HAMPDEN, Maine — The night before the school district’s public budget meeting, Reeds Brook Middle School said goodbye to its principal as a new one was approved by the school board.
Anita Stewart McCafferty, assistant principal and athletic director at Mattanawcook Junior High School since 2008, was approved 9-0 by the MSAD 22 board of directors Wednesday night to take over for retiring principal Tom Ingraham.
Superintendent Rick Lyons said Stewart McCafferty, who was a social studies and English language arts teacher for eight years and administrator for four in Lincoln, gets a two-year contract that will pay her $81,500 a year.
Stewart McCafferty earned her undergraduate degree in political science in 1994 and a Master’s of Arts in teaching in 1998 from the University of Maine and her doctorate in teacher leadership from Walden University in Minneapolis last year.
“She was heavily involved in technology training, literacy and data-driven initiatives, and she was Title I coordinator and adjunct faculty member at UMaine and Kennebec Valley Community College,” Lyons said.
Ingraham is retiring after nine years as Reeds Brook principal. Before that, he was an English teacher and assistant principal at Orono High School.
“Altogether, I have 25 years in education with one year at Penobscot Valley High School,” said Ingraham, a Bangor native who graduated from Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield. “I finished my degree in English from UMaine when I was 37. I had a midlife correction.”
Before becoming an educator, Ingraham, who started off as a film major, held a number of jobs including working for an upstate New York TV station, a printer and machinist in Boston, and cutting pulp for a timber company.
“I always found my diverse career background to help me out quite a bit,” he said. “I don’t always understand everybody, but I could always empathize with people.”
Ingraham credits his mother — a former teacher, principal and superintendent — and former MCI teachers Peg Witham and Bud Lewis for eventually inspiring him to teach.
Ingraham says he and wife, Betty, who works for the UMaine department of chemical engineering, will turn their attention to building a new home.
“That should keep me busy for awhile, but I honestly don’t know — and I’m not worried about — what I’ll do in retirement,” he said. “I just know Reeds Brook is a great school and I felt this was the perfect time for me to retire because the school is just top-notch now.”