After a year as principal of Hall-Dale Elementary School, James “Jay” Charette has been hired as the superintendent of RSU 38, the Maranacook Area Schools.

He replaces Donna Wolfrom, who will become Cape Elizabeth’s new superintendent after six years in the Maranacook system.

Charette’s selection was announced last week.

“It’s kind of a natural progression when you get in administration,” Charette said Monday. “I’ve been in administration about eight years now and looking for new challenges. What comes with being a superintendent is challenges and I’m looking forward to whatever it brings.”

Betty Morrell, chairman of the school board, said Monday that Charette was the unanimous selection of both the search committee and the board. Ten people had applied to be superintendent in the district, which has a total of 1,179 students from Manchester, Mount Vernon, Readfield and Wayne, and is looking at a $17.9 million budget for the upcoming school year.

“He stood out as being someone who has done a lot of professional development, curriculum work and visioning in all of the schools that he had previously been in,” she said. “He was enthusiastic, communicated well and had a good vision for where he wants education to go.”

Morrell said Charette has spoke of preparing students in multiple ways so they are able to do the jobs of the future.

A superintendent search committee was formed in March, with representation from community members, parents, teachers, administrators, board members. “We were one of the first districts to put out a notice of superintendent’s vacancy,” Morrell said. “It was very nice, so we could take our time. The longer you wait the more competition there is.”

Charette, who will complete his superintendent’s internship prior to starting at the Maranacook schools, has 25 years’ experience in education. Prior to coming to Hall-Dale in Regional School Unit 2, he was principal of Community High School and Valley Rivers Middle School in Fort Kent.

“I’m very honored and excited to take over the position, and I’m looking forward to starting July 1,” said Charette, 50, who lives in Manchester.

It should be a relatively smooth transition for Charette since the Fort Kent schools, RSU 2 Kennebec Intra-District Schools and the Maranacook schools use proficiency-based standards for diplomas.

“It feels like it will be a good fit,” he said. “All the school districts are on the same page and going in the same direction.”

Charette said he’s prepared for the role most recently by working with William Zima, superintendent of RSU 2, in preparing the district’s budget and working through the process.

Charette’s wife is a math teacher at Oak Hill High School in Wales and the two have three children; one finished college and is working, one is at St. Joseph’s College in Standish, and a son is preparing to graduate from Maranacook High School after three years in Community High School.

“He wanted to come south. We kind of landed in Manchester, and all the pieces kind of fell into place,” Charette said.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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