AUGUSTA — The longtime superintendent of the Augusta School Department will resign at the end of the upcoming school year, according to records obtained from the district.

Jim Anastasio, who has been employed by the district for 18 years, will have his last day as the top administrator on June 30, 2024.

Augusta School Department Superintendent Jim Anastasio, seen in January 2023, is resigning at the end of the upcoming school year. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

Anastasio announced the decision to school board members a day before they were scheduled to go over his performance evaluation and discuss whether to renew his contract, according to an email obtained by the Kennebec Journal through a Freedom of Access Act request.

The Board of Education is expected to accept his resignation at its Wednesday meeting next week.

The outgoing superintendent has come under fire in recent years for not being transparent, making decisions without consulting the school board and, earlier this year, botching the budget by $800,000. One board member also said the district failed to modernize its use of technology coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic and has seen turnover of multiple administrators under Anastasio’s leadership.

Anastasio, who did not respond to requests to comment for this story, told the Board of Education stepping down was a “difficult decision” for him to make.


“I am still as committed to the ASD (eighteen yrs) and profession (fifty and a half years) as ever, but in a year it will be time for me to kick back for a while contemplating what comes next,” he wrote in the June 20 memo.

He also said he was giving the board advance notice of his departure “to provide the time for a smooth transition.”

Anastasio has been superintendent since 2013, including two years on an interim basis. Previously he served as principal of Cony High School. In 2006, he helped oversee the transition of the high school from the flatiron building off Cony Circle to the campus at 60 Pierce Drive.

The district serves about 2,100 students.

Jim Anastasio, superintendent of the Augusta School Department, presents the district’s budget to the City Council in April 2013. The longtime leader of the district is stepping down. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

Throughout his tenure at the helm of Augusta’s public schools, Anastasio had received two or three-year contract extensions until last fall, when he was given a one-year deal through June 30, 2024. The school board chair at the time said he had requested a one-year deal based on “where he is at in his career.”

He was paid $135,039 for the school year that just ended and received a 4% raise for the upcoming year, bringing his salary to $140,440.


The details of Anastasio’s latest yearly performance evaluation are unclear, as it is largely shielded from public access by state law. The timing of his notice provides one of the few clues into what transpired.

The Board of Education held its June 21 and June 28 meetings in executive session, with the only agenda item for both being a discussion of the evaluation of the superintendent. No action was taken after the board came out of each executive session.

When asked by a reporter on June 21 for documents related to Anastasio’s employment status and whether his contract would be extended, interim board Chair Martha Witham said, “At this point in time there is no change to his employment status.”

She said this was because there would be no votes taken at that night’s meeting, though a subsequent records request by the newspaper showed Anastasio had emailed his notice a day earlier, on June 20.

Witham did not respond to requests to comment for this story. A Board of Education policy states the chair is the point of contact for media inquiries.

Jan Murphy, president of the district’s teachers union, said she had “nothing to say” about Anastasio’s evaluation, as staff are not asked for input for evaluations about administrators.

Anastasio’s letter closed with a thank you to the board for trusting him over the years to serve as principal at Cony High School and later, as superintendent.

“It has and will continue for another year to be an exciting and challenging ride,” he wrote.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that the Board of Education chair is the group’s spokesperson, but other members are authorized to speak to the media.

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