SKOWHEGAN — Moving day for the upcoming school year takes on new meaning this summer as high school principals trade places in a switcheroo involving three schools in two area school districts.

Monique Poulin, who took over as principal at Skowhegan Area High School in August 2014 after having been principal at Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, is leaving Skowhegan to return to Mt. Blue, where she again will be principal.

Replacing Poulin at the principal’s position in Skowhegan will be Bruce Mochamer, of Farmington, the outgoing principal at Mt. Blue High School.

Joining Mochamer as assistant principal at Skowhegan will be Jason Bellerose, of Skowhegan, the recent principal at Mt. Blue Middle School. Both men previously worked at Skowhegan Area Middle School.

Poulin, 49, grew up in Skowhegan, played field hockey for legendary coach Paula Doughty and played softball at the high school, graduating in 1985. She even taught there briefly before taking jobs elsewhere, including the Mt. Blue job.

She said Wednesday that her time at Skowhegan Area High School was “extremely rewarding and professionally fulfilling” but that she lives in Kingfield, in the Mt. Blue school district, where her children attend classes.


“I think it’s just a series of events and openings that occurred over time, and what I’m thankful for at the end of the day is that Bruce and I are going to be able to support each other as we each work to take over the positions,” Poulin said by phone Wednesday. She said Mochamer, 54, resigned as principal at Mt. Blue at the end of May or early June, and when “the position presented itself,” she applied for it and got the job.

“It’s not an easy decision to make,” she said. “There are a lot of wonderful things happening here at the school and lots of committed faculty members, committed central office staff and wonderful students. I will miss all of that.”

Skowhegan high school has an enrollment of about 800 students, and Mt. Blue has just under 700, she said.

Mochamer said none of the changes had been planned. He said he left Mt. Blue for personal reasons.

“I think I was just ready to move on,” he said of returning to Skowhegan, where he had worked for 16 years. “I didn’t feel I was making a difference here, so I figured I had to go find something else to do, but I didn’t know where I was going next. Now I’m stepping right back into Skowhegan.”

Brent Colbry, superintendent of Skowhegan-based School Administrative District 54, said that along with losing Poulin, the high school lost assistant principals Greg Henderson and Lucille Faucher-Kuhlman. He said they all left for different reasons. Faucher-Kuhlman is retiring. Henderson went to Brunswick to be assistant director at the career and technical school there.


The SAD 54 school board also hired William Vigue, of Palmyra, as the second assistant principal.

“We’ve put together a really good team here,” Colbry said. “We need a principal and two assistant principals when you have close to 800 kids and expect people to do the evaluations the way they are done today and all this work we’re doing around curriculum and graduation standards, while working with kids to treat them as individuals rather than a number.”

Colbry said all the job switching did not happen simultaneously. Mochamer resigned in Farmington before the principal’s job opened up in Skowhegan. Mochamer taught science at Mt. Blue Middle School and at Skowhegan Area Middle School, where he spent 14 years as assistant principal and principal. Bellerose was a social studies teacher for many years at the Skowhegan middle school.

Poulin was assistant principal and athletic director before being appointed principal at Mt. Blue High School. Her tenure there included a three-year $64 million renovation and construction project that included installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Colbry said the changes in positions do not affect the overall district budget because all of the salaries are about the same, even with new faces in the positions. He said the principal’s salary is just under $100,000 annually, while the salary for each assistant principal is $78,000 annually.

Also, Skowhegan’s head varsity football coach, Matthew Friedman, left for a coaching job at Husson University. Ryan Libby was named interim varsity football coach.


Classes begin on Aug. 30.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


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