BELFAST, Maine — The RSU 20 board of directors has voted to solicit applications for the position of superintendent of schools now held by Bruce Mailloux.
By a vote of 8-3, the board approved a motion to open up applications for the superintendent’s position to be filled on or before July 1, 2010. The motion “invited and encouraged” Mailloux to apply for the position.
The board reached its decision after a two-hour executive session held Tuesday night at Searsport Elementary School. Only 11 members of the 17-member school board were present at the meeting.
The scheduled executive session was called for the purpose of discussing Mailloux’s annual evaluation, and although he attended the meeting, Mailloux was not present during the closed-door discussion.
Mailloux declined to comment on the matter when contacted Wednesday.
Attempts to reach RSU 20 school board Chairman Jean Dube of Morrill were unsuccessful.
Board member Miles Gray, of Belfast, admitted being taken aback by concerns raised by some members during the executive session. Gray said he was aware that some directors had concerns about the pace of consolidation but that he believed progress had been made.
“I back Bruce 100 percent, but obviously there are some members of the school board that don’t,” Gray said. “I think he’s done a good job considering he’s not even had a full year into the consolidation. It seems to me that some of the things the board discussed were, what I would call gossip items, there was never any discussion of them before the full board leading into this.”
Mailloux was appointed superintendent last year when SAD 34 in Belfast merged with SAD 56 in Searsport to form Regional School Union 20 under the state’s school consolidation law. Before the merger, Mailloux had served as SAD 34 superintendent for the previous three years.
In 2007, Mailloux and then-SAD 56 Superintendent Ray Freve worked together with residents from both school districts to put in place a consolidation plan, which ultimately received overwhelming voter approval.
RSU 20 is composed of the former SAD 34 communities of Belfast, Belmont, Morrill, Northport, Searsmont and Swanville and the former SAD 56 communities of Frankfort, Searsport and Stockton Springs.
The school board has six representatives from Belfast, four members from Searsport, two from Stockton Springs, two from Northport, and one member each from Frankfort, Morrill and Searsmont.
RSU 20 contains approximately 200 square miles and has 2,613 students. There are 558 employees, 14 schools, including two high schools, and one alternative high school and a fleet of 38 buses.
RSU 20 voters in June approved the union’s 2009-10 annual budget, its first, of $33 million.