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Dear RSU 2 Community,
Mary Paine
Sunday, January 12, 2020

I am writing to introduce myself as your Acting Superintendent of Schools. Following the announcement of Superintendent Towle’s leave of absence to attend to personal matters, the Board of Directors voted to appoint me to serve in this capacity. Prior to this, I was serving as Assistant Superintendent for RSU 2. I would like to thank the Board for their vote of confidence along with our building and district administrators, the central office team, and the many faculty and staff who have encouraged and supported me in assuming this role. Though the tremendous opportunity I have been afforded is tempered by the struggles of another and by the uncertainty that surrounds this moment, I am deeply grateful for the chance to bring my 26 years in education, and all that I have learned, to serve the students, staff, and communities of this RSU, and I feel it is important that you know my values and priorities for our students and school communities.

My main priority has long been to foster an experience for all students and adults that is exciting, engaging, and relevant, and that prepares our young people for their next steps in life, work, and study. This is not an easy goal to achieve, let alone to sustain. It takes safe, reliable transportation; well-equipped, inviting facilities and spaces; an enticing, healthy nutrition program; efficient processes for systems-management and support; flawless, secure technical infrastructure; fiscal responsibility and innovation; a dynamic curriculum, excellent instruction, and careful guidance; strong school leadership; skilled, responsive health care; supportive and integrated community partnerships; an informed and thoughtful school board; and collaborative relationships marked by empathy, honesty, trust, and shared values.

Given all that it takes, it does not matter one iota what my goals and priorities are unless my values are shared with you. It doesn’t matter what my experience has been unless we shape the future together. Achieving and sustaining the goal of preparing our students to be healthy, productive, motivated adults depends on every single one of us--within our schools and within our communities--contributing to the whole. During my time in this district, I have encountered many who exhibit the highest level of expertise, exemplary professionalism, and inspiring optimism. I will look to them to help lead this district toward a collective understanding of what it takes to ensure that our students, staff, and communities may thrive. 

For many people, the most important indicator of a community’s promise is the quality of its educational system. In order for our communities to thrive, they must be places where people want to live and raise families, where they can build businesses and find jobs. In order to keep our communities strong and to attract families and businesses, we couldn’t do anything more important than promote the value to be found in our schools. Too often the online profiles of our schools that third-party companies publish do not reflect the qualities that most families, taxpayers, and businesses care about.

With you, we hope to tell our own story and create a vibrant and true portrait of our schools that will help revitalize our communities and provide us with a touchstone for a shared vision and ongoing development. That process begins with conversations, and we are making plans to provide opportunities for in-person discussions. As you can imagine, overseeing the daily operations of a school district such as ours takes an enormous amount of time and attention, and I am still learning about our students, staff, and processes. Nonetheless, we are eager to begin a conversation with you, and we don’t want time and capacity to be barriers. 

In the very near future, we will be inviting you to help get the dialog started by responding to a brief, discussion-oriented, online questionnaire. We will ask you about the qualities you value most about our schools and how you would describe an excellent school. We hope that individuals and groups all across our towns will participate in the conversation. In the meantime, if you would like to introduce yourself or your community group, please be in touch. 

The KIDS RSU 2 leadership, faculty, and staff look forward to serving with and for you. 

Sincerely,

Mary

Mary Paine
Acting Superintendent
KIDS RSU 2
7 Reed St.
Hallowell, ME 04347
mpaine@kidsrsu.org
(207) 557-0062