Wiscasset Middle High School Principal Gina Stevens, left, listens to the charges against her by Superintendent Kim Andersson, who called for her firing. At right is Stevens’ lawyer, Gregg Frame. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

The Wiscasset schools superintendent on Monday recommended the School Committee fire Wiscasset Middle High School Principal Gina Stevens, accusing her of improperly authorizing the installation of a hidden camera in a classroom closet that students used to change clothes, indefinitely removing a student against policy, and mistreating students and staff.

Stevens denied any wrongdoing. Superintendent Kim Andersson detailed the accusations against Stevens in an unusual public statement at a School Committee meeting Monday after Stevens requested the charges against her be discussed openly. Such personnel matters are usually discussed in closed executive sessions.

About 150 people, including teachers and students, attended the contentious meeting, with most appearing to support Stevens. Some held signs reading “Gina is my principal,” and others voiced their support during the meeting, drawing rebukes from committee Chairperson Jason Putnam, who told the crowd several times public comments were not allowed.

Andersson said Stevens has demonstrated “repeated dishonesty, poor judgement, lack of responsibility and communication failures.”

“She can no longer be trusted to do her job,” Andersson said. “She still refuses to admit any wrongdoing or take responsibility for her behavior, which presents an unacceptable risk of liability for the School Department and potential harm to its student and staff if she continues to be the principal.”

Stevens deferred further comment Monday to her Portland-based lawyer, Gregg Frame, who called Andersson’s accusations “opinions” and said Stevens is prepared to refute them at an upcoming hearing the School Committee will hold on Andersson’s recommendation the principal be fired for cause.


“There will be a full accounting,” Frame said. “She’ll have a chance to shine some light on things.”

Supporters of Wiscasset Middle High School Principal Gina Stevens hold signs during a School Committee meeting Monday. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

Stevens was placed on paid leave last week.

Andersson said Stevens first informed her of the camera Oct. 3, when she told the superintendent students had changed their clothes in the closet, against the principal’s directive to staff.

“Ms. Stevens suggested that the classroom teacher and/or ed tech were somehow responsible for (the camera), including the possibility that students had been recorded changing their clothes,” Andersson said. “Her primary concern was these staff members had defied her orders in an email that Ms. Stevens had sent to all staff saying that students were prohibited from changing their clothes anywhere other than a bathroom stall.”

In a statement last week after she was placed on leave, Stevens said the camera was installed after the school’s food pantry, located in the classroom closet, kept getting broken into. Frame said Stevens emailed Andersson about the camera Aug. 30.

“The idea that the superintendent was learning about this for the first time in October is false,” Frame said.


Stevens was named to her post in March after joining the school district in 2020 as the individualized education plan coordinator. Andersson said that month, Stevens improperly authorized a student to be indefinitely removed from the school.

“Ms. Stevens should have known that students cannot be removed from school for more than 10 days without an expulsion hearing, even if they have an (individual education plan),” Andersson said. “She did not recognize it was her responsibility to ensure all student removals comply with applicable law and policy.”

Andersson said the parent of the student filed a complaint with the state Department of Education.

Wiscasset schools Superintendent Kim Andersson reads a list of charges against Gina Stevens that she said are grounds for her firing as principal of Wiscasset Middle High School. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

Andersson claimed Stevens also mistreated staff and students and failed to properly communicate with her.

Andersson said on Oct. 4, the superintendent emailed a teacher that the closet camera would be removed.

“When that had not happened by the middle of the day, the teacher did it themselves,” Andersson said. “Ms. Stevens learned of this … and became agitated when the teacher said they had removed the camera. Ms. Stevens then stood and yelled at the teacher while pointing her finger at the teacher in front of another staff member. The teacher began crying, but Ms. Stevens continued speaking in a loud tone and repeating the same questions in an accusatory tone. The teacher eventually left the room because they felt intimidated and uncomfortable. They told me they were thinking about leaving their job to avoid future interactions with Ms. Stevens.”


Andersson said on Sept. 29, a student reported to staff that something “smelled funny” in a bathroom. A staff member entered the bathroom and found two students but no evidence of vaping, according to the superintendent.

“Ms. Stevens separately accused each student of vaping in the bathroom and questioned them about vaping even though there was no evidence of this,” Andersson said. “Ms. Stevens searched one of the student’s pockets and pants and kept repeating the same questions … the student eventually broke down crying.”

Andersson said Stevens failed to communicate with her regarding several “important” issues, including a staffing vacancy.

“This was a special education teacher and a position that needs to be filled as soon as possible,” Andersson said.

That teacher, Tanya Robinson, attended the meeting to support Stevens. She said staff morale has been low under Andersson, who was named superintendent in March.

“(Stevens) was nothing but helpful to me,” Robinson said. “If they get rid of Gina Stevens, they’re not going to have enough teachers to run this school.”


Shari Templeton, a science teacher, said Stevens is a “magnificent addition” to the administration.

“She’s honest. She’s fair,” Templeton said. “When she needs to discipline students or staff, she does so with compassion.”

A group of 25 middle/high school staff members last week wrote a public letter in support of Stevens.

Freshman Ash Widbiller was among a group of students who also attended the meeting to support the principal.

“Ms. Stevens has always been there for everybody — the staff, the students. She acts like she cares about us.

“She’s just a great principal.”


The committee’s hearing on Stevens’ possible firing has not been scheduled.

At the end of the meeting Monday, Putnam, the committee chairperson, scolded the crowd.

“I am not happy about how the town has handled this,” he said. “This was a confidential personnel matter. (Stevens) decided to make it public. In the meantime, an incredible amount of lying and insulting and embarrassing behavior was engaged in by this town, some (by) teachers, some non-teachers, some parents. I can’t believe it.

“A lot of you should really be ashamed of yourselves,” he said, drawing jeers from the crowd.

The committee’s next regular meeting, which includes a public comment portion, is at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the middle/high school. Many in Monday’s crowd said they planned to attend to voice support for the principal.

The Wiscasset School Committee votes to hold a nonpublic session to discuss the future of Wiscasset Middle High School Principal Gina Stevens. In the center is Superintendent Kim Andersson. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

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