BATH — After 17 years at Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, Jay Pinkerton’s new job will take him about 18 miles down the road.
The New Harbor resident will become principal of Morse High School on Aug. 1, replacing Peter Kahl, who was hired in 2007 and announced his resignation last year.
Regional School Unit 1 Superintendent of Schools Patrick Manuel said in an e-mail that the district’s interviewing committee held two rounds of interviews for the new principal and also conducted a site visit before the School Board approved Pinkerton’s appointment.
“We were impressed with Jay’s experience and ability to lead a high school, his interpersonal skills, caring approach, and his ability to connect with students, staff, and families,” Manuel said.
The position attracted about 30 applicants, and Pinkerton’s salary is to be determined, Manuel said.
Pinkerton, 56, became Lincoln Academy’s associate headmaster in 1996, and was promoted to headmaster 10 years later. He was named Maine’s assistant principal of the year in 2003.
He previously taught at Foxcroft Academy in Dover-Foxcroft for 11 years.
In an interview, Pinkerton said that after serving as an administrator in the same building for 17 years, “things run in cycles, and I was thinking about it for a few years, that I just wanted to do something different.”
When he saw an advertisement for the Morse job, he said, “it immediately felt like a fit,” adding that as he learned more about the school, he became that much more interested in the position.
Pinkerton said he will miss much about Lincoln Academy, which he considers “a kinder, gentler school than when I arrived 17 years ago,” and “a great place to work.”
As headmaster he has functioned as both a superintendent and principal, he explained, “and the superintendent side of things seems to always be pulling you away from what you need to be doing with students and teachers in a classroom, (which is) more energizing for me. And I’m really looking forward to being a building-level principal and just being part of the life of the school every day, and getting to know all of the students.”
Pinkerton said he is a strong believer in building relationships within the school community, “so I hope to be able to do that at Morse, like I did here at Lincoln.”