School superintendent finalists to visit Portland

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PORTLAND — The School Department on Monday identified the two finalists for superintendent of schools.

Xavier Botana, an associate superintendent in Indiana, and Teresa A. Lance, an assistant superintendent in Colorado, are the candidates selected after a nationwide search.

The School Board hired Illinois-base BWP & Associates as the search firm in January. More than 40 applicants from across the country applied. The board privately interviewed six semifinalists April 11–14.

Botana is scheduled to attend a public forum Monday night at Casco Bay High School, following a day touring the city. Lance is scheduled for a public forum Tuesday night at King Middle School, also after a day in the city.

The School Board is expected to announce its selection later this month, with the target of a July 1 start date.

School Board Chairwoman Marnie Morrione said the board is “extremely excited to welcome both candidates to Portland,” and plans to make a decision Wednesday night, but will still have to conduct a background check and negotiate a contract before revealing its selection.

“We continue to listen to our staff, students and community to find the best fit to move our district forward,” Morrione said Monday.

Botana has been an associate superintendent for Michigan City Area Schools in Indiana since 2010. Prior to that, he was the chief academic officer for the Portland, Oregon, Public Schools. He has been an assistant principal and department chairman at Morton High School in Cicero, Illinois, and was a bilingual teacher for the Cicero Public Schools and the Palatine Public Schools in Illinois.

Botana holds a master’s degree in educational administration and has completed some doctoral program work. He is fluent in Spanish.

Lance is a school leadership officer in Colorado Springs Harrison Schools District Two, which is the equivalent of an associate superintendent. She has also been an adjunct instructor at Argosy University in Denver; a senior turnaround consultant at the American Institutes for Research in Illinois; an education specialist at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and a principal at schools in Houston and Baltimore.

Lance has a master’s degree in education/health education. She is also working towards a doctoral degree in educational leadership.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

 Courtesy Teresa Lance and Michigan Area City Schools

Teresa Lance, left, and Xavier Botana are the two finalists to become Portland’s next superintendent of Schools.

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Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.