Erin Maguire, a former math teacher at Gray-New Gloucester High School, was hired as assistant principal at Bonny Eagle High School this summer.

While her new position will be a change for the 31-year-old, her boss, Bonny Eagle High School principal Paul Penna, will stay the same. Penna was hired by the district this summer after serving for a decade as Gray-New Gloucester High School’s principal.

“I worked at Gray with Paul for seven years,” Maguire said. “Paul is extremely energetic and driven to move the school forward. I appreciate it and enjoy it a lot. He very much wants to move this district toward standards-based education,” she continued.

Standards-based education, which focuses on basic goals instead of grade levels and letter grades, is an undertaking for School Administrative District 6 that Penna himself, last week, said Maguire is the perfect fit for.

Hiring Maguire to join the school district this year as assistant principal is not only a great opportunity for Maguire, but is perfect timing for the district as it works toward providing standards-based education, he said.

“She has an interest in the district and in the standards-based system,” Penna said. “She was a great teacher at Gray-New Gloucester and she has a passion for the work she does. And I think she’s ready for a new challenge.”

Maguire said her goals as an educator align with the direction Penna is planning to take Bonny Eagle High School, just as they did when she worked with him at Gray-New Gloucester.

“I’ve had a lot of opportunities because he has seen in me leadership that other people haven’t seen,” Maguire said.

Back to her roots

Working at Bonny Eagle is “like coming home,” Maguire said.

“I have some roots here in SAD 6. I lived here for a while and have some friends as close as family,” she said.

A native of Aroostook County, Maguire resides in Portland but lived in Hollis with her surrogate family while she taught for two years at Sacopee Valley High School, she said, her first teaching job.

“I became part of that community. Teaching in SAD 6 is as close to going home as I am going to get without going home,” Maguire said.

At Gray-New Gloucester, along with being a math teacher, Maguire was the girl’s varsity track coach, head of the math department and class adviser.

When asked how the shift from math teacher to assistant principal has been, she said, “I dove into a lot of things at Gray. Diving right in is my specialty.”

New this year at Bonny Eagle, Maguire said, are trimesters versus the conventional semester schedule. This switch allows the students more time to learn, as well as more opportunities for improvement and remediation, she said.

It helps the students to meet the standards and ensures that they graduate on time, Maguire said of the new schedule.

“I’ve never done trimesters before; I think it is an interesting idea and has some real good potential.”

Making a difference

As a first-time assistant principal, Maguire said she is hoping to bring to the table an “open mind and consistency.”

And, she added, she really enjoys working with high school students. She taught freshmen and seniors at Gray-New Gloucester, she said.

“For all of their challenges, they are definitely met with a lot of excitement, a lot of good conversation and intellect,” Maguire said. “I can usually see in them more than they see in themselves.”

She also hopes to bring excitement and energy to “a staff that seems to be really amicable. They want to work hard and they really care about the kids.”

Maguire said she anticipates a school year where everyone can look back and say, “we were fresh and made a difference.”

In her free time, Maguire is an avid runner and is training for her first half-marathon. She also coached track and field for 10 years and is an aunt to adopted 8-year-old, Petros, from Ethiopia, she said.

“I am not one to ever rest,” Maguire said.

Erin Maguire

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