Union 113 interim superintendent given permanent post

Posted Feb. 13, 2011, at 8:49 p.m.

Union 113 Superintendent Quenten Clark is no longer the East Millinocket, Medway and Woodville school systems’ interim top educator, Union 113 board Chairman Greg Stanley said Sunday.

The board opted to hire Clark as permanent superintendent and to pay him $62,400 annually for a three-day week effective Feb. 1. Under the plan, Clark would continue as superintendent of SAD 58, which covers Avon, Eustis, Kingfield, Phillips and Strong in Franklin County, until the end of the school year. The move was no great surprise, Stanley said.

“It was a cleaner way to do it. It could have been permanent right from the beginning, but it was a way to get us a chance to adjust to him,” Stanley said Sunday.

Clark, 62, said he welcomes the opportunity to stay longer in the Katahdin region where he was born and raised.

“I came from that part of the world. I worked at Great Northern [Paper Co.] for 15 years, and it seems like a nice place to be. I know many people there, and it just seems like home,” Clark said of the region.

The Union 113 schools, Clark said, face the same challenges as most other northern Maine school systems — declining enrollments, increasing local tax burdens, declining state and federal aid and aging buildings. For all that, the school system is in good shape, he said.

“There are a lot of dedicated people there, and they seem to do reasonably well and to do what’s best for the kids. It’s a good school system. It’s not a deeply troubled system that needs to be saved, but it’s a good school system that is facing challenges.”

Clark replaced interim Superintendent Omar Norton, who finished his commitment to the three Katahdin region school systems in December as the replacement for Superintendent Sara Alberts when she retired on July 1. Clark is living with family in town two or three days a week and keeping a house in Franklin County for the time being, Stanley said.

Stanley sees Union 113 improving itself in many ways with Clark at the helm.

“We are very pleased with him,” Stanley said. “He has a lot of common sense. He has looked things over slowly and is proceeding in a direction to make these schools perform better. We are very pleased with his performance now, and we have no reason to expect that will change.”

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