Wiscasset names WES’s next principal

School department takes step toward a health center at WMHS
Fri, 06/14/2024 - 4:30pm
    Wiscasset Elementary School’s next principal, Stacy Clements, always loved school and learning. So when picking a career, she chose teaching, she said June 13 in a phone interview from Assumption Catholic School, Fairfield, Connecticut, where she is principal now.
    With husband Mark Clements a football coach, they moved around a lot. When they moved to Connecticut, Stacy Clements became an instructional coach for the Diocese of Bridgeport. She wanted to try it as something new. While Clements was in that job, her superintendent encouraged her to work toward getting certified as a principal. He told her he thought she would make a great one. 
    “And I trusted him enough to give it a try.” It worked out. She is in her third year as Assumption’s principal. 
    Mark Clements is from Gorham. And the two met at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. “So it’s kind of like coming back to Maine,” more than coming to Maine, she said of his work move here to a job at Colby College in Waterville, and hers, to the WES job. 
    How does Assumption compare to WES? Clements explained it is pre-K through eighth grade, so a few more grades than at WES, but has similarly small classes. “There’s actually a lot of similarities. Small class sizes in both places, and a small, tight-knit community, which is what I was looking for ... I’m super excited to get to know the community.”
    June 11, Wiscasset Superintendent of Schools Kim Andersson announced Clements as the pick from about seven applicants. Andersson told the school committee Clements is “coming in with her eyes wide open. She has a very clear understanding ... about who we are ...”
    WES principal of one year Amy Bayha said this spring, she was resigning after she and husband Tim had a home in town under contract to buy and the seller did not sell.
    Also June 11, the committee again heard both concern about and support for an in-school health center at Wiscasset Middle High School. Officials said students and staff could go to it – students, with parental consent, with some exceptions. In the meeting and in a recent survey Andersson shared, opponents said school is for education, a health center poses liability risks, and students might be more likely to come to school when sick or to get care without parents’ input. Supporters said the center could increase students’ access to care, and for some be their only access; and save families school and work time going to a doctor’s office.
    Some speakers took issue with the survey as not reaching enough people. According to the results, 10 students, 31 staff members, 47 parents, grandparents, or guardians, and nine other community members were surveyed. Of those, 48 strongly supported a center, 10 supported it, nine were neutral, two did not support it, 21 went with “absolutely” not, and the rest did not complete the survey as, the results stated, “they were uncomfortable with the email collection and lack of anonymity.”
    The committee, which also heard supportive comments from some other area school systems, authorized Andersson to sign a memo of understanding with Lincoln Medical Partners for the center. She said she will sign after the lawyers are all set with the document. 
    Andersson thanked departing committee member Desiree Bailey for her six years of service. Andersson told Bailey, “You are a level-headed mediator ... a listener (who) communicates with everyone and makes everyone feel ... valued and important. And that trickles down to all of our kids.”  Andersson added she is thrilled Bailey is president of Boosters, because it means the two will continue to work together. 
    Andersson also thanked the committee’s departing student representative Chris Seiders. She said the new graduate is, like Bailey, an amazing voice of reason. Seiders has “grit ... wit (and an) ability to speak truth, a lot of times when it really needs to be heard,” and he is one of the smartest people she knows, Andersson said.