Letter: Rationale lacking for Cape Elizabeth school chief's extension

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I was surprised and confused by the Cape Elizabeth School Board’s recent decision to extend the superintendent’s contract, beyond the remaining 2 1/2 years. The board’s action seemed based on a desire to maintain consistency while implementing the district’s new Strategic Plan. Following so quickly after the superintendent’s candidacy for a job in Massachusetts, I wonder if the decision wasn’t overly rushed and reactionary?

It is widely known that a survey administered to staff this winter revealed morale issue related to district leadership. School Board members failed to acknowledge this during the contract extension discussion. Only Barbara Powers referenced the importance of linking performance evaluation, goal-setting and contract renewal, but no other member validated this observation.

As a former School Board member, I recognize the confidential and sensitive nature of personnel evaluations. But absent any acknowledgement that such a process has been undertaken, the rationale behind the contract extension seems too subjective.

The board’s decision commits the taxpayers of Cape Elizabeth to a longer contract than found in most Maine school districts and an additional liability of about $150,000. I hope that the elected members of the School Board conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the superintendent, ask questions and incorporate the viewpoints of constituents and all stakeholders in the school community. Meredith Nadeau may be well worth the additional investment made by the board, but it would be in everyone’s best interest to know that conclusion was reached after considering all the facts.

Trish Brigham
Cape Elizabeth

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