WINDHAM — Three months after Regional School Unit 14 Superintendent Sandy Prince announced his plans to retire, Assistant Superintendent Chris Howell has been chosen to take his place.

Chris Howell has been chose as superintendent of RSU 14. Photo courtesy of Lakes Region Weekly

Prince will step down on June 30 after 16 years in the position, and Howell will succeed him on July 1. Prince will then serve as interim superintendent in Scarborough for one year.

A search committee comprising members of the Raymond Selectboard, Windham Town Council, central office administrators and School Board members, as well as teachers and parents, had been working to find a new superintendent.

“We wanted to make the best decision for the district that we could, and we did. Chris is far and away an amazing, amazing guy, and he will be a fantastic leader for our district,” School Board Chairwoman Jani Cummings said.

Howell has worked in the district for 23 years as a teacher, principal, assistant principal and curriculum coordinator.

“He has helped with sticky situations, and he has brought people together to solve them in good ways. He knows the budget in and out. Every facet of the district, he is knowledgeable about,” Cummings said.

Howell, who grew up in Falmouth, said spending so much time in the district means he already understands the projects he will need to work on as superintendent.

“We have math implementation that’s going on. We’ve been working on a writing implementation. Raymond is considering withdrawal, so we’ve been working on that component. We have a new middle school in Windham that we might be looking at. There’s a number of projects,” he said.

“The common theme throughout all of the projects,” he said, “is how do we best serve the needs of students.”

Howell is also passionate about vocational education and ensuring students have alternative opportunities.

Looking back over his 23 years in the district, he said he’s most proud of his students and “having had the opportunity to watch all of those individuals grow.”

Howell has a bachelor’s degree in biology as well as a master’s in teaching and learning, both from the University of Southern Maine. He also attended the University of New England to complete some of his administrative credits.

He said as a first-generation college student, “I definitely see where education really, really can open a ton of doors. So to be able now to have a hand in running this organization and this facility is exciting.”

Jane Vaughan can be contacted at 780-9103 or at [email protected]