Andersson gets another 5 years as superintendent; Hubert makes principal

Tue, 05/14/2024 - 8:15pm

After an executive session Tuesday night, Wiscasset’s school committee announced another five years as superintendent of schools for Kim Andersson, who started last July. Chair Jason Putnam said the salary was still to be finalized. 

And in open session earlier, the committee moved Sarah Hubert from being Wiscasset Middle High School’s interim principal to its principal. Putnam congratulated Hubert and called it awesome news.

Asked for comment later, Hubert said: “I am ready to navigate WMHS on a course where learning and teaching is valued, and I can only do that with the continued support and collaboration of teachers, staff, parents, coaches, and Wiscasset community members. We have great students who deserve opportunity, which can only happen when all of the adults around them show that they care. I want the best for our school.”

Andersson said she was “humbled and incredibly grateful that the School Committee extended my contract for five more years. This decision will allow the School Department to experience leadership continuity after decades of high Superintendent turnover which I believe will allow our schools to reach their greatest potential for excellence,” she said.

“I am also happy to be able to give back to Wiscasset since Wiscasset invested in my education while I was teaching here and that education helped make it possible for me to be a Superintendent. It is a very good feeling, indeed.” According to Wiscasset Newspaper files, Andersson has been a Wiscasset educational technician, teacher, substitute, volunteer, school committee member and school parent. Before taking the superintendent job, she was dean of students at Searsport District Middle High School.

Also Tuesday, the committee tabled MaineHealth and Lincoln Medical Partners’ proposed in-school health center, and earlier stood and applauded Wiscasset Elementary School fourth grade teacher Becky Hallowell, named May 9 as Lincoln County’s teacher of the year.

Giving Hallowell a photo from the announcement ceremony in Augusta, Andersson told her it was not as cool as the county teacher of the year plaque. 

As for the would-be health center at WMHS, some meeting attendees raised concerns and questions about what types of care students could receive without parents’ consent. According to the proposed deal Wiscasset Newspaper received upon request, signed parental consent would be needed except, under Maine law, it would not be needed for treatment of sexually transmitted infections or substance abuse; family planning, including pregnancy; emotional or psychological problems; and “health care services associated with sexual assault forensic examinations for the purpose of collecting evidence after an alleged sexual assault.”

Attendees also raised liability and other concerns; and wondered why Lincoln Medical Partners would not be paying rent. Others said a health center in school would make it easier for both staff and students to get care and might be the only way some students might be comfortable seeking it out. The center would likely have a nurse practitioner and, for “mental health care,” a social worker, Andersson said.

Putnam asked about students’ privacy going to a health center at school. Just as students can be seen coming and going from the school nurse, they would be visible coming and going from the center, which may be placed across the hall from the current office of the school nurse, Andersson said. There would still be a school nurse, she added. She said MaineHealth has centers in other schools around the region. Introducing the proposed deal at the discussion’s outset, Andersson said she was having a lawyer for the school department review it and she would ask the committee for authorization to sign it if the document gets the lawyer’s OK.

Then came the questions and the tabling.

The committee accepted WMHS teacher and past assistant principal Warren Cossette’s retirement, and resignations from Matthew Gordon, band teacher; Ashley Swift, special education teacher; Alain Ollier, French and Spanish teacher; and, as Wiscasset Newspaper has reported, Wiscasset Elementary School Principal Amy Bayha. The committee hired Rachel Bouttenot for high school math, moved Tamia Welch to second grade teacher and moved Denise Bourgoine to half-time counselor and half-time WES assistant principal.