READFIELD — The assistant superintendent of the Bangor School Department will become Regional School Unit 38’s superintendent this summer.

The school board voted unanimously this week to give a three-year contract to Donna Wolfrom, who will succeed Rich Abramson on July 1.

Abramson is retiring after 10 years of leading RSU 38.

Six people applied for the job. RSU 38 School Board Chairwoman Lynette Johnson said the search committee evaluated the candidates based largely on the results of a survey taken by more than 200 school employees and residents of Manchester, Mount Vernon, Readfield and Wayne.

Survey respondents said they wanted someone who would communicate well with the communities, has a strong understanding of curriculum and instruction and is focused on raising achievement and improving learning, Johnson said.

“It was very clear after the interviews that Donna came out on top and really met our criteria,” Johnson said.

Wolfrom will be paid a salary of $99,750, a payment of $12,500 for insurance and health expenses and five weeks of vacation.

Wolfrom grew up and began her education career in New Jersey. After moving to Maine, she taught elementary education and worked as an administrator in Hiram, which is part of RSU 55.

She has been assistant superintendent in Bangor since 2008.

Wolfrom described herself as very goal-oriented and said she felt she was ready to move into a superintendent’s post.

She said she vacationed on Maranacook Lake as a child and got to know RSU 38 on a professional visit several years ago.

“I like the small size of the district,” Wolfrom said. “It’s been wonderful working in a large district, but SAD 55 was a small district, and I enjoyed getting to know the people on a one-to-one level like you can do in a small district.”

Wolfrom said she’s proud of her work in Bangor to organize professional learning communities among high school science teachers, which led to the development of Bangor High School’s STEM Academy.

She also developed a partnership between the school district and the University of Maine to train literacy coaches, and she aligned curriculum among Bangor’s seven elementary schools.

“I worked hard to bring people together to talk and learn together and really create a core experience for all students in the district,” Wolfrom said.

Coordinating among elementary schools also is important in RSU 38, which has four of them.

Johnson said the search committee and school board members were impressed by Wolfrom’s background in literacy, her record of collaborating with people at multiple levels in a school district and her strong grasp of the “nuts and bolts” of effective teaching, despite several years out of the classroom.

“She’s very data-driven,” Johnson said.

“It’s not the latest trend; it’s about where are we and where do we need to go and really dissecting the data. It’s not just change for change’s sake.”

Susan McMillan — 621-5645

[email protected]

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