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by Jessica Brophy
In late March, Superintendent Robert Webster informed the Union 76 school board members that he wished to retire on August 1, 2012, instead of February 1, 2013, as he announced late last year.
On April 9, union board members met to plan the details of the search, which must unfold quickly for the board to have time to advertise for, screen and interview candidates.
The process will include an online survey of the public to assess what qualities in a superintendent would benefit the communities of Union 76.
The union board voted unanimously to hire Maine School Management Association’s services, which include verifying application information and reaching out to area education institutions. The board agreed to spend up to $4,100 advertising online, primarily in New England-based publications.
Board members discussed the importance of having a broad net cast, in and out of Maine. Sedgwick school board member Clare Grindal said she would like to make sure the candidate is someone who “understands rural America.”
The entire board will screen applications after they are verified by MSMA, and a subcommittee of 11 members—five from Deer Isle and Stonington, three each from Sedgwick and Brooklin—will conduct initial interviews. Each board will choose representatives to serve on that committee, which may include board members, administrators or members of the public.
The board approved a general application that will ask two essay questions. The first outlines the unique qualities of Union 76 and some of the challenges facing it and asks applicants how they might respond. The second question, meant to be more abstract, is “What is the purpose of education?”
The union will meet next on Wednesday, May 2 at 6 p.m. at Brooklin School.