2018-06-28 / Front Page

No Appointment for Thompson Principal

By Andy Long

The Newport School Committee held a special meeting on June 21 to decide on a principal for Thompson Middle School, but declined to act on School Superintendent Colleen Jermain’s recommendation that Laurie Sullivan be appointed to the position. Sullivan was one of the two candidates whom the committee had interviewed earlier in that week for the job. (See “Candidates Considered for Thompson Principal,” NTW June 21, 2018.)

The committee on a 4-3 vote denied the motion to hire, before quickly adjourning the meeting without any further discussion.

Although it has been reported in other local media that Sullivan’s application was rejected, the committee, Raymond Gomes said, wished to focus first on the serious matter of the unexpected budget deficit.

“This [decision not to appoint Sullivan],” Gomes said, “was just to delay the proceedings so that we could deal with the budget mess.”

The “budget mess” Gomes refers to was reported to the committee at a meeting held a few minutes after they adjourned the first session. At that second meeting, the committee first learned that the district faced a deficit for the current fiscal year of between $130,000 to possibly over a million dollars.

Kathleen Silvia said, “We wanted to select a new principal,” but Rebecca Bolan said that they should deal with budgetary concerns before taking any other actions.

Later, in a telephone interview with NTW, Bolan said, “I just didn't think it was prudent under the circumstances we were facing. I wanted to know more about the current budget deficit.”

The committee will meet again on Thursday, June 28 at 5 p.m. to consider the Thompson principal appointment, at the Newport Area Career & Technical Center.

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