2019-02-08 / Community

Principal receives one-year contract extension

By Abigail Worthing Staff Writer

The Regional School Unit 21 School Board voted Jan. 28 to extend Kennebunk High School Principal Sue Cressey’s contract by one year.

Cressey, who is finishing out a three-year contract as principal, submitted her intent-to-retire on Aug. 16, 2018.

The intent-to-retire would fall at the end of this 2018-19 school year, her eighth as principal.

The RSU 21 Board of Directors approved her intent to retire on Aug. 20, 2018.

In December, allegations surfaced that the principal’s departure was allegedly not of her own volition.

At the Dec. 17 RSU 21 Board of Directors meeting in the library of Mildred L. Day School in Arundel, former board member and KHS parent Norm Archer spoke out regarding the resignation of Cressey.

“It has been brought to my attention that Principal Cressey is being forced into an early retirement,” Archer said. “To my knowledge, after reviewing previous meeting minutes, this has not been fully investigated by the board, rather executed exclusively by Dr. Hawes (RSU 21 Superintendent).”

At the Jan. 3 executive session of the board, it was voted unanimously to allow Cressey to withdraw her resignation and allow for the contract to be reconsidered at the following Jan. 28 meeting.

The agreement reached with Cressey on Jan. 28 extends her contract for another year, with the provision that she retire at the completion of the contract in spring 2020.

The vote passed 9-3, with board members Tanya Alsberg, Rachel Phipps and Kendra Connor in opposition.

When approached for comment, Superintendent Katie Hawes said that the district was pleased to have reached an agreement with Cressey.

“Susan is very invested in the students at Kennebunk High School and has assisted the district through our extensive renovation and accreditation process,” wrote Hawes in a Feb. 2 email. “With work still to be done, Susan wants to put the finishing touches on her work here at KHS.”

Attempts to reach Principal Cressey were unsuccessful as of Post press time.

Cressey will return for the 2019-20 school year, her 33rd year at Kennebunk High School.

Abigail Worthing can be reached at news@kennebunkpost.com.

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