MILLINOCKET, Maine — A Bingham educator and superintendent of two school systems will replace Sara Alberts as the top educator of town schools on July 1, school committee Chairman Thomas Malcolm said Monday.
N. Kenneth Smith serves as the superintendent of RSUs 83 and 74 in the Bingham and Anson area, according to the Maine Department of Education website at maine.gov. The Millinocket School Committee chose him to succeed Alberts during a meeting on May 4.
“He has quite a bit of experience, and he seems to be very driven toward the betterment of schools,” Malcolm said Monday. “He talked with us about a lot of different ideas and things that he wants to accomplish.”
Alberts will retire effective June 30 as superintendent of the Katahdin region’s public schools, including Union 113. She announced her retirement in a letter to the combined Union 113-Millinocket boards dated Nov. 30. She said she and her husband have accepted “a prolific job opportunity that utilizes our collective management experiences.”
She has been the Katahdin region superintendent since 2004.
Union 113 serves East Millinocket, Medway and Woodville. Alberts is the third superintendent in the Katahdin and Lincoln Lakes region to be leaving at the end of the school or budget year. She joins Superintendent Michael Marcinkus of RSU 67 and SAD 30-Union 110 Superintendent Michael Lambert.
The RSU 67 board of directors hired Denise Hamlin, principal at Helen S. Dunn Elementary School of Greenbush, to assume control of the public schools that serve Chester, Lincoln and Mattawamkeag when Marcinkus leaves. The hiring occurred May 5.
SAD 30 serves Lee, Springfield, Webster and Winn; Union 110 serves Lakeville and the plantations of Carroll, Drew, Macwahoc and Reed.
The Union 113 board has decided not to share superintendents, hiring Omar Norton of Jonesport, a veteran superintendent, to succeed Alberts temporarily when she retires.
Under Millinocket’s agreement, Smith will earn $83,200 for the first of a two-year contract. The first year will be 208 days — only days when school is in session. Malcolm said the school board saved money, improved efficiency and offered a competitive salary by structuring the contract that way. A full year’s pay would have cost a little more than $100,000, Malcolm said.
Smith’s salary for the second year will be determined after the first year.
Smith also has experience as a town manager in Rockland and has been a superintendent in Camden and in New Hampshire, Malcolm said.
In a brief statement released through the school board, Smith said he looked forward to working with the committee, Town Council and the community “to provide a top notch education for all students.
“As the economy slows and student populations decline, I believe we must do all we can to bring school systems together simply for economic reasons,” he wrote.
He also complimented Alberts “for all her hard work over the past few years. Only superintendents fully understand the work of superintendents. I look forward to a smooth transition.”