2014-02-07 / Front Page

Superintendent tenders resignation

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer

Andrew Dolloff Andrew Dolloff KENNEBUNK – Andrew Dolloff, superintendent of Regional School Unit 21, announced his resignation to teachers via email Thursday, Jan. 30 before publicly making the announcement Monday, Feb. 3 at the school board meeting.

Dolloff has accepted the superintendent position in the Yarmouth school system, where his annual salary will be $127,500.

He has been superintendent of RSU 21 since 2009 with a current salary of $123,095.

David Ray, chairman of the Yarmouth School Committee, announced the district hired Dolloff in a letter on Jan. 31.

Yarmouth’s 13-person search committee, which included the town manager, interviewed candidates from across the nation and narrowed the search to five finalists before the committee voted unanimously to offer the position to Dolloff, Ray said.

“Andrew is a top-notch superintendent and is well-known in Maine’s educational community. He has all of the qualities and skills identified in the Yarmouth leadership profile, which was developed prior to the search with input from the schools, the community and civic leaders,” Ray wrote. “Andrew received high praise from those who have worked with and for him over the years.”

Dolloff will succeed interim Superintendent Bill Michaud.

Prior to RSU 21, Dolloff spent 13 years in the Scarborough school system, first as principal of Scarborough High School and then, from 2006 to 2009, as superintendent.

Dolloff said he was not seeking out another employment opportunity, but rather, it fell in his lap.

“There are lots of folks I know in Yarmouth. People who I worked with in the past encouraged me to look into the position when it became open this summer and fall,” Dolloff said.

“I started to be intrigued by it. It is closer to home with me,” Dolloff said. Two factors played a key role in the appeal of the position. “One, the fact that it is a very high-performing district and a well thought of community in greater Portland. Two, on a personal side, there’s a tremendous amount of ancestry for me in Yarmouth,” Dolloff said, referring to the fact that his mother is from Yarmouth, and his father, North Yarmouth. “I spent a lot of time there as a child and a young adult. My grandparents lived there right up until they passed in the late 1980s,” Dolloff said. “It’s a place that has some personal ties as well as professional intrigue. All those factors came together and earlier this fall I made the commitment to apply, and they made the decision to offer.”

The failure of the $75 million renovation referendum was not a factor in his decision, Dolloff said.

“I was going through the process back in the fall. It would be difficult to leave at any time, whether it had passed or not. I wanted to make sure no announcement was made until after the referendum because I didn’t want it to have an impact on that,” Dolloff said.

“It’s difficult to leave because I want there to be a project that moves these communities forward, educationally. Either way there would be a bunch of work to do, and we have a lot of work to do in these next months before June 30,” Dolloff said in reference to his last day. “I feel a responsibility to get these building projects to move forward, to get to a point to at least be ready to propose a plan that would be more acceptable to the citizenry.”

Beyond that, Dolloff said, “This position has afforded me the opportunity to come to know a great many people that I did not previously know.”

“I have no family ties in Kennebunk and I’ve never previously lived or worked here – this was a totally new experience for me. The people I’ve met, from board members to teachers to parents to community members, have all reinforced what I had believed about the area coming in as an outsider: it’s a great place and it will continue to be a great place,” Dolloff said. “There are different divisions as there are in any community, and a wide number of perspectives; but by and large those discussions are respectful and thoughtful and passionate and that’s why these communities will be able to make appropriate decisions.”

Dolloff will begin his position as superintendent for the Yarmouth school system on July 1.

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