The Star-Herald

Carpenter should be proud of his accomplishments in MSAD 1

To the editor:

As a retired MSAD 1 educator and former member of the MSAD 1 School Board, I feel compelled to express my support for Brian Carpenter’s public statement in which he says, “I am proud of what I have accomplished in the three years I have been Superintendent of MSAD 1.”  He should be proud of his accomplishments in this district, whose loyalties are politically divided among the past, the present, and the future.

As a former board member, I was present at Mr. Carpenter’s interview. I felt he was the best candidate due to the skill sets he could bring to the district:  extensive experience in strategic planning, a necessity for the sustainability of MSAD 1; promotion of educational and community partnerships and collaboration, all benefits to MSAD 1; and perhaps the most important to me, a true belief that any school board’s first and only responsibility is providing programs and services that are educationally, physically, and emotionally best for all children in the school unit.  To this end, Mr. Carpenter consistently brought educational resources to the board’s attention to ensure each director could make an informed, unbiased decision.

A few of Mr. Carpenter’s accomplishments include:  scheduling meetings with local governing boards to discuss upcoming school budgets and plans; representing MSAD 1 at educational meetings throughout Maine; delivering spoken and written testimony to the state Legislature on bills affecting our district and Aroostook County; ensuring that all district departments operated with transparency and within state laws and guidelines; developing strategies to close the district dropout rate and bring students back; approving and promoting revitalization of adult education programming; collaborating with the Board Policy Committee to create and update legally-required educational and business policies, including those affecting district purchasing, use of district vehicles, and reimbursement expenses for administrators, teachers and staff.

Mr. Carpenter also took a major educational step by joining in a partnership with the University of Maine at Presque Isle in which Presque Isle High School students can receive dual high school and college credits (at reduced cost) while attending PIHS.  Caribou, Houlton, Hodgdon, and Central Aroostook high schools have been involved in this partnership for some time.

I have been aware for some time of the backlash some of Mr. Carpenter’s decisions have created and the fact that a few just didn’t like him or his style; however, I am truly disappointed in the board support this group received.  Surveys have been conducted in this district before; however, I personally do not recall the results of any having been reported on the front page of the local newspaper. I have no idea if this entire scenario was a well-organized attempt to initiate a leadership change.  I do understand and firmly believe, however, one tenet will always hold true, “Educational politics only hurts one group — our children.”

My best wishes and appreciation to Mr. Carpenter as he and his family travel new highways.

Melissa J. Vance
Presque Isle

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