HODGDON, Maine — Hodgdon Middle-High School has lost one of its varsity coaches and teachers following the resignation of Sarah Williams.
SAD 70’s loss will be RSU 50’s gain as Williams recently was named as the elementary guidance counselor for Southern Aroostook Community School. The SAD 70 school board accepted Williams resignation on Monday evening.
“You have been a wonderful asset to our school, students and staff,” SAD 70 Superintendent Stephen Fitzpatrick said. “You will be truly missed.”
In her resignation letter to the district, Williams stated the decision to leave SAD 70 came with “mixed emotions.”
“I have been presented the opportunity to utilize my master’s degree in school counseling at Southern Aroostook Community School in the K-5 setting,” she wrote. “I absolutely love my job at SAD 70. I am extremely invested in the school and community and to say that this has been a tough decision is an understatement.”
RSU 50 Superintendent Jon Porter said he was pleased to be welcoming Williams to his district. She replaces Korinne Brannen, who worked as the elementary guidance counselor for the past seven years.
“Sarah Williams brings a wealth of experience working with all ages of students,” Porter said. “She has worked as an elementary teacher at both Mill Pond School in Hodgdon and also one year at Southern Aroostook Elementary, and has also coached a variety of sports teams at the middle school and high school level. She has also worked at Aroostook Teen Leadership Camp for many years. We are excited to have Sarah join our team at Southern Aroostook.”
Porter added Williams’ commitment to students has been evident in her many experiences and has a reputation of being a hard worker and a great advocate for children,
“I am looking forward to seeing Sarah grow in her new role and to work with our students,” he said.
“At the end of last school year, I had no intentions at all of going anywhere,” Williams said. “I loved my jobs at Hodgdon and the people I had the pleasure of working with and for. The counseling opportunity popped up out of nowhere, it seemed. Looking at things from a professional growth standpoint, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”
She added she was looking forward to continuing her love for teaching, but in a different manner.
“I will be teaching guidance classes to all students, and then I will have my small groups and short-term individual counseling, as needed,” she said. “I love teaching, but I am excited about focusing on social skills, team-building, problem-solving and stepping away from the academic subjects. I’m really looking forward to helping kids learn skills that will help them be successful in the classroom and community.”
During her seven years as a teacher at Mill Pond Elementary School, Williams coached a variety of sports teams for SAD 70. She was a middle school and varsity softball coach for a combined eight seasons; was middle school and varsity boys soccer for three seasons; and middle school girls basketball coach for two years.
Back in December 2018, Williams was announced as the third-place finalist in U.S. Cellular’s Most Valuable Coach contest and received $15,000 for her school to go toward athletic programs.
“My fondest memories are of all the personal connections I have made with students and families,” she said. “They have made me feel successful and like I have made a difference. I also have countless fond memories with the staff at SAD 70.”
On the coaching side of things, Williams said she was extremely proud of the “Runs for Addie” campaign her team did during the 2015-2016 season when the Hawks helped raise awareness for Addie Woods, a student and player who was going through cancer treatments.
“I still smile when I think about all of the success our team had that season,” she said. “It really goes to show that when you have something to play for, a purpose, success seems to come simply.”
Williams said she has no intentions to coach teams at Southern Aroostook at the present moment. Instead she will focus her time on her new job and raising her family, which includes a 2-year-old daughter and another child on the way, with her husband Tim.