Cape Elizabeth schools add administrators, focus on collaboration

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CAPE ELIZABETH — With the start of the school year less than a week away, three new administrators are joining the superintendent in a continuing focus on collaborative teaching.

The new administrators – Pond Cove Elementary School Principal Kelly Hasson, Technology Director Erik Kramer and Cape Elizabeth Middle School Assistant Principal Douglas Perley – already have a couple months on the job, after starting in early July. 

Hasson, who joined the district from Hall Elementary School in Portland where she was principal, also taught at Pond Cove for 20 years. She replaced long-time Principal Tom Eismeier.

“Kelly has worked in the district before and she is an effective elementary school teacher with some years as an administrator,” Superintendent of Schools Meredith Nadeau, who is in her second year, said. “She is going to bring strong instructional leadership skills and a healthy sense of responsibility to this community and communities outside of Cape Elizabeth.”

Kramer, who is the former Topsham School District technology director, said he looks forward to working with his new staff, particularly on the first full-year use of the iPad by students at Cape Elizabeth High School.

“I’m excited to see what happens this year,” Kramer said. “Last year, they had to change some things midstream when they were just getting their feet wet, but now they’re here to stay and make use of.”

Every student at the high school gets an iPad and is encouraged to collaborate with teachers and their peers on projects, Kramer said. The iPads also allow teachers to publish calendars with class work schedules.

Perley was assistant principal at the Paul School in Wakefield, N.H., and replaced former Principal John Casey, who worked in the position for more than a decade.

Although the district is not making any major changes to curriculum or adding new programs, Nadeau said administrators will be developing an action plan to go along with their newly adopted mission and vision statement.

The statement’s goals focus on building community in and outside of Cape Elizabeth, giving students opportunities to grow academically with their interests and helping them develop a responsibility to themselves and environment.

“We spent last year recrafting a mission and vision,” School Board Chairwoman Mary Townsend said. “The exciting thing this year is that we are going to take that and turn it into an action plan and breathe life into that mission and vision.”

Another focus of the schools has been developing professional learning communities for teachers, which encourages them to work together on developing effective teaching practices.

“It’s important to work with colleagues collaboratively,” Nadeau said. “Teachers used to just kind of do their own thing, but now we realize that there are benefits in terms of consistency and teaching common standards. We can learn an awful lot from our colleagues.”

Will Graff can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @W_C_Graff.