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Superintendents were honored for their leadership and years of service at the 2018 MSSA Recognition Banquet held in conjunction with the Commissioner’s Conference in June (see pictures below).
Outstanding Leadership Awards
Recipients were nominated by their superintendent regions. Five were chosen and they include:
MSAD 54 Supt. Brent Colbry, who was cited for his leadership during challenging times in the Skowhegan-based district, including consolidation of eight elementary schools into five; managing the financial challenge of having the local mill close; and, expanding a school lunch program that is now a model across the state.
Union 93 Supt. Mark Hurvitt has served the towns of Blue Hill, Brooksville, Castine, Penobscot and Surry for the past 11 and a half years. He was praised for his advocacy of student learning; implementing pre-K programs throughout the district; and, focusing on RTI and Title I programs across the district, which resulted in Surry Elementary School being a nationally recognized Title I school.
Sanford Supt. David Theoharides who was instrumental in all phases of building a new, integrated Sanford High School and Regional Technical Center, with an anticipated completion this August. He also was able to secure a second project to repurpose the former high school and technology center into a Middle School and a third project that will repurpose the former junior high into a Pre-K through grade 4 elementary school.
Brewer Supt. Cheri Towle, in three short years in that position, has set a new vision and mission for her district, focusing on some key areas including dealing with children affected by trauma and those born to opioid-dependent mothers and the need to increase and support staff dealing with emotionally troubled youth.
Lewiston Supt. Bill Webster, who became a superintendent after a successful career in business and finance, has worked to help all children learn, providing universal pre-K in Lewiston; creating a school for suspended or expelled students; expanding programs for students with disabilities; and, better supporting students with behavioral issues and decreasing the number of suspensions.
Years of Service Awards
10-Years: Paul Perzanowski and Gary Rosenthal
15-Years: Susan Pratt, Sanford Prince and Thomas Ward
20-Years: Patricia Hopkins
Retirement: Donn Davis, David Theoharides and Thomas Ward
Distinguished Service Award
Maine School Boards Association Past President Becky Fles received the MSSA Distinguished Service Award for her leadership and tenacity during her presidency from 2015 to 2017.
“Her leadership and tenacity ensured the efficient operation of the Maine School Management Association and the overall ability and sustainability of both the Maine School Boards Association and the Maine School Superintendents Association,” said outgoing MSSA President Betsy Webb. She praised Fles’s work to make sure the organizations’ leadership committees were communicating with one another.
“Becky has enhanced both the understanding and cooperation of both organizations for the betterment and advocacy of educational opportunities for all students across Maine,” Webb said.
Fles also was praised for her local school board service, dating back to 1998, with eight years as chair.
Bangor Supt. Betsy Webb was honored for her leadership over this past year during which she has been an effective spokesperson with legislators and the media, as an advocate for Maine superintendents and the children they serve.
Webb not only provides a strong voice in Maine, but also serves on the AASA Executive Committee, bringing Maine superintendents to the national stage.
Webb is the chairperson of MSSA’s Ethics Committee; serves on the Action Committee; and, is committed to mentoring and supporting new superintendents, as an integral part of the New Superintendents Orientation Workshops.