WATERVILLE — Acting Waterville Senior High School Principal Brian Laramee will continue in the temporary position until the end of the school year, after the Waterville Board of Education voted 7-0 Wednesday to ask him to stay.

Laramee, 40, had been assistant principal four years until Sept. 1, when Superintendent Eric Haley asked him to be acting principal while Principal Don Reiter was on paid administrative leave.

The School Board fired Reiter Nov. 16 for inappropriate conduct with a student; namely, asking her for sex in his office Aug. 27, the first day of school. He was charged Nov. 16 by the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office and police with official oppression.

Haley had recommended the board dismiss Reiter after Haley and Assistant Superintendent Peter Thiboutot conducted an in-house investigation. Police conducted a separate investigation and forwarded their report to District Attorney Maeghan Maloney.

Paul Pooler, former assistant principal at the high school, has been interim assistant principal since mid-September.

As part of the School Board’s vote Wednesday, Pooler will be asked to remain in the interim assistant position through the end of the school year, with the exception of about eight weeks from February to April when he annually stays at a winter home in the South. A suitable substitute for that position would be sought for the time Pooler will be away, Haley said.

The board, citing state law on assignment of officials, appointees and employees, voted to go into executive session Wednesday to discuss how to fill the top two high school spots.

Haley said afterward that board members decided to ask Laramee and Pooler to remain in the acting principal and interim assistant principal slots, respectively, until the end of the year.

A salary for Laramee would be negotiated in the mid-$90,000 range for this year, Haley said.

In the spring, the principal’s position will be advertised and Laramee will be invited to apply, according to Haley. The best candidate would be selected, according to Haley.

“If it’s Brian, then we’d have to hire an assistant principal,” Haley said. “If not, he will be assistant principal and a new principal would be in place July 1.”

After the unanimous vote Wednesday, Board Chairwoman Sara Sylvester addressed Laramee. Pooler was not at the meeting.

“Thank you for what you’ve done this fall,” Sylvester said. “We do appreciate it.”

Laramee said he was pleased with the board’s decision.

“I look forward to continuing and helping the school move forward,” he said.

While the board was in executive session about 30 minutes, Laramee said he has enjoyed his time at the high school. When he got the job as assistant principal, he and his family lived in Lewiston and he liked the Waterville job so much, he moved his family here. His daughter is a senior at the high school, he said.

The school has 570 students and a great, caring staff, Laramee said.

“We’ve got students who are very supportive of one another,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of issues other schools of similar size have.”

Laramee grew up in the town of Mexico and graduated in 1993 from Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. His was the first class to go through the new school.

He attended Rochester Institute of Technology four years and majored in biotechnology but decided working in a laboratory with petri dishes and rats was not for him. He enjoyed being around people, he said.

He enrolled in University of Maine at Farmington, from which he received a bachelor’s degree in biology; then he got a master’s degree in educational leadership from University of New England. He also earned a certificate of advanced graduate study from Capella University, which offers online study. He is working on his doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Capella and is writing his dissertation, he said.

Before coming to Waterville, Laramee taught at Gardiner Area High School for seven years. He then was assistant principal and athletic director at Buckfield Junior-Senior High for three years.

As acting principal, Laramee supervises 60 to 70 staff members, including teachers, teacher aides, custodians, secretaries and others. He does hiring and evaluations; oversees school goals, both behavioral and academic; runs staff meetings; and develops budgets, among other duties. His responsibilities often overlap with those of the assistant principal, who handles student discipline, attendance and other tasks.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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