Friday, August 18, 2023

RSU 14 welcomes new Windham Middle School principal

By Lorraine Glowczak

Greg Applestein, a 34-year veteran educator with 11 years of administrator experience, was approved and welcomed by the RSU 14 school board to serve as the new Windham Middle School Principal following the end of the school year in June.

Greg Applestein will lead Windham Middle
School as its new principal. A veteran
educator and school administrator, he joins
RSU 14 after serving for the past three
years as the principal of Bonny Eagle
High School in Standish.
Applestein replaces Drew Patin as the WMS principal, and he officially started his new role at the school on July 1.

RSU 14 Superintendent of Schools Christopher Howell said that Applestein has a wealth of experience in public education and his experiences are closely aligned with the work plan that is already in place for WMS.

“Greg’s references spoke of his strong ability to form positive relationships with all members of the school community and his advocacy and support for his staff,” Howell said.

Howell said that Applestein earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary English Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1990, and then taught English and Video Productions at Belfast Area High School for 22 years. Upon completion of his Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Southern Maine in 2012, he became the assistant principal of Ellsworth High School for three years.

He relocated to Scarborough High School as an Assistant Principal in 2015 and then accepted a position as Principal at Bonny Eagle High School, where he has worked for the past three years.

According to Applestein, he is looking forward to his new journey with RSU 14 and his role as a middle school principal for the school district.

“I’m excited to work with younger students who are in the midst of big changes and are beginning to discover who they are,” he said. “It’s a great time to be a part of their lives and to help them navigate the world.”

The new WMS principal said he promotes the student-centered approach to education which embraces the students where they are in life.

“Each student has unique backgrounds, strengths, challenges, interests, and aspirations,” he said. “They each have the potential that will unfold at their own pace and in their own way. It’s the job of the educator to recognize, unleash and support that individual student, in their growth and success.”

He said he believes that an educator is there to encourage each student to test the waters by learning new content and empower them to take more ownership of their learning so they can be successful, now and in the future.

At WMS, Applestein will continue project-based learning, which has been the WMS educational approach in recent years. This educational method promotes students’ ownership of their learning as they design, develop, and construct hands-on solutions to real-life situations.

In addition to his focus on student success, Applestein is also very supportive of the school’s staff.

“I want to empower our educators to be the best they can be, not to take themselves too seriously, and to take ownership of their success,” he said. “I’ve always encouraged teachers to keep their passions for students’ achievements and their role in education alive. To teach is to learn, so a commitment to professional development is imperative. Also, involvement in their school community through committee work, etc. is a great ingredient to a successful school culture.”

The new WMS Principal said that he expects the same of himself and to keep himself on track, Applestein reflects upon his experience after each day.

“Often, on the ride home from work, I will ask myself two questions,” he said. “‘What was my new learning today’ and ‘What can I pull from that learning that can make me a better principal tomorrow?’”

Applestein lives in Scarborough with his wife Michelle. The couple has two grown children, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren and when he is not at school, the new WMS principal can be found enjoying live music, reading, drumming, bass fishing, and spending time with his family. <

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