FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 board of directors voted unanimously Tuesday to extend a two-year contract to Joel Smith to be principal of Mt. Blue High School, effective July 1.

The decision followed an executive session.

Joel Smith, left, interim principal of Mt. Blue High School, shares his administrative report Jan. 23 with directors of Regional School Unit 9. The board voted unanimously Tuesday to name him principal of the school. Brian Ponce/The Franklin Journal

Smith has been serving as interim principal since June 2023 after Monique Poulin left to become assistant superintendent of instruction, curriculum and grants for the district.

According to Superintendent Christian Elkington, Smith’s compensation will increase to $119,000.

“We’ve had a great eight months,” Smith said after the vote. “We still have a lot more of the year left and I’m looking forward to finishing it out.”

He said the school, along with the rest of the district, have made great strides in student attendance and he hopes to continue the trend into the next school year.


“I think we have a great staff at Mt. Blue High School,” Smith said. “So it makes my job easy.”

A graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington with a bachelor’s degree of science, Smith joined the district in 1997 as a science teacher at Mt. Blue Middle School. He worked to foster an ardent environment for learning and engaged students in the sciences for 16 years.

He graduated from the University of Maine with a master’s degree in education in 2006 and assumed the role of assistant principal at the middle school in 2009, where he collaborated with educators to address the specific needs of the student body until he left for the high school in 2016.

As assistant principal at the high school, Smith worked to improve school policies and procedure and coordinated the Building Assets, Reducing Risk program, which is one of the key components to RSU 9’s strategy of reducing the rate of chronic absenteeism.

Along with his 26 years of experience as an educator and administrator for RSU 9, Smith has also earned multiple recognitions, such as Outstanding District Employee Award for 2016-2017 and the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Coach of the Year for 2006, 2008 and 2017.

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