Lancaster School assistant principal Todd Lamarque of Gorham was promoted on Thursday morning to the school’s top post, effective July 1. Photo by Edith Tucker. (click for larger version)
March 01, 2012WHITEFIELD — The WMRSD school board voted unanimously, 4 to 0, at a special 8 a.m. school board meeting on Thursday to make administrative changes designed to keep experience on hand while tapping Lancaster School assistant principal Todd Lamarque of Gorham to fill the top slot at the 425-student Lancaster School on July 1 at a salary of $76,469.
SAU 36 Interim Superintendent Dr. Harry Fensom described Lamarque as "one of the most promising administrators" he had ever had under his general supervision.
Lamarque's stellar reputation was such that he was being courted vigorously by other North Country school districts with key vacancies to fill, he explained. The timing will also allow Lamarque to be heavily involved in hiring a new assistant principal.
The board also voted unanimously to divide up the responsibilities of today's position of Director of Student Services into two discrete part-time positions, effective July 1. The incumbent Director — Marie Fay of Guildhall, who was planning to retire on June 30 — has agreed to stay on in the part-time .6 position of 157 days as Director of Special Education at a salary of $47,555, effective July 1.
LES principal Pat McLean of Lancaster has agreed to stay on and assume the half-time (.5) position of 131 days as Director of Pupil Services at a salary of $39,231, effective July 1.
Both positions include health insurance coverage, on a pro-rated basis.
This new arrangement will cost about $3,000 less than now and include 25 additional workdays. Both will work in the Central Office on King's Square.
Fensom explained his thinking in coming up with this unique arrangement that he believes meets the District's needs as well as that of the two experienced administrators.
"I hated to see us lose Marie's knowledge and experience, especially at this time," Fensom said. "The position as now configured had so many pieces to it that she ran into conflicting appointments and meetings. Creating two part-time positions will permit greater efficiencies."
McLean had developed a "breadth of experience" in pupil services in her prior position in New York State, Fensom pointed out.
As Director of Pupil Services, she will supervise Section 504, Title IX, bullying and harassment, home school, homeless, migrant and English Language Learners (ELL), supervise and regulate student support service team function, arrange required evaluations of individual students, maintain current knowledge of federal and state laws and court decisions and regulations in all areas in his or her portfolio and work on District culture and research-based instructional programs and with state and local agencies.
Lamarque and his wife, Brenda, a part-time consultant for the Gorham pre-school program, have been married for 11 years and are the proud parents of three-year-old twin daughters, Abigail and Madison.
Before becoming LES assistant principal in 2009, Lamarque taught physics, chemistry, and physical science in Gorham, starting in 2001. He chaired the grade 6 to 12 science department.
Lamarque has 15 years of experience coaching youth and high school football (as head coach), both in the North Country and in. For the last three years Lamarque has coached the Mt. Washington Wolves football team, based in Lancaster-Whitefield.
He also coached seven seasons of varsity baseball in Gorham before before coming to LES. Before then he coached six years of Senior Babe Ruth baseball in Rhode Island.
"I'm very excited; it's great honor and responsibility," Lamarque said in a brief Friday afternoon interview during Winter Carnival, held the last day before the winter break.
Four board members were on hand for Thursday's 15-minute board meeting, held in the Central Office: chairman Greg Odell of Dalton; vice chairman Jim Brady of Jefferson; Jessica Ryan and Gerry Pons, both of Whitefield.