David Creech, the beloved principal of Scarborough High School, has recently announced his resignation, although many believe it was against his will. After five years of supporting his students, teachers, parents, and community, it is completely unlike him to voluntarily say goodbye to a school and community he cares so much about.
Creech’s hiring was unanimously approved by the Scarborough Board of Education in 2013. His teaching career in Maine started in 1985 at Massabesic High School. He later moved on to Sanford High School, went on to work at Kennebunk High School in 2000, and became one of the two assistant principals at Kennebunk in 2012.
According to a Scarborough Leader article by Michael Kelley, who now writes for The Forecaster/American Journal, Creech considered it “an honor and a privilege to be chosen to lead (Scarborough’s) high school,” and said the hiring process “just felt right” from the beginning.
Kelley reported Creech was “completely impressed with what (Scarborough) was doing as a school system,” and found their core values aligned.
“I think it is very important to build great relationships,” Creech said. “Without general trust, you are not going to be a successful leader. That is a major part of my leadership style. In addition to that, I also believe in leading by example. I am not hesitant to roll up my sleeves to do what needs to get done.”
A dignified, caring, and approachable leader, Creech has seen his school through numerous obstacles and countless successes. He cheers on his athletes at sports games and attends performances and concerts put on by the Scarborough High School arts. He knows the majority of his students by name and roams the halls to personally greet everyone throughout the school day. Simply by scrolling through his Twitter page, it is evident that he loves being involved in the academic and extracurricular lives of such amazing students.
Claire Merrill, a high school junior and president of her class for two years, started a petition on change.org on Feb. 17, in protest of Creech’s forced resignation. She has worked very closely with him and only has good things to say.
“Creech is so involved and thoughtful,” Merrill said. “He is the most supportive faculty member I’ve ever interacted with.”
According to the petition, she and her followers “wish to confirm their support of Principal David Creech. They believe that Superintendent Kukenberger acted in error in calling for his resignation … and urge the Scarborough Board of Education to not accept his resignation. Principal Creech’s incredible leadership and support of both students and faculty is needed; he is well loved and respected by the student body.”
Current and graduated Scarborough High School students are fighting for Creech, desperately holding on to one of the most important parts of their high school experiences.
Senior Chloe Griffin, the student council president at Scarborough High School, said this forced resignation is “unacceptable.” She said she has formed a “personal relationship with Mr. Creech alongside many other students who have easily connected with him.” She said his leadership is “ideal” for Scarborough schools, as he is “capable of communicating administrative concerns and simultaneously being inclusive of student voice.”
This past fall, Creech has also created a group comprised of student leaders who meet once a month in order for him to be able to hear feedback on how to improve Scarborough High School from the point of view of the students.
“A principal who takes the time to ‘bridge the gap’ between the administrative and student opinions is something special, and this concept has been a major focus of Mr. Creech’s career as our principal. It would be a shame if the underclassmen and incoming classes missed out on his exemplary leadership and respectable character,” Griffin said.
Erin McKeown, Class of 2017, said Creech was “an extremely positive influence on all of the students’ lives at Scarborough High School” and encouraged anyone with kids in the Scarborough school system to fight to keep “this incredible leader as a part of our community and schools.”
Hunter Greenleaf, a senior, said she cannot “say enough about what Mr. Creech has done for this school.” She said she personally does not accept the resignation of “the man who always has a smile on his face and is there to support each and every one of his students,” and claimed we cannot “afford to have new leadership coming into our school” in a time like this, when so many changes are being implemented into our school system and community.
Marco Manfra, president of the senior class, said he believes he “speaks for all members of student government” in saying how “encouraging and helpful Mr. Creech is with student endeavors.” Creech “is so open to student voice, and strongly encourages student initiative,” Manfra said, and he “has done an outstanding job with the students and staff here at Scarborough High School.”
Manfra said he finds it “astonishing” that Creech was forced to resign, and for the sake of Scarborough High School, hopes Creech is “still in the picture once everything has worked itself out.”
Alexandra Borodkina is a senior at Scarborough High School and the founder/editor of the Red Storm Gazette student newspaper.