Walter Wallace, shown at Brunswick Junior High School in 2015 after being named Principal of the Year by the Maine Principals’ Association. Wallace resigned from BJHS this week after 15 years in the district. (file photo)

BRUNSWICK — Walter Wallace, principal of Brunswick Junior High School, resigned from his position this week to pursue a different administrative position, having recently earned his superintendent certification. His last day is April 5.

“The possibilities are exciting, and I’m looking forward to a new setting to help problem-solve the challenges of today’s schools,” he said in an email to staff.

Wallace has been in Brunswick schools for the past 15 years, including the past nine as principal of the junior high school, and prior to that, as principal at the neighboring Coffin School. He has “a passion for working with students and schools,” superintendent Paul Perzanoski wrote in a letter to the community.

Wallace was named the 2015 Principal of the Year by the Maine Principals’ Association and said at the time that part of his philosophy as a principal was to help create a structure that would allow staff to get to know the students. “The better we know each and every student, the higher they can go,” he said.

The same year, Wallace was also involved in a highly publicized federal lawsuit by a former student and the Maine Human Rights Commission that accused the school department of failing to adequately protect the student from persistent bullying and discrimination, including a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in the boys’ bathroom at the school.

A separate charge against Wallace was eventually dropped and while the district ultimately settled the case for $125,000, officials maintained they acted properly.

Perzanoski said earlier in the week that it is “not unusual these days” for an educational professional to resign in the middle of the school year, but that often they will try to coincide the change with a school break. Brunswick’s spring break starts April 16.

Current BJHS Assistant Principal Mandy Lewis will step in as interim principal April 8, Perzanoski said, adding that he is “pleased and thankful that she is willing to bring her skill set and expertise to that level.”

Retired assistant principal Lisa Cushman will return to her position April 22 and remain on board until the end of the year.

“It is my sincere belief that we are in good hands administratively,” he said, adding that he intends to form a district search committee to review applicants for the principalship.

Perzanoski also said he expects to have a candidate to replace Assistant Superintendent Pender Makin, who is now Maine’s commissioner of education, by the April 10 board meeting.

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