

“I have interviewed the candidate and spent time with references discussing this person’s qualities, performance, preparation and experience,” Perzanoski wrote in an Oct. 21 letter to staff, parents and students. “On Saturday … the School Board will interview the nominated candidate and decide whether to take action.”

The board is scheduled to go into a private, executive session at 9:15 a.m. in the conference room at Hawthorne School, 46 Federal St. Any vote by the panel must be taken afterwards, in public.

Perzanoski said he couldn’t disclose the name of the finalist because of confidentiality requirements in the hiring process.

According to board member Corinne Perreault, the finalist was initially recommended by a committee that interviewed three candidates:

• Ken Healey, principal at Lisbon High School.

• Shanna Crofton, a history teacher and head of secondary education at the Oberoi International School in India.

• And Peter Dawson, a former principal at Kennebunk, Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth high schools, who most recently was principal of secondary education at Bonn International School in Germany. He also was an educator at international schools in Prague, Vienna, Tel Aviv and Japan.

The finalist likely already has the approval of board members Michele Joyce, Bill Thompson, and Perreault, who were members of the interview committee.

The new principal’s start date will not be known until after he or she is approved.

If the board doesn’t approve the finalist, the search process will continue, and the high school would likely have to wait for a new principal until after the new year.

Former Assistant Principal Donna Borowick is expected to remain the interim principal through the end of the calendar year. Former technology educator Tim Gagnon filled Borowick’s old position at the start of the school year.

The search for a new principal began in August, three months after former high school Principal Art Abelmann resigned abruptly due to “personal reasons,” leaving more than a year before his two-year contract expired.

Some residents criticized the School Department for its hiring of Abelmann, who previously departed a Colorado school under similar circumstances.

“We had information from his references that would check thoroughly,” Perzanoski said at the time. “That’s about all I could tell you.”

The search for a new principal began with an online community survey published in August, meant to gauge what kind of qualities the community would like to see in the high school’s next top administrator.

After receiving 15 applications by September, the interview committee invited six of them to interview. Only five accepted the invitation.

The interview committee then chose three of the five candidates to meet in mid-October with faculty, students, parents and community members, who wrote feedback for the committee to make its final decision.

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or Follow him onTwitter: @DylanLJMartin.