FAIRFIELD — Members of the Good Will-Hinckley and Maine Academy of Natural Sciences staff gathered at the school Tuesday afternoon as school President Glenn Cummings told the group that he was accepting the interim presidency at the University of Maine Augusta.

“I wanted them to understand how far we had come, and how the school has become more stable and sustainable,” Cummings said after addressing about 30 members of the staff behind closed doors. “We’ve been meeting kids’ needs, and the biggest message was that this is an impressive staff.”

Cummings, president and executive director of Good Will-Hinckley and the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences since 2010, has accepted the position as interim president at the University of Maine Augusta. He informed staff members through an email last week but wanted to address them after the recent holiday.

The school issued a news release saying that Cummings’ departure had been expected within the year. Leadership will be turned over to four senior administrators, including Vice President Rob Moody.

“We have a strong leadership team,” Moody said Tuesday afternoon. “Glenn put down a good foundation for us to follow, and over the year we’ve worked closely.”

Good Will-Hinckley board of directors Chairman Jack Moore also addressed the staff behind closed doors, assuring employees it will be a smooth transition from Cummings to Good Will-Hinckley’s next president, according to several staff members present at the meeting.

“Glenn has done a great deal to put us in a position to move forward,” said Deborah Staber, curator of the L.C. Bates Museum at Good Will-Hinckley. “I feel confident that it’s the organization and not a specific person that makes this place run. I think the institution and board is strong, and they will follow through and keep it going in the right direction.”

Moody said a search committee will be organized within the week to start the search process for a replacement. Moody said he believes he’ll be on the committee, but said it’s too early for conversations about whether he’s interested in the vacancy.

“I haven’t had that in-depth conversation. It’s too soon,” Moody said, adding that while he’s taking on Cummings’ day-to-day responsibilities, there’s no change in his title. “I’ve seen how he’s worked with potential donors and worked with governmental affairs. It’s been a positive experience. Glenn is a visionary leader. He has a great heart and really can see and project a vision, and he does a great job communicating it.”

The Academy of Natural Sciences, now in its fourth year of operation, was established by Good Will-Hinckley as the state’s first charter high school.

Staff members expressed confidence in the efforts by Moody and trustees to find a suitable replacement, while saying they were sorry to see Cummings leave.

“I feel confident moving forward, and I have incredible confidence in Rob,” said Gracia Woodward, a grant writer for the school. “I’m going to miss Glenn a lot. He was a fabulous guy to work for.”

Jesse Scardina — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @jessescardina

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