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Brunswick seeks community input in hiring of principal

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Brunswick seeks community input in hiring of principal

BRUNSWICK — The School Department will elicit feedback from the community with an online survey in its search for a new principal for Brunswick High School.

Superintendent of Schools Paul Perzanoski outlined the department's search and hiring process at Wednesday's School Board meeting.

Former Principal Art Abelmann resigned abruptly in May. The department's hiring process has been under scrutiny ever since residents learned Abelmann also resigned without warning from his prior position in 2011.

"I've had several constituents start talking about the search for a principal," School Board member Brenda Clough said. "They're just wondering what's going on, hoping that all the stakeholders get a chance to weigh in on the characteristics (of a new principal)."

After the department stops taking applications on Friday, Perzanoski said, the School Department will post an online survey within the next week.

"We're putting together a survey for the community to respond to, on the qualifications they'd like to see in the next principal," he said.

Any other updates will also be posted to the department's website, the superintendent said.

So far, the department has taken 13 applications from a local and national pool of candidates, Perzanoski said, and an interview committee has been formed.

The committee includes School Board members William Thompson, Corrine Pereault and Michele Joyce; high school staff members Don Glover, Jeff Thompson, Pam Wagner, Jennie Driscoll and Bill Clark, and residents Frank Strasburger, James Ford and Jessica Factor.

One more community member will also be appointed.

"We had a first meeting with the interview committee where we discussed confidentiality, the qualities of a principal, the process going forward and how to elicit community input," Perzanoski said.

The interview committee will also take the online survey results into consideration when interviewing the candidates.

After the committee interviews and narrows down the field to two to four candidates, the superintendent said, the finalists will visit the high school to spend an afternoon with students, staff, parents and residents.

The finalists will then be interviewed by Perzanoski, he said, and one will be recommended to the School Board, which will decide whether to hire.

Perzanoski said he expects the process to end by November, although it's contingent on the direction taken by the interview committee and School Board.

The School Board hired former technology educator Tim Gagnon as the high school's new assistant principal in June after retiring assistant principal Donna Borowick agreed to become interim principal for the first half of next school year.

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or dmartin@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DylanLJMartin.