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New Administrators for Rowe, Lyseth & PHS

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New Administrators for Rowe, Lyseth & PHS
Posted on 08/04/2020
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The Portland Public Schools has added three new administrators:  Joanna Frankel, assistant principal at Rowe Elementary school; Sarah Rubin, assistant principal at Lyseth Elementary School; Lance Johnson, athletic/co-curricular director at Portland High School.

All are filling positions left vacant due to retirements or staff moving on to other jobs. The Portland Board of Public Education formally approved the appointment of the new administrators at the Board’s Aug. 4 meeting.

“I am very pleased to have these leaders join our district’s exceptional leadership team,” Superintendent Xavier Botana said. “All three already have strong connections to the Portland Public Schools in one capacity or another. We’re happy to have them on board as we embark on a challenging 2020-2021 school year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their knowledge, skills, and experiences will further enhance the work we’re doing to ensure all our students have an optimal learning experience while staying healthy and safe.”

More information on the recently appointed administrators is below:

Joanna FrankelJoanna Frankel, Assistant Principal at Amanda C. Rowe Elementary School: Joanna Frankel comes to the Portland Public Schools from the Fiddlehead School of Arts and Sciences in Gray, where she served as coordinator of teaching and learning for five years. Prior to her school leadership experience, Joanna was a classroom teacher for 15 years, working with all ages from pre-K to fifth grade in Maine, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Sarah Lawrence College and a master’s degree in elementary education from Smith College, where she held a graduate teaching fellowship. She expects to soon receive her certificate of graduate studies in assistant principal from the University of Southern Maine. Joanna has been a Portland Public School parent and PTO leader since moving to Maine in 2014, when her son started kindergarten at Reiche Community School. She is passionate about the district’s priorities as articulated in the Portland Promise, and looks forward to serving the community as assistant principal at Rowe. Outside of her work in schools, Joanna stays busy as a certified yoga teacher, mom, wife of a restaurant owner, and avid proponent of spending as much time outdoors as possible.

Lance JohnsonLance Johnson, Athletic/Co-Curricular Director, Portland High School: Lance Johnson has spent the past 25 years working in the alternative education and math departments at Portland High School as an educational technician and then teacher. He also spent 21 years as an assistant football coach at Portland High, and the last 10 years as the head football coach at Scarborough High School. Lance holds a bachelor of science degree in sport management from the University of Southern New Hampshire. He has worked closely with local athletic administrators and leaders at the Maine Principals’ Association as a member of the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (MIAAA). He was born and raised in Portland, one of six siblings who all graduated from Portland High School. He and his wife have one daughter. He is passionate about working with high school students, and is excited to work with all students in pursuing their interests in the extended classroom of co-curricular activities. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with animals on his farm, fishing and family trips to Moosehead Lake.

Sarah RubiSarah Rubin, Assistant Principal at Harrison Lyseth Elementary School: Sarah Rubin comes to the Portland Public Schools from Gorham Middle School where she taught seventh grade and served as a teacher leader for 13 years. She also founded and advised Gorham’s Civil Rights Team and helped the district establish and work towards equity goals. Her passion for equity work in education comes out of her decades-long work with Seeds of Peace as a counselor, camp director, facilitator, and currently, as a regional coordinator. She has also taught pre-service and in-service teachers at both Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and at the University of Southern Maine. Rubin earned her undergraduate degree in international studies from the University of Southern Maine and her master of arts in teaching: elementary education at the University of Maine in Orono. In her free time, she feels most at home in the water with friends and family. She was a competitive swimmer and has coached swimming in southern Maine for almost twenty years, most recently at Deering High School. Rubin is from Sanford, Maine and lives in Portland with her husband and two young children.

School principals also welcomed the new administrators.

Portland High School Principal Sheila Johnson said, “Lance Johnson is a well respected member of our school community.  He is going to lead our co-curricular program with integrity, passion and a laser focus on all of our students. He is coming into a program that is well situated within the SMAA and under his leadership our programs will continue to grow. Lance is a devoted Bulldog, a strong advocate for students and a loyal and trusted educator. I am thrilled to have him as a member of our administrative team.”

Lyseth Principal Lenore Williams said that in the intensive interview process with Rubin, “we put her through her paces and she came through with amazing grace. We’re very excited about what she’s going to bring to Lyseth and the Portland Public Schools in her leadership around equity. We’re very pleased to bring her on board.”

Rowe Principal Barbara Fletcher said, “It is my honor and pleasure to welcome Joanna to Rowe as our new assistant principal! Joanna is incredibly thoughtful in her approaches to systems that support teaching, learning and care for students, staff and families alike. Joanna, who is also a Portland resident and parent, is well grounded in our Portland Promise work and her leadership skills are sure to add tremendous value to both the Rowe and greater PPS communities. I am greatly looking forward to our partnership as we navigate this new school year together!”