FREEPORT — In less than a month, the Regional School Unit 5 Board of Directors is expected to name a superintendent for the Freeport-Pownal-Durham school district.
In the meantime, a committee of board members, administrators, teachers and residents will gather public input and interview the candidates. They will present their recommendation to the board on March 11.
The two candidates being considered for the position are Elaine Tomaszewski, superintendent of Freeport and Pownal, and Shannon Welsh, superintendent of Union 30 (Durham and Lisbon). Both have said they are interested in the position.
Although the board decided not to advertise for candidates, Chairwoman Laurie Poissonnier said there could be other applicants, but no one has expressed interest.
During the transition period and until a superintendent is named, Tomaszewski and Welsh will continue to share the school chief’s duties.
Board members on the Interview Committee include Eric Pandora of Pownal, Melinda McKechnie and Poissonnier of Durham, and Beth Parker and Nelson Larkins of Freeport.
In addition, three teachers or administrators and three community members will serve on the committee, one from each town.
The 11-member committee will be expected to participate in a workshop with Dale Douglas, executive director of the Maine School Boards Association, on Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Freeport High School. They will then interview Welsh and Tomaszewski and present a recommendation to the board in March.
Since the Interview Committee has only a few weeks to gather information and make a recommendation, board members agreed that transparency and input from the community is imperative. A communication subcommittee was formed, including Jen Kaplan of Pownal, and Kristen Dorsey and Betsy Peters of Freeport.
“We need to be communicative with our communities,” Peters said. “There needs to be a two-way, transparent discussion.”
In order to promote public awareness, the RSU5.org Web site was created and recently launched. The site has board member information, agendas, meeting minutes and relevant documents. Starting on Feb. 25, each meeting will be audio-taped and made available on the Web site.
In other business, the board voted on its fiscal year 2010 budget schedule, meeting schedule and subcommittee appointments.
The next board meeting will be Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Freeport High School library.
• FYI: The RSU 5 Interview Committee will accept letters from interested
residents who would like to be a part of the selection process. Letters
should be mailed to RSU No. 5 Superintendent Search, c/o Ginny McManus,
17 West St., Freeport, ME 04032, or e-mailed to Laurie Poissonnier at
firstname.lastname@example.org with “Search” in the subject line. Letters
should include any relevant experience and reasons for interest in the
committee. There is also a superintendent survey for the public on
RSU5.org that can be mailed, delivered or e-mailed to Surveys@RSU5.org
by Monday, Feb. 23.