CAPE ELIZABETH — The School Board began the formal process of finding a new superintendent Tuesday, forming a committee to seek and screen candidates and establishing a timetable for the hiring process.

The board must replace former Superintendent Alan Hawkins, who retired at the end of December. Ken Murphy, the former superintendent of schools in Yarmouth, is the interim superintendent.

With the help of consultant Jackie Roy of Massachusetts-based J.A. Roy & Associates, the board recently conducted a community survey about the long-term needs of the schools and qualities sought in a new school chief.

Chairwoman Mary Townsend said nearly 350 residents responded and the top attribute mentioned was leadership, followed closely by school finance expertise and budgeting experience.

Townsend said a website that will provide provide potential candidates with information about the schools, the town and the application process is nearly completed and the position will be advertised in Education Week, through the Maine School Management Association and on the American Association of School Administrators website. Roy will also help recruit potential candidates, Townsend said.

“We are looking for someone who is creative, innovative and inspirational,” she said. “With all of our search materials I am very confident we will attract some great candidates.”

After the application deadline on Feb. 25, board member Michael Moore said, a Credential Review Committee will help review applications, screen candidates and offer a recommendation to the School Board on the top candidates.

The committee will consist of 11 members, including two board members, two members of the school leadership team, two teachers, four residents and one town councilor.

“The Credential Review Committee will evaluate all the candidates, but the ultimate decision and responsibility is left to the board,” Moore said. “Their input will be considered and we will receive their recommendation.”

In early March the board will meet with the semifinalists; finalists will be selected by mid-March. 

At a meeting following its workshop, the School Board voted 7-0 to form the Credential Review Committee.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or [email protected]

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