FAIRFIELD — Three administrators will receive financial settlements as part of an agreement worked out as the local school district goes through administrative restructuring.

The settlement agreements for Lawrence High School Principal Mark Campbell, Operations Director Cheryl Brackett and Special Education Director Cory Rogers were approved by the board of School Administrative District 49 at a special meeting Friday night.

Reza Namin, superintendent of MSAD 49, listens Friday as a special meeting is called to order at Lawrence Middle School in Fairfield. The board members at the special meeting approved settlements with three administrators whose positions were affected under a restructuring plan developed by Namin. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

Superintendent Reza Namin would not disclose the amount of the settlements or details of the agreements but said he would do so after they are signed by the affected parties next week.

“It’s a difficult process any time there is restructuring,” Namin said after the meeting. “The question is you have to have the courage to either want to change or stay with the status quo. Voters in the district have said they want change, and the whole intention is to do that.”

The settlements come as part of a restructuring plan introduced by Namin and approved by the board in January. Voters have not weighed in on the issue and some residents have criticized the board and the superintendent for not allowing for enough public feedback on the plan before it was approved.

On Friday, the board entered into an executive session of about an hour with an attorney from the firm Jensen Baird Gardner & Henry. Use of the firm has been controversial in recent weeks, as it was selected by the superintendent without board approval and some board members have expressed a preference for the district’s long-term firm, Drummond Woodsum.

After the executive session, the board voted 6-0-4 to authorize Namin to execute a settlement agreement with Campbell, with the money to come from reserves.

Jenny Boyden, Katrina Dumont, Kara Kugelmeyer and Katie Flood-Gerow abstained from the vote. Neal Caverly, Janice Chesley and Shawn Knox were absent.

“I’m sad to see Mark go,” Kugelmeyer said before the vote. “I’m very sad to see Mark go. I’m sad this is what we’re doing.”

“I concur,” board member Jenny Boyden said.

On the settlement for Rogers, the board again voted 6-0-4. Abstaining were Boyden, Flood-Gerow, Dumont and Kugelmeyer.

“The same thing — I’m very sad,” Kugelmeyer said.

On the final settlement with Brackett, the board voted 5-0-5. Abstaining were Boyden, Kugelmeyer, Flood-Gerow, Dumont and Danielle Boutin.

“I’m sad to see Cheryl go,” Boyden said. “She’s served the district for more than 30 years.”

Shelley Rudnicki, chair of the MSAD school board, takes attendance Friday before beginning a school board meeting at Lawrence Middle School in Fairfield. The board members at the special meeting approved settlements with three administrators whose positions were affected under a restructuring plan developed by Namin. Morning Sentinel photo by Michael G. Seamans

The restructuring plan approved in January calls for three administrative jobs to be eliminated, five others to be restructured and advertised for, and two new jobs to be added.

Five additional employees will be given new job descriptions and titles. All the changes are scheduled to be in place by July 1.

In February, the board received a letter from some employees unhappy with the plan and threatening legal action. The district has declined to release the letter publicly, saying to do so would violate Maine law protecting the privacy of certain employee records.

Brackett and Rogers have been on paid leave since March 22.

Namin said last week the reason for the leave was part of “an effort to reach a mutual agreement regarding the terms of their employment.”

He said Friday the reason for the settlements has “nothing to do with their performance.”


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