June 25, 2018
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Rockland-area school system filling several top posts

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — The Rockland-area school system will be filling some administrative vacancies when the board meets Thursday night.

Current Oceanside High School East Assistant Principal William Gifford is being nominated to take over as principal of Oceanside High School West in Thomaston as well as principal of the adjacent Thomaston Grammar School. That high school principal position became vacant when Lawrence Schooley resigned at the end of the school year.

The Regional School Unit 13 Board will vote on the one-year interim appointment at its Thursday evening meeting.

Susan Stillwell originally had been appointed to fill the Oceanside West job, as well as remain principal at the Thomaston Grammar School post, but resigned to become principal at Appleton Village School.

The board also is expected to select Jesse Bartke as interim assistant principal at Oceanside East to fill Gifford’s post. He has been employed by the Rockland-area school district since 1998 and teaches special education at the high school. His appointment is also a one-year interim one.

The board is scheduled to formally appoint Molloy Bishop as athletic/activities director for RSU 13. She will succeed James Leonard, who resigned at the end of the school year to take the same position with Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield.

The board also will be asked to appoint Roy Grotton as transportation supervisor.

The board already has approved a flurry of hirings in the past few months.

John McDonald, who served as curriculum coordinator for Regional School Unit 20, based in Belfast, was unanimously chosen last month to be RSU 13’s next superintendent. McDonald, who had been assistant superintendent in Belfast, already has begun his new job.

He succeeds Leon Levesque, who served as interim superintendent for one month, replacing interim Superintendent Michael Wilhelm, who took over after Lew Collins’ departure in February.

Renee Thompson was hired last month as principal of Oceanside East High School in Rockland, succeeding Principal Tom Forti. Thompson will begin work in August. She has been principal of Ellsworth High School for the past five years.

Last month the board also hired Peter Orne as business manager, succeeding Scott Vaitones, whose contract was not renewed.


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