HOULTON, Maine — An interim superintendent will take over in SAD 29 next month now that the school board has accepted the resignation of Superintendent Steve Fitzpatrick.
The district comprises four schools that educate students from Houlton, Littleton, Monticello and Hammond.
Fitzpatrick submitted his resignation during a meeting on June 22, according to Elizabeth Anderson, chairman of the SAD 29 school board. Fitzpatrick’s resignation is in effect today.
Fitzpatrick said Tuesday that he plans to pursue other opportunities in education and hopes to find work downstate so that he can move closer to his children and grandchildren, all of whom live south of Bangor.
“It was a hard decision, but it was the right one,” he said. “I am moving toward retirement age and it’s time for me to take stock. I will be developing a number of different opportunities as I move forward. I would very much like to find a job that would take me closer to my children and grandchildren, but I am going to look at all of my options.”
Anderson said the board had been in private discussions with Fitzpatrick regarding his resignation for a couple of weeks.
“He let us know what he was thinking about a few weeks ago,” she said. “We are going to miss him. He has done a lot for our district. He is proud of his work, as are we. This decision was a natural progression for him, and I believe that he intends to pursue other opportunities in education. I don’t think he intends to close that door.”
Fitzpatrick was hired in July 2004 as superintendent. Before coming to SAD 29, Fitzpatrick served as principal of Hodgdon High School in the nearby district of SAD 70.
Fitzpatrick had served in various capacities in SAD 70, including as assistant principal, for more than a decade. He was hired in 1994 as principal of the high school.
The departing superintendent said Tuesday that he was “very proud” of the work he had done in the district during his tenure.
“This place looks completely different than it did when I first came here,” he said. Fitzpatrick has overseen massive renovations to Houlton High School and the first phase of construction of a community arts center at the school over the past few years.
“The staff in the district are dedicated professionals who work extremely hard to serve the students here. Houlton has a lot to be proud of,” he said.
The board has appointed Peter Edgecomb, a state representative and retired superintendent from Caribou, to serve as interim superintendent. By the time he retired, Edgecomb had served as a vocational director and agriculture teacher and had tallied 38 years of experience in education. He served for approximately three months as interim superintendent in SAD 70 during 2005.
Anderson said she expects Edgecomb will begin work on July 6.