Wilmot, Kern plan to resign as Wiscasset superintendent, special ed director

Posted:  Friday, April 6, 2018 - 3:45pm

Wiscasset Superintendent of Schools Heather Wilmot’s and Special Education Director Carrie Kern’s resignations are on the School Committee’s Tuesday, April 10 agenda, released Friday. Both resignations take effect June 30, Administrative Assistant Stacey Souza confirmed by phone.

In a phone interview Friday afternoon, Wilmot, of Brunswick, said she is leaving because her family is moving over the summer. She and husband Noah Wilmot will be house-hunting in the Massachusetts-New Hampshire area because his work in transportation logistics is transitioning to New Hampshire. She will be looking for work in Massachusetts, where she is from but hasn't lived since graduating high school, she said.

Her nieces, nephews and mother live in Masschusetts, so she is thrilled to be moving back to the area, she said, adding Noah's mother and stepfather live in southern Maine, so, he, too will be nearer his family.

"I've been proud to be part of a leadership team that puts its focus on students and staff," Wilmot said. She wanted the school committee to know her plans now to allow it plenty of time to search for the next superintendent, she said.

The department's strong foundation, including high-quality teachers who care about kids and the community, could help attract good candidates, she said.

Wilmot’s latest contract, begun last July, had been going to run through June 30, 2022; Kern’s, her first with the department, had an end date of this June 30, Souza said.

Asked to reflect on her years working with Wilmot, Souza said Wilmot has done amazing work as superintendent and has been wonderful to work with. “She will be missed.”

Wilmot said she has accepted Kern's resignation; but her resignation as superintendent needs to be accepted by the school committee.

In a separate phone interview Friday, Kern said she is leaving for two reasons. One is to achieve more of a work-family balance. Her family has encouraged that, and she has a ninth grader who will head to college in a few years.

"So I really want to spend those last three years with him, and being more available to him. So that is absolutely where my move (to resign) is coming from," Kern said.

In addition, Kern said in her Wiscasset job, she so enjoyed those times she has gotten to work directly with students, including ones with limited or no verbal communication, she has come to realize that is her calling. Kern has a speech and language pathology background and plans to seek a job working with students or a combination of that and administration.

Kern, of Rockport, said she is happy to be looking for work in the Midcoast. She has loved working in Wiscasset, she said. "It's a lovely community."

Writing Wilmot and the committee about her resignation, Kern states, in part: "I cannot overstate how much I have grown to appreciate and respect our administrative team. I feel truly grateful to have been able to serve the Wiscasset community, and I know, given the dedication and skill of its educators, this community will continue to be a model for special education services in the future. Wiscasset will always have a special place in my heart."

In text replies to questions, Committee Chairman Michael Dunn said the panel wishes Kern success and happiness in whatever she does.

"We are very sad to be losing Heather, and she is sad to be leaving us, but her husband is being transferred for work, so we certainly understand that family comes first. We will be starting our search to fill both positions with the best applicants that we can find. Our priority, as always, will be to find people that always put what's best for the kids above all else," Dunn wrote.