HOLDEN, Maine — Longtime Holden Elementary School principal Dave Anderson will put on two new hats July 1 when he becomes the superintendent of both SAD 63 and CSD 8.
“I’m very excited and I’m pretty honored,” he said on Friday, just after school ended for the day.
Anderson, who has been the Holden School principal for the last 14 years, served as principal-interim SAD 63 superintendent between May and October of 2008 when the superintendent at the time was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into her conduct.
“I really felt that not only would this be an incredible opportunity, but I also saw it as a way to save money and still have continuity to keep things moving forward,” said Anderson. “I’m enthusiastic even knowing what’s ahead of me. With great challenge comes great opportunities.”
Anderson is paid around $76,000 as principal at Holden School.
“I’m going to be compensated $15,000 additionally for being superintendent of SAD 63,” he said, adding he also will get another paycheck for leading CSD 8.
SAD 63 includes the communities of Holden, Eddington and Clifton, and CSD 8 includes the Airline towns of Amherst, Aurora, Great Pond and Osborn.
Holden School fourth-grade teacher Georgette Burrill, who is in the process of earning her principal credentials, has agreed to take on additional duties at the school when Anderson is away, Anderson said.
He said he knows there will be tough challenges, especially with the budget, but he believes that he and his supportive staff are very capable of handing the job.
“I basically stepped up to the plate,” Anderson said. “Obviously, I am going to be counting on a lot of people to step up to the plate with me.”
He added later, “Working with students, staff, the school board, parents and the community, I know we will make a positive difference.”
After one year holding all three jobs, Anderson and the school boards will review his contract to see if changes need to be made.
After Anderson’s short stint as interim superintendent in 2008, the SAD 63 board hired former Superintendent Ray Hart to do the job. Hart originally was hired in 1996 by the tri-district board, which covered Dedham, Airline district schools and SAD 63 at that time, and held the post until July 2003.
Hart has served as interim superintendent for the last two years and has said all along that he was just filling in until a permanent replacement could be found.
“I can’t say enough about Ray,” Anderson said. “Ray came back for all the right reasons. Ray came back and we got the team working in collaboration.”
For the last couple of months, Ray has taken Anderson under his wing, taking him to superintendent meetings to meet regional school leaders.
“We have excellent administrators, teachers and support staff at Holden, Eddington and Holbrook and at the Airline school,” the new superintendent said. “With all of the talented people we have supporting our students, along with parents and community support, we have the pieces needed to create some positive changes.
“It’s going to be a wild ride,” he said, adding it is worth it because “it’s always about the kids.”