Mt. Ararat Middle School Principal Josh Ottow speaks about his decision to leave the position to be a stay-at-home dad in a video he made for students.

TOPSHAM — Mt. Ararat Middle School Principal Josh Ottow announced Thursday he has resigned his position in order care for his children at home.

Friday was his last day, according to a letter Ottow sent to students and parents and guardians Thursday night.

“Like many families during this challenging time, mine is struggling mightily to balance home and work demands,” Ottow wrote. “I made this choice in order to prioritize my role as a father to my younger children, and my role as a husband to support my wife in her own career. Unfortunately, this means stepping away from MAMS’ students, staff, and families.”

Superintendent Shawn Chabot has named Assistant Principal Megan Hayes Teague as the interim principal, according to Ottow.

Ottow first joined the district in 2003 as a history teacher at Mt. Ararat High School, and became an assistant principal there four years later. He left in 2011 to become an assistant principal at Yarmouth High School for four years before returning to MSAD 75.

Ottow and Teague were appointed by the school board in 2015 to fill positions left open with the retirement of former Assistant Principal Don Baker and departure of former Principal Bill Zima, who left to serve as superintendent of Regional School Unit 2.

“I am so proud of everything that we accomplished over the years to make our school the amazing place that it is today,” Ottow said. “While certainly the principal plays a role in establishing a school culture, it is really about each and every student, parent, and educator. Everyone’s willingness to buy into our common goal of helping students grow and supporting the whole-child approach to these dynamic adolescent years was an honor to be part of.”

Ottow also included a link to a video he made for students.

“I am sorry to be sharing news that is hard for some to hear,” Ottow said in the video. “I wish we weren’t in this situation where I have to make this choice, but I am confident that brighter days are ahead.”

 

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