BANGOR, Maine — The former principal of James F. Doughty School was named Bangor’s new assistant superintendent of schools last month, and his former vice principal will take over his vacated post, Superintendent Betsy Webb said Tuesday.
The Bangor School Committee approved Robert MacDonald’s appointment as assistant superintendent in July. MacDonald’s former assistant principal at James F. Doughty School, Ed Hackett, was confirmed last week as principal of the middle school, which serves more than 400 students.
Webb said MacDonald is “a very talented and committed educator” who spent 22 years as James F. Doughty School principal.
“He has had a great career there, but what I think is most notable is his leadership to its recognition in 2010 as a National Blue Ribbon School,” Webb said. That annual award recognizes schools across the nation where students perform well academically. Since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded it to more than 7,000 schools.
MacDonald, who started at his new post July 15, will earn $95,000 in his first year as assistant superintendent.
The position was advertised on servingschools.com, a popular job postings site for Maine schools, according to Webb. The school department received about a dozen applications, including some from out of state, she said.
The post has been vacant for nearly a year. Robert Lucy, a former Orono Middle School principal who the Bangor School Department hired to serve as assistant superintendent in May 2012, resigned this March, citing family medical issues. Lucy had been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 29, after the Bangor Daily News published details of a 2011 report from the Maine Department of Education which found there was “incontrovertible evidence that some students revisited the [New England Common Assessment Program] test after the time permitted” and that those actions violated “clearly stated” testing rules and guidelines. The incident occurred while Lucy was principal at Orono Middle School. Lucy’s resignation followed a seven-month investigation by the Bangor School Department.
When asked why she felt the need to hire an assistant superintendent, despite not having one for nearly a year, Webb said that the position is not at all uncommon among Maine and New England school districts with more than 2,000 students. Last year, Bangor School Department had more than 3,800 enrolled students, making it the fourth-largest district in the state.
Webb said that some of the larger districts have a curriculum coordinator, a position Bangor doesn’t have because it delegates those duties to the assistant superintendent.
MacDonald’s duties as assistant superintendent include overseeing the gifted and talented program; Title 1 programing, or the federally funded programs geared toward providing fair learning opportunities for disadvantaged students; special education; and the system’s technology plan, among other things, according to Webb.
MacDonald also will play a vital role in a number of initiatives the school department will tackle in coming years, including aligning with common core standards, implementation of new principal and teacher evaluation systems, and the conversion to a new statewide learning assessment, Webb said.
Hackett was introduced as principal to James F. Doughty School parents and students during an event at the school on Monday. He spent 21 years as the assistant principal and athletic director for the school. Sam Moring is Doughty School’s new assistant principal.