Presque Isle Region

SAD 1’s adult education director resigns to head up Ignite PI

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — SAD 1 adult and community education director LeRae Kinney has resigned to become the new CEO at Ignite Presque Isle starting Nov. 7.

On Wednesday, Sept. 21, the SAD 1 board unanimously approved Kinney’s resignation during its meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 21, along with that of  Melanie Jenkins, English language learner teacher.

Ignite PI was established in 2021 as a coworking space to build a thriving business community in Presque Isle with entrepreneurs and local business owners. Ignite PI co-founder Clinton Deschene resigned in July 2022 and left the organization without a CEO. Kinney is set to transfer her leadership skills from SAD 1 into the young nonprofit organization.

“I have had a wonderful experience growing the Adult Education program from 2014 to present day. While I enjoy it, this is a forward thinking opportunity to use my talent to help grow Presque Isle and Aroostook County,” Kinney said. “It’s such a wonderful opportunity to be part of something that is adding such a unique value to the community.”

Before she joins Ignite PI, Kinney will continue in her current position with SAD 1 until her contract ends on Nov. 4. 

Ignite PI, located at The Northeastland Hotel, is undergoing construction but is operational.

In her adult education role, Kinney earlier this year oversaw the launching of the dental assistant pilot program that began in June to address the state’s shortage of those technicians. The program offered 10 weeks of in-person training and weekly Zoom sessions with instructor Amanda Willette.

In October 2021, a collaborative effort between Husson University, MMG Insurance and SAD 1 led to The Work Shop opening its doors to students of all ages, whether K-12 or adult education.

During her time as director, the SAD 1 adult education joined forces with the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 2018 to provide a Phleobotomy Certification Program that was a first-of-its-kind program for Aroostook County.

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