NEWPORT, Maine — Two elementary schools in RSU 19 will be swapping principals starting in July, said Superintendent William P. Braun.
Amanda Hersey, principal at St. Albans Consolidated School, will switch positions with Randy Gould, the principal at Newport Elementary School, on July 1.
Braun said he announced his decision for the change during Wednesday night’s school board meeting.
“It was an assignment they were both looking forward to,” said Braun on Thursday. “We had the discussion over the past two to three months. Not everybody’s totally in agreement, but I think it’s in the best interest of the schools and children.”
Hersey did not return a phone call Thursday, and Gould has been out of the office due to a death in the family, according to his office.
A computer-based course called SuccessMaker has been successful in the St. Albans school for grades three and four, said Braun. He said moving Hersey to Newport will help that school get the program implemented, too.
“We’ve seen averages in the first year for kids growing almost 16 months in just eight months time in math standards and reading standards,” said Braun. “We’re looking to bring SuccessMaker along across the district.”
One parent criticized the move.
“My child and other children I know love [Gould]. Parents love him,” said Amanda White of Newport, mother of a first-grader at Newport Elementary School. “I wish the parents would’ve been kept in the loop on this.”
Braun said the principal swap is not the only change in store for RSU 19 next fall.
Fred Johnston, principal at Sebasticook Valley Middle School in Newport, is retiring.
Jason Tardy, athletic director for Nokomis Regional High School in Newport, will take over Johnston’s position as principal beginning July 1.
The vacancy of athletic director at Nokomis has not yet been filled, said Braun.