Portland school administrator named RSU 5 superintendent

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Becky Foley, left, the new superintendent in Regional School Unit 5, speaks with board member Lindsay Sterling during Wednesday night's special board meeting at Durham Community School.

Becky Foley was named Regional School Unit 5 superintendent Wednesday, succeeding Ed McDonough, whose resignation is effective July 1. She becomes the fourth head of schools to serve the Durham-Freeport-Pownal district, and comes to RSU 5 from a one-year stint as chief academic officer for Portland Public Schools. She will be paid $128,000.

She served as assistant superintendent in School Administrative District 52 of Turner for four years before her appointment in Portland.

Michelle Ritcheson of Durham, the RSU 5 board chairwoman, made the announcement during a special board meeting preceding the annual budget meeting, held at the Durham Community School.

Ritcheson said that the search committee received 19 applications for superintendent, interviewed four and whittled that number down to two finalists.

“We felt that Becky was a great fit for the district and we’re excited to be bringing her on board,” she said.

Prior to her tenure in SAD 52, Foley was principal of the old North Yarmouth Memorial School for 10 years. She had started out her career as a principal, assistant principal and teacher in Turner for seven years.

Foley, a Texas native, holds a doctorate in public policy from the University of Southern Maine. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the University of Maine at Farmington, and her master’s in educational administration at the University of Southern Maine.

She lives in Portland with her partner, Bill Blount, and she is the mother of two grown children.

RSU 5 officials are in hopes that Foley, 60, will bring some stability to the position. McDonough announced in late March that he would have to step down for personal reasons. He succeeded William Michaud and Mike Lafortune, who were interim superintendents for a year.

Earlier during the special board meeting, McDonough said that he hoped that a new Freeport High School principal would be named on June 15. Brian Campbell is leaving following two years as principal to become principal at Saco Middle School. An 11-member search committee will screen applications on Wednesday, June 1, and the committee should have finalists identified a week or so later, McDonough said.

Becky Foley, left, the new superintendent in Regional School Unit 5, speaks with board member Lindsay Sterling during Wednesday night’s special board meeting at Durham Community School.