MONMOUTH — Following news of Principal Rick Amero’s departure from Monmouth Academy, Regional School Unit 2 introduced who will fill his role at a special board meeting Monday night.

Ted Finn will leave his position as principal at Gray-New Gloucester High School and start at Monmouth Academy in mid-October, once Amero leaves for his new position as superintendent at Waldo County Technical Center. The school board unanimously accepted Finn as a new hire.

Finn said he took the position at Monmouth Academy after the coronavirus pandemic made him do some “soul searching” and “reflect on what’s important to him.”

In his brief introduction, he shared with the school board how his father died during the pandemic and he couldn’t visit him in the last five months of his life. In addition, Finn has two daughters — one in her senior year of high school and one in her sophomore year at Husson University.

He realized being close to his family is what matters the most to him.

“As parents know, time goes by just like ‘that,'” he said to the board. “I want to spend time with my daughter.”

Finn said his commute to Monmouth Academy is only seven miles from his house in Wales. In his previous teaching positions, he would drive up to an hour to get to work.

He will leave his current position as principal at RSU 15, where he has been since 2015. Before that, he was the principal at Lake Region High School for five years. Finn shared with the board he has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine at Farmington and a master’s degree from the University of Southern Maine.

“I see this as an opportunity to get involved with a smaller school setting,” Finn said. “I was in a high school with (around) 600 kids. Now in a high school with 180 to 200 kids, I can get to know every student and every staff member and it means so much to me, personally, those relationships.”

Newly hired RSU 2 Assistant Superintendent Matt Gilbert appeared remotely Monday during the school board’s special meeting. Zoom screenshot

RSU 2 Superintendent Tonya Arnold also introduced the board to Stephanie Saltzman and Matt Gilbert, the new business manager and new assistant superintendent, respectively. Saltzman will fill the role Vicki Raymond had before she retired this year, while Gilbert will take over Mary Paine’s role. Paine became principal of Marcia Buker Elementary School in September.

Saltzman and Gilbert also gave personal introductions during the meeting.

Saltzman comes from the Lewiston Public Schools, where she was a business manager for the past two years. Before that, she was the payroll manager for the Portland Public Schools for seven years. Saltzman moved to Maine nine-and-a-half years ago, and she is currently working toward her master’s degree in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University.

She said she is “looking forward to the opportunity working in a smaller district” after working in Lewiston and Portland, and to “work closely with the superintendent and everyone on the team.”

Gilbert, the newly hired assistant superintendent, will also take over curriculum duties, like Paine did. He will leave his role as principal of Mountain Valley High School, part of RSU 10 where he has spent 17 years. He has also been principal of Livermore Falls Middle School.

He went to the University of Maine at Farmington, with his graduate study at the University of Maine. He has received advanced degrees from the University of Southern Maine, the University of New England and UMF. Gilbert mentioned he was the finalist for the Maine Principal Award, has three children and lives in Jay.

“Every year I get to go to banquets and admire the end result for RSU 2 and see where the kids go when they graduate from high school,” he said. “I’m really excited.”

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