Jean Skorapa will be the next superintendent of Regional School Unit 5. Courtesy of Jean Skorapa

Lincoln-area school superintendent Jean Skorapa is coming to Freeport.

Skorapa’s appointment as Regional School Unit 5 Superintendent was unanimously approved by the school board Wednesday.

Skorapa will replace Becky Foley, who announced in December that she will retire at the end of this school year. Foley joined the district in 2016.

RSU 5 serves Freeport, Pownal and Durham.

Skorapa has 35 years in education and is currently superintendent of RSU 67 in Lincoln, a community 50 miles north of Bangor.

She previously worked as the assistant superintendent in RSU 3 in Unity, and for the Brunswick School Department for 23 years.


In an interview Thursday, Skorapa, 57, said she sought out the position because RSU 5 reflects the values of high academic achievement and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Also, Skorapa raised her family in Freeport, and both her children are graduates of Freeport High School.

“We knew firsthand the value of the education because we saw it firsthand with our own children,” Skorapa said. “I am beyond excited to become part of this extraordinary team in RSU 5 and can’t wait to get started.”

Skorapa starts July 1.

Like other school districts, RSU 5 has been beset with controversy over COVID-19 protocols, particularly mask mandates.

Last month, an RSU 5 board meeting was almost adjourned early because parents speaking out against the mask mandate were being disruptive. Shortly after, on March 1, a group of students and parents held a demonstration outside of two RSU 5 schools to protest the mask mandate.

The mandate was repealed following a unanimous vote by the board on March 6.


Skorapa said a similar situation occurred in RSU 67.

She said she considered CDC recommendations and used up-to-date, district-specific data and input from local health professionals when helping to form COVID-19 protocols.

“I think what we do is we work together through this and we’re very transparent in what’s happening,” Skorapa said. “We’re very communicative with people, and we work together if this in fact arises again, which we certainly hope it all doesn’t.”

In Freeport, she will be paid $157,000 annually.

Skorapa was selected from a pool of 13 applicants and chosen over one other finalist, according to RSU 5 Board Chairperson Michelle Ritcheson.

Ritcheson said she voted for Skorapa because of Skorapa’s range of experience as a teacher, principal, curriculum coordinator and assistant superintendent.


In an interview Thursday, Foley said she’s proud of what the district has accomplished over the past six years, notably infrastructure projects including the high school renovation, construction of the Joan Benoit Samuelson Track & Field facility and the district’s first solar power project.

Those projects occurred during a period of growth for the district. RSU 5’s PreK-12 enrollment has trended up in the last nine years, with 1,881 students enrolled in 2013, and a projected student body of 2,007 for 2022.

She is also proud of the establishment of the diversity equity and inclusion committee and a high school scholarship fund.

Foley’s salary was about $151,200 this year.

Foley’s retirement will wrap up a 32-year career in education.

“I think education is just an amazing career where you have the potential to impact so many lives, especially the children’s lives,” Foley said. “I leave with a lot of gratitude for what I’ve been able to experience.”

“Becky has been fantastic for this district, and she leaves a legacy I would say of excellence behind,” Ritcheson said. “And I think Jean is primed and ready to take that on and continue to grow the district.”

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