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New Principal for Rowe July 1

William Anton, a school superintendent from Vermont, will be the new principal of Rowe Elementary School, starting July 1. Anton was selected for the role by Interim Co-Superintendents Melea Nalli and Aaron Townsend, and his appointment was approved by the Portland Board of Public Education at its May 2 meeting.

“After a selection process that included 22 candidates from multiple states and multiple rounds of screening – and the participation of the Rowe community – we are confident that Bill Anton is the right leader for Rowe moving forward,” the co-superintendents said. “Not only does Bill bring significant leadership experience to the role, but he also is experienced in growing a schoolwide vision, leading district-wide equity work, and being a strong community builder and communicator.”

Anton has held multiple successful school and district leadership roles, including serving most recently as a superintendent of a district in southern Vermont. Prior to that, he served as an elementary school principal in the same area for seven years. His previous experience also includes being an assistant principal and a teacher and working in marketing and public relations.

He is filling the position currently held by Interim Principal Jesseca Steele, who stepped into the role for the 2022-2023 school year on a temporary basis. That gave the district more time to search for a long-term replacement for former Rowe Principal Barbara Fletcher, who took a job in another community at the end of the 2021-2022 school year.

“As we welcome Bill, we want to appreciate Jesseca for her leadership this year as interim principal,” Townsend and Nalli said. “Jesseca stepped into the role right as the school year was launching, and has worked incredibly hard this year in service of Rowe families, staff, and students. We are very grateful for her dedication, collaboration and leadership.”

Here’s more about Anton:

Bill Anton, Incoming Principal, Rowe Elementary School: Bill Anton is completing his seventh year as superintendent in Windham Central Supervisory Union in southern Vermont. Prior to being superintendent, Bill served as elementary school principal at The Dover School in Dover, Vermont, the first International Baccalaureate elementary school in the state, where he was honored to represent Vermont as a National Distinguished Principal. Bill has also served as a third-grade teacher and an elementary assistant principal. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa in communications and received his teaching certificate and master’s in administration from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. He grew up in Northern California and has lived in London, Atlanta, North Carolina, and Vermont. Bill and his wife Meredith, a writer, have two adult children. He is excited to join the Rowe Elementary community, the Portland Public Schools, and the Portland community at large.

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with approximately 6,500 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 50 languages. 51 percent of the district’s students are white and 49 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.