2017-03-10 / Community

New principal named at Mildred L. Day School

Kyle Keenan of Biddeford Middle School is search committee’s top choice
By Wm. Duke Harrington Staff Writer


Kyle Keenan Kyle Keenan ARUNDEL — RSU 21 Superintendent Katie Hawes has announced her selection as the new principal at the Mildred L. Day Elementary School in Arundel.

At the March 6 school board meeting, Hawes said Biddeford Middle School Principal Kyle Keenan was the top choice of the selection committee, and had toured the school earlier in the day to meet with staffers, parents and students.

The school board is expected to vote on approval of Hawes’ nomination at its March 20 session.

In an email sent immediately after Monday’s meeting, in response to questions from the Post, Hawes said 19 applications were submitted for the job. Five candidates were interviewed by the selection committee, she said.

“We are thrilled to bring forward Kyle Keenan as our unanimous candidate for the next principal of Mildred L. Day School,” Hawes wrote. “Kyle’s experience, disposition, and knowledge will be a wonderful match for our school. As a parent of kids in our schools, youth basketball coach, and a member of the RSU 21 community, Kyle sought out this position specifically.”

Keenan, 40, said that when he relocated to the area, he chose to live in Kennebunk because of the quality of the RSU 21 school system.

“We moved to [RSU 21] because we believed in the mission of this school district,” he said in a March 7 email. “The prospect of being able to be a part of this district is tremendously exciting from a personal standpoint. Additionally, I’ve heard such great things about the Mildred L. Day School that it made the prospect of serving as the school’s principal that much more intriguing. Through the application and interview process I’ve had the opportunity to learn a great deal about this amazing school and I’m extremely excited about joining their school community.”

Keenan he has been principal of Biddeford Middle School since August 2014. With 570 students, it is more than twice the size of Mildred L. Day.

A Presque Isle native, Keenan spent the 13 years prior to that at Noble High School in North Berwick, where he worked first as a special education teacher, and later moved to a position teaching health and physical education.

He eventually became Noble’s athletic administrator and spent his final two years there as dean of students.

Keenan holds a 1999 bachelor’s degree from St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, as well as a 2003 bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Maine at Presque Isle, and a 2010 master’s degree in school administration from Western Kentucky University.

Keenan also eared a 2015 certificate of advanced graduate studies in educational leadership from St. Joseph’s College in Standish, and says he expects to parley that into a second master’s degree there this summer. Also credited to his resume, Keenan holds certification from the Maine Department of Education, earned in Sept. 2016, to serve as a superintendent of schools.

According to Hawes, Keenan, who has three children enrolled in the RSU 21 school district, will earn a base salary of $101,500.

Keenan replaces Kevin Crowley, who announced his retirement late last year, effective June 30. Originally hired to be principal of Sea Road Elementary School, Crowley has been principal at Mildred L. Day since the formation of RSU 21 in 2009. He will remain on stipend as co-coordinator with RSU 21 business manager Bruce Randolph of the Kennebunk High School building renovation, though completion of that project in 2018.

“Mildred L. Day is an extremely high functioning school. Dr. Crowley and the entire staff have created a place where students feel safe, welcomed and at the same time are challenged academically,” Keenan said. “My goal in my first year is to learn as much as I can about the school and the community of Arundel and to find ways to foster and grow the many great things they currently do for their students each day.

“It is clear to me that there is a tremendous amount of pride in the community for the Mildred L. Day School and rightfully so,” he added. “I’m honored by the opportunity to become a part of this school.

“I look forward to continuing the great things that are already happening and finding ways to partner with the community to grow the educational experiences afforded to the children of the Mildred L. Day School. I look forward to meeting parents and community members in the months to come in hopes of building strong partnerships that benefit our students.”

Staff Writer Duke Harrington can be reached at news@kennebunkpost.com.

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