Eric Haley, superintendent of schools in Waterville, said Friday that the school board will take a final vote on a new hiring policy for administrators during Monday’s meeting. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file photo

WATERVILLE — The Waterville Board of Education on Monday is scheduled to consider approving the proposed transfer of Waterville Senior High School Assistant Principal Kim Taylor to the position of principal at George J. Mitchell School.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Mid-Day Cafe at Mid-Maine Technical Center or the public may view the meeting virtually.

The transfer of Taylor to the Mitchell School was one of four transfers Superintendent Eric Haley had made recently as a result of Mitchell School Principal Allan Martin’s decision to fully retire at the end of this school year.

Haley moved Taylor into Martin’s spot; Waterville Junior High School Principal Carole Gilley to Taylor’s high school assistant principal position; and Douglas Frame, assistant principal at the junior high, to the school system’s facilities, or maintenance, director. All transfers were to be effective July 1. Gilley, however, announced at the board’s April 12 meeting that she decided afterward to fully retire at the end of this school year.

With Mary Boyle, Waterville schools’ curriculum director, planning to retire this year, Haley moved Jen Allen into that spot. Allen is a literacy specialist at the George J. Mitchell and Albert S. Hall schools.

Facilities Director Shelley Phillips resigned her position in Waterville effective June 30 to work full time for Winslow and Vassalboro schools, where she had been contracted out by Waterville to also supervise Winslow and Vassalboro maintenance. Because of all the changes in facilities due to the coronavirus pandemic, the workload was too much for one person and Phillips had the option of remaining in Waterville or moving to the Winslow-Vassalboro position. She opted for the latter, which is where she began her career.


Controversy arose after Haley made the administrative transfers, with board member Greg Bazakas charging that the transfers should have been brought to the board. Haley and board Chairperson Joan Phillips-Sandy apologized at a board meeting last month, saying they should have notified board members of the transfers before faculty members were told. However, Haley and Phillips-Sandy said superintendents have made transfers without board approval for many years, and they did not believe the hiring policy applied to transfers.

Haley said Friday that the assistant principal position at the high school and the principal’s position at the junior high are being advertised. The junior high assistant principal’s spot will be advertised after a principal for that school is hired, as typically new principals want to have input into the hiring of the assistant principal, according to Haley.

Meanwhile, Phillips’ resignation as school maintenance-facilities director is effective June 30 and she continues to work as facilities director for Waterville, Haley said. Frame does not technically start in that Waterville position until July 1, but he has been helping Phillips and learning about the position, according to Haley. He said Frame has the extra time, with only half of students attending the junior high now because of the pandemic.

“He’s taking the lead with us on COVID money,” Haley said, referring to work being done with money from the federal government.

The board on Monday also is scheduled to take a final vote on a new administrative hiring policy.

The current policy, adopted in 1996 and reaffirmed by the board Dec. 14, 2020, stipulates that when an administrative opening occurs in the public school system, it shall be posted digitally for a minimum of 10 days. The policy also says applications shall remain open until a suitable candidate is found, and the superintendent may nominate, with board approval, an acting administrator until a position is filled permanently.


The board took a first vote April 12 to approve the new policy for recruiting and hiring administrative staff and directors.

Haley said Friday that an existing law of which he was unaware says that any time a principal’s contract is changed, it needs board approval and that law is specific to principals. The new school hiring policy for administrators would say that it also applies to directors.

The board on Tuesday held a special meeting at which members went into executive session for about two hours to discuss “employment, appointments, assignments, promotions and compensation of employees,” according to the agenda. No vote was taken after the board emerged from that session. The board is once again scheduled, at Monday’s meeting, to go into executive session with the schools’ attorney to discuss the issues.

In other matters Monday, principals will update the board on plans for “summer camps” for all interested students. Haley said the schools have $1.2 million in federal COVID funding to be used to address learning loss due to the pandemic, and students of all ages will have the option of attending the camps, which will include academic activities in the mornings and activities in the afternoons focused on social-emotional activities. The summer camp concept is different than a typical summer school in that there will be fun and interesting activities in addition to academics, according to Haley.

Any student may sign up for the summer camps, which are free and will include transportation and lunch, according to Haley. He said the schools are teaming up with Alfond Youth & Community Center, Jobs for Maine Graduates and Colby College students for the camps. Some activities will be held at the schools, some at the Alfond Center, some at Camp Tracy on McGrath Pond, and some in other places where field trips are planned.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” Haley said.

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