Scarborough Middle School Principal Diane Nadeau shares brief remarks Nov. 21 after being named the district’s new assistant superintendent. Michael Kelley / The Forecaster

SCARBOROUGH —  In 2009, Jo Anne Sizemore made the jump from middle school principal to second in command at central office as assistant superintendent. A decade later, Diane Nadeau is looking to make that same transition.

Jo Anne Sizemore is stepping down at year’s end after a decade as assistant superintendent in Scarborough and more than 40 years in the system. Michael Kelley / The Forecaster

Last week, the Board of Education named Nadeau assistant superintendent from a field of 29 candidates. She will step into the role at the end of the calendar year when Sizemore retires.

Nadeau has been with the district since July 2017, when she was hired as the principal of Scarborough Middle School. Before coming to Scarborough, Nadeau spent 11 years as a principal in the Bonny Eagle school district, based in Standish.

Nadeau said after 17 years of school administration experience and earning a doctorate in public policy from the Muskie School at the University of Southern Maine, she was drawn to the opportunity to work in the central office.

“I have enjoyed working with students and staff to support student outcomes, but felt I was in a position to see how I could have a larger impact on education,” she said.

Nadeau said the advanced degree, which she earned in May, “broadened my lens in understanding the importance of the work we do in education.”

Superintendent Sandy Prince said after several years at the middle school, Nadeau will “will add great value to the (central office leadership) team and to the wider school community.”

“Hearing and seeing everything that has happened at the middle school, I cannot wait to see what you bring to the district,” board chairwoman Leanne Kazilionis said at the Nov. 21 school board meeting.

School board member Alicia Giftos was pleased with the selection as well.

“The middle school has really benefited from your leadership. You have demonstrated such an ability. It is such a great choice. I am so excited for you and Scarborough,” she said.

“It will be difficult to say goodbye to Jo Anne, as she has been an exceptional leader for Scarborough Schools,” said Prince,  who was hired in an interim capacity for this school year. On Nov. 21, the board awarded Prince a contract through June 2021 to help Nadeau make the transition to central office leadership.

Nadeau said she was honored to be chosen and knows she will have big shoes to fill. Sizemore, who she called one of her mentors, won the Maine School Superintendent Association’s 2018 Assistant Superintendent of the Year award and, in 2006, as principal of Scarborough Middle School, was named Maine Principal Association Middle School Principal of the Year.

“I will not be the next Jo Anne Sizemore, but I feel the skills and attributes I will bring to the position will continue to help the district move forward in a positive way,” she said.

Sizemore felt after 43 years in education, the vast majority of which were in Scarborough, the timing was right to retire.

“I will miss working in Scarborough. It’s been almost a second family here for me,” Sizemore said.

Sizemore joined the Scarborough School District in 1978 as a middle school math teacher. She took over as principal in 1990 and guided the school through a boom in student population and the design and construction of a the current Scarborough Middle School, which opened in 1996.

“When I started as principal we had 349 kids in the school and over the next 12 years, it had almost grown to 820,” Sizemore said.

Sizemore said the biggest thing she will miss is the students and staff she worked with.

“I will definitely miss the people. I got to know many parents and students. A big joy for me is when I meet former students who have done wonderful things with their careers and lives,” Sizemore said.

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