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Maranacook Area Schools superintendent is finalist for Cape position

The School Board has chosen a finalist in its search for a permanent superintendent.

Dr. Donna Wolfrom, currently superintendent at Maranacook Area Schools in Readfield, will be in Cape Elizabeth on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 meeting teachers, students and administrators, School Board Chair Elizabeth Scifres announced in the board's December newsletter

That evening, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., she will be at Town Hall to meet with parents and community members.

"The School Board feels strongly it has found the right fit for the position of superintendent in Cape Elizabeth," Scifres said. "Dr. Donna Wolfrom is not only warm and personable, but highly qualified with a rich professional background."

The board has been looking for a permanent superintendent since Meredith Nadeau, superintendent since 2011, left in July 2016 for a new job in New Hampshire. Retired Mount Desert Island superintendent Howard Colter has served as interim superintendent since then.

Here is the text of the Dec. 8 newsletter:

School Board News
December 8, 2017

Superintendent Search

After months of screening, intensive interviews, reference checks, and most recently a visit to Maranacook Area Schools, the School Board feels strongly it has found the right fit for the position of Superintendent in Cape Elizabeth.  Dr. Donna Wolfrom is not only warm and personable, but highly qualified with a rich professional background.   She is currently in her sixth year as Superintendent at Maranacook Area Schools, where student achievement has steadily and dramatically grown during her tenure.  Previously Dr. Wolfrom was Assistant Superintendent in Bangor where she was responsible for K-12 curriculum development, district wide professional development, as well as the writing and oversight of federal grants.  Before that she worked for twenty years in MSAD 55 as a classroom teacher, then literacy specialist, and finally curriculum director.  Dr. Wolfrom graduated from Lycoming College in Pennsylvania with a degree in English and Elementary Education, then pursued a Masters in Literacy at the University of Southern Maine, and then earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Maine at Orono.  The School Board is excited to announce Dr. Donna Wolfrom as our finalist for Superintendent of Schools in Cape Elizabeth.

More about the search process:  A large search committee, made up of current and incoming School Board members, all three principals, a teacher from each building, the Director of Teaching and Learning, the Director of Special Services, parents, and community members, first screened applications then conducted two rounds of interviews.   This process yielded one finalist.  A visiting team was then formed from a small subgroup of the search committee, including Principals Jeff Shedd and Jason Manjourides, teachers Sonia Medina and Marianne Harrington, Director of Teaching and Learning Cathy Stankard, and board members Heather Altenburg, Susana Measelle Hubbs, and Elizabeth Scifres.  The visiting team had an excellent day and was further impressed by Dr. Wolfrom when touring Maranacook Area Schools and talking with staff and students.

Mark your calendars for Friday December 15 when Dr. Wolfrom will be in Cape Elizabeth to meet teachers, students, and administrators during the day.  That evening she will be in Town Hall Chambers from 6:30 to 7:30 pm to talk with parents and community members.  We encourage you to come meet and welcome Dr. Wolfrom to Cape Elizabeth.


What's on the Agenda?

At our Tuesday November 14 business meeting Kevin Stilphen, director of Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS), gave an eye-opening presentation on expanded learning opportunities for our students.  Follow this link to their website where you can see a video about their programs and opportunities.  Our student representatives reported on many past and upcoming events, including great progress on their Hope Garden / Yellow Tulip Project in support of positive mental health.  Superintendent Colter's report included an enrollment update -- according to monthly and yearly enrollment reports, our enrollment seems to have stabilized.

We also recognized our two departing School Board members, Joanna Morrissey and Barbara Powers.  We thank each of them for their years of hard work in service to the students of Cape Elizabeth.

On Tuesday November 28 our workshop was dedicated to an update on Response to Intervention (RTI) -- a tiered structure used to help struggling students. Our building principals and their specialists described what student support looks like and how it works in each of the buildings.  Through the addition of several RTI education technicians at Pond Cove, literacy and math specialists at the Middle School, and a renaissance of the Achievement Center at the High School, many more students are getting the help they need.  

We then heard from Christine Winterbrook, our Gifted and Talented (GT) Coordinator, about programs getting off the ground for students who excel and need the opportunity to stretch and move deeper into their particular areas of strength.

Business meetings are typically held on the second Tuesday of every month and workshops are held on the fourth Tuesday of the month.  Agendas and topics are posted ahead of time and meetings are open to the public.  Please check the school district website calendar for specific dates, times, and locations.  Business meetings are televised live and replayed multiple times on public access channel 3, and posted on the school department website.   

Policy Update

The Policy Committee recently brought five policies for first read the the November 14th School Board meeting:

BCB:  Board Member Conflict of Interest
DJE:  Bidding/Purchasing Requirements
DJH:  Purchasing and Contracting Procurement Staff Code of Conduct
JLCD:  Administering Medication to Students
JLCDA:  Medical Marijuana in Schools

All revisions and new policies are developed under the guidance of our legal and educational advisors, as well as our district personnel who are most intimately familiar with their application.  You can find all Cape Elizabeth School Department policies on the school department website in the School Board section, and see revisions in progress among the agenda materials of business meetings and policy committee meetings.

Monthly policy committee meetings are posted and open to the public.  Please check the school department website calendar for dates, times, and locations.