Westbrook principal resigns to take state position

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WESTBROOK — Westbrook High School Principal Kelli Deveaux has resigned to take a job with the Maine Department of Education.

Deveaux, who has been principal for 2½ years, has been hired as the director of communications and public relations for the state education department. In a letter to sent to students’ parents, she said she didn’t seek the position, but couldn’t pass up the offer from the new state education commissioner, Pender Makin. Deveaux and Makin spent a dozen years working together previously in the Windham/Raymond school district.

“I have weighed carefully the experiences I am being offered at the Department of Education and my commitment to the work being done at Westbrook High School. I am proud of the progress I believe we have made, and I am in awe of the dedication and hard work that the staff has demonstrated daily. They are an amazing, compassionate group of professionals who should be heralded for their contributions to the students of Westbrook,” Deveaux wrote. “I have been honored to work with, and alongside, the students and the families of Westbrook High School, and thank those who so kindly and warmly welcomed me into your school, community and lives.”

Deveaux could not immediately be reached for comment.

School Committee Chairman Suzanne Joyce said she is torn about Deveaux’s resignation.

“Part of me is so excited for her because of the opportunity, what’s going on in the state and with Gov. Janet Mills, but it is a huge loss for us,” Joyce said Thursday,  the day after hearing the news. “She knew curriculum and that’s what our school needed. She is so talented and bright and has incredible energy.”

Joyce said she will meet Friday with Superintendent Peter Lancia about how to fill the position. Deveaux also is working with the central office and school administration to come up with a time line and transition plan, Joyce said.

“We want to make sure we get the right person, the right fit. We don’t want to make a quick decision without going through the right process. It’s an important position and we want to get the right person in there,” she said.

Deveaux was hired in Westbrook for the 2016-2017 school year after spending close to 15 years as an assistant principal at Windham High School.

Former superintendent Marc Gousse said Deveaux, the 2014 Maine Assistant Principal of the Year, was the school’s first female principal.

Deveaux will take over the director of communications role from Rachel Paling.

Michael Kelley can be reached at 780-9106 or mkelley@keepmecurrent.com or on Twitter @mkelleynews.

Kelli Deveaux has resigned as principal of Westbrook High School to work for the state Department of Education as director of communications and public releations.

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