As a child, I always looked ahead and pictured myself teaching first grade. I continued with this goal until reaching my sophomore year at the University of Maine at Farmington. I took one Technology in Education course and was hooked! I switched my concentration to math/computer science and never looked back.
After graduating from UMF in 2000, I accepted my first job in MSAD #49. I spent 4 years teaching computer science classes to K-6th graders. I then accepted a job in my home district, RSU #74, and continued with computer science instruction. I wrote multiple grants to support creating a robotics program, communicating with a classroom in Cameroon, Africa (the grant purchased a generator for them to use to power the laptop we were skyping through), and beginning some coding activities with grade k and up.
Over the next 13 years, my job in RSU #74 evolved. I went from direct instruction to more of a technology coaching model. My love of data led to roles on multiple leadership teams. In my final year in RSU #74, I wore many hats (curriculum coordinator, adult ed director, assessment coordinator). One hat that I never planned to wear was that of k-8 principal. I was asked to step in to cover in an emergency setting. I was excited to leave my office space in our central office building and work with students again. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the role of principal.
This experience made me realize that I wanted to remain in a principal position. I applied for a PK-8 principal position at the Kingfield Elementary School in MSAD #58 and began the next fall. In 2018, I saw a posting for a PK-2 principal position in RSU #4 and applied and was very excited to be offered the position. I have worked with students from age 0 (daycare director in Farmington in 1999) to 80 (adult ed. Teacher in RSU #74). I really enjoy working with PK-2 students. Seeing the excitement of learning new things, and the amazing speed in which students learn during those years is rewarding.
Jaime Ela - Principal