A former principal at Rockland District Middle School is leading the charge to slow down the proposed consolidation of Rockland District High School and Georges Valley High School in Thomaston.

Tom Mellor of Thomaston said he plans to present a petition to the Regional School Unit 13 board at its meeting on Thursday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the McLain School.

Mellor has distributed the petition to Mr. Tire and Thomaston Grocery in Thomaston, Fales Store in Cushing, and Hoggy’s store in South Thomaston.

Mellor said people are very willing to sign the petition because of their concern about the proposal approved by the RSU 13 board last month to have students in the eighth and ninth grades attend GVHS and students in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades attend RDHS starting in the fall of 2011.

Mellor said there is no plan yet for how the schools will be consolidated. He said he also doubts the consolidation will produce savings.

Mellor served for nearly 20 years as principal of Rockland Junior High School, which later was converted to RDMS. He then served as adult education director for Maine School Administrative District 5.

The veteran educator said he would like to see the board hold a referendum at the time of the budget vote in June to get the public’s sentiment on the proposed consolidation.

Supporters of the consolidation have said it will clearly save money because it will eliminate small classes that duplicate lessons. The decision last month to consolidate came as Superintendent Judy Lucarelli announced devastating cuts were likely because of the $3.5 million projected gap between revenues and expenses for 2010-2011.

Lucarelli will announce at the Thursday, March 4 meeting what positions she proposes to be eliminated for the next school year.