Mt. Ararat High School principal leaves to take top job in Rumford-area district

Posted June 04, 2013, at 1:22 p.m.

TOPSHAM, Maine — After serving as Mt. Ararat High School’s principal for the past nine years, Principal Craig King announced to staff Monday night his resignation effective June 30.

The high school, located in Topsham, serves the four towns of School Administrative District 75, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell and Topsham.

King told The Times Record he has accepted the position of superintendent at Regional School Unit 10, which serves the 12 towns of Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Peru, Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner, Byron, Mexico, Roxbury, Rumford and Hanover.

“It is with mixed feelings that I announce my resignation as principal of Mt. Ararat High School,” King wrote to staff, The Times Record and posted on his blog Monday night. “Over the past nine years, I have appreciated all the challenges, successes, and even the disappointments that this professional experience has brought me. My time at this school and in the four communities of MSAD 75 has had a profound, positive influence on me both professionally and personally. I have been fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to lead this school, a school where every adult cares about the future and well being of every student.”

King will continue to serve as the principal well into the summer, he said, and during the month of July will split his time between SAD 75 and RSU 10.

According to King, SAD 75 Superintendent Brad Smith and school board members have begun to discuss plans for new leadership at the high school and “They will establish and make public their plans for this process soon.”

King added, “As we enter the final phase of the school year, I think it is important we keep our efforts focused on the students. We have awards ceremonies, graduation, championship games, and other events to acknowledge and celebrate our students; I do not want these occasions to become a forum to recognize my departure.”

King will begin working on a full-time, permanent basis at RSU 10 on Aug. 1.

Smith said Tuesday, “We are excited for Dr. King, and congratulate him on achieving an important goal in his career. Craig has provided leadership to Mt. Ararat High School and as an administrator in MSAD 75 for the past nine years. While we are happy for him, his departure will be a loss for our system.

“Dr. King is the type of leader who is very engaged with his students, their education and activities,” Smith added. “His presence at school events, in the evenings, on weekends, and during vacation times has sent a strong message to students and their families. His leadership at the high school has included such important initiatives as Senior Capstone, Freshman Academy, and expanding participation in Advanced Placement.”

After King was hired by SAD 75 in 2004, The Times Record reported the Fort Kent native’s wide-reaching teaching and administrative experience had included working as a history and social studies teacher at a Jackson, Miss., high school with 1,200 students and as an assistant principal at a 700-student junior-senior high school in Prentiss, Miss. He also taught at the International School of Brazzaville in Zaire, which is now the Republic of Congo, in 1992-93 after a stint in the Peace Corps in Zaire, where he taught health, nutrition and agricultural practices in public schools. King received his doctorate in education leadership in 1998 from the University of Southern Mississippi.

RSU 10 Superintendent Thomas Ward resigned effective June 30 after four years as the school system’s top administrator to take a job as superintendent of RSU 9.

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