GOULDSBORO, Maine — A new school board has hired a new principal for a new school that is under construction in the local village of Prospect Harbor.
David Crandall, the principal of Phillips Elementary School in Franklin County, has been selected to be the new principal of Peninsula School, Superintendent Bill Webster said Tuesday. Crandall, a former captain in the Air Force, is expected to begin on July 1, according to Webster.
“He has an interesting background,” Webster said of the new principal.
Crandall was an attractive candidate for the post, in part, because of his accomplishments in Phillips, Webster said. Pupils at that town’s elementary school have tested well in reading, math and science, he said.
“[The Phillips school] met the state’s definition of a high-performing school,” Webster said.
Crandall was one of 17 applicants for the job, according to the superintendent. He will take over for Cathy Lewis, a former principal at Ella Lewis School in Steuben who has been serving as the Peninsula School’s interim principal since last summer.
Crandall was hired March 10 by the board of Regional School Unit 24, which is the new school administrative entity that will oversee schools in Ellsworth and towns that now are part of Union 96 and Union 92. Webster is the superintendent of Union 96, which includes Gouldsboro, and will serve as the superintendent of RSU 24 when it becomes the governing entity for area schools on July 1.
Crandall’s starting salary will be $73,000, according to the minutes from the March 10 RSU 24 meeting.
The new, $12 million Peninsula School is being built for pupils from kindergarten through eighth grade in Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor. Children from these two adjacent towns have been attending classes together at the former Winter Harbor Grammar School since 2003, when mold problems prompted the abrupt closure of Gouldsboro’s grammar school. Winter Harbor’s school had seen its enrollment drop dramatically when the Navy closed a base there in 2002, but the sudden infusion of students from neighboring Gouldsboro created cramped conditions in Winter Harbor’s outdated facility. The towns decided to merge their separate school boards in 2004.
Webster said the new school is expected to open on Aug. 28 before classes begin for the new academic year. The new school, which will have a capacity for 225 pupils, is expected to have approximately 180 pupils when it opens.