LINCOLN, Maine — Interim Superintendent Raymond Freve will remain in his position with RSU 67 until at least January so he can continue to stabilize the Lincoln-area school district, an official said Tuesday.
School board members had hoped to appoint a permanent successor to Superintendent Denise Hamlin, who resigned in April because of a lack of community support for budgets she had proposed.
But Freve has been a stabilizing influence since assuming the superintendent’s position in May, and board members want that to continue, Chairwoman Rebecca Hanscom said.
“We are further unifying the school district and having people continue to pull in the same direction,” Hanscom said Tuesday. “We want people to feel validated and that they are important in their jobs.”
Some teachers and residents had complained that the board and Hamlin had a top-down management style that alienated teachers, stifled fair criticism and targeted critics within the system. They said several top administrators and teachers left the system because of disagreements with Hamlin.
Hamlin disagreed, saying she was following board guidelines and is constrained by confidentiality requirements from discussing personnel issues.
A superintendent search over the summer drew several candidates who can reapply for the position in January, Hanscom said.
The students of Chester, Lincoln and Mattawamkeag opened the 2013-14 school year on Tuesday with the exception of upperclassmen at Mattanawcook Academy. Tuesday was freshmen orientation day at the high school, officials said.
The school system has 1,103 students enrolled, a school official said. It had 1,097 in April and 1,120 in October 2012. That’s the month the Maine Department of Education typically logs school enrollments, which can vary weekly.
According to the Education Department website, RSU 67’s enrollment has declined since the 2009-10 school year, when it was 1,209 students. The school system had 1,186 and 1,137 students in 2010-11 and 2011-12, respectively.
The year starts with three new members of the school board and the Lincoln Town Council due to appoint two replacement members this month. Lincoln representatives John Trask and James Sutherland resigned last month, Hanscom said.
Richard Broderick Jr. replaced Lincoln representative Debra McIntyre and Chester representatives Kevin Olsen and Diana Lambert replaced Rebecca Fleming and Carolyn Smith, Hanscom said.