2015-02-13 / Community News

School leadership positions are filled

By Michael Kelley
Staff Writer


After a semester of leading the new Wentworth School, Kelli Crosby was appointed permanent principal last week by the Board of Education. Crosby was hired on an interim basis last year until a suitable replacement for longtime Principal Anne-Mayre Dexter could be found. Superintendent George Entwistle said Crosby has led the school in a “capable, confi- dent and highly effective manner. ( 
Kevin A. Byron filephoto) After a semester of leading the new Wentworth School, Kelli Crosby was appointed permanent principal last week by the Board of Education. Crosby was hired on an interim basis last year until a suitable replacement for longtime Principal Anne-Mayre Dexter could be found. Superintendent George Entwistle said Crosby has led the school in a “capable, confi- dent and highly effective manner. ( Kevin A. Byron filephoto) After conducting a nationwide search for a new Wentworth School principal last year, the Scarborough School District fell short of attracting the right candidate.

“A very thorough search was conducted last school year in an effort to find a highperforming and suitable replacement for Anne-Mayre Dexter as principal of the Wentworth School,” Superintendent George Entwistle said at last week’s Board of Education meeting. “The search attracted applicants from outside of New England, as well as several from New England, including a number from Maine. Unfortunately, we did not attract the best fit candidate that we set out to find.”

As a result Wentworth Assistant Principal Kelli Crosby was tapped to be the interim principal this school year as former Blue Point Primary School Principal John Thurlow was assigned to temporarily fill the assistant principal role.

Last week, those interim titles were lifted and Crosby and Thurlow were hired to take the positions permanently. This will mean the district will forgo the need to devote additional time, resources and expenses to another principal search.

“(John) and Kelli make a strong and complementary leadership duo, and thus establish our school leadership structure for Wentworth School that will keep the momentum at Wentworth moving forward,” Entwistle said before the Board of Education removed the interim title for Thurlow and Crosby.

Crosby, it turns out, was the fit the district was looking for in that nationwide search.

“It is my belief that had Kelli chosen to be an applicant last year, she would have been selected and appointed to the Wentworth principal position then,” Entwistle said, adding that Crosby has been a “respected contributor” to the Leadership Council since she entered school administration two years ago. Prior to that she was a lead teacher at Scarborough Middle School.

Kristen Murray, the senior class representative on the Board of Education, congratulated Crosby on being officially named principal, calling her “my favorite teacher.”

The administration on the primary school level will also remain the same. The Board of Education approved Anne Cass to continued as interim K-2 assistant principal through June 30, 2016. Cass will continue to help Principal Kelly Mullen- Martin lead and oversee Blue Point and Pleasant Hill schools.

“Anne has been an extraordinary resource, and continuing this interim assignment for another year provides us, overall, with the needed flexibility as the Long Range Facilities Team continues their work in vetting possible solutions to better utilize and more efficiently utilize our current school facilities,” Entwistle said.

In a workshop session last month, the Board of Education heard a presentation from Dan Cecil, a principal architect at Harriman, the architectural and engineering firm hired to create a longterm facility needs report for the district. The report, still in the draft phase, looked at consolidation in the primary schools and expansion at the middle school. Options include shuttering Pleasant Hill School and sending students to other schools; creating an addition at some of the primary schools; constructing a new school all together or investing in energy and efficiency upgrades at the primary schools. The report also looked at discontinuing use of the modular classroom in favor of a new addition by the gymnasium.

“There will be much more analysis and discussion that will follow with the Long Term Facilities Planning Team, the board, school staff and the community,” Entwistle said.

Board of Education member Jodi Shea said the K-2 leadership change has worked well at Blue Point School, where one of her children goes.

“This year has been great. I feel like it has flowed well. There’s been no interruptions or distractions for the students,” Shea said. “It’s been great for the kids and the parents.”

The leadership at Eight Corners School (Principal Anne Lovejoy), Scarborough Middle School (Principal Barbara Hathorn and Assistant Principal David Currier) and Scarborough High School (Principal David Creech and Assistant Principals Susan Ketch and Raymond Dunn) will remain unaffected by the appointment of Crosby and Cass.

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