On May 9, 2018

Cavendish Elementary to keep principal’s position

By Stephen Seitz

CAVENDISH—Following a special meeting on April 30, the Green Mountain Unified School District (GMUSD) board has decided to permanently retain the principal’s position at Cavendish Town Elementary School.

The original plan had been to hire an interim principal for a year, who would then be succeeded by a dean of students, subject to the supervision of Chester-Andover Elementary School principal Katherine Fogg.

“A dean of students is off the table,” said Two Rivers Supervisory Union superintendent Meg Powden.

At the meeting, GMUSD chairwoman Marilyn Mahusky said there were three possible ways to go.

“One is we can decide to repost the position as a permanent position,” she said. “We can consider interim candidates who are internal candidates. Meg has conferred with the principals, and there are two who would be willing to step up. I don’t know if people have other ideas, but those are the three I’ve been thinking about.”

Retired teacher Cathy Goodell said she didn’t think an interim principal would have the proper commitment to do the job well.

“For ten years, I have substituted in Chester and Cavendish both,” she said. I know that [current principal George Thomson] has fostered a wonderful learning environment for the students of Cavendish. I’m concerned that if an interim is hired, the chances are that that person won’t be invested in the community. If you have a strong leader with a vision, that vision takes more than a year.”

In the end, the board voted to have one principal in each of its schools.

There were some who thought a one-year contract might still lead to a dean of students later on. Powden said it is standard practice to offer a one-year contract for a new principal. “Once they develop relationships, they can be offered two- or three-year contracts,” she said.

“We’re in the process of forming a search committee right now,” Powden said.

The Green Mountain Unified School District comprises Andover, Baltimore, Cavendish and Chester. Those who want to see the full special meeting can find it on the public access channels on Comcast or VTel, or can go to sapatv.org and see the meeting online.

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