RSU 29 selects County native for next superintendent

3 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — The RSU 29 board has looked to an Aroostook County native to be its next superintendent.

Richard “Rick” Lyons, a native of Masardis, was selected as the next superintendent during a special school board meeting held Wednesday, June 23, via Zoom. He takes over for outgoing superintendent Ellen Halliday on July 1.

“While we had some excellent candidates, Rick’s experience, ability to tackle large projects successfully, depth of knowledge, leadership skills and demonstrated passion for student success made him the clear choice,” board chairman Fred Grant said. “The board was unanimous in supporting him and we feel very fortunate to have a superintendent of his caliber joining our SAD 29 team.”

Lyons’ educational career spans more than three decades. For the past year he has served as the interim superintendent for RSU 8 (Vinalhaven) as well as the interim superintendent for the state’s Unorganized Territories.

Prior to that, he served as the superintendent for RSU 22 (Hampden) — a post he held from July 1992 until June 2020. He retired from RSU 22 in 2015, but returned to the district after a one-month separation to guide that district for another five years.

Lyons began his educational career as a teacher in St. Albans, Vermont, in 1975. He joined his hometown school, SAD 45 (Washburn), serving as a teacher in that district from July 1976 until June 1978 before becoming a principal in SAD 1 (Presque Isle) from July 1979 to June 1990.

His first superintendent position came in July 1990 when he was named the head of SAD 68 (Dover-Foxcroft), where he remained for two years before joining the Hampden school district.

During his tenure as superintendent, Lyons has received several recognitions for his leadership skills including Outstanding Leadership (2004), Maine Superintendent of the Year (2004), and the Distinguished School Superintendent Award (2007). 

He has officiated basketball and is a lifetime runner having completed more than 40 marathons. Lyons is on the graduate faculty of the University of Maine and has taught numerous courses in educational leadership. 

He and his wife, Patricia, now live in Portage. His wife was a corporate banker and is a former schoolteacher. The couple has an adult son and a daughter and three grandchildren.