Leadership changes at Freeport Middle School and Mast Landing

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FREEPORT — The start of the school year will bring leadership changes at Freeport Middle School and Mast Landing.

Middle school principal Kathy Marquis Girard has left the district, and will start the school year as vice principal at Lyman Moore Middle School in Portland. She has been replaced by 37-year-old Raymond Grogan of Sanford.

Girard was principal for four years.

Grogan joins the Freeport district after two years as assistant principal at Sanford Junior High. Previously, Grogan taught special education and core curriculum classes at the junior high.

He graduated from Sanford High School and attended St. Mary’s College in Maryland where he received his bachelor’s degree in anthropology and sociology. After receiving education certificates from the University of Southern Maine and University of New England, he completed an education leadership program at USM.

“I wanted to take on a principal position, but wanted to make sure I had the right school,” he said. “The Freeport school system feels like that right fit.”

Grogan said he was excited to bring his energy and positive outlook to the middle school and is looking forward to working with the students and staff. He said coming from a district that had as many as 700 students to one with about 290 was a nice change.

“My focus is on the students and keeping this school a positive learning environment,” he said. “I truly enjoy working with students at this age.”

Grogan said he and his wife, who is a first-grade reading teacher, will consider moving from Sanford with their three children, ages 3, 5, and 8. He said they are active in their community and volunteer, coach, lead a Cub Scout troop, and participate in town politics.

Superintendent Shannon Welsh said she was pleased to have Grogan at the middle school.

“He is such a strong educational leader,” she said. “We are very happy to have him on board right at the start of the school year.”

Welsh said there will be an opportunity to meet Grogan Wednesday, Aug. 26 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the middle school library.

In addition to the new principal at the middle school, there is also a new leader at Mast Landing School.

Holly Couturier, teaching principal of the Spring Hill program at Mast Landing, has accepted a full-time principal position at Washburn Elementary School in Auburn. Couturier had been at Mast Landing since 2004.

Beth Wilhoite, teaching principal for the Harraseeket and Soule programs, will now be the full-time principal at Mast Landing.

Wilhoite and Couturier as teaching principals would teach in the morning and take on administrative duties in the afternoons.

This year and as an interim position, Wilhoite will assume all principal responsibilities. She said the district is in the process of hiring two half-time teaching positions to replace Couturier and herself.

“This year we will add some new staff, and our three programs are as strong as ever,” Wilhoite said. “We will continue to focus on the positive work that has been done at Mast Landing for years.”

Wilhoite said the school will focus on the Response to Intervention program, and will increase efforts to help support students facing academic, social and behavioral challenges.

Welsh said Wilhoite has moved effortlessly into the interim principal position.

“Beth has a great relationship with staff and families,” she said. “She has strong support for her role as principal.”

The first day for students at Mast Landing and Freeport Middle School is Monday, Aug. 31. For bus schedules and school calendars, visit RSU5.

Amy Anderson can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net.