DIXFIELD – Little did Michael Poulin know when he was a sophomore at Rumford High School that nearly 30 years later his football coach, Tom Ward, would become his superintendent.

That’s what happened to Poulin, 46, when he was named principal of Dirigo High School.

“I’m very excited about being in SAD 21 and for being principal for the first time. It’s a great place to be,” Poulin said Tuesday afternoon.

He’s almost home.

Poulin grew up on Franklin Street in Rumford and graduated from high school in 1980. From there, he graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington, then earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Southern Maine.

He comes to Dirigo from Windham High School where he served as assistant principal for three years. Prior to that, he was assistant principal at Leavitt Area High School for three years, and an English teacher at Edward Little High School for 17 years.

Ward said Poulin was chosen from a pool of eight candidates, four of whom were interviewed.

“He was the best fit for Dirigo High School and SAD 21. He has administrative experience, is a strong leader and won’t use Dirigo as a steppingstone,” Ward said. He said he thought Poulin looked familiar during the interview process.

Poulin and his wife, Heidi, live in Lewiston but are looking to relocate. Their new home will likely be somewhere between Turner and Dixfield; Heidi is the director of guidance at Leavitt Area High School.

Poulin will begin his new position July 1 at an annual salary of $77,000 during his one-year probationary contract.

“It feels good to be coming home. I’m very proud,” Poulin said.

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