Four Regional School Unit 21 employees, two of whom worked closely with the superintendent, have announced their departure.

Four Regional School Unit 21 employees, two of whom worked closely with the superintendent, recently announced their departure. Kennebunk Post file

Assistant Superintendent Anita Bernhardt, who has been with the district since July 2021, told RSU 21 at the end of January that she will retire at the close of the school year. School social worker Michelle Fortier-Oosterman is also retiring after 25 years with the school district, during which time she worked at both Sea Road School and Kennebunkport Consolidated School. 

The retirement announcements come on the heels of two resignations. 

After less than two years with the district, School Psychologist and 504 District Coordinator Tara Skiff and Communications Specialist David Singer are both leaving RSU 21 on Feb. 9. The 504 coordinator for the district is responsible for overseeing 504 plans, an arrangement made by the school to help a student with a disability learn in a regular classroom setting.

Singer has been with the district since November 2022 and Skiff has been with the district since May 2022. 

Superintendent Terri Cooper acknowledged all four employees at the two most recent RSU 21 School Board meetings. Cooper called Bernhardt a friend and a key member of the leadership team, adding that she would be “sorely missed and hard to replace.”


“Her dedication and commitment to our students and staff has just been unmatched,” said Cooper at the Feb. 5 board meeting.

Bernhardt previously worked for nearly two decades at the Maine Department of Education, rising to become the director of standards and instruction in 2013, according to her LinkedIn page. Immediately prior to joining RSU 21, she was the assistant superintendent at York School Department. During her time with the York School Department, she was named Maine’s 2021 Assistant Superintendent of the Year.

In her resignation letter dated Jan. 30, she said that it was a privilege to close her over four decades-long career working for RSU 21.

Cooper commemorated Fortier-Oosterman’s career by saying “she’s been with us for 25 years, that’s nothing to sneeze at,” and adding that she’ll be missed. 

Bernhardt submitted her letter of resignation eight days after Communications Specialist David Singer wrote to Cooper, announcing his departure. Cooper and Singer worked closely together during his time with the district.

Singer wrote on social media that he has taken a job as the communications manager for Community Concepts, a nonprofit that supports families in need in Androscoggin, Oxford, and Franklin counties.

In his resignation letter, Singer thanked Cooper for her guidance and leadership, which he said helped him find his footing “very quickly in a new industry.” Singer previously worked in media relations for the Portland Police Department, and before that he was a journalist for various outlets.

Of Skiff’s resignation, which the district learned about on Jan. 9, Cooper said that it had been a pleasure working with her and wished her all the best in her next endeavor. Skiff previously worked as a school psychologist in New York state.

Comments are not available on this story.