RICHMOND — An interim superintendent has been hired to help lead the town’s fledgling school district just months before the town is set to officially separate from Regional School Unit 2. 

The Richmond School Committee on Friday voted to hire Bob Webster to serve as the start-up administrator through July, when the withdrawal from RSU 2 takes effect, and then take over as the school district’s interim superintendent through June 30, 2024.

Bob Webster is Richmond School District’s interim superintendent through June 30, 2024. Photo courtesy of Bob Webster

Webster, 70, will help the district hire the central office, create a first-year budget and direct the school district through the year.

He will start as a full-time employee and be paid $500 a day under the town until the Richmond School Department starts on July 1, when he will then become an employee under the district. Between now and then, a contract will be drafted and discussed as part of the first-year budget. 

“I think this is the best possible step,” said Liana Knight, school committee member. “It allows someone to start up immediately, someone with familiarity with small districts, and I think we have someone with great experience and will be a great asset to getting our district up and running.” 

Webster’s previous experience is with smaller school districts — he retired in 2012 as superintendent of Deer Isle-based School Union 76 and has since taken on three other interim superintendent positions. Richmond will be his fourth interim position, but his first for a start-up district.  


In an interview Monday, Webster said it will be “wonderful” to work with the “talented people” of Richmond. 

“My interpretation of Richmond’s withdrawal is to control their destiny, so to speak,” Webster said, adding he “appreciates and supports” the “opportunity to create the development for the Richmond School Department through the community.”

Webster’s first day is Wednesday, pending the storm that’s forecast to bring a foot of snow to the region. He said the first task will be working with Jack Turcotte, the school committee’s advisor, to create a plan for the central office. Turcotte has already outlined steps the district will have to take to get up and running.

The school committee aims to hire the position of a business manager, information technology employee and an administrative assistant as soon as possible using the $194,000 the committee will ask the Richmond select board for March 20. A special education director also will have to be hired, but the committee has not decided on a plan for it yet.

The committee unanimously motioned to give Webster control to post the job description of the roles that have to be filled, which he said he will get to in his first week. 

Other than hiring the positions, Webster will also have to help the district create a start-up budget, which he admits could be challenging, because other school districts operate off a previously created budget, whereas the Richmond School Department will start from scratch.  

“We need the 2023 to 2024 school budget to pass,” he said. “Most move from one year to another and RSU 2 included Richmond in its budget which will give some guidance, but we are mostly starting something from scratch. I have no experience with the community, but it’s important to work hard to be part of the community and develop an understanding of the community (when making the budget).” 

Webster lives in Strong with his wife, Faith, but will live with family in Gardiner to be closer to Richmond. 

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