Finalists to be next Brunswick High School principal to visit school, meet townspeople

The Brunswick School Board on Wednesday hired Tim Gagnon as assistant principal of Brunswick High School. Former assistant principal Donna Borowick was named interim principal following the resignation of former principal Art Abelmann.
Dylan Martin | The Forecaster
The Brunswick School Board on Wednesday hired Tim Gagnon as assistant principal of Brunswick High School. Former assistant principal Donna Borowick was named interim principal following the resignation of former principal Art Abelmann.
Posted Oct. 02, 2013, at 2:33 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 02, 2013, at 3:43 p.m.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — Three candidates for principal at Brunswick High School will meet with the public next week.

Superintendent of Schools Paul Perzanoski on Tuesday said the candidates will appear separately at the high school on Oct. 7, 8 and 10.

Candidates will meet with students and faculty in the early afternoon, and then with parents and other community members at 3:45 p.m.

The School Department began searching for a new principal after former high school Principal Art Abelmann abruptly resigned in May, citing personal reasons and leaving more than a year before expiration of his two-year contract.

Abelmann’s resignation led some residents to question the school department’s hiring process, because the former principal had resigned from a Colorado-based high school under similar circumstances.

School Board members and administrators have remained mum on the matter, citing confidentiality requirements for personnel issues.

However, Perzanoski has made at least two changes in the school department’s hiring procedure: the addition of a community survey and allowing all high school faculty to meet with principal candidates.

After the meetings next week, a high school interview committee will consider written feedback from the different groups to recommend candidates for Perzanoski to interview, the superintendent said.

If one or two candidates are chosen to move forward, Perzanoski said, the hiring process could finish by the end of the month. Any recommendations by Perzanoski would have to be ratified by the School Board.

That would give the high school a new principal by January 2014, when interim Principal Donna Borowick is expected to retire.

Borowick, the high school’s former assistant principal, was originally planning to retire this summer, but agreed to take the temporary post in June. Former technology educator Tim Gagnon was hired as the new assistant principal.

If the interview committee doesn’t recommend any of the three candidates, Perzanoski said the search process would have to restart, which could leave the high school without a permanent principal until after the new year.

The interview committee was also responsible for culling five candidates from the initial pool of 15 applicants. The group then narrowed the list to the three finalists, using feedback from the community survey conducted by the school department in August.

Perzanoski said the survey, which asked about qualities the community would like to see in a new principal, received about 70 responses.

The interview committee consists of faculty members Don Glover, Jeff Thompson, Pam Wagner, Jennie Driscoll and Bill Clarke; community representatives Frank Strasburger, James Ford and Jessica Factor; and School Board members Corinne Perreault, Michele Joyce and Bill Thompson.

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