Dismissal hearing Tuesday, Dec. 12

Police probe second staff member in Waldoboro-area school district

By Stephen Betts and Beth Birmingham | Dec 05, 2017
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham

Waldoboro — Police are investigating a second employee in Regional School Unit 40 in the wake of their investigation into the high school principal.

Police are mum on the nature of the investigation into the second staff member, but acknowledged it came up during the investigation into the original complaint against the principal.

In that original case, Knox County Sheriff Donna Dennison said Nov. 22 that after an investigation by Detective Don Murray, no criminal activity was found.

The school district, as expected, has announced the scheduling of a dismissal hearing for Medomak Valley High School Principal Andrew Cavanaugh. The hearing will take place at a special board of directors' meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12, at the central office in Union.

Dennison said Thursday, Nov. 30, that her department referred an allegation against a different staff member to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office Nov. 21.

Lincoln County Sheriff Todd Brackett said Nov. 30 the new complaint remains under investigation by his department. He declined to provide additional information, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

School district officials were also mum on whether they were looking into allegations against a second employee.

"There is nothing we can discuss at this time," RSU 40 Superintendent Steve Nolan said Nov. 30.

Cavanaugh has been absent from his position for the past month. The district has not commented on the reason for his absence, citing the confidentiality of personnel matters. The board did vote Nov. 16 to hold a dismissal hearing on an employee.

On the day following that vote, Nolan said, "Our highest priority, as always, is the safety and well-being of our students."

The initial complaint was made to the Waldoboro Police Department about possible inappropriate contact between a MVHS staff member and a student. Waldoboro police referred that complaint to the Knox County Sheriff's Office because the alleged contact did not occur in Waldoboro, but instead was within the jurisdiction of Knox County.

Cavanaugh said Nov. 24 he could not comment on the matter. He would not answer whether he had retained an attorney to represent him before the School Board.

Cavanaugh has been principal at Medomak Valley since 2015. He has worked at the school since at least 2004, when he was an economics and government teacher.

Medomak Valley is in the Lincoln County town of Waldoboro, but the other four communities in the district -- Union, Warren, Washington and Friendship -- are in Knox County.

Comments (7)
Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 03, 2017 22:46

Valerie: That is a good question for the Sheriff and the school administration or else the District Attorney or the State Attorney General perhaps under the auspices of the Maine Right To Know Law, one of those ought to work. Orrrrrr, else something else is cooking. I agree with out that the public should know, just when that happens is the 64 cent question. Maybe the press can find out.

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Dec 03, 2017 17:20


By this statement "In that original case, Knox County Sheriff Donna Dennison said Nov. 22 that after an investigation by Detective Don Murray, no criminal activity was found."  I am pretty sure that the first one is over.  So when does the public have a right to know?


Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 02, 2017 19:33

Mr. Ecker: I do stand corrected and for that I apologize. Sounding out and not reading closely two and to and too sound alike. You stand above on that one, thank you so much for correcting me. I am still slightly confused by the part that reads:"lives are ruined as a result of misdeeds of those who have such power over our children". This happens all day, everywhere that a person does anything wrong because, in general, don't most people have such power over our children. Minor difference I am sure but I just hope all the lives involved are not "ruined", for we do not actually know the nature and the extent of any activity assumed nor do we know what the ramifications might be in the future. I do not want to think this is so horrific but the investigation should reveal.

Valarie: The community will have the right to know when the investigation is complete. I assume it will be done with caution and complete details.  The laws surrounding personnel matters are there to protect any innocent party(ies) from being maligned or shunned or unfairly ostracized. The public, learning of rumors and inaccurate information, can make a real mess out of rumors which can have drastic effects to innocent people. We all hope this investigation is detailed.

Posted by: Edwin E Ecker | Dec 02, 2017 03:59


I have not indicated any person as guilty, my statements are of a general nature referring to circumstances not persons.

TOO and TWO have separate meanings.

Weren't you a teacher once ?

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Dec 01, 2017 17:25

The community should have the right to know what is going on!  After all, they help pay the employees of the school district!

Posted by: Dale Hayward | Dec 01, 2017 16:15

Mr. Ecker: Perhaps you are implying that two good lives are ruined as a result of possible misdeeds of those who have such power over our children. Is it fair to assume guilt until the investigation(s) are complete.

Posted by: Edwin E Ecker | Dec 01, 2017 05:01

Too bad lives are ruined as a result of misdeeds of those who have such power over our children !

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