MONMOUTH – The head of Monmouth’s schools is leaving to lead a neighboring school district.

Thomas Hanson, who has served as Monmouth Academy principal and Monmouth school system superintendent for two years, has been hired as superintendent of SAD 52 in Leeds, Greene and Turner.

“I was intrigued by the opportunity,” said 48-year-old Hanson, who lived in Turner as a child and graduated from SAD 52’s Leavitt Area High School in the early 1970s. “The opportunity to go home and head up the district where I grew up was very alluring.”

Hanson will finish the school year in Monmouth and begin his new job in SAD 52 at the beginning of July. He has already started attending SAD 52 school board meetings and has been involved with the hiring of new personnel.

With Hanson’s departure, Monmouth’s school board is looking at restructuring its top administration. Proposed now: cut the high school’s assistant principal/athletic director to part time, hire a full-time principal for Monmouth Academy and hire a separate part-time superintendent for the entire school system.

With the school system’s steady growth, “it’s getting to the point where a combined principal and superintendent position is questionable,” Hanson said.

There are currently 800 students in the Monmouth school system, with 265 at the high school.

That’s up by about a third in recent years.

The Monmouth School Committee will meet with school staff next week to discuss the issue.

The committee will hold a public hearing on the proposal and the school system’s budget at 7 p.m. Monday at Monmouth Academy.

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