Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, July 18, 2019 and The Weekly Packet, July 18, 2019
Union 76 names new director of Special Services
by Anne Berleant
A new director of special services was unanimously approved at a School Union 76 meeting June 18, with 11 of the 15 board members present. Mary Bridgham, with 26 years experience in education, mainly as a teacher and special education teacher, will helm the special education needs of students from Deer Isle-Stonington, Brooklin and Sedgwick this September.
Bridgham is on schedule to complete a master’s degree in educational leadership this summer, and holds a Certificate of Advanced Study in Administration from University of Maine at Farmington. Bridgham earned a PhD in General Education (no dissertation) from Walden University and a master’s in Education from St. Joseph’s College. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Her most recent position was teaching middle school social studies at Jefferson Village School in Jefferson, Maine.
Bridgham noted that fulfilling state and federal special education requirements is not the extent of her new position. “There is absolutely room for a special education philosophy,” she wrote via email. “State paperwork is an important part of the job but it’s not all there is—everything circles around the needs of the students.”
Bridgham had “cast a net across Maine” in her job search and didn’t hesitate to accept the Union 76 position when offered, she said.
“I am excited about this opportunity, and the way everything fell into place made me feel that the good Lord intended for me to do what I could for the children of School Union 76.”