Lorigan resigns as Union 60 superintendent

By Mike Lange
Staff Writer

    GREENVILLE — Beth Lorigan has submitted her resignation as superintendent of School Union 60, but will stay on in a limited role until February “in order to provide transitional assistance to Union 60 on an as-needed basis,” according to Ann Marie Murray, chair of the Greenville School Committee.

    Lorigan resigned following an executive session at the Aug. 27 Union 60 Board of Directors’ meeting.
    David Morrill, who has been the guidance director for the Greenville area school system for many years, has been appointed interim superintendent. “We are very fortunate to have David — who has his superintendent certification — and to have Beth remain for a period of time to help along the way,” Murray said. “This will ensure a smooth transition for us.”
    Lorigan told the Observer that she was “sad about leaving. I really appreciate the students, families, staff and community members who have supported me in the past. But I will support David (Morrill) with as much help as needed.”
    Union 60 Board Chair Judi Frederick was unavailable for comment by deadline.
    Lorigan’s departure also parallels the apparent dissolution of Union 60 as the Maine Department of Education has approved the withdrawal application of Willimantic and Shirley, and Kingsbury Plantation’s application is pending.
    The only other remaining town in Union 60 — except for Greenville — is Beaver Cove, and their school committee meets on Tuesday, Sept. 9 where they may make a decision on their future with the district.
    Suzan Beaudoin, the Maine Department of Education’s school finance and operations director, confirmed that Union 60 “will probably no longer exist as we know it. But if the towns have a contractual agreement to send their children to the Greenville schools, they’ll still be obligated to do so.”
    State Rep. Peter Johnson, a former Greenville School Committee chair, said he has “the highest regard for Beth (Lorigan). She is a great school leader and the town of Greenville and what is left of Union 60 will greatly miss her. She took on several difficult and controversial projects at the direction of the school board and accomplished them all. Over her term of leadership she saved Union 60 hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
    During Lorigan’s tenure, the school system underwent several changes including the closure of Nickerson Elementary School and relocation of the lower grades to the junior-senior high school building.
    Overall enrollment had declined to around 230 students and the Nickerson building was considered outmoded and expensive to maintain. The elementary school building in Greenville was recently demolished.
    Lorigan was hired as superintendent and special services director of Union 60 in October 2010, succeeding Heather Perry who is now superintendent of SAD 3 in Thorndike.
    Prior to her arrival in Greenville, she served as special services director for the Orrington School Department from August 2007 to October 2010 and in a similar role with School Union 91 — which includes Orrington — from July 1999 to July 2007.
    Lorigan holds a master’s degree in education and a certificate of advanced studies (CAS) in educational leadership from the University of Maine.

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