Business manager

RSU 29 Welcomes New Superintendent and Approves Business Manager Position


RSU 29 School Board officially welcomed its new superintendent, Richard Lyons, to the district on Monday, July 12, during the board’s regular monthly meeting.

HOULTON, Maine – RSU 29 School Board officially welcomed its new superintendent, Richard Lyons, to the district on Monday, July 12, during the board’s regular monthly meeting.

Lyons, from Masardis, was chosen as the next superintendent on June 23. He succeeds Ellen Halliday, who left the district on June 30 after six years with the district. Monday’s meeting was Lyon’s first official in-person meeting with the school board.

“I’ve been listening a lot over the last six or seven days and I’m very happy to be with you here at RSU 29,” Lyons said. “A lot is happening and I want to congratulate you [school board] to develop and maintain the infrastructure that you have here in the district.

Lyons praised the district for recognizing the importance of having key leadership positions, such as transportation manager, program coordinator and facilities manager.

“I enjoyed my conversations with these principals, as well as the school principals,” he said. “They gave me a lot to think about. I can’t wait for school to start because I can’t wait to see the kids. We have a great district and I can’t wait to lead it forward.

The board unanimously agreed to move forward with a plan to create the position of business manager within the district. Historically, RSU 29 has not had a business manager, leaving those responsibilities to the superintendent.

“This position really excites me, folks,” Lyons said. “I was lucky, in all the neighborhoods where I worked, to have a business manager.”

He noted that even the small island community of Vinalhaven, with a school system of 161 students, had a business leader.

“He’s a great asset to the district and I commend you for having the vision to solidify that position,” Lyons said.

According to the job description, the business manager will administer the business affairs of the district in such a way as to provide the best educational services possible with the financial resources available. The person will also participate in the supervision of transport, food services and the physical plant.

Funding for the position was already built into the 2021-2022 school budget that was approved by residents in May, according to council chair Fred Grant. The pay scale for similar positions varies by school district, Lyons said. Some business leaders earn a salary of around $40,000 a year for smaller districts, while in larger areas the salary can be as high as $140,000.

No decision on the pay scale was made at Monday night’s meeting. The position will be advertised, with the hope of presenting a candidate by the next regular meeting scheduled for August 2.

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