PARIS — The School Administrative District 17 board of directors Tuesday appointed Paul Bickford as principal of Oxford Hills Middle School by a unanimous vote.

Bickford has served as one of two assistant principals at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School under Principal Ted Moccia. He replaced longtime Principal Troy Eastman, who was released from his contract in late August to take a new job as principal at Cape Elizabeth Middle School. Eastman was appointed to the position in 2007.

There were nine applicants for the position, and three were selected to be interviewed, said Barry Patrie, chairman of the Personnel Committee. One of the finalists declined to be interviewed.

“It was a very rushed but thorough (process),” Patrie said.

Superintendent Rick Colpitts, who made the recommendation of Bickford’s appointment to the committee, thanked Middle School Assistant Principal Tara Pelletier for “stepping up to the plate on short notice.”

“Tara held it all together,” he said of her opening school days.

Principals and directors districtwide reported on their opening school days, speaking about student enrollments, new staff, curriculum goals and other beginning-of-the-school-year issues.

Director Stacia Cordwell of Oxford thanked the administrators and directors for their “good work.”

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Paul Bickford, standing, acknowledges early congratulations from the SAD 17 board of directors moments before he was unanimously appointed Oxford Hills Middle School principal at Tuesday night’s meeting in Paris.

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