Sandy Prince became interim superintendent of Scarborough schools Aug. 1. He said he hopes to create a strong focus on teamwork. Krysteana Scribner / The Forecaster

SCARBOROUGH ⁠— Interim Superintendent of Schools Sanford Prince IV, who began his one-year tenure Aug. 1, said working closely with other school officials and keeping communication open and honest will be key in helping the school system move forward.

“It’s very much of my belief that we work as a team and don’t work against each other,” he said. “It’s so important to lead by example and show people we’re in this together.”

Prince was superintendent of Regional School Unit 14, the Windham-Raymond school district, for more than 16 years. In Scarborough he succeeds Julie Kukenberger, who was recently named interim superintendent of tge Hamilton-Wenham Regional School District in Massachusetts.

Kukenberger’s November 2018 resignation announcement came after several months of controversy that focused heavily on her role in the resignation of former Scarborough High School Principal David Creech in February 2018; the recall of three School Board members, and the election of five new board members.

Prince said he plans to put focus on building relationships – working with residents, the Town Council, the School Board and others.

“It’s critical as a newcomer to get to know people,” he said. “First and foremost it’s keeping students in mind and making sure they have a high-quality education.

“I think you just always want high quality in whatever you take on, and in whatever programs you have,” Prince continued. “My administrative team is very important to me because they are the front lines. I work closely with them to help troubleshoot with them if I need advice. It’s just important that as an organization, we pull it together.”

He said upcoming school projects may include discussions about a new elementary school. The current elementary schools, he explained, are in need of renovations, and he plans to work closely with the School Board and town officials to see what can be done.

“For me, it’s about learning and growing and trying to fill any gaps that may need to be targeted and improved upon,” Prince said. “My role is to educate people about the needs of the School Department, and at the same time understand the bigger needs of the community.”

During his 39-year career, the Gorham resident worked as a special education teacher, a principal at the elementary and middle school level, a director of special services and a curriculum planning administrator. In addition to his new title, Prince is the president of the Cumberland County Superintendent Association and an instructor at the University of New England.

He said his experience, particularly at RSU 14, has been helpful in how he approaches the interim superintendent position.

While he said it’s premature to speculate about whether he’d be interested in applying for the permanent school chief position, so far he’s had nothing but enthusiasm and a warm welcome from Scarborough colleagues.

“Speaking as a parent and an educator, you want what’s best for your child and you want a school system that is on the cutting edge. Scarborough is just that,” he said. “We all remember our best teachers, and to this day they influence our lives. … Our students are so important and everyone here cares about their well-being.”


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