News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in Castine Patriot, July 12, 2018 and The Weekly Packet, July 12, 2018
Union 93 Superintendent honored
Awarded for outstanding leadership

Outstanding leader

Union 93 Superintendent Mark Hurvitt is the 2018 recipient of the Maine School Superintendents Association’s Outstanding Leadership Award.

Photo courtesy of Mark Hurvitt

by Monique Labbe

Union 93 Superintendent Mark Hurvitt was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Leadership Award by the Maine School Superintendents Association during the annual Commissioner’s Conference on June 27 in Augusta.

He was nominated by his fellow Hancock County superintendents. The criteria for the award are leadership, professional service to the association, exemplary education programs with which the individual has been associated in a leadership capacity, and service to the profession of education.

Hurvitt has served as the superintendent for Union 93 for 11 years, and has a total of 13 years as a superintendent under his belt. He began his career in education as a high school English teacher for nine years, and was a principal for 13 years.

Being the superintendent of a school union or district is unusual, said Hurvitt.

“The average time a superintendent stays in one place is about two and a half years, and I’ve been here for 11,” said Hurvitt. “Maybe that’s why they gave me the award, I’ve been here so long, they figured they had to give me something.”

The award may have more to do with the heavy schedule Hurvitt keeps week to week. As superintendent of Union 93, he oversees monthly school board meetings at the Adams School in Castine, Penobscot Community School, Brooksville Elementary School, Blue Hill Consolidated School and Surry Elementary School. During the weeks that do not include board meetings, Hurvitt is busy following up on various projects at the schools, working closely with Union 93 Curriculum Coordinator Dawn McLaughlin and principals at the five schools. He is also tasked with working out teacher contracts, busing contracts, and a host of different responsibilities.

“I don’t like to sit still, so it works for me,” said Hurvitt. “Other superintendents might look at me like I’m crazy.”

Hurvitt said his ability to compartmentalize allows him to be able to focus on the demands, projects, etc. of one school at a time.

“Each school is different, each school board is different, it’s just the way it is. So, when I’m working with one school, I have to be able to focus solely on that school and not on something else going on at a different school,” he said.

While the nomination for the award from his peers was gratifying, Hurvitt said it was a surprise from the staff in the Union 93 Central Office that made it that much sweeter.

“All seven of them showed up in Augusta for the awards dinner,” he said. “I had no idea, it was the best well-kept secret, and definitely the best part of this. We all work very closely together, so to have them all there, standing in the back on a Wednesday night, was pretty great.”

The award was sitting on Hurvitt’s desk as of July 9, among a variety of papers for the Union 93 schools, all organized into piles. Not one for self promotion, Hurvitt joked that he supposed it should not stay on his desk forever.

“I guess I should put it on the wall somewhere, maybe,” he said.