RSU 29 Welcomes New Superintendent, Approves Commercial Director Position


RSU School Board 29 officially welcomed its new superintendent, Richard Lyons, to the district on Monday, July 12, at the regular monthly board meeting.

HOULTON, Maine – RSU School Board 29 officially welcomed its new superintendent, Richard Lyons, to the district on Monday, July 12, at the regular monthly board meeting.

Lyons, from Masardis, was chosen as the next superintendent on June 23. He succeeds Ellen Halliday, who left the district on June 30 after six years with the district. Monday’s meeting was Lyon’s first official in-person meeting with the school board.

“I have listened a lot over the past six or seven days and am very happy to be with you here at RSU 29,” Lyons said. “There is a lot going on and I want to congratulate you [school board] for the development and maintenance of the infrastructure that you have here in the district.

Lyons praised the district for recognizing the importance of having key leadership positions, such as director of transportation, program coordinator and facility manager.

“I enjoyed my conversations with these principals, as well as with the principals,” he said. “They gave me a lot to think about. I can’t wait for school to start because I can’t wait to see the kids. We have a great district and I can’t wait to move it forward.

The board of directors unanimously agreed to move forward with a plan to create the position of business manager within the district. Historically, RSU 29 has not had a commercial director, leaving these responsibilities to the superintendent.

“This position really turns me on, folks,” Lyons said. “I was lucky, in all the neighborhoods where I worked, to have a business owner.

He noted that even the small island community of Vinalhaven, with a school system of 161 students, had a business leader.

“This is a great asset to the district and I commend you for having the vision to solidify this position,” said Lyons.

According to the job description, the business manager will administer the business affairs of the district in such a way as to provide the best possible educational services with the financial resources available. The person will also help with the supervision of transportation, food service and the physical factory.

Funding for the position was already built into the 2021-2022 school budget that was approved by residents in May, according to board chair Fred Grant. The pay scale for similar positions varies by school district, Lyons said. Some business leaders earn a salary of around $ 40,000 per year for small districts, while in large areas the salary can reach $ 140,000.

No decision on the pay scale was made at Monday night’s meeting. The position will be advertised, hoping to present a candidate by the next regular meeting scheduled for August 2.

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Mary H. Martino