DIXFIELD – An interim secretary will head newly created Regional School Unit 10, consisting of towns from SADs 43, 21 and 39, and Hanover.

SAD 43 Superintendent James Hodgkin was appointed to the post at Tuesday’s joint meeting of school board directors at Dirigo High School, assuming the title of interim secretary. Hodgkin will be working over the next couple of months to help set the stage for a permanent superintendent to lead the Western Foothills School District.

“There is a real need … to come together and talk about how things work, not posturing and positioning,” he stated. “Where are things the same, and where are they really not the same.”

The school boards overwhelmingly approved Hodgkin serving in the interim secretary’s role due to his work with the regional planning committee throughout the process, and the fact that he wasn’t an applicant to be the first RSU superintendent, since part of the interim secretary’s job description is to help the RPC develop a job description for the superintendent.

Hodgkin said he was confident that the school committee representatives from the 12 towns that passed the regionalization plan would work together to find educational efficiencies in the new school system.

Hodgkin will receive $8,000 compensation for his work as interim secretary. Of that, $3,976 will come from SAD 43, $2,336 from SAD 21, $1,552 from SAD 39, and $136 from Hanover.

SAD 43 director Betty Barrett expressed her concern about how much work Hodgkin would have to do and how it would affect his SAD 43 superintendent’s duties.

“I would hate to see this job description take away from his duties in SAD 43,” she said.

SAD 21 Superintendent Thomas Ward responded, “We’re all going to share in the burden.”

“I don’t think this necessarily is going to be any more time-consuming,” said Hodgkin, pointing out that his responsibilities with the regional planning committee represented a similar workload to what the new position will likely entail.

Ward expressed an interest in serving as superintendent of RSU 10. At the meeting, he said that he would apply for the position.

“However, I do want to be clear. I’ve worked hard in not coming across as taking anything for granted,” Ward said. He explained that the new board has a right to either hire from within or look outside for a superintendent.

Ward previously asked SAD 21 directors not to extend his contract so the regional planning committee charged with hiring a superintendent wouldn’t feel obligated to hire him. He added that he wanted to start “communication and dialogue across the district” in determining where efficiencies and savings could be found.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.