Mt. Blue High School Principal Monique Poulin, left, congratulates 2020 graduate Angela Guppy on June 14. Poulin will serve as the interim superintendent in Regional School Unit 9, beginning Dec. 28. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal file Buy this Photo

FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 board of directors Tuesday night unanimously approved Mt. Blue High School Principal Monique Poulin to serve as the district’s interim superintendent, beginning Dec. 28.

Poulin will succeed Superintendent Tina Meserve, who presented her letter of resignation to the board Dec. 1.

Meserve resigned after facing criticism from staff for her leadership, as communicated in a union-initiated vote of no confidence and from community members in a no-confidence petition.

The board also approved Mt. Blue Assistant Principal Joel Smith to serve as the high school’s interim principal while Poulin is filling in as superintendent.

Smith will receive a stipend to cover the increased responsibilities.

Meserve said the district is able to “fast-track” the process of hiring her permanent successor. She said the district’s policies allow exceptions to the hiring process for unique circumstances.

“There is a pretty lengthy process, and anyone who has been part of hiring administrators knows there’s usually a two-month or even a three-month process at times,” Meserve said.

“And this has happened pretty rapidly, partly because we’re in an emergency situation with a transition midyear, we’re in the middle of a pandemic and it’s important to get them filled.”

If the superintendent, in consultation with the administrator evaluation committee and the board, determines the candidates are exceptionally qualified, the district’s hiring policy will not be impacted.

Meserve said determining a candidate’s qualifications is much easier in this case since both Poulin and Smith already work for the district.

The district is still reviewing applications for an interim assistant principal. A nomination is expected at the next board meeting.

In other matters, the board was told of two newly hired teachers: Derek Ginn, who will be the special education teacher at Mt. Blue Middle School,  and Sarah Kaiser, who will work in the special education resource room at W.G. Mallett Elementary School.

“[We’re] very excited to have two candidates midyear for special education. They’re difficult to find, so we are very fortunate,” Meserve said. “Both of them did their student teaching in the district, so that definitely helps us gain traction for getting some of these candidates to stay with our district.” 




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