Wiscasset Middle High School (WMHS) Principal Gina Stevens faces potential dismissal over accusations that she had a hidden camera installed in a school closet and has mistreated students and staff.
Stevens has been the principal of WMHS since July 1, 2023, after previously being interim principal between Feb. 21, 2023, and June 30, 2023.
She was put on paid administrative leave on Oct. 30.
The Wiscasset School Committee voted 4-0 Monday to conduct a dismissal hearing for Stevens, following a public personnel hearing in which Superintendent Kim Andersson detailed the complaints against the principal.
Although disciplinary hearings are usually confidential, Stevens — as is her right under Maine state law — requested that the hearing be done in open session.
About 150 people attended the Monday evening Wiscasset School Committee special meeting, including WMHS students and staff holding signs in support of Principal Stevens, per the Times Record.
A group of 25 WMHS staff members last week wrote a letter to committee in support of Stevens shared with the Times Record , praising her “exceptional dedication, fair and efficient leadership and untiring passion for education, for students, and for the climate at WMHS.”
Comments from Stevens and the public were not allowed during Monday’s committee meeting.
Superintendent Andersson listed the allegations against Stevens in a memo shared with the committee Monday.
The litany of complaints against Stevens include the improper removal of a student from school, the installation of a hidden camera, mistreating staff, interrogating students about vaping in a school bathroom, and a general lack of communication with the superintendent.
According to Andersson, Stevens called for a hidden camera to be installed near a school food pantry on Sept. 29.
Andersson denies having been involved in the plan to install the camera, and claims the principal first informed her about it on Oct. 3, after it captured students changing their clothes in a closet where a camera had been installed.
“Ms. Stevens’s above behavior toward staff and students was in contravention of her responsibilities and obligations as the Principal of WMHS and demonstrates her repeated dishonesty, poor judgment, lack of responsibility, and communication failures,” Andersson said. “As a result, she can no longer be trusted to do her job in a professional manner or to support all students and staff.”
“The continuation of Ms. Stevens’s pattern of misbehavior is highly likely given that she still refuses to admit any wrongdoing or take responsibility for her behavior, which presents an unacceptable risk of liability for the School Department and potential harm to its students and staff if she continues to be the principal,” the superintendent said.
Stevens’ attorney, Portland-based labor attorney Gregg Frame, said following the committee’s vote Monday that Stevens denies all the allegations brought against her.
“The allegations are just simply false,” Frame said, per the Boothbay Register. “We will be ready for the hearing with witnesses and evidence disputing everything. This includes whether the superintendent knew about hidden camera. She did.”
The date for Stevens’ termination hearing has not yet been set.
Read Superintendent Kim Andersson’s memo recommending WMHS Principal Gina Stevens’ dismissal below: