Lewiston school board approves new administrator

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LEWISTON — The Lewiston School Committee has approved Bobbi Avery to replace Elaine Runyon as the department’s chief administrative officer.

Avery’s post was approved Monday night. Avery now is chief operating officer for RSU 18, a district in the Oakland area. Her skills match up well with the Lewiston post, “and she has some connections to Lewiston,” Superintendent Bill Webster said.

In nominating Avery, Webster said he received applications for the position from all over Maine. “There was unanimity on the interview committee that Bobbi’s personality and experience far exceeded everything else we saw.”

Serving on the interview committee was Montello Elementary School Principal Jim Cliffe, Lewiston Finance Director Heather Hunter, Lewiston School Department Human Resources Director Carol Burnham and Business Manager Margaret White.

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After the School Committee’s unanimous vote, Avery said she looks forward to working in Lewiston. “I’m really excited about this appointment. So, thank you.”

She pledged to work to support teachers and students.

“There are two types of employees in the public school setting, teachers and folks who support teachers,” Avery said. “That’s what we’re all about here, to support all of our teaching staff to make sure we’re providing the best education possible to all of our students.”

Before the vote, the committee voted to allow Webster to improve Avery’s benefits to a 12 percent contribution of her income toward her retirement plan and allowed her to transfer unused sick time of up to 65 days from her old job.

Avery’s annual salary is $110,000.

In other business, the School Committee heard a report of an audit of the Lewiston School Department from Bruce Nadeau of the certified public accountants firm RHR Smith & Company.

Noting that the Lewiston School Department is a large, multimillion-dollar operation, the district is doing a good job managing its budget and accounts, Nadeau said. The fiscal system is “in good shape” and “things are going well,” he said.

Bobbi Avery is the new chief administrative officer for the Lewiston School Department. (Bonnie Washuk/Sun Journal)

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