Commissioner Jim Rier on leave, Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome appointed Acting Commissioner

We know many readers look forward to our weekly Commissioner’s Update, specifically for the column from Commissioner Jim Rier, whose insight on education has come from nearly two decades in Augusta, first as a member of the State Board of Education and since 2003 here at the Department.

That’s why we wanted to let you know that Commissioner Rier is out indefinitely on leave, though he remains in close communication with us. The Commissioner is proud of the progress the Department has made to better support schools in preparing all Maine students for college and career success.

Maine DOE Acting Commissioner Rachelle Tome during a visit earlier this year to Montello Elementary School in Lewiston
Maine DOE Acting Commissioner Rachelle Tome during a visit earlier this year to Montello Elementary School in Lewiston

In his absence, Governor LePage has appointed Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome to serve as Acting Commissioner. Acting Commissioner Tome has been at Maine DOE for a decade, first as a School Improvement Specialist and most recently as Chief Academic Officer. Prior to joining the Department, the Bowdoinham resident worked for 25 years serving students – including as a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at the Marcia Buker School in Richmond in RSU 2 and as principal of Teresa C. Hamlin School in Randolph in RSU 11.

Commissioner Rier is grateful for the care and concern that has already been shared from across the state by those he has worked with in his tenure at Maine DOE. Those who want to share their well wishes for the Commissioner are invited to do so by commenting below, and we will be happy to pass those along to him.

9 thoughts on “Commissioner Jim Rier on leave, Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome appointed Acting Commissioner

  1. Jim, my thought and prayers are with you and the family, as you begin the healing process to gain strength and stamina with an overall healthier outcome for the new year!
    Jude Cyr
    Auburn School Dept.

  2. Dear Jim,
    Our thoughts go out to you and your family. We are looking forward to a continued relationship with you in the coming months. Rest and recover…

    Polly Brann
    Narragansett School
    Gorham, Maine

  3. God Bless you Commissioner Rier and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
    Rep. Mike McClellan
    Maine House 66

  4. Dear Jim,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You have been a mainstay at DOE and someone we in the Local Districts have come to rely on and respect.
    Regards,
    Herb Hopkins, Yarmouth School Department

  5. Dear Jim,
    Specail healing HUGS to you!!! Let your inner lion out and get stronger every day! Maine education needs you!
    Cheers!
    Meredith Strang Burgess

  6. Commissioner Rier:

    My thoughts, prayers and wishes are with you for a speedy recovery. Please know that you are truly missed in Augusta. As always, I’m sure you will “keep calm and carry on.”

    Best regards,

    ;{o
    Phil McCarthy

  7. Dear Jim,
    I’m not privy to what’s happening with you, but my wife Loy and I will be praying for God’s touch upon you and yours.
    Mark Leslie, Publisher
    MeASBO Magazine

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