KENNEBUNK, Maine — The RSU 21 board of directors has approved a contract for an interim superintendent.
Maryann Perry, the former head of schools in Marblehead, Massachusetts, will take over the role while the district conducts a search for a permanent replacement for former superintendent Katie Hawes, who resigned in June.
Perry’s contract, which runs from Sept. 10 through June 30, 2020, with a salary of $130,000, was approved unanimously by the board on Sept. 9.
Perry attended the board meeting with her husband and told the group, “as I sit here and listen to you today as you work through your agenda, I know you are passionate about children, and that’s where I want to take my next career step. To a district that knows that in the end, we’re here for children. It’s all about our kids, it’s about giving them the opportunity and the tools in the toolbox so they can be successful at whatever they do. Interim superintendents sometimes just turn on the light and open the door. That’s not me, I want to roll my sleeves up, I want to help you transition to your next movement.”
Perry, who began her career in public education as a preschool special needs teacher 35 years ago, served as superintendent in Marblehead for the past six years, before retiring in May.
Perry joined the Marblehead school district in 2012, but announced her retirement in January amid a budget controversy and allegations of mismanagement. Perry admitted at the time to state officials that she withheld fiscal year 2018 special education out-of-district tuition bills and paid for them with 2019 funds, which is against state regulation, according to the Marblehead Reporter. She told the newspaper at the time that she had planned to retire for over a year, and those difficulties had no bearing on her decision to retire.
RSU 21 Board Chair Mary Beth Luce said Perry “brings a wealth of experience and leads through example. Maryann believes that communication and transparency are the keys to a successful school district. We are very happy to have her on board.”