Gus LeBlanc Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal 2013 file photo Buy this Photo

LEWISTON — Former high school Principal Gus LeBlanc was named interim principal of Lewiston High School on Tuesday night.

He will fill in for Jake Langlais who is serving as interim superintendent in the wake of Todd Finn’s recent resignation.

The School Committee voted unanimously to appoint LeBlanc after a one-hour executive session. The committee also voted unanimously to appoint Chief Academic Officer Karen Paquette to the position of assistant superintendent.

Langlais said LeBlanc was a mentor when Langlais started working for Lewiston Public Schools.

“In my mind and in my heart, he resonates leadership,” Langlais said in nominating LeBlanc who served as LHS principal for seven years beginning in 2006.

“It’s critical that we have someone stable at the helm,” Langlais said. He said LeBlanc has 35 years of leadership experience and was an educator for 43 years.

Langlais said he did not want to disrupt the leadership team at the high school because everyone is needed.

LeBlanc told the committee that his 15 years in Lewiston Public Schools were the most rewarding of his career.

“I have a special place in my heart for Lewiston High School,” he said. “I want to do what I can to help.”

He said he was eager to get started.

“I promise the board I will give this my absolute best effort,” he said. “I don’t cut corners and I won’t be cutting corners this time.”

LeBlanc, a native of Old Town, also has served as a teacher, athletic director and assistant principal. He said in a 2006 interview that one of his  goals at Lewiston High School was to be a visible and accessible principal.

Paquette told the committee she was honored to be appointed assistant superintendent, which is a new position for Lewiston Public Schools.

“It’s not easy here,” she said, “but it’s rewarding. The staff deserves the very best. This is exciting and I’m ready to go.”

Paquette, formerly a literacy coach and assistant principal, “comes with a wealth of knowledge,” Langlais said, citing her 20 years in public education.

“(Paquette) has been a consistent person to go to, to lead our district through challenges with great success. She has a great rapport with her peers,” he said.

He added that Paquette has been a leader in literacy and in teaching and learning practices and strategies.

Lewiston Public Schools leadership was thrown into disarray when Finn, superintendent for a little more than a year, announced his resignation earlier this month.

No details have been made public.

The School Committee accepted Finn’s resignation July 10. Two days later, Chairwoman Monique Roy resigned from the committee to care for her ailing father.

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