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Fitzpatrick tabbed as next SAD 70 superintendent

HODGDON, Maine — The SAD 70 school board has looked inward to find its next superintendent.

Stephen Fitzpatrick was hired Monday, March 11, as the district’s new superintendent/high school principal. He has been serving as the district’s high school principal since July 30, 2018. He previously served as the principal in RSU 71 in Belfast.

Fitzpatrick takes over for Scott Richardson, who has served as the district’s superintendent/special education director since March 3, 2014. Richardson retired from that position in June 2018, but was rehired on an interim basis in August 2018.

I’m very much looking forward to the privilege of serving the students, parents, teachers, and all constituents of SAD 70 where ‘Access to Success’ happens every day and every year,” Fitzpatrick said. “I believe we have great schools, great students and great teachers. My hope is that it will in reality be a seamless transition and I know that the team in place here is continuing to  work hard in making it so.”

The district will continue searching for a special education director and is also planning to hire an assistant principal at the high school.

“The board decided an assistant principal will be needed because Steve will be doing both the high school principal and superintendent jobs,” Richardson said Friday morning. “The high school principal and superintendent position is a big job, so an assistant will be needed.”

The district has advertised for both the assistant principal and special education positions, but has yet to conduct any interviews. Nevertheless, the goal is to have both posts filled by the April board meeting, Richardson said.

Fitzpatrick has long-standing ties to the area. He served for 23 years as a teacher, coach, athletic director, assistant principal, principal and superintendent. He took over for Mary Harbison, who stepped down at the end of the 2018 school year to enter the private sector.

He grew up in Houlton, graduating from Houlton High School in 1973 and the University of Maine in 1977. From July 2004 to June 2010, Fitzpatrick served as the superintendent of RSU 29.

Richardson said he was looking forward to retirement.

“I don’t have any specific plans,” he said. “Penny (his wife) and I are planning to stay in the area, but we might be gone for a few months in the winter.”

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