OXFORD – A former Oxford Hills School District assistant principal and current Leavitt Area High School principal has been unanimously appointed assistant superintendent.

The school board OK’d the appointment of Patrick Hartnett of Hebron Monday night. Hartnett will succeed Rick Colpitts, who was appointed superintendent last month.

Hartnett is expected to begin his duties in mid-October after satisfying a 60-day notice clause in his current contract at the Turner high school.

“It is very exciting to be able to return to this district,” said Hartnett, who served as assistant principal at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School until 2004. Before that, he taught American studies at the high school. He was also a student in the district, coming originally from Harrison.

“It always felt like a welcoming small town community,” said Hartnett who said he intends to put “the best people” in contact with the Oxford Hills School District students as he begins his new duties.

Colpitts, who recommended Hartnett along with a unanimous vote of the search committee, said Hartnett brings a knowledge “that far exceeds any candidate we could have put in place.” Colpitts said it will be a “challenge” to be without an assistant superintendent for the beginning of school, but he and Hartnett will be in constant contact.

Although the salary will be negotiated, voters approved $79,000 in the new fiscal year budget to pay for the position. The money includes some federal dollars to pay for part of the assistant superintendent’s responsibility to administer federal homeless and drop-out programs.

The school board also unanimously appointed John Springer as assistant principal at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, replacing Jan Gauger who left at the end of the school year. Springer, who comes from the Gray-New Gloucester School district, told the school board that he is excited to get started with his new job.

Jan Gauger, who was appointed assistant principal at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in August 2005 and served with Assistant Principal Paul Bickford, tendered her resignation effective July 29 to move to a new post in Salem, N.H., where she will serve as dean of students.

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