DOVER-FOXCROFT – An administrator from the coastal town of Cushing was selected Thursday as the new superintendent for SAD 68.
During a special meeting, SAD 68 directors unanimously voted to hire John Dirnbauer, 55, who currently serves as superintendent of SAD 50, which represents the towns of Cushing, St. George and Thomaston. Dirnbauer will receive $75,000 a year for the position and will receive an administrative benefit package that includes health insurance.
“I can’t wait to get here and get started,” Dirnbauer told directors after his appointment. He plans to begin his new job in early July so he can spend some time with Donald Siviski, the current superintendent, before Siviski leaves his post July 12 for a similar position in Hallowell.
Dirnbauer was one of 16 people who submitted applications for the position and one of four who were interviewed by the board of directors. His wife, Margaret, owns and operates the MidCoast Teachers Store in Thomaston. The couple has two grown children, both of whom work at MBNA.
Dirnbauer has served SAD 50, which has a similar student population to SAD 68, for six years and was instrumental in getting district support for the construction of a new elementary school to serve up to 125 pupils in Cushing. He also helped develop some cost-sharing projects with SAD 5 in Rockland that benefited both districts. Those included a joint alternative education program and the sharing of special education services.
Outside the meeting, Dirnbauer said he was looking for some new challenges. He said SAD 68 interested him because it is a fine school system, offers innovative programs, and is on the cusp of making some huge leaps forward in the areas of curriculum, instruction and the delivery of services.
The administrator said working together with the faculty and residents can solve any problems that arise in a district. Dirnbauer said he wants to expand the SAD 68 three-year strategic plan to provide a vision for the future. Out of that plan will come direction as to possible changes, he said.
“I think it’s very important for a new leader coming in to understand what people are proud of and the things they feel need to be upgraded,” Dirnbauer said.