READFIELD — The man who has headed the Maranacook school district for a decade will retire in June when he turns 62. But he’ll stay with the district for another year — working as superintendent under an interim agreement — as the board searches for his replacement.

Richard Abramson shared his retirement plan with the school board Wednesday after they completed their annual evaluation of him.

“They’re pleased, and I’m pleased,” Abramson said Friday. “It was a unanimous decision with the board and with me, because I can start drawing retirement this July, and with what the governor and Legislature are doing, it just made sense to do that,” he said.

As with many other school districts this year, Maranacook is getting a lot less money — $900,000 in its case — from state education subsidies, forcing officials to cut staff and programs.

“Right now, I don’t want to leave the district in the lurch,” he said.

Abramson was superintendent in Arundel and Wells-Ogunquit districts prior to joining Maranacook. He also was executive director of the Kennebec Valley YMCA in Augusta before that, and has continued a lifelong interest in promoting wellness and nutrition through his work with the Schools Advisory Panel of the Dannon Institute, the nonprofit side of The Dannon Co. Inc.

“I get to work with some absolutely wonderful, talented individuals to improve school nutrition, physical activities, wellness policies,” he said. “It’s great. I don’t have to eat yogurt, but I do like it.”

In a formal announcement of his retirement plans, Abramson noted he is “most proud of the efforts to provide a safe and healthy school environment for (Maranacook) students.  Maranacook is widely recognized on a state and national level for its work around wellness.”

He also said he “will leave the district with energy-efficient and well-maintained facilities; a quality staff who are truly committed to the children of the district; and numerous efforts under way to restructure the district.”

The Maranacook schools are in Regional School Unit 38 and include the towns of Manchester, Mount Vernon, Readfield and Wayne.

“The district has been served well during his tenure,” said Lynette Johnson, school board chair. “We’re a stronger school district because of him and we have a strong foundation for moving forward through some challenging budget and restructuring. Because of the foundaton he has laid as superintendent for the past 10 years, that process wil be more successful.”

At the board’s April 27 meeting, along with beginning work on selecting a replacement for Abramson, the board will determine specific goals for Abramson to focus on in his last year.

“For one more I year, I will continue to wear my black and gold hat and vest and be a Maranacookie and, hopefully, end my career on a really high note,” he said.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
[email protected]
 

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