LIVERMORE FALLS — Regional School Unit 36 directors voted unanimously Thursday to hire Sue Pratt of Strong as the new superintendent beginning July 1. Her contract and salary will be determined in the future.
The vote followed an announced executive session prior to the start of the regular meeting at 7 p.m.
Pratt is the current assistant superintendent of RSU 9, the Mt. Blue Regional School District in Farmington. She has worked in that capacity for seven years. Prior to that Pratt was served as principal of the Kingfield and Phillips schools in SAD 58 for a combined total of five years. Before going into administration, Pratt taught a variety of subjects at Strong for 11 years.
Pratt has been heading up the building construction project to build a school to replace the aging Mallett School in Farmington. Voters in the nine-town district approved the project and it is set to begin this year.
Pratt is also on the Strong Budget Committee and her husband, Rupert, is a selectman in that town.
She will work closely with RSU 36 Superintendent Judith Harvey to help with a smooth transition when Harvey retires at the end of June, board Chairman Ashley O‘Brien said.
There was no advertising for the position of superintendent. However, board members had met twice before in announced executive sessions to discuss possible candidates.
Thursday’s interview session was conducted by nearly all 13 members of the board in a room at the Cedar Street Learning Complex. There was no listing of an earlier start to the meeting or of a proposed executive session on the agenda.
When questioned about the executive session not being announced, O’Brien said the board was advised they did not have to announce an interview session. Harvey also said they didn’t have to.
According to the Maine Freedom of Access Act, whenever a public body meets, that meeting is presumptively open to the public.
The board has a right to open a meeting in public and then call for an executive session only by a public recorded vote of three/fifths of the members, present and voting of such bodies or agencies.
Livermore Falls Town Manager Jim Chaousis also cited to the board the executive session laws found in Section 405 of Title 1 of the Maine Revised Statues Annotated. Sections 401 through 410 cover access to both public proceedings and records.
The Sun Journal objected to the illegal executive session. O’Brien said the objection was noted with respect.