Freeport-Pownal-Durham schools pick New Hampshire administrator as superintendent

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FREEPORT — The Regional School Unit 5 Board of Directors selected an educator from Wells to be the next superintendent of schools.

After employing two interim co-superintendents since last July, the School Board selected Edward McDonough for the permanent position. He will join the Freeport-Pownal-Durham school district in August.

“Ed McDonough is an outstanding educator and experienced administrator,” RSU 5 Chairman Nelson Larkins said Feb. 25. “We are confident that his leadership will move RSU 5 forward to even higher levels of achievement.”

McDonough, 59, has been superintendent of schools in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, since 2009. Prior to that, he was superintendent in the Wells-Ogunquit school district for seven years. He previously worked as a teacher, coach, principal, and assistant superintendent in the Wells-Ogunquit school district.

McDonough has his Bachelor of Arts in English from Suffolk University in Massachusetts, his Master of Arts in English from the University of Maine, and his Juris Doctor from Franklin Pierce Law Center at the University of New Hampshire.

McDonough said he’s looking forward to working in Freeport, especially because he’s a Maine resident.

“I had a strong desire to come back to Maine,” he said, since he has lived in Maine for “25 to 30 years.”

He said he was drawn to RSU 5 because of  what he’s heard about the district.

“It’s a district that’s very strong and seeking to continuously improve,” McDonough said. “They have strong offerings not only in academics, but in athletics and arts.”

McDonough said he knows the district is going through a challenging time following Freeport’s recent effort to try to withdraw from the RSU. He said when he starts in his new position he wants to take time to meet with various stakeholders and “get a sense of what all the issues are.”

“I think it’s important for me to go out and be visible,” he said. “I want to meet as many people as possible.”

A 12-member search committee nominated McDonough and three other finalists. There were 26 applicants for the position and six were interviewed by the search committee. The School Board voted unanimously for McDonough.

“We had a ton of excellent candidates,” Larkins said. “(McDonough) rose right to the top and we are more than pleased.”

McDonough was hired for a three-year contract, with the first year’s salary set at $120,000.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.