PITTSFIELD, Maine — Warsaw Middle School Principal Sandy Nevens has resigned from his position effective at the end of the school year, citing criticism that Nevens said in his resignation letter has been ongoing for the past three years.
“I have not been myself this year,” wrote Nevens in his Dec. 14 resignation letter. “I realize that it is because I have been steadily criticized in my role as principal for three years … If I felt that I could continue to lead the school and with energy and the freedom to fight for what is best for Warsaw and the family that is its faculty and student body, I would do so in a heartbeat. I am certain that such a fight is not now possible for me to continue for another year.”
Nevens, who took his position in 2006, told the Bangor Daily News on Monday that he has specific reasons for resigning, but declined to discuss them because he did not feel they were appropriate to be reported in a newspaper. Nevens would not detail on the record who has been criticizing him.
“It was a difficult choice for me to choose the words I chose [in the resignation letter],” said Nevens. “I wanted to address the letter to my staff, because I am very fond of them and vice versa. I wanted to be clear that this has nothing to do with them. It was more about other issues.”
Nevens’ resignation is effective June 30, which is when his contract expires.
SAD 53 Superintendent Michael Gallagher echoed passages from the resignation letter when asked Monday for his perspective on Nevens’ departure.
“Sandy has not found it to be in his best interest to be here,” said Gallagher. “He has enjoyed his time here, but has had a particularly difficult time this year.”
The SAD 53 board of directors was scheduled to discuss the resignation Monday night during its monthly meeting. Gallagher said he has been discussing with other administrators ways to fill Nevens’ role, some of which include shuffling around administrative responsibilities in the district. Gallagher said a particularly tough budget year in 2011 would dictate how much money is available for administration.
“Right now, we’ve talked about three or four different scenarios about how to fill that position,” Gallagher said. “We haven’t nailed anything down.”
Nevens said he intends to continue his career in middle school education, possibly as an educational consultant, though he has no specific plans yet.
“I’ve done a good job here, but there have been things that have been frustrating to me,” he said. “I’m just not going to continue to do those things.”