Friday, March 2, 2018

A local superintendent’s journey by Matt Pascarella

There is a twisting road of experiences one takes from that of an educator to the position of superintendent. Sanford Prince IV has been superintendent for RSU#14 since July 2003 and he shares the steps he took to be a leader in the Windham and Raymond communities. 

Prince graduated from Cape Elizabeth High School and attended the University of Maine at Farmington for Elementary Education and Special Education. He earned his master’s at the University of Southern Maine in Education specializing in School Leadership and became certified as a school administrator. 

Prince made Windham his first home in education in 1982 as the school’s first full time kindergarten special education teacher. He remained with the school until 1986, at which time he went to the Gorham school district as the Director of Special Education Services. While there, Prince also was both principal of an elementary school K-3 and Principal of the districts Kindergarten Center in Gorham and acted as the interim principal for the middle school principal for three years.
Around 2002, he became principal at Lyseth Elementary in Portland soon becoming Assistant Director of Educational Planning for the Portland School Department. Prince eventually returned to Windham in 2003 and became Superintendent of Schools. He stated that he enjoyed working in Windham previously and was interested in the work a superintendent would do.

Prince is responsible for six schools in the RSU #14 district: one high school, two middle schools, three elementary schools, an adult education program as well as the Katahdin Program which is a program within a school. 

Prince says being a superintendent is very rewarding and he enjoys being part of a team that makes a difference for students. “It’s extremely meaningful work when you’re really involved in making decisions that are best for students.” 

One of the hardest parts about being superintendent is budget cuts and losing staff. School safety is another issue that can be difficult to manage. “When it hits hard it can hit really hard . . . if something happens,” he explains. Prince believes having a positive attitude makes a big difference in the outcome of all events handled by his department.

“There’s a lot of moving parts within this organization - it’s inspirational, it’s exciting,” explains Prince. “I have a good team and that makes all the difference in the world. At the end of the day, I can say I’ve given it my best. My lens is always what’s best for students - and that’s what’s really important.”

In his free time, Prince is a ski instructor, as is his wife. They co-instruct students at Shawnee Peak on the weekends. He’s mindful of wellness and has run four road races in the past year. “It goes back to my scouting days - I just love being outdoors,” Prince said. He enjoys camping, biking, rollerblading and waterskiing as well as landscaping on his property.

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