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.
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.