AUBURN — Lee Hixon admits he never thought about leaving his job at St. Dominic Academy. It is the kind of place and job he could enjoy forever, he said.

Hixon was once the school’s soccer coach and has most recently been the Saints’ athletic director, and has been as identifiable with the school as the school’s black and white colors.

But when a new job opened up at Spruce Mountain, Hixon couldn’t help but think about it and the idea of subsequently leaving St. Dom’s. Hixon was named the new assistant principal and athletic director at Spruce Mountain last week.

“It was an opportunity for me to have growth as an administrator,” Hixon said. “I’ve gone as far as I can go at St. Dom’s. This is an opportunity for me to move up the ladder as an assistant principal. That’s why I took a look at that position.”

“I really didn’t give much thought to that prior to the position coming open,” he continued. “Once that position came open, the wheels started turning, and I thought this might be a good opportunity for me.”

Hixon has been the dean of students and athletic director at St. Dom’s for 12 years. Prior to that he taught at Auburn Middle School for 13 years. He coached the boys’ soccer team at St. Dom’s as well, winning a state championship with the Saints in 2001.

“I’ve got really mixed emotions,” Hixon said.  “The last 12 years that I’ve been here, it has been a phenomenal place. This is a wonderful education. There’s a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn here. The standards are so high here. My leaving here had nothing to do with the school. This is a great place. I could stay here forever.”

As great an environment and as satisfied as Hixon was in his job at St. Dom’s, Spruce Mountain offered a new challenge for him. Like many former athletic directors, making the jump to a job as a principal or assistant principal is a natural progression.

“I am leaving with mixed emotions, but I’m excited about new opportunities,” Hixon said.

Though Jay and Livermore Falls have been combined into one school for two years now, Spruce Mountain is still in the growing stages. The school also recently hired Thomas Plourde as principal. Current athletic director Sally Boivin will remain in the administration with the school but will focus on her role as school secretary.

“I know both of them and I’m anxious to work with both of them,” said Hixon, who has worked with Boivin as an athletic director in the Mountain Valley Conference. “This is a perfect time to jump on because starting next fall all the kids will be under one roof.  Up until now, they’ve still had separate schools.”

Hixon won’t start at Spruce Mountain until July 1, so his focus this spring is still to enjoy his time left at St. Dom’s.

“This is a time to push forward,” he said. “It’s a time to remind kids why they’re here and remind coaches and kids what this school is all about. Hopefully, they do well in the playoffs. My job is not done here until  June. So I don’t take a break here.”

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