School Department: Dec. 12 hearing date now off for Wiscasset school committee’s dismissal hearing on WMHS principal-on leave Gina Stevens

Mon, 12/11/2023 - 6:30pm

Update: Wiscasset Superintendent of Schools Kim Andersson announced via email Monday afternoon, Dec. 11, WMHS Principal-on leave Gina Stevens’ dismissal hearing “planned for tomorrow afternoon (Dec. 12) has been postponed to a date to be determined.”

School Committee Chair Jason Putnam added in a separate email Monday evening: “Despite our sincere efforts and intentions, there will be no dismissal hearing tomorrow at the Wiscasset School Committee meeting. Principal Stevens’ lawyer could not be present at the scheduled day and time. New dates will be announced as soon as possible. Our regular meeting will begin at 3:30 pm in the Wiscasset Elementary School Gymnasium.”

Stevens’ lawyer Gregg R. Frame emailed Wiscasset Newspaper Tuesday morning, Dec. 12. The email read in part: “When scheduling this matter, I provided ... many dates for December. Four ... predated the date for the hearing that the school (department) chose (Dec. 12) ... When it became clear there would need to be two dates, the attorneys began to look at second dates. I again provided the list of available dates. I was told that several school committee members were unavailable for (Dec. 21) and the attorneys all transitioned to having the hearings in January because it was agreed to have the hearing dates close together and that wouldn’t be possible in December. Again, none of this was my decision. I provided over a dozen January dates that worked.  

“As a result of that decision to look into January and the representation of the school committee’s unavailability (Dec. 21), I scheduled work travel that I had been delaying  (and then) I was informed” the committee could now do Dec. 21 “and the hearing was scheduled for (Dec. 12 and 21). I noted my travel and my unavailability for Dec. 12 ... We then worked to find a date that did work, and we are scheduled for Dec. 20 and 21.”
 
“Gina looks forward to a fair hearing” Dec. 20 and 21, Frame wrote.
 
Update: At 11:22 a.m. Friday, Dec. 8, an hour and five minutes after announcing “the personnel matter will not be held on the 12th,” Andersson sent reporters the following update:

 

“We are trying to make something work for the 12th and one other night - the process is expected to be lengthy. I apologize for the confusion - there are a lot of moving parts.”

The school department’s lawyer, Tom Trenholm of Drummond Woodsum, then explained to Wiscasset Newspaper: “We’re going to do it on the 12th and the 21st,” if needed. “It’s definitely going to happen on the 12th, and if the employee’s counsel needs more time, we’re going to do it on the 21st.” 

Trenholm said the school committee meeting at which the hearing will take place Dec. 12 is at 3:30 p.m. in the Wiscasset Elementary School gym. No time and place were set for Dec. 21, he said. “Details (on that) to be determined.”

And later Friday, Stevens’ lawyer, Gregg R. Frame, told Wiscasset Newspaper the hearing will not take place on Dec. 12. He also commented the delay is not “on Ms. Stevens.” Wiscasset Newspaper asked the school department again about the hearing date and was told by both Trenholm and School Committee Chair Jason Putnam the hearing was still planned for Dec. 12.

Original post: Wiscasset Superintendent of Schools Kim Andersson announced the following on Friday morning, Dec. 8:

“Due to scheduling conflicts of the employee’s attorney, the hearing for the personnel matter will not be held on Dec. 12 and has been removed from the agenda. It is expected that the hearing will occur in January.”

Andersson announced the Dec. 12 hearing date Nov. 28, with time and place yet to be set. The committee decided Nov. 13 to hold the hearing after Andersson’s multiple claims involving Stevens’ performance as principal. Stevens has said she did nothing wrong.