The Portland Public Schools this week announced the appointment of three new administrators, continuing in what has been a summer of transition for the district. New Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk, the permanent replacement for former top administrator James Morse and interim schools chief Ira Waltz, begins work in Portland on Monday.
Adding to the new guard will be newly appointed Human Resources Director Glenda Klein, Special Education Coordinator Sharon Pray and Hall Elementary School Principal Cynthia Remick.
Remick steps up into the school’s top job after serving as the assistant principal there for the past year, while Klein comes to Portland from Georgia, where she headed the human resources department for engine builder Deutz Corp.
Pray was the special services coordinator for the Rochester, N.H., School Department for 14 years, building off of years of experience including positions as the state of Maine’s program coordinator for detained youth, as special education director for MSAD 55 in Hiram and as a behavioral specialist for the Wells School Department, according to a Portland district announcement.
Free breakfast program
While I’m on the topic of the Portland Public Schools, the district also announced this week plans to offer free breakfasts to all students at five schools: Reiche, East End, Riverton and Presumpscot elementary schools, as well as Lincoln Middle School.
The school department’s plan is to expand the free breakfast program to all schools within the next two years, and free lunches are additionally offered to all students at Reiche.
According to the district, the free meal costs are subsidized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and students at all Portland schools — not just those listed above where the breakfasts are served to everyone free — can qualify for free breakfasts through an application process that considers family income levels.
Here’s another little note worth paying attention to if you’re a parent of a Portland student and have qualified in the past for free or reduced price lunches. You may have to reapply, the district says:
Due to changes in application procedures, some families automatically qualifying in the past now will be required to apply. Families that automatically qualify for benefits will receive a phone call or letter in the first week of school to confirm their status.
In previous years, some families qualified for reduced-price meals, with a co-pay of 40 cents. This year, the district has eliminated the co-pay so that those meals will be free.