Yarmouth Superintendent of Schools Dr. Andrew Dolloff poses with his plaque for Maine Superintendent of the Year 2021. Courtesy / Vicki Wallack, Maine School Management Association

YARMOUTH — After more than three decades in education, Andrew Dolloff was named Maine Superintendent of the Year 2021 at this year’s virtual Maine School Superintendents Association meeting last month. 

Dolloff was nominated by an unnamed member of his school board, who wrote in the nomination letter: “Dr. Andrew Dolloff is an exceptional superintendent. He shines during normal times, and when a crisis hit this spring, he rose to the challenge. He is leading his district through Covid-19 with strength, courage, and exceptional communication skills.”

Born and raised in Maine, Dolloff went through the Maine public school system himself before dedicating 33 years to giving back to it. Entering his seventh year as superintendent of Yarmouth schools, he reflected on what makes Yarmouth stand out among districts he’s previously worked in. 

Here in Yarmouth, the culture is one of continual improvement and collaboration, and we see those characteristics in play every day in almost every setting,” Dolloff said. It is really fascinating to walk through our schools and see the expert instruction and the high level of student engagement that seems commonplace here, but would be extraordinary in many other places.”  

According to Yarmouth School Department’s Leadership ProfileDolloff has been awarded multiple honors over the course of his career. He received Maine’s Outstanding High School Principal in 2004, and in 2005, he was named to the International Advisory Board for the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Principals’ Center.  

In the past decade, Dolloff served on the executive committee of the Maine School Superintendents’ Association and as a member of its Legislative Committee.  He is also a member of the advisory board for the University of Southern Maine’s Educational Leadership program and of the District Administration Leadership Institute. 

Coming from a family of educators, Dolloff said his interest in the profession was ingrained from an early age. He started his career as a chemistry teacher and basketball coach in central Maine before moving to southern Maine and working in school administration. He has held a variety of administrative positions, including high school principal, assistant high school principal, athletic administrator and assistant superintendent.  

Yarmouth Superintendent Dr. Andrew Dolloff reading to a Yarmouth elementary class. Courtesy / Andrew Dolloff

During his time as the Scarborough High School principal, Dolloff was known for his on-the-ground leadership style, according to former student Sarah Leighton.  

“One thing I really respected about him was that he was always a visible figure within the school,” Leighton said. “A lot of people say ‘my door is always open’ but his truly was always open. He would establish relationships with people just walking through the hallways. 

Leighton served on the student council as vice president her junior year and class president her senior year, during which she attended many student council meetings with Dolloff.

More than a decade after graduating from Scarborough High School, Leighton reached out to Dolloff in 2017 for guidance as she considered running for the Scarborough School Board. Now serving her third year on the board, Leighton says she continues to be inspired by Dolloff’s desire to be constantly learning and improving.

“I truly enjoy serving as a coach for others, whether they are students, teachers, support staff, or school leaders,” Dolloff said. “Seeing them succeed and take pride in their accomplishments is extremely rewarding. At the same time, I continue learning from all of them, which is important for all leaders to remember. Once we become convinced that we have nothing left to learn, we stop growing, and I hope to not reach that point any time soon.” 

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