SAD 1 board chooses Greenlaw as new district superintendent
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — On Wednesday, May 8, the SAD 1 school board voted unanimously to appoint current Presque Isle High School Principal Ben Greenlaw as the new district superintendent effective Jan. 1, 2020.
From July 1 to Dec. 31, 2019, Greenlaw will serve as assistant superintendent under current SAD 1 interim superintendent Gehrig Johnson. In January 2019, the school board appointed Johnson as interim after accepting the resignation of former superintendent Brian Carpenter.
Board chair Lucy Richard noted that having Greenlaw first serve as assistant superintendent will allow the high school principal to meet with teachers and staff members from the district’s other schools — Presque Isle Middle School, Zippel Elementary and Pine Street Elementary in Presque Isle and Mapleton Elementary School — and to take on the responsibilities of superintendent under the guidance of an experienced mentor.
Richard cited Greenlaw’s leadership abilities and familiarity with the SAD 1 district as major factors in the board’s decision. In addition to serving as PIHS principal, he has three children attending pre-K, elementary and middle school in the district.
“We are very excited to bring Ben on board. He is a wonderful communicator, has been with the district for nine years and has the full support of his staff,” Richard said. “He has also been involved with expanding dual-credit opportunities for students and knows the importance of educating our children for college and the workforce.”
Greenlaw has served as principal at PIHS since 2010. Prior to his current position, Greenlaw taught physical education and coached basketball at Hampden Academy.
After the school board members voted Wednesday evening, Greenlaw said he appreciates their support and looks forward to strengthening connections with other members of the district in the coming months.
“I envision that most of my first year will be about talking and listening to people in the district and getting a sense of what they’re proud of and what they think we need to improve upon,” Greenlaw said. “I’m glad that I’ll be able to learn from Dr. Johnson and bring a familiar face to the position.”
Johnson said the school board has made “an excellent choice” in Greenlaw and that he intends to work closely with Greenlaw to ensure a smooth transition into his new role.
“There’s more to being a leader than simply being handed the keys. Ben holds all the personal qualities necessary to lead the district,” Johnson said. “He has high integrity, honesty and compassion for others and just plain common sense.”