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SAD 75 hires new assistant superintendent, athletic director

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SAD 75 hires new assistant superintendent, athletic director

TOPSHAM — The next school year will open with new people in two major roles in School Administrative District 75.

The Board of Directors unanimously approved the hiring of a new assistant superintendent and a new athletic director on June 14.

Daniel Chuhta, who will replace Elaine Dow as assistant superintendent, and Todd Sampson, who will take over Colin Roy's athletic director job at Mt. Ararat High School, will start work July 1.

They both have one-year contracts, which Superintendent Bradley Smith said is the district's standard procedure.

Chuhta currently serves as curriculum coordinator in the Portland Public Schools for science, technology, engineering and math. He also worked as a data coordinator with the Maine Department of Education, and was a data and assessment coordinator at SAD 57 in Waterboro, where he also worked as an eighth-grade science teacher.

"His vision for education, his ability to think and work at the 'systems level' will assist us as we move toward our district goals," Smith said in an e-mail last week. "The work involved in implementing the Common Core State Standards in every district in Maine and other states will require the skills that Dan brings to this position."

Chuhta, 35, is married and has two children. The Portland resident said he is "very excited about being on board. The district has quite a strong reputation for supporting student success, so I'm looking forward to continuing that work."

Sampson, the athletic director at Westbrook middle and high schools since 2006, previously served in that role at Lake Region schools in Naples. He also has coaching and teaching experience.

Smith said SAD 75 had a strong pool of candidates for the job.

Sampson "brings his experience and philosophy about athletics and their importance in education," Smith said, calling him a "recognized leader" across Maine who shared many ideas about "how he can play a role in taking an already quality athletic program to even a high level."

Sampson, 41, is married and has three children. The Auburn resident noted that the reputation shared by Mt. Ararat High School and Roy drew him to the job, and that his experience with Smith and the Board of Directors has been positive.

Dow, 65, is returning to retirement. A Maine educator for more than three decades, she served as interim SAD 75 superintendent until Smith's hiring as assistant superintendent in 2010. Dow was then hired into the assistant role last year, after Smith replaced outgoing Superintendent Mike Wilhelm.

She called SAD 75 "one of the most welcoming districts" where she had ever worked. "And I feel like we did good work; I feel like we accomplished a lot at elementary, middle and high school levels," she added.

Smith said Dow "has accomplished more than one could expect, including acting in the role of superintendent during my illness. She is a talented, passionate and dedicated educator who will be missed both personally and professionally."

Roy, 59, is retiring after 16 years as athletic director. He had previously worked at Hall-Dale High School for 20 years.

"I'll miss the kids," he said. "I'll miss watching the kids compete. I'll miss watching the coaches work hard to make things happen, and develop the kids."

Roy said he would also miss watching students grow to become good leaders and strong representatives of the school and its programs.

Smith praised Roy's work with the district's athletic programs, noting that "so much of what he has done is never seen or realized by others. The job is very demanding and time consuming, yet Colin has always been there to exceed expectations.  His contributions to our district, and to athletic programs across the state are too numerous to list."

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.