News Feature

The Peninsula
Originally published in Castine Patriot, February 2, 2017
Three Peninsula schools seek principals for 2017-18

by Anne Berleant

Three elementary schools on the Blue Hill Peninsula are in search of a teaching principal for the 2017-18 school year.

Openings in Penobscot and Sedgwick are the result of longtime principals retiring, while in Brooksville, the school board and its principal, who was hired in 2015, parted ways suddenly in December.

All three schools have brought the community into the hiring process, through public forums, open school board meetings and serving on the hiring committee.

“It’ll be interesting,” said Union 93 Superintendent Mark Hurvitt, who is involved in the Brooksville and Penobscot process. “Three positions are open, but each town is different. My feeling is that will sort themselves out.”

But what does it take to be a principal?

In addition to holding the required state certificate and having teaching experience, Brooksville and Penobscot ask candidates to have strong communication and community relations skills. Sedgwick is looking for experience in integrating technology in the classroom.

Desirable character traits include being energetic, optimistic and visible, and a problem solver, Hurvitt said, and a willingness to be present.

While the principal contracts call for around 210 days a year, those days can be long.

“It’s not on paper as how many hours to work a day but when that expectation is short or not met, there are a lot of complaints from people in the community, board members, and parents,” he said. “That’s the kind of person each board wants, a committed person to that school.”

For Sedgwick the application deadline is February 24. For Penobscot and Brooksville, the application deadline is also February 24, with interviews to follow, and a nomination at the April board meeting, Hurvitt said. “That’s the ideal but these things take on a life of their own sometimes.”