PARIS — As directors of School Administrative District 17 met on Monday night, eventually voting to accept the immediate resignation of Superintendent Monica Henson, Henson took to social media to put her own spin on it.

“It’s so cool when the good guys win,” she posted on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The remark accompanied a meme showing an empty but set table and referenced Psalms 23:5.

On Tuesday the Advertiser Democrat reached out to Henson for comment and received the following response:

“My attorney and I are currently weighing options for proceeding against those involved in promoting the false narratives now that the investigations have not, as we knew they would not, yielded substantiation of the outrageous lies that have been told.

“We are also considering whether to grant an interview on camera and/or in print, but that decision will not be made before the decision on actions against those involved in the character assassination campaign. This includes the superintendent who preceded me in the position, who now works for the Maine Department of Education.”


With Henson lobbing accusations at her predecessor and ginning up references to legal action against her perceived detractors, the newspaper contacted Rick Colpitts, who led the Oxford Hills School District from 2010 to 2021 and was named Superintendent of the Year in 2015 by the Maine School Management Association.

“I made every effort to ensure a successful transition for Dr. Henson prior to my retirement,” replied Colpitts in an email response. “She made it clear early in her administration that she preferred me to distance myself from district and I professionally complied. I am disheartened by her statement.“

It was not the first time that Henson has responded to critics with promises of legal action. West Paris resident and parent Richard Damon recalled that when he posted on a Facebook community page about the turmoil at Agnes Gray in January Henson commented that she was calling her lawyer and demanded a public reply. When another parent from Paris spoke out on Facebook about SAD 17 administrators failing to meet her child’s special education needs Henson engaged in social media gamesmanship that started with a legal threat and escalated to posting images of her handgun.

In her Tuesday statement Henson teased a possible exclusive interview in the future and divulged that her attorney’s name is Gregg Frame out of Portland.

To date, none of the agencies investigating allegations against Henson have concluded that they have been false., counter to her remarks to the Advertiser Democrat.

Henson resigned more than two months after she was placed on administrative leave and nine months after she was hired for the position. She was accused of improperly physically restraining a student at Agnes Gray Elementary School in West Paris in September 2021 when she was filling in for the principal for one day.


The mother of the student involved in the altercation, Ashley Rowe of West Paris, said by phone Monday night she is not sure how to feel about the resignation announcement since she does not know the circumstances surrounding it.

But Rowe did not mince words about Henson’s social media post, which she forwarded to the newspaper. Rowe said that another person on Facebook had sent it to her.

“It infuriates me that she thinks traumatizing a child is winning,” she said.

A screen capture of Dr. Monica Henson’s April 4 Facebook post, prior to School Administrative District 17 accepting her resignation. Henson was barely six months into her position when she was placed on paid administrative leave. Supplied photo

In a separate statement, the child’s father Eric Bennett told the Advertiser Democrat that Henson belongs in jail.

The incident involving Rowe’s and Bennett’s child resulted in multiple investigations by the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and within the district.

The Sheriff’s Office has concluded its investigation and forwarded its report to the District Attorney’s Office in Lewiston.


The vote at Monday night’s meeting followed a 50-minute executive session.

After the session, chairwoman Natalie Andrew of West Paris called a motion “to accept Dr. Henson’s resignation, effective immediately, and allow the board chair to sign a separation agreement negotiated by counsel.”

It was accepted, seconded and passed with no comment from the board.

“I look forward to moving forward with the district,” Andrews said after the meeting adjourned. She said no decisions have been made about a search for a new superintendent.

Heather Manchester, who was previously chief curriculum officer, was appointed assistant acting superintendent on Jan. 31.

“I think we are ready to be a stronger Oxford Hills,” said Jeni Jordan, president of Oxford Hills Education Association. “People love the community and they are ready to move forward.”

On Jan. 18, Jordan presented the board with a list of 27 complaints about Henson’s leadership and said OHEA held a meeting Jan. 11 and “there was an overwhelming response to support a vote of no confidence for Dr. Henson.”

Andrews said she could not comment on the status of the district’s internal investigation, which is being conducted by district lawyer Tom Trenholm of Drummond Woodsum.

“The Department is in the final stages of the investigation and unable to provide further comment at this time,” Jackie Farwell said in an email statement on Tuesday afternoon.

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