https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybMvEEQ4aiQ

LEWISTON — The Lewiston School Committee voted unanimously Monday evening to approve Jake Langlais as superintendent of Lewiston Public Schools.

Jake Langlais was approved to be superintendent of Lewiston schools Monday after two months as interim superintendent. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Langlais has served as interim superintendent since July 15, taking the place of Todd Finn, who resigned from the position in July.

All eight of the committee members said that they were impressed with how Langlais stepped into the position during a tumultuous time and kept a level head through it all, and while committee member Bruce Damon was not present for the vote, he said that he would’ve voted for Langlais if he were there.

Committee member Tanya Whitlow said that while there will be a learning curve for Langlais as he steps into the position, “I feel like he’s honestly going to do what’s best for the district.”

“We asked him to step into this position and lead us in the most chaotic time, and now we’re asking him to roll with it,” Whitlow said. “I feel confident he can do it. If we entrust him to step in when we all needed him the most, I trust that he can do this for (the long haul).”

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Committee member Elgin Physic agreed, adding that Langlais “has a great outlook on what the district should look like” and has shown “out of the box thinking.”

“He’s a proven educator,” Physic said. “That’s why he has my vote.”

Suzanne Turgeon, assistant to the superintendent, said that Langlais is the third superintendent that she has reported to and “can’t stress enough how well he’ll do in this position.”

“I’ve seen him handle several challenging issues, listen with calm and poise, and he’s invested in the community and the staff of Lewiston Public Schools,” Turgeon said. “In my opinion, Jake is exactly the shot in the arm this district needs.”

Before voting to approve Langlais’ nomination, Allison Lytton, president of the Lewiston Education Association, urged the committee to “take a breath, take a pause and give some time for the dust to settle” before voting for Langlais.

She said that many LEA members are concerned that the school committee is voting to approve Langlais without opening up the position to a formal interview process for others who may be interested.

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“If Superintendent Langlais is truly the best for the job, then it’ll certainly show 6 to 12 months later,” Lytton said.

Committee Chairwoman Megan Parks said that the school committee “feels confident in Jake’s ability” and believes an “interview process would be disingenuous and unfair to potential candidates.”

Before stepping into the role of interim superintendent in July, he served as principal of Lewiston High School since 2017 and was principal and assistant principal at Lewiston Middle School before that.

Langlais has lived with his wife and two children in Lewiston since 2003 and started working with Lewiston Public Schools in 2006 as a volunteer coach.

He became a teacher at Lewiston Regional Technical Center and became assistant director at LRTC for two years after that.


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