11 August 2017
Dear Parents, Faculty and Staff,
I am writing to provide an update on recent progress as we prepare for the 2017-18 school year. As you might imagine, it has been an unusually busy summer as a result of several significant personnel changes at the beginning of the season. While we have attempted to keep everyone informed along the way, the primary focus of our work surrounding these changes has been to find highly qualified candidates as efficiently and expeditiously as possible. That being true, I would like to allay any concerns that may exist as a result of all the personnel changes and assure you that we are in very good shape and making headway each day. There is much to be encouraged about and we are anticipating a wonderful school year for everyone.
As of today, I am pleased to report the latest progress within all three schools. Perry Schwarz has been hired as our new director of facilities and transportation. With the assistance of Janet Hoskin, Pat Fowler, Rob MacVane, Denise Ordonez and our hard working and talented custodians, bus drivers, and maintenance crew, our schools will be in impressive condition this fall. Classrooms and halls have been freshly painted, repairs made, new lockers, flooring, and an upgrade to the Pond Cove playground are examples of all their hard work.
We were fortunate to receive numerous impressive applicants for our administrative positions. Our search teams, which each included several parents, selected three very qualified administrators – two principals and an assistant principal. We are confident in their skills to lead Pond Cove Elementary School and Cape Elizabeth Middle School in new and synchronistic ways. Jeff Shedd continues to do an admirable job leading Cape Elizabeth High School.
We held public receptions this Thursday and Friday for principal finalists. It was so nice to see a great turnout of parents and teachers and staff to these public forums. The feedback has been strong and supportive for both top candidates. Thank you for taking the time to come and share your thoughts.
The next step in the hiring process is for me to make a formal nomination next Monday evening. Assuming the school board agrees with the nomination, we will offer formal contracts to three school administrators next week. Again, principal and assistant principal for Pond Cove and principal for CEMS.
Central office administrators have taken the lead in hiring a few open teaching positions. There have been a few internal transfers. As of today we have one opening for a middle school teacher and one opening for a primary grade teacher. We also have a long-term substitute teacher at the high school to fill. Mr. Shedd is in charge of that. The point is, we will be fully staffed and ready to open the schoolhouse doors in early September.
Many teachers are already hard at work. Some are working from home, others taking classes, others coming in for professional development. Your teachers are gearing up.
Of some interest is the fact that today we learned that one of the rating systems posted the top 25 school systems in Maine. Cape Elizabeth is ranked number one. I point this out to remind us we have much to be proud of and to build on.
I have complete confidence in our staff, teachers and administrators. Your children are going to have a wonderful school year. Count on it.