Governor announces appointments to task force on early postsecondary education

The following is a press release sent by the office of Gov. Paul LePage.

For Immediate Release: Monday, Sept. 19, 2011
Contact: Adrienne Bennett (207) 287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul LePage announced today that 19 people have been selected to serve on a task force that will make recommendations on expanding early college and other postsecondary education opportunities for high school students.

The Governor appointed 15 of the 19 task force members. They include representatives from higher education; K-12 education; non-profit organizations focused on expanding educational opportunities; and associations representing teachers, principals, superintendents and school board members.

The President of the Maine Senate and the Speaker of the Maine House selected two members each from their own chambers to serve on the task force.

“The members of this task force have agreed to take on important work,” Governor LePage said. “Our students need more options in high school to get a head start on their postsecondary education and gain the skills they need to be successful in the workplace. Maine’s future economic prospects depend upon the state having qualified workers who can help our businesses, both old and new, grow and create jobs.”

The Governor made the following appointments to the task force:

  • Stephen Bowen, Commissioner of Education
  • Scott Voisine, Dean of Community Education, University of Maine at Fort Kent, representing the Chancellor of the University of Maine System
  • Charles Collins, State Director, Early College for ME, representing the President of the Maine Community College System
  • James Libby, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Business Administration at Thomas College in Waterville, representing private colleges and universities
  • Susan Hillman, Professor, Department of Education at the University of New England in Biddeford, representing private colleges and universities
  • Joan Macri, Associate Director, LearningWorks in Lewiston, representing educational opportunity-focused non-profit organizations
  • Wendy Ault, Executive Director, MELMAC Education Foundation, representing educational opportunity-focused non-profit organizations
  • Stephen Joyce, Director of Student Aid, Bowdoin College in Brunswick, representing the Maine Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
  • Carlena Bean, Director of Admissions, Husson University in Bangor, representing the Maine College Admissions Association
  • Maureen King, President, Maine School Boards Association
  • Roger Shaw, Superintendent, AOS 99 of Mars Hill, representing the Maine School Superintendents Association
  • Fred Woodman, Director, United Technologies Center in Bangor, representing Maine Administrators of Career and Technical Education
  • Carrie Castonguay, Director, MSAD 61/72 Adult and Community Education of Casco, representing the Maine Adult Education Association
  • Don Reiter, Principal, Waterville Senior High School, representing the Maine Principals’ Association
  • Grace Leavitt, Spanish Teacher, Greely High School in Cumberland, representing the Maine Education Association

Senate President Kevin Raye made the following appointments:

  • Sen. Nancy Sullivan, Democrat of Biddeford
  • Sen. Brian Langley, Republican of Ellsworth

House Speaker Robert Nutting made the following appointments:

  • Rep. Joyce Maker, Republican of Calais
  • Rep. Mary Nelson, Democrat of Falmouth

“I look forward to getting to work and finding out in a comprehensive way what early-college options are already available in our state,” said Commissioner Bowen. “We need to make those options available to more of our students and find a way to grow our early-college offerings.”

Governor LePage formed the 19-member Task Force on Expanding Early Postsecondary Access for High School Students in Maine by executive order. The Task Force is expected to submit a report to the Governor and to the Legislature’s Education Committee by December 1, 2011.

4 thoughts on “Governor announces appointments to task force on early postsecondary education

  1. I look forward to learning more about the work of this task force in the weeks and months to come. This is an extremely important and relevant issue that must be approached collaboratively by all of the stakeholders; K-12, MCCS, UMS and private colleges in Maine.
    Connie Ronco
    Eastern Maine Community College

  2. Gretchen, Sally: Thanks for your comments and your willingness to contribute to this effort. The members of this task force are not the only people who will have a say in our attempts to expand access to early postsecondary education opportunities for our high school students.

    The task force is meeting for the first time today. At that meeting, the members will discuss how they plan to reach out to as wide a variety of stakeholders as possible to gather ideas and learn about early college opportunities already in place.

  3. School Librarians and Public Librarians also would have been a great inclusion. I hope you will consider that in the future. Thank you Sally

    Sally Holt, BS Secondary Ed, MLS
    Auburn Public Library
    49 Spring Street
    Auburn Maine 04210
    207-333-6640 Ext 4

  4. Good afternoon. As a director of guidance counseling at a high school I believe it would be helpful to consider inviting a high school guidance counselor to participate in this process. Our school currently partners with Kennebec Valley Community College, Thomas College, Colby College and the University of Maine in dual enrollment programs. Our students earned over 580 college credits in the 2010/2011 school year. We began dual enrollment with Kennebec Valley Community College in the 2004/2005 school year. I believe high school guidance counselors may offer a unique perspective to some of the challenges in this type of programming along with many of the benefits.


    Gretchen Ross, M.S.
    Guidance Director
    lawrence High School (MSAD49)
    Fairfield, Maine

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