Franklin Countys First News

Mt. Blue school district board names new superintendent

Dr. Thomas Ward is congratulated by RSU 9 school board director Robert Pullo of Wilton.

Dr. Thomas Ward is congratulated by RSU 9 school board director Robert Pullo of Wilton.

FARMINGTON - A familiar face has accepted the Mt. Blue Regional School District's superintendent's job.

Dr. Thomas Ward, a Mt. Blue High School graduate and a former school administrator here who is currently RSU 10's superintendent, accepted the RSU 9 superintendent's position contingent on a contract agreement.

Following a 90-minute interview and board discussion, the 16-member school board emerged from an executive session held Tuesday night to unanimously vote in Dr. Ward as superintendent of the 2,400-student school district. He will be replacing Dr. Michael Cormier who is retiring on June 30 after 20 years with the district.

Directors burst into applause following the decision and Dr. Ward's acceptance of the job.

"Thank you all," Dr. Ward said smiling, "You won't be disappointed."

Dr. Ward, 58, graduated from Mt. Blue High School in 1972, taught and coached locally before going into school administrative work, first as an athletic director then an athletic director and assistant principal at Mt. Blue High School.

He took a job as principal at Dirigo High School for two years then returned to Mt. Blue High School and served as principal for eight years, he said. He went onto MSAD 35 as principal of Marshwood High School for eight years then became superintendent for MSAD 21 schools in Dixfield. He served for six years until MSAD 21, MSAD 39, and MSAD 43 consolidated into one district 2009 and he was named as superintendent of the new-formed, 2,800-student Western Foothills Regional School Unit 10.

His wife, Dr. Grace Ward, is an associate professor of middle and secondary education at the University of Maine at Farmington. The couple live in Temple.

He said the RSU 9 superintendent's job "provides an opportunity to come home. We live here, our kids went to K through 12 grades here and it's been a great experience for me as a student, teacher, coach, administrator. This is an opportunity I didn't want to pass up - to be the superintendent of RSU 9."

Afterward, RSU 9's Assistant Superintendent Leanne Condon said Dr. Ward is "a nice fit for our district." She added he's brought "big initiatives to RSU 10," such as the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports training funded by a federal grant award, which the board is excited about. "He'll come in and continue to move us forward," Condon said.

Director Betsey Hyde said after the vote, "I find it fitting that a Mt. Blue grad would come back and be our superintendent."

Dr. Ward noted that the decision to leave RSU 10 was a difficult one. "I put my heart and soul into it; it's an equally great school district with great people." Then, looking around at the board said, "we're going to have fun."

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43 Responses »

  1. Congratulations, Dr. Ward! Welcome home!

  2. Welcome Back

  3. Welcome back Dr. Ward

  4. Will be great to have a full time superintendent. Best wishes Dr. Tom.

  5. Welcome back, Dr. Ward!

  6. Congratulations, Tom. RSU 9 is lucky to have you.

  7. Excellent choice! This man does nothing, but build character!
    Welcome home "rosebud " :)

  8. Congratulations and welcome back!

  9. Welcome back Tom ! So happy to hear this news .

  10. Congratulations Tom. It will be nice to work together again. Looking forward to some great projects moving forward in RSD9. Welcome back.

  11. CONGRATULATIONS - Couldn't be more thrilled for our community and for you Tom, Dr. Tom!!

  12. Nice.....congrats Coach.....

  13. Welcome home! Congratulations Tom!

  14. Great to see you back Tom. Our gain is their loss!

  15. Congrats, Tom
    SAD 9 is lucky to have you back.

  16. Congrats and Welcome Home!!

  17. Congratulations

  18. Tom,,,if this is your idea of fun
    then you are definitely the right person for the job..
    And you are!!

    Great to have you back ..

  19. What welcome news to have you back.

  20. Fantastic!!!! Nothing but positive experiences with this man as principal when my children went to MBHS. We will see positive changes for the students in all of our schools in this district, a great role model. As a tax payer, I will feel good about paying our school portion of the property tax bill as long as he is the superintendent.

  21. Welcome back, Dr. will be fun.

  22. I am SUPER excited to see this. I remember Mr. Ward well. I SEE great things in our schools future. I strongly believe we will see a POSITIVE change. Congrats Mr. Ward!!!! Looking forward to seeing you around.

  23. Congrats, awesome to see you back home!

  24. Welcome Back Rosebud. We have missed you

  25. He's an awesome brother too - Congrats brother !!!!!!


  26. It is awesome to have you back at Mt Blue coach, I will always be grateful for what you have done in my life.

  27. Welcome Back Mr. (Dr.) Ward. I see great things finally happening at SAD9 again. You were an amazing Principle and role model to many of us. I really hope that you can make the necessary changes in policies and get the staff back on track with teaching the students of this district.

  28. Welcome, Dr. Tom Ward -- and congratulations to our board for snagging you! It's great to have you back!

  29. I am so happy for our school district! We are so fortunate! Thanks for coming back, we all missed you.

  30. Super excited for all our children to have such an awesome leader at the helm. Dr. Ward always put students first when he was principal here. AWESOME!

  31. Congratulations Tom!!! What a positive move for our District!

  32. I guess the Bulldog is censoring again! As I previously submitted I think the board made a good choice in hiring Dr. Ward. I also stated that at his age it won't be long before he's double dipping. Just making a statement!

  33. great job brother The students in your home district will have a great leader. Dick

  34. Mr. Ward is an amazing individual. He was so kind and compassionate as a principal when I went to high school there. Welcome Back Mr. Ward!!

  35. Welcome back :)

  36. What a blessing to our district!
    Tom Ward was our neighbor when we lived in Temple. He's a good, down-to-earth man and will lead with love, respect, good sense and wisdom. He has the ability to leave people better off than he found them.
    Thank you Tom, for caring enough to take the job--it's not an easy one.

  37. So happy for you and RSU 9. Welcome back, Tom

  38. I am delighted to learn Tom is coming back to direct the district schools. In his roles as coach, athletic director and principal at MBHS he was a blessing to me and my family. As superintendent he will be an able and positive guide to district staff, students and our community!

  39. Excited for you, Mr. Ward. I started my career with you on board and I will end it the same way. :)

  40. Another smart and handsome Ward! Lionel and I are so proud of you!! Love to you and Grace

  41. Congratulations Tom! It's only fitting that a hard hitting Mt. Blue Cougar from "back in the day" take on this leadership role!!

  42. What great news! Congratulations Tom and wishing you continued success at RSU 9. And....let me know if you want to have a wrestling rematch sometime. I promise to take it easy on you this time!