Regional School Unit 5 has a quality reputation, its newly named superintendent says.

“I really believe that RSU 5 is one of the best districts in the state,” said Becky Foley. “I think they’re really dedicated to providing a quality education for all students.”

Foley will succeed Ed McDonough on July 1. She becomes the fourth head of schools to serve the Durham-Freeport-Pownal district in as many years. She comes to RSU 5 from Portland Public Schools, where she is the chief academic officer.

Foley goes from overseeing curriculum in 17 Portland schools to superintendent in a much different setting of six schools – the same as in School Administrative District 52 in Turner, where she was assistant superintendent for four years preceding her appointment in Portland.

Foley, who said she was “excited and honored” to have the job, was officially named to the position at a special board meeting May 25 at Durham Community School, where she signed a $128,000 contract.

Michelle Ritcheson, RSU 5 board chairwoman from Durham, made the announcement at the special meeting, held just before the annual budget meeting. The search committee received 19 applications for the job, interviewed four of the applicants and whittled that number down to two finalists, Ritcheson said.

“We felt that Becky was a great fit for the district and we’re excited to be bringing her on board,” she said.

Prior to her tenure in SAD 52, Foley was principal of North Yarmouth Memorial School for 10 years. She started out her career as a principal, assistant principal and teacher in Turner, where she worked for seven years.

Foley, a Texas native, holds a doctorate of philosophy in public policy from the University of Southern Maine. She earned a bachelor’s in elementary education at the University of Maine at Farmington and a master’s in educational administration at the University of Southern Maine.

She lives in Portland with her partner, Bill Blount, and she is the mother of two grown children.

RSU 5 officials hope that Foley, 60, will bring stability to the position. McDonough announced in late March that he would have to step down for personal reasons. He succeeded William Michaud and Mike Lafortune, who were each interim superintendents for a year.

Earlier during the special board meeting, McDonough said that he hopes for a new principal to be named at Freeport High School on June 15. Brian Campbell is leaving after two years to become principal at Saco Middle School. An 11-member search committee is scheduled to screen applications on Wednesday, June 1, and the committee should have finalists identified a week or so later, McDonough said.

Becky Foley, left, who will become superintendent in Regional School Unit 5 on July 1, speaks with board member Lindsay Sterling during last Wednesday night’s special board meeting at Durham Community School.

Michelle Ritcheson, Regional School Unit 5 board chairwoman, watches last Wednesday night at Durham Community School as Becky Foley signs a $128,000 contract to become the next RSU 5 superintendent.

Becky Foley, left, and Michelle Ritcheson, chairwoman of the Regional School Unit 5 Board of Directors, shake hands last Wednesday during a special board meeting at Durham Community School. Foley had just signed a contract to become the next RSU 5 superintendent.

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