Freeport superintendent to lead Wells-Ogunquit school district
FREEPORT — Superintendent of Schools Elaine Tomaszewski, who was not picked to head consolidated Regional School Unit 5, will leave July 1 to become superintendent of the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District in York County.
Tomaszewski has been the superintendent of Freeport schools for five years and has 30 years of experience in public education.
She said the past two years of working to consolidate with Pownal and Durham schools have been her most challenging. The RSU 5 Board of Trustees did not choose Tomaszewski as interim superintendent, opting instead for Durham Superintendent Shannon Welsh. For the past few months Tomaszewski was the RSU curriculum coordinator, as well as superintendent of the Freeport schools.
"Focusing on the curriculum would have been a nice change for me, but my strengths and experience leads to superintendent work," Tomaszewski said. "I like to oversee the big picture, everything from education to transportation, and make positive improvements in many areas."
Under Tomaszewski, Freeport schools have joined the Northwest Evaluation Association, an assessment program that evaluates how students learn and gives results to teachers within 24 hours. There is now a ninth-grade laptop computer initiative, increased use of technology and long-range planning in place. She also encouraged new initiatives like all-day kindergarten, Everyday Math and a wellness program.
"The most important success has been the continuous improvement of education for our students," she said.
Tomaszewski was previously the superintendent of Saco and Dayton school district for four years.
Freeport School Committee Chairman Chris Leighton said Tomaszewski is a patient listener who has a great educational vision.
"With Elaine, there is no hidden agenda, she is straight up, honest, sincere and trustworthy," he said. "Wells-Ogunquit made a great choice in hiring her."
Morse Street Principal Cheryl White said losing Tomaszewski is "bittersweet."
"I am very glad for her, but very sad for us," she said. "She helped Freeport move forward in very positive ways."
Tomaszewski said she is happy to use her skills and experience to lead the Wells-Ogunquit school district.
"I look forward to joining the Wells-Ogunquit district," she said. "I have been impressed with the professionalism of everyone I have met. I am proud to have been selected to lead such an excellent school system."
She will replace Edward McDonough, who has worked in the Wells-Ogunquit school system for 24 years and is taking over as school chief in Portsmouth, N.H.
"This is a great opportunity for me," Tomaszewski said. "I am looking forward to the challenge."
According to Ira Waltz, assistant superintendent of the Wells-Ogunquit school district, there were 22 applicants for the position. The School Committee voted unanimously on June 17 to hire Tomaszewski.
"We are excited to have Elaine join us," Waltz said. "She has a great positive energy, a good sense of humor, and is incredibly professional."
The Wells-Ogunquit school system has about 1,450 students and three schools on a contiguous campus. Freeport has four schools with about 1,200 students.