December 23, 2012

RSU 12 names neighbor school district official new superintendent

RSU 11 curriculum coordinator Howie Tuttle picked by board earlier this month

By Susan McMillan
Staff Writer

SOMERVILLE -- A curriculum coordinator from another local school district has been chosen as the next superintendent in charge of schools here.

Howie Tuttle, now with Gardiner-based Regional School Unit 11, is negotiating a contract with the school board to succeed RSU 12 interim Superintendent Alan Hawkins.

School board Chairwoman Hilary Holm declined to explain why the superintendent search committee and the full board thought Tuttle was the best choice out of 15 applicants and four candidates interviewed. The board voted Dec. 12 to offer Tuttle the job.

Tuttle also declined to comment, pending approval of his contract.

Holm said she hopes to have a contract ready for a vote by the school board at its meeting scheduled for Jan. 10.

Based on school board priorities and input from the staff and the public, Holm said, the search committee looked for a strong communicator and someone with a solid background in classroom teaching.

"In our application, we asked all candidates to answer a question about how they would communicate in such a geographically wide and socially diverse district; and then another thing we asked during our interviews was what they felt were important qualities of a superintendent," Holm said.

RSU 12 consists of Alna, Chelsea, Palermo, Somerville, Westport Island, Whitefield, Windsor and Wiscasset.

Hawkins has been interim superintendent since July, when he succeeded Greg Potter, now the superintendent of Newport-based RSU 19.

RSU 11, where Tuttle is director of curriculum, consists of Gardiner, West Gardiner, Pittston and Randolph. The school district refused to release a résumé for Tuttle, who is president of Maine Curriculum Leaders' Association and has worked in his current position since at least 2007.

An article from education centers at Brown University and Northeastern University indicates that Tuttle was kindergarter-through-grade eight mathematics mentor for Topsham-based RSU 75 in 2004.

Susan McMillan -- 621-5645

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