WESTBROOK – Following the resignations of both assistant principals at Westbrook High School in August, nominations have been made for their replacements.

Pending School Committee approval Wednesday, Wendy Harvey and Jennifer Mull-Brooks will serve as the new assistant principals, replacing Howard Jack and Tim Stebbins, who announced their resignations just weeks apart in August.

Harvey currently serves as assistant principal at Leavitt Area High School in Turner, while Brooks will transition from her position as department chairwoman for alternative learning grades 5-12 in Westbrook.

At Westbrook High School each assistant principal is assigned two grades, one taking freshman and juniors, the other sophomores and seniors.

“As their credentials will affirm, each candidate is uniquely qualified to serve our students well given their experience, backgrounds and success, should they be confirmed by the School Committee,” Superintendent of School Marc Gousse said in an email to staff Monday.

Gousse said Monday that the resignations, announced just weeks apart, were not related to any internal strife stemming from controversy within the school district last year. Both Jack and Stebbins found positions in their respective hometowns.

Gousse said that Stebbins, who grew up in Biddeford and still lives there, made it clear in his resignation letter that he had a positive experience in Westbrook, but that he wanted to be closer to home. Stebbins took a job as the assistant director of the Center of Technology, Biddeford’s vocational school.

“It’s right in his back yard, and it’s an opportunity for him to go back,” Gousse said. Stebbins had been an assistant principal in Westbrook for two years.

Jack is also returning to his hometown area, in Orono. He had been with the Westbrook department for 11 years.

While the timing of two resignations at once seems odd, Gousse told his staff “not to read anything negative into it.”

This past spring, former Westbrook athletic director Marc Sawyer resigned following a string of controversies and fallout from incidents of student drinking.

After posting the job opening both inside and outside the department, Gousse said, officials received 24 applicants.

In an email to the Westbrook School Committee, Gousse said six candidates were interviewed last Friday, which resulted in two finalists unanimously recommended to him by a screening and interview team.

“We had a great pool, and we think we have two great candidates,” Gousse said Monday.

The interview team consisted of school administration, principal, School committee members, teachers and a parent.

According to Harvey’s resume, she is a resident of Westbrook. Harvey has been an assistant principal at Leavitt Area High School since 2005.

On Wednesday, Harvey said that she’s “excited to bring my years of experience and skills to a new district,” and said the Westbrook department is in a time “of great possibilities and opportunities.”

Harvey added that the transition is also a way of “coming home to serve the community I live in.”

Mull-Brooks, who lives in Portland, has been a staff member at Westbrook High School since 2003, also teaching in adult education between 2005-2010. In 2012, she was named chairwoman of the department’s alternative learning program.

The nominations will be considered after the American Journal’s deadline, Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m., at Westbrook High School. Gousse said he and other school officials are hosting an informal reception prior to the meeting in the Westbrook High School library to welcome them to the department.


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