December 18, 2017
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Investigation shifts to second staff member at Maine high school

By Alexander Violo, Lincoln County News

The Regional School Unit 40 Board of Directors will hold a special meeting, to include a dismissal hearing, at the school district’s central office in Union at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 12.

According to an email from board chairman Danny Jackson, of Waldoboro, the agenda includes two executive sessions: one to consult with an attorney regarding the legal rights and duties of the board, and a second to discuss a personnel issue.

The announcement of the hearing coincides with Medomak Valley High School Principal Andrew Cavanaugh’s extended and unexplained absence from the school, although district officials are declining to say whether Cavanaugh is the focus of the hearing.

RSU 40 Superintendent Steve Nolan has declined to explain Cavanaugh’s absence or the reason for the dismissal hearing, calling the latter a confidential personnel matter.

“The welfare of our students is our highest priority, and we are always working to provide a safe learning environment,” Nolan said in November.

The hearing also coincides with a complaint to the Waldoboro Police Department of inappropriate contact between an MVHS staff member and a student.

The Waldoboro Police Department referred the matter to the Knox County Sheriff’s Office because the matter was not in the department’s jurisdiction, according to Police Chief Bill Labombarde.

An investigation by Knox County Sheriff’s Office Detective Don Murray did not lead to criminal charges, but did prompt a separate investigation by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office into a different staff member.

Lincoln County Sheriff Todd Brackett said his office received a complaint regarding an MVHS staff member who lives in Knox County. LCSO is working with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the complaint.

“We do have an open investigation at this time,” Brackett said.

Brackett said no further details are available due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.

The RSU 40 board voted to hold a dismissal hearing for an employee during its regular meeting Nov. 16, but did not schedule the hearing at that time.

Cavanaugh has been the principal of MVHS since 2015. He worked as a teacher and vice principal at the school before becoming principal.

MVHS is in Waldoboro. As the sending school for RSU 40, it also serves students from Friendship, Union, Warren, and Washington.

 


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