News Feature

The Peninsula
Originally published in Castine Patriot, January 19, 2023 and The Weekly Packet, January 19, 2023
Former Adams School principal named interim Director of Special Services

by Maggie White

“I love the town of Castine. I love School Union 93. I certainly wanted to help out,” said former Adams School Principal Sheila Irvine about stepping into the role of Director of Special Services for the district.

Irvine has agreed to fill the position on an interim basis—from January 23 through June 30—and, while she left the principal role in order to fully focus on teaching, she’s happy to be of service.

“I was asked if I could help out in any way, and I felt I could. As that conversation went on, this is what we came up with—a split between teaching and the [director] position,” said Irvine.

This will actually be Irvine’s second stint in the role.

“She served in this capacity for Union 93 prior to becoming principal at Castine’s Adams School,” said Union 93 Superintendent Reg Ruhlin in an email. “She is experienced and highly qualified, so we’re lucky to have her.”

This is Irvine’s 35th year as an educator, a vocational path she embarked upon in 1987. Still passionate about education, Irvine said that “it’s the consistently unpredictable days of working with young people” that keeps her passionate about her job.

The place also plays a role. “Castine is a wonderful town, and the Adams School is one of the most precious places on Earth right now. I feel so privileged to be a part of it.”

As for why the position was vacant to begin with, Ruhlin said that the previous director, Matt Wibberly, resigned in November as he’d accepted a position elsewhere. “That’s a difficult time of year to fill a position,” said Ruhlin, who added that they will be readvertising in March, when educators start thinking ahead to the next school year.

Other changes in the administrative offices of School Union 93 include the elimination of the Curriculum Coordinator and replacement of that position with an Assistant Superintendent. The restructuring, said Ruhlin, is with an eye toward longevity.

“It’s recognition that the central office supports 5 districts and, to increase the odds of the next Superintendent and Special Education Coordinator sticking around for a while, there needs to be more support.”