Maine Commissioner of Education Susan Gendron, of Raymond, has been named the 2006 recipient of the University of Southern Maine’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.

The USM Alumni Association honored Gendron at a luncheon held Thursday, June 29 in USM’s Glickman Family Library, Portland.

Governor John Baldacci appointed Gendron Maine’s Commissioner of Education in 2002. Gendron, the second woman to hold the post, has been an educator for more than 30 years, and was named Maine’s Superintendent of the Year in 2002.

Previously, Gendron spent the first 10 years of her career as a kindergarten teacher. She later held positions in the Scarborough School Department as assistant superintendent, director of learning and coordinator of instruction. In 1985, Gendron was selected by the Maine Department of Education to present the Education Reform Act to school systems throughout the state. During this time, Gendron maintained her duties as a primary school principal for the Windham School Department.

Prior to joining the Baldacci administration, Gendron served as superintendent of schools for Windham. Gendron earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from USM in 1973 and 1984, respectively.

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