WINSLOW — After an executive session Monday evening, the Winslow School Board unanimously voted to hire Peter Thiboutot as its next superintendent if Alternative Organizational Structure 92 is dissolved in June.

Thiboutot has been working as the assistant superintendent of AOS 92, which serves schools in Winslow, Waterville and Vassalboro, since 2007.

“I’m very excited and blessed to have the opportunity,” Thiboutot said in an interview Friday.

Although the board voted to hire Thiboutot, his employment as their superintendent is contingent on how residents from the communities vote in a referendum scheduled for March 13. Thiboutot said that if the AOS does indeed dissolve, he will accept the board’s offer and go to work for Winslow schools.

The three communities now share one superintendent of schools, Eric Haley. The plan to dissolve the district, which the AOS 92 board sent to the office of the state’s education commissioner for ratification in December, states that Waterville and Winslow probably would hire their own superintendents, and Vassalboro would hire a part-time superintendent or contract with another of the school departments for those services.

If the state approves that plan and voters approve the move to disband, the district would be terminated on June 30 and Thiboutot would start working as the superintendent for Winslow schools on July 1.

Joel Selwood, who chairs the school board, said that while the dissolution is not a done deal, the board needs to be prepared for that outcome and to start building the administration from the top.

“It’s not just the matter of needing to fill the position in time for July 1. (Thiboutot’s) record and our comfort with him stands on its own,” he said.

Selwood said that in the nine years he has known and worked with him, Thiboutot always has proved to be a consummate professional and has the right experience for the job.

“With Peter being assistant for a number of years, we know that he has excellent knowledge of school systems and staff,” Selwood said.

Thiboutot started his professional career as a special education teacher in 1981 at Waterville Senior High School. He then was elected to be the first director of the Waterville Alternative Education Program in 1989. In 1992, he was hired to be the assistant principal of Waterville Junior High School and became the school’s principal the following year. He stayed on as principal until he was hired to be the assistant superintendent.

Haley, who has been superintendent since the AOS formed in 2007, put his full backing behind his assistant superintendent.

“Peter Thiboutot has been a very successful educator at every level he has been employed,” he said. “His work ethic, care and compassion for kids and his sincere, genuine concern for staff members will play out well for him as he starts his new position. He has all the tools and is the real deal.”

Thiboutot said he believes he will be an asset to the school system while it transitions from an AOS into independent systems.

The communities are contemplating a restructuring into a regional service center based in Waterville. The service center would handle some of the duties that a superintendent’s office does, such as payroll and accounts payable. That could lead to financial incentives from the state, which says such a formation would maximize efficiency and reduce costs.

Regardless of whether the regional service center is realized, Thiboutot said he is excited to build on what the educators at Winslow have accomplished over the years.

“I think both communities in Waterville and Winslow have the gift of great educators, and I’m looking forward to grow what we’ve started.”

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @EmilyHigg