South Portland’s assistant superintendent will become principal of Village Elementary School in Gorham, Heather Perry, Gorham’s superintendent of schools, announced Sunday.

Jodi Mezzanotte Gorham School Department

Jodi Mezzanotte will take over at the K-5 school on Robie Street starting July 1. She brings more than 20 years’ experience in education to the role, having made her start as a substitute teacher in Gorham, Perry said in a news release.

Mezzanotte worked as an educational technician, a classroom teacher and an assistant principal for 13 years in Gorham before moving to Westbrook and South Portland schools. She also serves on the national nonprofit boards of Rising Sun Programs, which promotes wellness education for children, and Junior Achievement, a nationwide organization that teaches entrepreneurism, financial literacy and other workplace skills.

“Ms. Mezzanotte brings a deep understanding of the needs of learners and is dedicated to creating a learning environment where all can thrive,” Perry said.

Closer to home, Mezzanotte works with the York chapter of The Dream Factory, a volunteer-run organization that grants wishes to chronically and critically ill children. She also serves as a mentor and leadership coach to college students.

“Ms. Mezzanotte demonstrates extraordinary leadership by casting a vision with staff and strategically planning for success,” Perry said. “Her work ethic, passion, tireless commitment to excellence, and continued student achievement results are evident in her work. She believes in shared leadership and builds strong relationships with students, staff and the community. She is compassionate, transparent, trustworthy, credible and has a keen sense of humor.”

Her appointment to the principal’s job in Gorham is one of several area school district promotions and retirements that have created leadership openings in Gorham, South Portland and Cape Elizabeth.

Earlier this spring, South Portland’s school board announced it hired Timothy Matheney to be its new superintendent of schools. Matheney will replace outgoing Superintendent of Schools Ken Kunin, who will retire effective July 1.

Matheney, a lifelong educator and president of the Spire Leadership Group, was hired April 1 by the Board of Education following a national search conducted with assistance from the Maine School Superintendent Association. He was chosen from a field of more than a dozen candidates.

Richard Matthews, chairman of the South Portland school board, said Sunday evening in a telephone interview that the district has not decided yet how to fill Mezzanotte’s post. Matthews, Kunin and Matheney are discussing their options, and could decide to appoint an interim assistant superintendent.

“It’s a big transformation for us,” Matthews said, referring to the departures of Kunin and Mezzanotte. “But I’m happy for Jodi. It’s just a big loss for our school community.”

The Gorham School Department’s top-level management team has also seen its share of turnover.

Mezzanotte replaces Brian Porter, who served as principal at Village Elementary School for 20 years. Porter, 63, was promoted to the Gorham district’s front office as assistant superintendent beginning July 1. He succeeds Christopher Record, who is leaving Gorham to take the superintendent’s job in Cape Elizabeth.

Cape Elizabeth’s Board of Education announced in April that it had hired Record to be its superintendent. Record, who was named Maine’s Assistant Superintendent of the Year in 2019, will take over from Superintendent Donna Wolfrom, who has been with Cape Elizabeth since 2018. Wolfrom announced that she is retiring at the end of this school year.

The changes in area school district leadership don’t end there.

Falmouth’s superintendent of schools, Geoff Bruno, announced in April that he has accepted the job of superintendent of Scarborough schools. Bruno, who has served as Falmouth’s superintendent for seven years, will start in Scarborough on July 1.


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