SCARBOROUGH — The School Board on Thursday night is expected to appoint a former Falmouth school chief as superintendent of schools.

George Entwistle III, 56, who is now superintendent of schools in Belmont, Mass., will step into the job vacated by David Doyle, who retired at the end of last year.

Acting Superintendent Jo Anne Sizemore will continue in that capacity until Entwistle starts work July 1, when she will return to her job as assistant superintendent.

“Jo Anne is doing a great job, but we’re really looking forward to (Entwistle) working closely with the community,” School Board Chairman Chris Brownsey said Thursday. “We’re looking to set up community forums. We’ve tried to do that in the past, but haven’t done a very good job reaching out to the community.”

Entwistle will inherit a School Department Brownsey described as down to its “bare bones,” after several years of budget cuts forced teacher and staff layoffs. The schools are also preparing a public relations campaign to support a bond referendum in November for a building to replace the ailing Wentworth Intermediate School. A previous referendum to replace the school in 2006 failed at the ballot box.

“I’m really returning to Maine for personal family reasons,” Entwistle said Thursday.

Entwistle said he has been commuting between a home in Cambridge, Mass., and the home he and his wife own in Cape Elizabeth.

“You can have good plans about living a city and country life, but those plans didn’t completely come together,” he said.

Brownsey said a screening committee reviewed more than 20 applicants for the superintendent’s job and recommended four, all of whom were interviewed by members of the School Board.

While Entwistle has not ever taught in a public school system, Brownsey said his background in the private sector, where he worked as a psychologist and as a business professional, was one of the reasons the board thought he would be a good fit.

“I think he really fits in well with what we have here,” Brownsey said. “He really complements (Sizemore’s) strengths with his strong leadership and public relations background.”

“I look at the whole kid rather than just the academic piece,” Entwistle said. “I also know a lot about business models and know which ones work in schools. I’ll be focusing on getting a good return on investments and building efficiencies.”

Entwistle earned his doctorate in education from Boston University and has eight years of experience as a school leader and superintendent. He served as Falmouth superintendent for five years before moving to Belmont in 2009.

“I have mixed emotions about leaving Belmont,” he said. “I have an extraordinary team here. But it’s come to a point where I needed to decide what’s best for my family.”

Entwistle said that Belmont’s proximity to big-name academic institutions such as Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology supports the school district’s emphasis on academic achievement.

“Scarborough is competitive with some of the best schools in Maine,” he said, “but there’s some opportunity to step that up a bit.”

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or [email protected]

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