Dear Saco School Department Public School Parents and Guardians,
Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year! I hope you enjoyed the summer with time for relaxation, travel, family and the chance to enjoy some of the incredible local, seasonal activities here in beautiful Saco, Maine. I know we are about to begin a great school year filled with hope, vision, and excitement.
As we begin another school year, we look forward to you being a part of our Saco School Department Public School community and hope you become involved in our schools and events. We especially welcome new families into our school community as you become engaged in our students' education, building and district events, including Thornton Academy. We are fortunate to have a school district in which students, staff, families and the community work together to support our mission: "All students must have access to high quality teaching and rigorous learning opportunities. To prepare for a global society, our students’ skill sets must include effective communication, critical thinking, creativity, and resilience.”
I would like to take a minute for updates regarding administrative changes for the upcoming school year 2016-2017. I am enthusiastic about our dedicated team of faculty and leadership professionals who are here to ensure that our students have exceptional educational experiences and our staff exemplify our district philosophy of 'students first.'
Mr. Brian Campbell is the new Principal of Saco Middle School. Mr. Campbell has 18 years' experience as a principal and we are fortunate to retain and utilize his depth of knowledge with our curriculum, instructional and operational initiatives in proficiency based education and project based education.
Ms. Beth Hutchins is the new Assistant Special Education Director. Ms. Hutchins has over 25 years of educational experience in multiple areas of the school system. Last year she joined the Saco School Department in the capacity of Instructional Strategist. Upon her completion of her second master's degree in Educational Administration she has accepted the current position of Assistant Director of Special Education. Her depth of special education programming and procedures will help the district goal of getting ALL students on grade level in reading and math.
Ms. Stacey Nast-Bickford was recently promoted to the new Data Manager position at Central Office. Stacey has a Bachelor of Science in Education and Masters in Educational Administration. She is looking forward to working more closely with our leadership team and teachers in order to collect data which will improve instruction and achievement outcomes for students.
Mr. Thomas Partridge is the newly appointed Interim Assistant Principal at Saco Middle School. Mr. Mark McDonough recently accepted his own principalship in a district closer to home. Thomas has been teaching for the past 9 years and has served on several committees, including Professional Growth & Evaluation, which is the evaluation system for teachers.
We welcome over 28 new staff members to the Saco Public School Department in capacities ranging from new teachers, educational technicians, bus drivers, and support staff, including food service. Principals will be introducing new teachers and staff through our new website and social media.
This year, as every year, we commit ourselves to providing the very best educational experience possible. We will continue to be shaped by our new strategic goals from our Strategic Plan; Educator Growth (Professional Growth and Evaluation Handbook), Curriculum and Instruction, and Social Climate and Culture. Our focus is on continuous instructional excellence and student achievement, combined with the ongoing improvement of district operations and communication. We will update you often through our Principal Newsletters, Superintendent's message and website communications, along with school and community meetings.
In technology news, we launched our new website prior to the start of school. Kris Stryker, Assistant Director of Technology, will continue to improve the new district web page. We will begin the process of moving the school sites over to the new design this academic year. The new site features improved navigation and will utilize Google calendars. We welcome your feedback!
The first day back for students is Tuesday, September 6, 2016 (Kindergarten September 12th). Please review the school calendar for new start times at all the schools, including late start for SMS at 8:30 AM and other important information like bus schedules on our website and other information you may receive from the schools.
I wish everyone great success as we welcome over 2,800 students to their educational journey of 2016-2017, which includes our high school students at Thornton Academy. I look forward once again to seeing our students, faculty and families in our buildings and at events. I will see you in the schools!
Dominic DePatsy, Superintendent of Schools