UPDATE: Scarborough High School principal cites job-family conflict for resignation

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SCARBOROUGH — A team of four administrators, led by School Department Curriculum Director Monique Culbertson, is running Scarborough High School after Principal Dean Auriemma resigned Friday, Feb. 1.

Auriemma submitted a resignation letter to School Superintendent George Entwistle III, but offered to stay on as principal through the end of his contract on June 30.

“Recently, it has become apparent that the balance between what I need to do as a school leader and the responsibilities I have towards my family have been perceived to be in direct conflict,” Auriemma said in the letter dated Jan. 25.

In a Feb. 1 letter to parents that was posted on the school website, Entwistle said  Auriemma will remain a School Department employee through the end of June, but has been assigned other, unspecified duties.

“Mr. Auriemma and I have agreed that it is in the best interest of the school for him to step down immediately from his position and fulfill the remainder of his contract performing work that will contribute to important, district-wide, quality improvement initiatives,” Entwistle said.

A former art teacher in Illinois schools, Auriemma was principal at Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing, Ill., when he was hired as Scarborough High School principal in 2010. He replaced former Principal Patricia Conant after the School Board decided not to extend her contract.

In his resignation letter, Auriemma said he was “excited, pleased and proud to have worked with staff” to institute restructuring that resulted in improved curriculum development and continuity; improved physical and emotional safety for staff and students, and an improved culture of accountability and professionalism.

“In reviewing my work of the past three years, it is clear that significant gains have been made under my leadership, service and teamwork,” Auriemma said.

Entwistle agreed.

“The improvement work at Scarborough High School, however, is ongoing and needs to continue uninterrupted,” he said, which led to the decision to immediately appoint Culbertson, Assistant Principals Susan Ketch and Ray Dunn, and Athletic Director Mike LeGage to the new leadership team

The leadership team “will immediately assume responsibility not only for the very essential work of attaining world class teaching and learning, but also for the smooth day-to-day management of the school,” the superintendent said.

Entwistle said he has asked Pleasant Hill Primary School Principal Kelly Mullen-Martin and Scarborough Middle School Principal Barbara Hathorn to lead the search for a new high school principal.

He said he hopes to hire a new principal by July 1.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.