BREWER, Maine — The Brewer School Department’s superintendent, Jay McIntire, has informed the school committee that he will be looking for another job this year.
“Searches for superintendents typically take months and can be quite costly, so to improve the chances that the school committee can find a leader who matches its needs and preferences in time for the 2015-16 school year, with this note I inform the board that I do not seek an extension of my existing contract,” McIntire wrote to the board in a letter dated Aug. 27.
McIntire’s two-year contract, which pays him $107,100 annually, is up in June. The superintendent clarified on Tuesday that his letter does not mean he’s unwilling to continue to serve, only that “I am out pursuing other options, not trying to push them to do something that is not supported by a majority.”
He said he sent the committee the letter because they “had pretty much indicated to me that they would not extend my contract.”
At a school committee meeting on Monday night, at least four members of the public spoke up in support of the superintendent and asked the committee why his contract might not be extended.
“Brewer school system is fortunate to have Mr. McIntire,” said one parent, who was reading a letter written by her son, a former student, who could not be at the meeting. The letter went on to explain that McIntire attends many school events and has done a good job connecting with students.
But those asking questions about why the superintendent would not remain in the job past June did not get answers.
“It’s a personnel matter…I can’t comment,” Michael Hutchins, the committee’s chair, said repeatedly.
“There’s been no wrongdoing of any kind on the part of the superintendent,” he added.
Hutchins and another school board member, Janet McIntosh, both confirmed that they would not be running for reelection this year.
When reached Tuesday by phone, Hutchins would not expand on his comments and said only that he was “sad that [McIntire] is not seeking an extension.”
McIntire was selected for the job out of a group of 10 applicants to replace former Superintendent Daniel Lee, who retired in 2013. McIntire is a native of Hampden and graduated from Hampden Academy in 1980. Before taking the position in Brewer, he had been superintendent of SAU 64 in Milton, N.H. for six years.