South Portland deadline looms for school chief applicants

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SOUTH PORTLAND — With the application deadline for superintendent of schools candidates closing Friday, Jan. 16, the School Board and its ad hoc search committee are preparing to screen the candidates.

“We have a very active interest in the position,” Chairman Dick Matthews at a Jan. 12 board meeting. 

Candidates will be vetted first by the board and Assistant Superintendent Kathryn Germani. On Jan. 27, the larger search committee, comprised of select district principals, teachers, students and parents, will meet with the board. 

The goal is to winnow the selection to three to five candidates before the interview process begins, Matthews said. 

Results from a survey on the district’s website will be taken into account by the board and committee, he said. 

Approximately 250 people have completed the survey, which asks respondents to rank top attributes or qualifications the new superintendent should possess. Those attributes include organizational management, leadership, staff development and school/community involvement.

So far, Matthews reported, top priorities selected by the community include leadership, communication and curriculum.

Candidate interviews are scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5.

Superintendent Suzanne Godin submitted her resignation last November, effective at the end of the school year. Godin has been the city’s school chief for eight years, and was previously the assistant superintendent for three years.

Enrollment

In other business, Godin reported that student enrollment throughout the district is up, notably at South Portland High School.

Elementary numbers are up slightly, to nearly 1,500; middle school enrollment is steady, at 730 students, and high school numbers “seem very high right now,” Godin said, at nearly 950 students.

Across the district, total student enrollment is more than 3,100.

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106, or aacquisto@theforecaster.net. Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

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South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.