Otis Selects Interim Superintendent

OTIS — What was seen as an option for the Otis school system may be falling by the wayside.


The chairmen of the school boards in neighboring districts who are forming a regional school unit said it wasn’t a good idea to include Otis in their letter of intent to the state.

“The board chairs felt there were a lot of problems that could not easily be fixed,” said Don Farnum, chairman of the board of School Administrative District 63, which includes Eddington, Holden and Clifton.

The proposed RSU also includes Community School District 8, which is Amherst, Aurora, Great Pond and Osborn, as well as the towns of Orrington and Dedham.

Otis shares the Beech Hill School with Mariaville, whose residents, unlike those in Otis, voted to join Regional School Unit 24. The two towns co-own the school in an arrangement known as a union school and which is unique in the state.

Farnum said the individual school boards now need to vote on whether to include Otis in their plans for an RSU.

In a related matter, the Otis School Committee voted unanimously Nov. 18 to hire Ray Freve of Plymouth as interim superintendent for the 2009-2010 school year and for a maximum of 72 days.

Freve was a state facilitator during the school consolidation process and most recently was interim superintendent of Maine School Administrative District 56, which includes Frankfort, Searsport and Stockton Springs.

In addition to serving as interim superintendent in a variety of school districts, Freve was superintendent of schools in Newport, Plantation No. 21 and Baileyville.

Freve’s primary role in Otis will be to help the town plan for July 1, 2010, when it will no longer have central office services provided by RSU 24.

“We have to see where we go from here,” said Kim Steinbarger, chairman of the Otis School Committee. “Hopefully, with Ray’s help and knowledge he can help us chart a path for our school.”

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