SAD 58 Superintendent Quenten Clark is Union 113’s new interim superintendent and likely will be the East Millinocket, Medway and Woodville schools’ permanent top educator by June, Union 113 board Chairman Greg Stanley said Thursday.
Clark replaces interim Superintendent Omar Norton, who finished his commitment to the three Katahdin region school systems as the replacement for Superintendent Sara Alberts when she retired on July 1.
“He did tremendous work when he was here,” Stanley said. “The last few months working with Omar have been about the best I have ever had on the school board, and I think it will be the same with Quenten. They both have a lot of common sense and they know education very well.
“It’s not something they just talk about. It’s a track record. They have done it,” Stanley added.
Norton earned $400 a day for three-day weeks; $350 a day for four days; and $325 a day for five. Previously posted as interim superintendent of Union 92 — which consists of the schools of Hancock, Lamoine, Mariaville, Otis, Surry and Trenton — Norton has a vast resume.
During more than 50 years in education, Norton has taught at Lee Academy, worked 17 years for the Maine Department of Education, served four terms in the Legislature as a Republican from Winthrop, and served SADs 43, 50, 58, 67, 26 (twice), 77, 31 (twice), 4, 12 and 29, plus Unions 104 (twice), 107 and 92 (twice).
Under Clark’s contract, he will guide Union 113 schools three days a week and work in SAD 58 the other two days, Stanley said. SAD 58 covers Avon, Eustis, Kingfield, Phillips and Strong in Franklin County.
Union 113 will pay him $400 a day.
Clark seems a good fit for Union 113. Four of the five high schools of SAD 58 were listed as top performers according to the standards of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, Stanley said.
“He comes out of a rural area. Financially they are tighter than we are,” Stanley said, “and he improved their financial situation considerably.”
Clark also has been a harsh critic of the state’s school consolidation law.
In late 2009, Clark said Department of Education involvement in a consolidation plan that would have created a mammoth RSU stretching from near Belgrade to the Canadian border at Coburn Gore created strong animosities that fueled opposition to any consolidation. Had local officials been allowed to devise their own plan, it likely would have passed, he said.
“In northern Franklin County, I am trusted,” Clark said at the time. “[Commissioner] Sue Gendron and her minions are not.”
The Union 113 board voted unanimously to hire Clark during a special meeting last Friday. He began work earlier this week.