Conners Emerson appoints new assistant principal  



BAR HARBOR — Michael Fournier was selected as the new assistant principal of Conners Emerson School during a school board meeting Monday. 

“He really is a unifier. He has always been in his classrooms and so it will be exciting to see what he can do with the staff,” said Principal Heather Webster. 

After former Principal Barbara Neilly retired at the end of last year, Webster stepped into the position and has since been permanently promoted, leaving her former role as assistant principal vacant. 

Fournier has spent half of his 14-year career working at CES as a fifth and sixth grade social studies teacher. Although he is saddened not to be forming those same deep connections with a set class, he said he is most excited to build formative relationships that continue through multiple years. 

“Our school is like many other schools in that we are reeling from COVID. We have a fatigued workforce and we are looking around right now and saying how we can re-energize,” Fournier said. “We really need to understand how every staff member’s contribution affects and impacts the transformation of all of our students.” 

Fournier said he wants to use the skills he’s developed teaching to pivot the school away from the pandemic years into a new era of exceptional status.  

“The goal for me as a leader would be to help our staff understand everyone’s strengths, understand their own value and want to continue working here to build our school community and our bigger community beyond that.”  

Webster and Fournier were former colleagues at Swan’s Island School before transitioning to the Mount Desert Island district. Since a large portion of the assistant principal’s duties entails supporting the principal’s goals, their previous experience working together should make for a harmonious collaboration.  

A hiring committee, spearheaded by Webster, reviewed and interviewed potential candidates for the opening. At the end of that process, Fournier was nominated by Superintendent Mike Zboray and approved by every member of the school board committee.  

Webster said he was chosen because of his clear vision for where he wants the direction of the school to go, especially in moving forward the culture and integration of the staff.  

“He’s one of those teachers that kids always remember,” Webster said. “If you ask them who their favorite teacher was, his name always comes up.” 

Zboray said he is confident in Fournier’s future success as a leader because of his history of commitment and passion for teaching and ability to make connections in the classroom with his students.  

“I want our teachers to be seen for the power and the might that they are,” Fournier said. “We have a wonderful teaching force around here and we just can’t lose sight of how valuable they are to our community.” 

 

 

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