November 15, 2019
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Portland school system hires key administrators

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Portland schools | BDN
Portland schools | BDN
Ellen Sanborn

PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Public Schools has hired the following administrators to fill key positions:

— Ellen Sanborn will serve as the district’s chief financial officer.

— Jennifer Searway is the new director of the West Program.

— Patricia Crowley-Rockwell will be the new assistant principal at King Middle School.

— Bethany Connolly has been reappointed as assistant principal at Lincoln Middle School.

“These administrators bring extraordinary talent and skills,” said Portland Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk. “They will help us advance in our effort to become the best small urban school district in the country by 2017.”

Sanborn has been the city of Portland’s finance director for the past six years. She joined the city in 1984 as senior accountant for the Parks and Public Works Department and later advanced to the Finance Department. There, she supervised budget, payroll, accounting and purchasing operations until becoming the finance director.

Sanborn has served on the boards of the Maine Government Finance Officers Association, Portland Downtown District and Portland Fish Exchange. She received a bachelor’s in accounting at the University of Southern Maine and holds a certificate in forensic accounting.

Searway has worked her entire career in special education, focusing on students with significant emotional, social, academic, and/or behavioral difficulties. She taught special education in a public school and a residential day treatment classroom. Since 2007, she has been the founding director of the Sebago Educational Alliance Day Treatment School. She previously worked for two years as education supervisor for KidsPeace New England in Ellsworth. Searway has a special education degree from Trenton State College and three master degrees, in literacy, educational leadership and curriculum and instruction.

Crowley-Rockwell has held several positions during her 35 years in the Portland Public Schools, including special education teacher, fifth grade teacher at the former Baxter Elementary School, district technology leader for the middle schools and strand leader and teaching strategist at King. She has served on the district’s service learning and teacher professional development committees. Crowley-Rockwell has a bachelor’s in education from Bridgewater State, a masters in computer in education from Lesley College and a certificate of advanced study in educational leadership from the University of Southern Maine.

Connolly has spent her entire career at Lincoln. She began 19 years ago as an educational technician, then taught seventh grade social studies and eighth grade English language arts and social studies. In 2004, she became the school’s teaching strategist. Last year, she served as the assistant principal in a oneyear position. Connolly earned a bachelor’s degree from Assumption College, a masters in teaching from Rhode Island College and a certificate of advanced study in educational leadership from the University of Southern Maine.