New Rockland area school leader excited about job

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted July 17, 2012, at 4:45 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — Lewis Collins said he is excited about becoming the next superintendent of Regional School Unit 13.

Collins was offered and accepted the job Monday night following a unanimous vote of the RSU 13 Board.

Collins is the superintendent of the Vinalhaven school system which is a Wednesday-through-Friday job. He has given the island school board his 90-day resignation notice.

But the Readfield resident said Tuesday in a telephone interview that he will still begin his first day of work in Rockland on Monday. He said he will work at both jobs through the 90 days.

Collins said he considers his main strength to be his ability to work with people in a system including the staff, administrative team, board and community.

“I want everyone to keep their eye on the prize,” which is the education of the students, Collins stressed.

He said the No. 1 goal is to teach students critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Collins’ contract, which runs through June 2014, calls for a starting salary of $108,000. The school district stated in a news release it sent out Tuesday that the salary is average for superintendents in the region.

Collins grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated in a class of more than 600. He then went to Arizona and spent 10 years in the West.

He moved to Maine and in 1984 became director of the Child Development Services of Franklin County which provided, among other things, special education services to students in that county. He held that job for 15 years.

He served as assistant superintendent and special education director in School Union 42 (now RSU 38) in Readfield, a post he held along with the Vinalhaven job until a few weeks ago.

Collins said he was a candidate for the Rockland area school superintendent job when it was still School Administrative District 5.

According to the district’s news release, Collins is married with two sons, Dylan, 24, and Eric, 22. His wife, Deborah Wheawill, works in special education administration in RSU 18 in Oakland, Belgrade and Sidney.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/07/17/news/midcoast/new-rockland-area-school-leader-excited-about-job/ printed on October 1, 2014