Carrie Ricker School Principal Dani Finn posed earlier this school year with third-graders, from left, Grace Wehr, Emma Shaw and Lainey Smith. Photo courtesy Carrie Ricker School

LITCHFIELD — Carrie Ricker School’s principal has resigned for health reasons halfway into her first school year there.

Dani Finn’s resignation was formally presented to the Regional School Unit 4 board Wednesday night.

On Thursday, Superintendent Andrew Carlton lauded Finn and her work at the school.

“She has had an incredible impact in such a short time in RSU 4,” he said. “I am a better person and a better educator for having met and worked with Dani Finn.”

Finn grew up in Hawaii and has been an educator for almost 20 years. Before Carrie Ricker school, Finn most recently served as an administrator in Vermont.

She moved to Maine last year when her husband, Todd Finn, was hired as Lewiston school superintendent.

She began serving as principal of Carrie Ricker last summer. The Litchfield school has just over 300 students in grades 3 through 5.

Finn told the Sun Journal in September that she was excited to join the Carrie Ricker community. On Thursday, she said it upset her to have to leave.

“RSU 4 has been absolutely amazing. It was a dream job, to be part of a family,” she said. “I called Carrie Ricker a unicorn school. As an administrator, you dream of that school and the people that are there. They’re absolutely phenomenal.”

Finn said she’s been well cared for by her husband and they have both received support from people in the Lewiston and RSU 4 school systems.

“It’s a community and that kind of took me back, too, that we haven’t been here that long,” she said. “But the support and the love that’s there and the positive thoughts and energy, I really appreciate that.”

Carlton said he was very sad to see Finn leave but he also understood that she needed to.

“Right now she’s got to take care of her, and I am a big believer in that,” Carlton said.

The school system is restructuring its school administrative teams to cover Carrie Ricker. The change will be permanent.

Oak Hill Middle School Principal Ben Wilson and Assistant Principal Jenny Johnson will now cover both the middle school in Sabattus and Sabattus Primary School.

Jaime Ela, who had been principal of Sabattus Primary and Libby Tozier School, will now lead Libby Tozier and Carrie Ricker, both of which are in Litchfield. The school system will hire a new assistant principal to help Ela cover those schools.

The change will pair two administrators with two schools in each town, putting an administrator in every building every day, Carlton said.

“I took a hard look at what we have for assets and resources internally and thought this made the best sense,” he said.

RSU 4 includes Sabattus, Litchfield and Wales.

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