Nick Karavas was hired earlier this month as Dirigo High School’s athletic director and assistant principal (following completion this year of some course requirements for the assistant principal position). Originally from Caro, Michigan, Karavas has been living in Maine since June 2020 with his girlfriend, Erika Lofton, and their dog, Stark.

Nick Karavas and his girlfriend, Erika Lofton. Submitted photo.

This past year Nick, 28, served as a math teacher at Dirigo High School in Dixfield, teaching grades 9 through 12. He says the transition from teacher to administrator should be smooth due to the relationships he’s established with students, staff, and the community. He notes that it doesn’t hurt that his mother, Mary, is his role model and a school administrator as well, and is always available to him for advice.

What brought you to Maine and how do you like living here? My girlfriend, Erika, was accepted and studied at the University of New England within the accelerated bachelor’s of science in nursing program beginning in May of 2019 while I was still located in Michigan teaching mathematics. During the course of the summer and fall of 2019, I was able to visit Erika in Maine and fell in love instantly with all Maine has to offer. In June of 2020, Erika and I made the decision to relocate to Maine in hopes of beginning our lives together.

On a weekly basis, we make an effort to explore a new part of Maine with the inclusion of our dog, Stark. Relocating to Maine has been the best decision that we have made as we have been able to begin both of our careers as Erika became a pediatric registered nurse and I was a mathematics teacher at Dirigo High School soon after relocating.

Why did you decide to take on the combined position of athletic director and assistant principal at Dirigo High School? What are you looking forward to in your new position? Since beginning at Dirigo High School, my passion for education grew exponentially. The students, staff, and community accepted me from the beginning and I was in a position where I was able to offer my expertise to others with their best interest at heart. From my first day, Pamela Doyen (the principal and superintendent of RSU 56) has supported me in such a way that allowed for growth as a teacher as well as taking on the combined position of athletic director and assistant principal at Dirigo High School for the 2021-2022 school year.

Upon entering the education field, I have pushed myself to be the best possible mathematics teacher for my students, earned my master’s degree in mathematics and now have the opportunity to push myself to be the best athletic director and assistant principal to come through Dirigo High School. From the athletic director perspective, I am looking forward to seeing different sides of students who I have had the pleasure teaching in the classroom, as well as those who may have had a different mathematics teacher. Seeing students come together as a team as well as those that participate in individual sports is something that I believe is amazing to witness.


From the assistant principal perspective, I am looking forward to building relationships with students on levels beyond the mathematics level as well as staff and the community on levels that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do so a mathematics teacher.

What do you think you’ll miss most about the change in your career as a teacher to becoming an administrator? Although I am looking forward to this incredible opportunity of becoming the AD/AP at Dirigo High School, I believe that what I’ll miss most about the change in career would be the “light bulb” moments in students when they grasp a mathematical concept.

We all have moments in which a certain concept doesn’t come naturally to us. . . . The moment where a student says “I GET IT!” no matter how long it takes, is one of the major reasons why I pushed myself to obtain my teaching certificate. I have also encouraged students to still utilize my expertise within the mathematics realm as I will always have that a part of my life in some way, shape, or form.

What was your experience as a math teacher at DHS this past year, considering the added challenges of teaching during the pandemic? Honestly, this year as a math teacher at DHS gave me a greater passion for education. Although the pandemic added a significant amount of challenges, I believe that it shed light on the parts of education that have needed attention. The students at DHS pushed themselves to grow within my classroom, which showed the true level of appreciation and value in learning. Multiple challenges arose in which students, staff, and the community of DHS met with motivation and ambition.

This motivation and ambition pushed me to be the best mathematics teacher that I could be within the pandemic that was overwhelming at times. I have gained a deeper level of compassion and understanding of others and the ever-changing world that we live in. I also believe that the pandemic proved that students, staff, and community at DHS, as well as within the entire RSU 56 district, can overcome and conquer any obstacle, and I am honored to be a part of such a strong community.

Do you have any role models and if so, who are they? One of the most influential individuals within my life has been my mother, Mary Karavas. She has always been a person to push me to become the best person I possibly can be in this world as well as within the realm of education. She started her career as a mathematics and English teacher at the middle school level and has pushed herself to become an administrator.


When she heard about the relocation to Maine that Erika and I decided upon, she was supportive from the beginning. . . . She is always willing to offer her expertise whenever I have asked, whether it be a personal reason or revolving around education. When I heard that I received the AD/AP position at DHS, she was the first phone call that I made. The amount of excitement in her voice was the cherry on top of the amazing opportunity that had been offered.

In turn, I know that she is a phone call away whenever I have a question or am in need of advice within any situation that occurs while within the AD/AP role at DHS. My mother has always been and always will be my role model.

Tell us a bit about your hobbies and current interests. One of my main hobbies currently is traveling. Erika has always been one to travel as she has traveled out of state and even out of the country to places such as London, Paris, and Ireland. Her love of travel has also given me a new love of traveling. Just in the past two years, Erika and I have traveled across the country. . . . We have made multiple trips to Boston in which we have experienced many different attractions. . . . Furthermore, we have traveled across Maine as well as New Hampshire to experience the beautiful scenery, such as White Mountain National Forest, Acadia, Boothbay, Mackworth Island and Eastern Promenade (in Portland), and expect to travel as much as possible for the duration of our lives!

Furthermore, I enjoy participating in an array of sports, but in particular I have a love and passion for golf. . . .Our travels have allowed me to experience 56 different golf courses to date and I plan to expand that number over the course of my lifetime!

Finally, within my free time, I enjoy research. Over the years I have researched different mathematical concepts and teaching strategies to use within the classroom. In turn, I will further my research to include strategies that will be utilized for the athletic director and assistant principal roles at DHS in the near future! Gaining skills and strategies to use within educational will always be on my hobbies and interests list!

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