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Portland Public Schools Completes Staffing of Central Office Team

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Portland Public Schools Completes Staffing of Central Office Team
Posted on 08/01/2016
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The Portland Public Schools (PPS) has appointed Alicia Gardiner as its new executive director of budget and finance. Gardiner currently is the chief financial officer for the city of Westbrook and will join PPS in November.

“We look forward to having Alicia join our Central Office team,” said Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana. “Her skills and in-depth knowledge and experience in both municipal and school finance and budget development will be an asset to our district. Her hiring also completes my senior management team and allows us to focus on getting ready for the new school year.”

Gardiner has been with the city of Westbrook for six years. She became CFO in 2013 and before that was comptroller/accountant for both the city and its school department. Before moving into municipal finance, she held auditing positions at private companies and institutions in Maine and Massachusetts. Gardiner is a certified public accountant who holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern Maine and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from Babson College.

Botana recently appointed Sharon Pray, formerly the district’s director of student support services, to be interim chief academic officer for the 2016-2017 school year. Pray joined PPS four years ago and previously served as director of special education programs in several districts and as a school principal at one time.

Deborah Mullis recently was appointed interim director of student support services. Mullis has been with the district since 2005 and has been assistant director of student support services since 2012.

Other continuing members of the superintendent's senior administrative team are Jeanne Crocker, interim superintendent for the past year, who stepped back into her former role as assistant superintendent for school management on July 1; Craig Worth, executive director of operations; Barbara Stoddard, director of human resources; and Grace Valenzuela, director of the district’s Multilingual & Multicultural Center.

The Portland Board of Public Education will vote on Gardiner’s election to the district’s top finance post at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 2. The board also will vote on appointing Sheila Jepson as interim principal of Portland High School. Jepson is an experienced high school principal who joined PPS 10 years ago. She most recently was the district’s academic coordinator.