Lewiston school board selects new middle school principal


LEWISTON — The School Committee chose the next middle school principal in a unanimous vote Monday evening.

Shawn Chabot, assistant principal at McMahon Elementary School, will replace longtime Lewiston Middle School Principal Maureen Lachapelle next year.

“We’re really pleased to have Shawn take a leadership role at the middle school,” School Committee Chairman Jim Handy said Tuesday. “The time is right for the school to have Shawn’s leadership.”

Lachapelle will retire this year after 30-plus years at the school. She has been principal there for more than a decade.

Chabot began his career teaching social studies at Leavitt  Area High School in Turner before moving to administrative positions at Elm Street School in Mechanic Falls and the former Holy Cross school. He has worked at McMahon for the past six years, and hopes to be at the middle school for at least seven years, which would be longer than he’s worked at any other school.

While Chabot and Handy agree that the school could use an infusion of new ideas — “the school is ripe for innovation,” Handy said — the new principal doesn’t plan to make any drastic changes right away.

“I don’t want to go in and make unilateral changes and get rid of good things inadvertently,” Chabot said. “I think the middle school has done a lot of good things, and it has a dedicated staff.”

Chabot plans to “get engrossed in the middle school culture” over the summer, talking to teachers and asking questions about the school. He has three big questions in mind, he said: “What’s working well that we want to preserve; what’s not working as well as we’d like; and what’s best for kids?”

When it comes time to make changes, “the decisions that we’re going to make are what’s best for students,” he said.

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