RSU 56 school psychologist Jessica Swan, left, packages meals with Dirigo High School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Jess McGreevy at Dirigo Middle School in Dixfield last year. Buses deliver the food to the homes of students. Submitted photo

COVID-19’s foray into Maine only strengthened Jessica McGreevy’s ties to the students at Dirigo High School and the residents of the four communities that the school serves.

The outgoing Dirigo athletic director and assistant principal recently stepped down after a two-year stint, during which she helped students through a deadly pandemic that still remains a threat around the globe.

McGreevy, who lives in Buckfield, will be returning to one of her old haunts — Oxford Hills Middle School. She was a teacher there and now is returning as the school’s assistant principal. Nick Karavas, who has been teaching math at Dirigo, will be taking over the AD post.

“I know he is going to do fabulous there,” McGreevy said. “I have been working with him to make sure we have this good transition.”

Karavas appreciates McGreevy’s help and guidance the past couple of months.

“Her and I kind of worked together toward the end of the year on a few things and then she turned it over to me on July 1,” he said. “The mentoring that I had from her briefly for the last month, she was incredible. She left me in near perfect hands with transitioning from math teacher to athletic director. … It was a smooth transition, I will say that.”

Karavas also will take over McGreevy’s roles as assistant principal and athletic director at Dirigo Middle School.

“I think definitely it is going to have its challenges,” Karavas said. “I am excited for the opportunity. That’s the one thing that was kind of missing in the past year was my coaching and working with athletes and students in a different kind of setting. …”

Working closer to her home in Buckfield was one of the reasons McGreevy decided to return to Oxford Hills.

“I came up in that community. I taught for six years at Oxford Hills before going to Dirigo,” she said, “and there was an opportunity to be closer to home to focus on the school leadership part of my job instead of the athletic part of my job. It cuts about 20 minutes off my commute. (There is) not as much evening stuff. I will have more time with my family.

“It is a trade off. I enjoyed a lot of what was being an athletic director, but I am excited to work on continuing to make Oxford Hills Middle School a great place. It will be a little bit different because I will miss the athletic director’s side of things, for sure.”

McGreevy relished her dual role as athletic director and assistant principal — and all the people that came with the job.

“I have enjoyed working at Dirigo,” she said. “The community is amazing. As you know, Dirigo athletics are really celebrated. The community has really supported me. It has been a difficult couple of years. 

“COVID has been really tricky, but the community has been great and has really supported me all the way through. I know so many people in Dixfield and the four towns that make up RSU 56. Now I’ve got this whole new family in that area.”

McGreevy had a lot on her plate, with being the AD at the middle and high schools as well fulfilling her role as the assistant principal.

“It’s big job, with lots of responsibility,” she added.

But the strong ties McGreevy made in two difficult years has given her fond memories of the school and communities, especially after students and teachers banded together at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Well, you know I will miss working with the kids and seeing kids growing outside the classroom,” she said. “I have always loved teaching. I love being in the classroom, but it is really special to work with kids outside of the classroom — especially working with them in athletic endeavors.

“Working with a variety of teams outside the classroom — I will really miss — but I have already told them I am going to come back and see some of their games and still keep in touch because there is really, really lots of special people at Dirigo.” 

“I can’t thank her enough with everything she’s done for me,” Karavas added.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Daily Headlines

  • Sign up and get the top stories to begin the day delivered to your inbox at 6 a.m.