MDES principal search begins



MOUNT DESERT — The list of attributes required of Mount Desert Elementary School’s next principal should not be “a mile long,” Superintendent Howard Colter told the school committee last week.

“A list of desired qualities could quickly become a list of the impossible,” he said. “You will never find a person who could do all those things.”

Scott McFarland, who is in his 14th year as principal, plans to retire at the end of the school year.

Colter said he thinks a short list of desired qualities for a principal should include a proven ability to build a strong sense of community, excellent communication skills and respect for the advice and opinions of teachers.

The school committee will be forming a search committee with 10 or 11 members that will include four teachers, one non-faculty staff member, school committee members Caroline Pryor and Heather Jones, Colter and two or three parents or other community members.

Anyone who would like to serve should contact Colter at hcolter@mdirss.org by next Tuesday, Oct. 20.

According to the school committee’s timeline for identifying a new principal, the search committee will hold its first meeting in early December, the job will be advertised in early January, and applications will be due Jan. 25.

Candidate interviews will begin the week of Feb. 8. The search committee is to narrow the field of candidates to two or three finalists by the end of February. Those names will be forwarded to the MDES school committee, which hopes to make its selection March 9.

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