SULLIVAN — After an 8-1 vote at Tuesday’s meeting, the Regional School Unit 24 (RSU 24) Board of Directors approved the administrative structure that will be in place at the future Charles M. Sumner Learning Campus.
The new building, currently under construction behind Sumner Memorial High School, will house students in grades 6 through 12 (a middle school and a high school) under the direction of one principal, current Sumner Principal Ty Thurlow.
RSU 24 Superintendent Michael Eastman said Thurlow has administrative experience working with campuses with wide age ranges, including a kindergarten-throughgrade 12 school.
Board member Andrea St. George Jones was the sole vote against the administrative structure that will include one principal, one assistant principal and one assistant principal/ athletic director.
Jones said having one principal for the whole campus would not be the way to “enhance the separate natures” of a middle and high school.
RSU 24 Director of Curriculum Nicole Chan said that the plan will keep the two schools distinct while having cohesive leadership.
Chan said that the two schools would have separate spaces, giving the example that middle-schoolers would not be eating lunch with high school students, but that as a district, “We really do try to converge to a single philosophy.”
“The consistency of having one leadership team … was really the mentality behind this,” she said.
She added the structure was intended so that administratively, the school would not feel “disjointed” and there would be a sense of “camaraderie.”
Chan said that the entire campus will still be relatively small with about 450 students.
Board member Alison Johnson questioned how effectively an assistant principal/ athletic director position would work and what the breakdown of duties would entail.
Eastman said the position would be “fluid” and vary throughout the year depending on sports season activity.
Thurlow clarified that, “[The position is] breaking down three sports seasons at two different levels [which] rarely, if ever, mirror one another in terms of length of season.”