Zboray is MDIRSS’s new superintendent

Mike Zboray

BAR HARBOR — Mike Zboray, who has spent nearly his entire career as an educator in the Mount Desert Island Regional School System (formerly School Union 98) and has served as interim superintendent since Jan. 1, was given the job on a permanent basis by the school system board at a special meeting on Monday.

The terms of his contract are still being worked out, and the board is expected to vote on it March 14.

Zboray was one of three candidates for the position who were interviewed by the superintendent search committee.

“We had three excellent finalists,” said school board Chair Jessica Stewart. “I think they all would have been great superintendents; they were all highly qualified. So, it was a really hard decision.”

She said Zboray was the only internal candidate.

“In the end, we felt like he was the best fit for our unique needs. He knows what he’s getting into with us because he’s doing it right now.”

Zboray succeeds Marc Gousse, who served as superintendent for five and a half years before retiring at the end of December.

Zboray said Tuesday that being chosen for the job is “definitely an honor.”

He came to the MDI school system in 1999 as a middle school science teacher at Conners Emerson School in Bar Harbor. At the end of that year, Conners Emerson Principal Barb Neilly asked him if he had ever thought about being a school administrator.

“My answer was ‘no…for the time being,’” he recalled telling her. “And her comment was, ‘I think you have the disposition to make a good one.’”

Zboray served as assistant principal at Conners Emerson from 2000 to 2014 and as principal at Trenton Elementary from 2014 until last summer, when he was named principal at Pemetic Elementary in Southwest Harbor. He was there for six months before being appointed interim superintendent.

Zboray said he looks forward to helping the board work on some of the issues it is facing, including the possibility of adopting a more efficient organizational structure.

“I think it’s really important that I have the history of what (that structure) was like in the past,” he said.

Zboray said he is excited about working on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, “and just being part of a great administrative team to help move our schools forward, especially during these challenging times.”

“Maybe that’s what Barb [Neilly] meant when she was talking about my having a disposition that helps through challenging times. I’m kind of calm, thoughtful and reflective in terms of my decision making.

“I’m definitely a relational leader,” Zboray said. “That’s someone who is inclusive in their decision making, which tends to lead to empowerment. I think that was something the board was looking for.”

Zboray is a 1995 graduate of College of the Atlantic. He participated in the Maine School Leadership Network in 2000-2002 and received a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Maine at Orono in 2005.


Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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