December 10, 2012

Augusta school board to consider Cony assistant principal as interim high school head

By Keith Edwards
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- Assistant principal Kimberly Silsby will be considered to fill in as interim principal of Cony High School by the board of education when it meets Wednesday.

Kim Silsby

Staff file photo by Joe Phelan

Silsby would fill in for James Anastasio, who will fill in as interim superintendent for a year.

Silsby is one of three assistant principals at the grade 7-12 school, and has served on the Board of Education and represented Augusta in the state House of Representatives.

Silsby, of Augusta, has been an assistant principal at the high school for two and a half years.

Superintendent Cornelia Brown said Silsby has "done a wonderful job with curriculum development and had a real focus on improving student achievement."

"She has a diverse background with a wide range of experience," Brown said. "She was a classroom teacher, an assistant principal, she was in the Legislature, and she's a community member with kids in the school, which makes here a really good fit for the high school. She's a great, logical choice to take over for Jim for the year."

The regular Board of Education meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers at Augusta City Center.

Silsby would serve as interim principal at Cony for a year beginning Jan. 1 to Dec. 30, the same period of time Anastasio will fill in as superintendent.

Brown is stepping down as superintendent Dec. 31 to become executive director of Maine School Management Association. Board members were not able to attract an applicant for superintendent with the qualities they are looking for, so they agreed to hire Anastasio as interim superintendent for a year.

In a related item, board members will consider asking city councilors to remove a requirement from the city charter that the school superintendent live in the city.

Board Chairwoman Susan Campbell has said that requirement hindered the search for a new superintendent. Removing the requirement from the charter would require a referendum vote by residents.

Wednesday's regular meeting will be preceded by a 6:30 board meeting with officials of First Student, the system's school bus provider. Brown said topics of discussion with the bus company are likely to include the new seat belts in buses and protocol for bus pickups and dropoffs.

Board members are also scheduled to:

* consider approving policies including student fundraising activities, relations with booster groups, public's right to know/freedom of access, management of head injuries, negotiations, school calendar, curriculum development and adoption and referral of students with disabilities;

* consider staff nominations, resignations, retirements and recognitions.

Keith Edwards -- 621-5647

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