Portland school official earns Maine Black Excellence Award

Julia Hazel, Portland Public Schools’ director of BIPOC career pathways and leadership development, has received the Compass Career Award as part of the Maine Black Excellence Awards, presented by The Third Place. The Compass Career Award recognizes individuals who accomplish a standout achievement in their workplace or sector.

“Congratulations to Julia Hazel for receiving this well-deserved acknowledgement of her exemplary work,” said Superintendent Ryan Scallon. “As part of the central equity goal of the Portland Promise, our district is committed to ensuring that our staff is reflective of our diverse student body. Julia’s work to help attract, support and retain educators of color for the Portland Public Schools is vital to this effort.”

She has taught at Talbot, Reiche and Rowe elementary schools in the district. In 2015, she co-created a curriculum for a new district course, “Race in the United States: Perspectives for Portland Educators,” and she became a founding member of a BIPOC educators group.

The Third Place is an organizational collaborative space for professionals and community builders of African descent statewide. The Maine Black Excellence Awards recognize individuals and institutions who work to create equity in support of Black social and cultural infrastructure in Maine.



New assistant principals and leadership at Portland Public Schools

Portland Public Schools hired three assistant principals and filled two positions at the central office.

Darralynn Jones is the new assistant principal at Lyman Moore Middle School. She has been a biology teacher and head of the science department at U Prep Schools in Michigan, as well as a science teacher at Oakland University.



Hermenegildo Paulo, assistant principal at Talbot Community School, was most recently an educational technician supporting multilingual students at Reiche Elementary School and a math teacher at King Middle School. He also taught math in all undergraduate levels in Angola for over 12 years.

Melissa Richard, assistant principal at Rowe Elementary School, was interim assistant principal at Pond Cove Elementary School in Cape Elizabeth, where she previously worked as a math interventionist.



Certified public accountant Helene DiBartolomeo is the new executive director of finance for PPS. She’s worked as the finance director for the town of Cumberland and has also been chief financial officer of the Martin County school district in Florida.

Sarah Warren has been hired as executive director of operations. She was previously executive director of whole child services and support for the Baltimore Public Schools in Maryland.


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