Hebron school principal resigns

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HEBRON — Hebron Station School Principal Tiffany Karnes will leave her post at the end of May to take on a new challenge in Aroostook County.

Karnes, who was hired in the summer of 2008 as principal of the 130-plus student school, said her decision was based in part on a desire to be closer to her family.

“I really wanted to get closer to my family. They’re all from Aroostook County,” she said Monday.

Her new position, which begins June 1, will be working with early childhood providers for an agency in Aroostook County that provides services and resources for individuals and families to help them achieve greater economic independence. She will be both training educators involved in early education programs such as Head Start and working as a consultant for individual children’s needs.

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“I had always kept an eye open,” said Karnes, who started looking in the county for a job last year.

Karnes said recent budget cuts in the Oxford Hills School District and statewide have also made her rethink her current work.

“It’s a tough time to be in education with all the budget cuts,” she said.

While she had been assured her position as principal would not be jeopardized should the school directors agree to implement a plan to have three principals in the district, not eight, Karnes said by her leaving it may allow one of three assistant principals targeted in the plan to stay.

“I was the most mobile,” she said of her ability to leave the district while other administrators have homes and families in the area.

She said she is glad if her leaving will help another administrator stay on board.

Under the proposal Norway, Waterford and Harrison would have one principal and two associate principals. Paris, West Paris and Hebron schools would have one principal and two associate principals and Otisfield and Oxford would have one principal and one associate principal.

Several of the associate principals would split their time with the larger schools where the older students will be transferred. Each associate principal will be in charge as principals of their school, according to Superintendent Mark Eastman. The plan would keep all elementary schools open, retain current programming and reasonable class size.

Karnes previously served as assistant principal at the much larger Lisbon Community School and replaced Nathan Merrill who requested in 2008 a transfer back to the classroom to teach.

She had worked six years earlier in several small schools in Aroostook County where she earned her degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

Karnes said she has thoroughly enjoyed working with the Hebron students and community and will miss them.

“I’m excited to be coming back home,” she said.

ldixon@sunjournal.com

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