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LEWISTON — You almost need a flow chart to keep up with leadership changes in Lewiston schools this fall. The majority of students will have a new principal.

When school opens Wednesday, new principals will be in charge at Lewiston High School, Lewiston Middle School, McMahon Elementary and Farwell Elementary. Farwell will get its fourth principal in three years.

There’s also a new assistant superintendent at administrative headquarters in the Dingley Building, and the principal for the new Robert Connors Elementary School under construction was named in March. When the school opens in two years, it will mean a new principal for Martel students: Kristie Clark, principal at Longley. Martel and Longley students will attend the Connors school.

The annual salary range for principals in Lewiston is $85,000 to $110,000. Each of the six administrators was promoted from within the school district. That’s a big reason for so many changes, Superintendent Bill Webster said Monday.

When Assistant Superintendent Tom Jarvis retired, his spot was filled by High School Principal Shawn Chabot. That created a void filled by Middle School Principal Jake Langlais, which created another void.

That void was filled by Farwell Principal Jana Mates, which created another void. 

“I’m very pleased we have created a pipeline of outstanding teachers and leaders,” Webster said. “While I don’t want to have this level of change in any year, it came down to who was the best person available to lead a particular school.”

If someone from outside the district had been hired as assistant superintendent, some of the changes would not have happened, Webster said. But there are benefits in promoting talented administrators who understand problems and opportunities in Lewiston schools, Webster said.

Today, we profile three of the six individuals moving to new positions. Tomorrow, we will profile the other three.

— Bonnie Washuk

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