WATERVILLE —  A longtime teacher, literacy specialist and coordinator of curriculum and professional development for the Waterville Public Schools has been named the district’s assistant superintendent.

Jennifer Allen, 54, of Winthrop received unanimous support Monday night in a vote of the Waterville Board of Education. She is to begin her new role July 1.

“I am excited about the opportunities as assistant superintendent and to continue to support innovative opportunities for both our students and staff,” Allen said after the meeting.

Jennifer Allen, a longtime teacher, literacy specialist and coordinator of curriculum and professional development for the Waterville Public Schools, has been named the city’s assistant superintendent of schools. She is to begin her new role July 1. Amy Calder/Morning Sentinel

Allen, whose salary has yet to be negotiated, will succeed Peter Hallen, who has been in the assistant superintendent’s position since July. The board voted unanimously in March to name Hallen superintendent, beginning July 1 when Superintendent Eric Haley is scheduled to retire. Haley, 68, has been superintendent for 22 years and has worked in education for 45 years.

At Monday’s meeting, Hallen announced Allen’s nomination and thanked the search committee that screened applicants, developed questions and evaluated candidates. Nine people applied for the assistant’s position and three were interviewed.

“What stood out to the committee, beyond her outstanding resume, was Jen’s vision for a brighter future for Waterville Public Schools,” Hallen said before the vote. “She spoke of collaboration, of engaging students by engaging teachers, of creating a sense of belonging for our staff and students — all staff and students — with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, and as luck would have it, we have been able to see her impact firsthand.”


Hallen encouraged the Board of Education to support the nomination of Allen “because I know, as the person with whom you have placed your trust, that there is no better person for the job.”

Allen began working in Waterville in 1991 as a third grade teacher at George J. Mitchell School. Nine years later, in 2000, she started as a literacy specialist and literacy coach.

She is a published author, having written “Becoming a Literacy Leader: Strategies that Support Learning and Change,” Second Edition, published by Stenhouse Publishers in 2016 (Stenhouse also published a first edition of the book in 2006), and “A Sense of Belonging: Sustaining and Retaining New Teachers,” published by Stenhouse in 2009. Allen has also been published in education journals.

For the past 15 years, Allen has presented at national conferences and worked with school districts and universities on building leadership.

Allen earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in 1991 and a master’s degree in literacy education from the University of Maine in 1996. She is certified as a curriculum coordinator for kindergarten through 12th grade. She has also earned her assistant superintendent certification through Southern New Hampshire University.

She said she is excited about working and collaborating with Hallen, and loves the Waterville Public Schools, where many good things are happening.

“I think we can deepen the partnerships that we have,” she said.

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