MONMOUTH — Monmouth Academy Principal Rick Amero, who attended the school and has worked there for a quarter century, is resigning to take a job at Maine Central Institute.

Superintendent Virgel Hammonds said Amero has not submitted a resignation letter, but told him of his decision on Monday.

“I think the biggest piece is his concern about making sure that he’s the best father and husband that he can be,” Hammonds said. “We hate to see him go, but it’s hard not to admire those qualities in him as a person.”

Amero did not return calls on Tuesday, but a message posted on Facebook and attributed to him said he would be athletic and activities director at the private school in Pittsfield and that it would be difficult to leave Monmouth Academy.

“However, it has been increasingly difficult for me to balance the increasing daily demands between successfully serving as a principal, husband, and, most importantly, the father to two teenaged children,” the message states.

Amero has been principal at Monmouth Academy for two years, after filling the roles of coach, teacher and athletic director at the high school and Monmouth Middle School since 1988.

The responsibilities of the job are about to expand to include grades seven and eight.

Following the retirement of Monmouth Middle School Principal Steve Philbrook, the Regional School Unit 2 board eliminated the job and split responsibility for the middle school between the principals of Cottrell Elementary School and Monmouth Academy. Last week the board also hired Megan Hayes Teague, previously a Richmond High School math teacher, as a pre K-12 assistant principal to provide additional support.

The administrative structure in Monmouth schools will now be the same as the one in Richmond. Monmouth schools had 697 students this year, while Richmond had 531.

RSU 2 board Chairwoman Dawn Gallagher, of Hallowell, said Amero’s departure will be a loss for the school district, but she accepts that he’s trying to do what’s best for him and his family.

“He was not willing to accept anything less than excellent performance for himself, and I think that’s a good role model to have,” Gallagher said. “I would have hoped for another decision, but I understand. I just wish him all the best.”

Maine Central Institute staff did not return calls on Tuesday. The private school has about 450 students.

RSU 2 board Vice Chairwoman Annya Rice, of Monmouth, said she was surprised to hear about Amero’s decision Monday and hopes to talk with him soon about his reasons.

“It’s a loss for us, it really is,” she said. “Both of my sons had the opportunity to go through Monmouth Academy and know Mr. Amero. They always had respect for him, and he always enjoyed their company.”

Rice said the next principal should be a good listener, an effective communicator, a critical thinker and someone who promotes creativity and supports the different paths that may be best for individual students.

Tuesday was the last day of school, and Hammonds said there’s work to be done to “close up shop.” Amero’s last day hasn’t been set.

Gallagher said Amero’s successor will be chosen through a community hiring process that incorporates student and staff input, similar to the process used to hire Amero.

Susan McMillan — 621-5645
[email protected]


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