TREMONT — Fourth-grade teacher Jandrea True has been appointed interim principal of the Tremont Consolidated School following a unanimous vote by the School Committee last week.
At a Jan. 7 special meeting of the committee, Howard Colter, superintendent of the regional school system, recommended that True be appointed principal for the remainder of the school year.
The committee supported Colter’s recommendation but expressed remorse that the school would be losing her skills in the classroom. True assured them that educational standards in the fourth-grade classroom would continue.
“I don’t feel comfortable stepping out of my classroom and not knowing that they’re getting the same quality education,” True said.
True replaces Pam Bush. Bush, who became the school’s principal in August 2012, announced early last month that she was stepping down effective Dec. 31. She has since taken a job as a special education ed tech at Mount Desert Island High School, according to high school Principal Matt Haney.
True earned her master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Southern Maine in 2014 and is certified as a school administrator.
She began her new duties this week. A short-term substitute has taken over her fourth-grade classroom, and administrators hope to have a certified teacher on board as a long-term substitute within a few weeks, Colter said Tuesday.
True’s salary as interim principal has not been set. At the meeting last week, Colter told the school committee that he would work with Nancy Thurlow, business manager for the school system, to determine what amount would be appropriate given budgetary concerns. He will bring that figure to them at their February meeting.
Tremont is one of three K-8 schools on Mount Desert Island advertising for a principal for the 2016-2017 school year. Mount Desert Elementary School Principal Scott McFarland is leaving at the end of this year, and the Pemetic Elementary School in Southwest Harbor has an interim principal.
However, judging from remarks Colter made last week, filling the opening at Tremont might be a foregone conclusion.
“My recommendation is we put that search on hold,” he said. “I’d like to give what has been recommended here tonight a chance to flourish.”
Colter said he has had considerable success over the years with in-house job promotions.
“I would rather develop and nurture that,” he said, referring to True. “I suggest we not kick into gear with a full-blown search.”
True began her career in education as an ed-tech at the Pemetic Elementary School. True’s first job as a classroom teacher was in 2005, when she taught third grade at the Surry Elementary School. She then taught third grade at Tremont for two years before going to Auburn, where she taught for five years at the Washburn Elementary School. She returned to Tremont in the fall of 2014.
True and her husband, Nate, live in Tremont.