LEWISTON — When Linda St. Andre walked into Farwell Elementary School on Monday, she had a deja vu moment.

“It feels like being home,” she said from her office. “I’ve been here before.” 

St. Andre is serving as Farwell’s interim principal. Principal Althea Walker retired on Feb. 5.

St. Andre was Farwell principal from 2006 to 2010, and Longley Elementary School principal from 2010 to 2014. She retired in 2014 — mostly.

After Walker announced she was stepping down mid-year, St. Andre was asked to fill for the rest school year. She said she agreed in part because she’s familiar with the school.

“I know the people, the building,” she said. “The staff has been very helpful, welcoming.”


She said, “My job is to help teachers, support kids, get them through the school year and prepare the way so the next transition goes smoothly.”

Retirement is great, St. Andre said.

“When people ask, ‘What do you do?’ I say, ‘Whatever I want! But I do miss the kids, the smiles, the waves,” she said. 

Just as she said that, a class of little ones walked by, looked in her office and smiled and waved to her.

On her first day back, she went into Farwell classrooms to introduce herself. In one kindergarten class after she explained she’d be their fill-in principal, she turned to walk out the door.

“This little kid says, ‘I love you!’” St. Andre said with a laugh. “It’s those little moments that make you smile.”

Superintendent Bill Webster said having a seasoned principal familiar with Farwell means the school “is in good hands the rest of this school year.”

He plans to recommend a new principal to the School Committee soon.

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