RSU 29 hires familiar face as new superintendent

Published: May. 12, 2023 at 2:54 PM EDT
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HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) - RSU 29 recently hired a new superintendent. News Source 8′s Isaac Potter caught up with him to talk about his new position and what he is looking forward to the most.

A familiar face will be taking over as the new superintendent of the RSU 29 school district. Joe Fagnant, who has served in the RSU 29 School district for 27 years, will take over for current superintendent Richard Lyons, whose contract ends in June. Fagnant is very excited to take on this new position.

Joe Fagnant, New RSU 29 Superintendent, says “Houlton is a fantastic town, Southern Aroostook area is just a great place to be. So having that opportunity to work in this leadership role is hopefully bring together some visions that I have of combining my expertise in my current job with Adult and Community education, being in the community, working with community college, seeing students that sometimes don’t make it through school, and hopefully find ways to increase their enrollment and get them through school. With also turning to the community as a support network for all of our students.”

Prior to this new job, Fagnant was the 9-12 instrumental music teacher from 1993-2013 and served as K-12 Music Department Chairperson for the district. He also has been in administration roles as the Director of Adult & Community Education, Director of Northern Maine Community College in Houlton, and the Director of Operations overseeing transportation and facilities at Houlton High School. His love for education started back when he was in high school.

Joe Fagnant: “I had a high school band director that gave me an opportunity to work with a student and teach somebody, and that aha moment came together. It was like helping somebody get through something that has a challenge with, or learn something and that’s what really drew my love for education. I went through that in high school and did a lot of mentoring and work, and went into the University of Maine and was in all different ensembles, was a leader with different ensembles and worked hard. Coming into Houlton, it was such a great opportunity because of the well established music program and the mentors I had in place.”

Fagnant adds his biggest challenge will be the RSU 29 budget. While there will be challenges, he looks forward to bringing connections to the community.

Joe Fagnant: “We will be reaching to employers, we will be reaching to families, we will be reaching out to try and see how we can support the school system in these challenging times. We will continue the great relationships we have with our communities that support us and really put together kind of this effort of a community wide approach to education.”

Fagnant will take over as superintendent on July 1st. Isaac Potter News Source 8.