LEWISTON — The School Committee has appointed three people to assistant principal positions for the fall.

Donald Ferrara, an assistant principal at Hall-Dall High School in Hallowell, will become an assistant principal at Lewiston High School. He succeeds Paul Amnott, who is retiring after 37 years in education.

Lewiston High Principal Gus LeBlanc told School Committee members May 21 that Ferrara has a history of “dealing with students in a positive and productive way. He will be a fine addition to the school.”

Superintendent Bill Webster said he was impressed by Ferrara’s “connection with students and familiarity with alternative pathways for students.”

Lewiston schools are expanding alternative paths for student success to boost the number of high school graduates.

Ferrara said he’s excited to start his tenure in Lewiston.

“I live in Durham, my wife is over at Androscoggin Savings Bank where she’s helping build a community from that side. I’m anxious to help build our community from the school side,” he said.

Ferrara graduated from Skowhegan Area High School in 1987 and from the University of Farmington where he received multiple degrees. He’s been the assistant principal and dean of students at Hall-Dale since 2007, and before that taught social studies.

His annual salary will be $85,545.

Karen Paquette of Greene, the literacy coach at Montello school, will become an assistant principal at Lewiston Middle School, a new position to help handle an enrollment of 700 that’s projected to grow to 900 in the next five years.

Along with other duties, Paquette will focus on seventh-graders while the other assistant principal, Scott Walker, will focus on eighth-graders, “but it’s not an absolute cutoff,” Webster said.

This is Paquette’s first administrative position.

“She brings great experience as a teacher coach, working collaboratively with teachers to help them improve,” Webster said. He credited Paquette with having a strong curriculum background that will help the school strengthen its academic focus.

Paquette graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington and the University of Southern Maine. Before working in Lewiston she taught at the Paris Elementary School, the Mildred Fox School in Paris and Agnes Gray School in West Paris. She also taught kindergarten at Auburn’s Lake Street School.

Paquette told committee members she’s enjoyed her five years at Montello. “I look forward to using my skills and knowledge to move the middle school forward.”

Her annual salary will be $70,566.

Heather Blanchard of Lisbon, who teaches first grade at Farwell Elementary School in Lewiston, will become assistant principal at Geiger Elementary School. Blanchard is replacing Kristie Clark, who’s become the new English Language Learner director.

Blanchard graduated from Rivier College in Nashua, N.H., and the University of Southern Maine. She’s taught at Farwell for two years and was a first-grade and special education teacher at Longley Elementary for six years. Before that she taught at the Catholic elementary school, Holy Cross, in Lewiston.

She was praised by Geiger Principal David Bartlett and Superintendent Webster.

“Heather is moving into her first administrator position,” Webster said. “She is a strong teacher who has successfully filled numerous teacher leadership roles.”

Blanchard said she’s looking forward “to the challenge of moving out of the classroom and working at a whole school level. It is a great change for me, and I can’t wait to see what it brings.” By serving as assistant principal, she hopes to “make a bigger difference with a broader group of students.”

Her annual salary will be $70,566.


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