FARMINGTON — Mt. Blue High School Principal Monique Poulin was unanimously approved by the Regional School Unit 9 Board of Directors Tuesday, Dec. 15, to serve as the district’s interim superintendent starting Dec. 28.

Mt. Blue High School Principal Monique Poulin congratulates 2020 graduate Angela Guppy on June 14. Poulin will serve as Regional School Unit 9’s interim superintendent starting Dec. 28. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Poulin will replace Superintendent Tina Meserve who presented her letter of resignation to the board on Dec. 1. Meserve encountered 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 to replace Poulin. Smith will receive a stipend to cover his enhanced responsibilities.

In regard to fast-tracking the administrative hires, Meserve said that the district’s policy includes 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 that the candidates are exceptionally qualified, then the district’s hiring policy will not be impacted. Meserve added that 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 interviewing candidates for the interim assistant principal position after closing the application process on Dec. 14.

“We have done a first round of interviews and we are still in the middle of the process so that nomination will be postponed to the next board meeting while we complete the process,” Meserve said.

In other business, two new teacher hires were announced to the board. Derek Ginn will work at Mt. Blue Middle School as the special education teacher and Sarah Kaiser will work at Mallett Elementary School in the special education resource room.

“[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 and so that definitely helps us gain traction for getting some of these candidates to stay with our district.” 

Board members welcomed the new hires to the district and welcomed Smith and Poulin to their new positions.

“We sometimes miss the opportunity to say welcome,” Wilton board member Cherieann Harrison said. “We have two new people to the district so I just wanted to say welcome to them to the district, and also welcome to some familiar faces to some new positions.” 


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