FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 board of directors voted 15-1 Tuesday night to accept Superintendent Tina Meserve’s resignation.
The vote followed an executive session. Dennis O’Neil of Farmington was the lone dissenter.
Meserve was hired in July 2018, and has faced ongoing opposition from staff and community members, made public through a no-confidence vote on Oct. 30.
Meserve, of Livermore, read from the following letter before the board approved her resignation:
“As you know, we face significant challenges with negotiations, staff morale, and the many challenges of educating our children during a pandemic. As recently as last week, I remained hopeful that the District could move forward with my leadership. I felt we could collaboratively address the concerns with the goal of understanding and mutual support while also focusing on our students’ needs.
“Upon reflection over Thanksgiving break, I realize that is not what is happening. I have, from the beginning, had the best interests of our District at heart. I still do. My highest priority is that all parties can focus on the children. For this reason, I am resigning as superintendent in hopes that the District will move forward and unify around students.
“To the Board, I want you to know how much I appreciate your ongoing support. We have accomplished many goals in the last two years.
“Together, we addressed the concerns parents raised in my first board meeting about instructional practices and grading. We improved our system and provided significant professional development for our staff. The result was 13% (approximately 313 students) more students reaching proficiency in reading (English Language Arts) than in previous years. Math achievement improved 2% at a time when the state saw a decrease in performance.
“Together, we added transparency and accountability to our financial and budget procedures. We designed a needs-based budget process that gave teachers and administrators input in identifying the building level needs and resulted in an understood and widely supported budget by our communities.
Despite those accomplishments and many others, there is work to be done to build on our successes. I hope that with new leadership, the district can move forward together. I care deeply about Mt. Blue. Mt. Blue is my District. I graduated from Mt. Blue High School, did my teacher preparation with several of our finest educators, and then taught in RSU 9. I was a teacher for 17 years in total. Teaching is hard, and it’s been made even more challenging because of the pandemic. Now, more than ever, unity is critical.
“So, while our work is not done, I feel that the Board’s acceptance of my resignation is the best way to support the District and me.
“I want to thank the staff, students, and community that make the District so special and wish everyone well as they continue to educate during a pandemic, address contract issues through negotiations and unify around our students. I wish all the best for our district/RSU9.”
Meserve came to the district in July 2018 after serving as superintendent in RSU 16 in Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland since 2013.