The Maine School Administrative District 75 School Board discusses hiring an interim superintendent Thursday while Superintendent Shawn Chabot serves with the Maine Army National Guard in February and March.

TOPSHAM — For the second time, Maine School Administrative District 75 has hired Robert Lucy to serve as its interim leader.

Superintendent Shawn Chabot last week announced he has been called to active duty with the Maine Army National Guard during February and March to support the guard’s COVID-19 mission.

The school board held an emergency meeting Thursday night to consider appointing Lucy as interim superintendent in Chabot’s absence. Chair Rachelle Tome said the district has a contract for Lucy spanning from Feb. 8 to March 31 at a daily rate of $600, for a total cost of $22,800.

Tome said the board didn’t expect the Chabot’s assistant superintendent to handle two jobs during the pandemic and while the district is developing a 2021-22 budget and has two ongoing principal searches.

With less than a week to find an interim superintendent, “there are obviously some challenges with availability of qualified candidates, and so we are very thankful that Mr. Lucy has a desire to work with us again,” Tome said.

Tome said Lucy is familiar with the district, administration and supported the district’s budget process two years ago. He worked with Chabot when Chabot was hired during that transition.


Chabot will stay connected as much as possible and has a good working relationship with Lucy, Tome said.

Chabot was hired in March 2019 to replace former Superintendent Brad Smith, who retired in June 2018. The district’s assistant superintendent at the time, Dan Chuhta was set to replace Smith before leaving in February 2019 to become Maine’s deputy education commissioner.

The board hired Lucy to serve as the interim superintendent after Chuhta left.

School board members Sarah Ward and Mary Hobson abstained from the vote on Lucy’s appointment, which was supported by the other 11 board members attending the meeting.

“I’m looking forward to working collaboratively with school board members and the MSAD 75 community to continue to provide the top-quality educational experience that we’ve been doing for students,” Lucy said.

Lucy previously worked as superintendent at Dover-Foxcroft-based RSU 68. Several years prior, in 2013, he resigned from a new position as assistant superintendent at the Bangor School District after news reports detailed a 2011 state investigation that found Lucy had violated student testing rules while he was principal at Orono Middle School.


Board member Kim Totten was chairperson of the school board when the district hired Lucy in 2019 to serve as interim superintendent. She said Thursday she had full faith in Lucy at the time of that hiring, “and I have even more confidence coming to work for us now.”

The school board voted to remove Totten as chair in February 2019 shortly after Lucy was hired after a no-confidence petition was circulated by two district parents and after two veteran board members from Harpswell resigned. Former Bowdoin school board representative Tyler Washburn took her place as chair.

Washburn, who resigned from the board last month because he moved to Harpswell, offered his support for Lucy Thursday: “Bob is a man of steadfast conviction and a leader and I think that he will provide a strong hand to help guide us through the next couple of months during the pandemic.”

Washburn encouraged the district to use federal coronavirus aid to pay for the interim superintendent position.

“Our superintendent is out helping vaccinate the public and if that virus was not in existence, Shawn would not be gone,” he said.

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