Steve Ouellette was looking for the right place to be.

After enduring budget cuts and eliminated jobs, the long-time administrator hoped to find a job and place that suited him.

“I think things happen for a reason,” said Ouellette. “I had applied to many places but my hope was that I’d find a place that had the same beliefs that I do, and I think I’m fortunate to have that at Dirigo.”

Ouellette was approved Monday by the school board as the new assistant principal and athletic director. After having served at Monmouth and Madison, returning to the Mountain Valley Conference has a familiar feel.

“I thought it was a great opportunity,” said Ouellette. “I know the people of the community and the school. They have a rich tradition and have had success. They’re a very blue collar community and they’re hard working people and hard working kids. I’ve had a chance to get to know them over the years because of my roles with different committees. I’ve been really excited about the opportunity to be part of a great school and great community.”

Ouellette has been a victim of budget cuts in recent years. He left Monmouth Academy when his job was about to be eliminated. He spent three years at Madison as a principal before his job was cut due to administrative restructuring last December.

“When I became an assistant principal and athletic director, I felt it was an ideal job for me because it allowed me to combine the best of both worlds,” said Ouellette. “The more I did it, the more I enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t control my situations regarding my last two positions. But in looking for positions, I knew at this point in time, I was looking for a position that would allow me to find a place that I felt was a good fit and matched up with my philosophy not only in academics but also athletics.”

He’s currently been the athletic director at Gardiner, where he’s been filling in for former Dirigo assistant principal and athletic director Jeff Turnbull. He took that position in February.

“I’m thankful to Gardiner for thinking of me and asking me to come in,” said Ouellette. “It has been a lot of fun here and a lot of hard work. There’s a lot of really good people in this community. This is an outstanding place to be. It’s been a really good place to fill in and help out.”

Prior to taking the job in Madison, Ouellette was at Monmouth as the assistant principal and athletic director.  He was going to lose the assistant principal job because of budgets cuts and realignment.

Before going to Monmouth, Ouellette had worked for five years at Lawrence, serving as assistant principal for four of those years while also handling athletic director duties during his last year.

His career in teaching also included 17 years at Livermore Falls Middle School.

He says he’s excited to work with the administrators, teachers and students at Dirigo when he begins there July 1.

“The people of the Dirigo High School community have been very supportive of their academics and their athletics,” said Ouellette. “They’ve had some great kids up there over the years in regards to their programs. I believe Dirigo will be a great fit, and I’m really excited and look forward to that.”

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