Statement from Governor LePage on Leadership Transition at the Department of Education

December 14, 2016

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today announced the departure of the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Education, Dr. William H. Beardsley, from the position effective December 23, 2016, for personal reasons. Dr. Robert G. Hasson will continue to lead the Department as Acting Commissioner.

“Bill Beardsley is a man of tremendous integrity, intellect and service. It has been a great asset to the State of Maine that a man of his caliber and experience returned to serve in our administration,” said Governor LePage. “Over the last year, his leadership has reshaped the Maine Department of Education to ensure every decision is focused on the best interest of students and that children from every corner of the state have access to a high-quality public education. Although his departure is a loss for our administration, we are thankful to Dr. Beardsley for his many contributions. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

“I am honored to have served Governor LePage. He truly cares about all Maine students, from every part of the state, from every walk of life,” said Dr. Beardsley. “I have the highest respect for my colleagues in the Department and the Governor’s cabinet. I have full confidence in Acting Commissioner Bob Hasson, one of Maine’s outstanding educators. It has been a privilege to serve the people of Maine and to leave knowing Maine public education is in good hands.”

“I am humbled by the trust and confidence that Governor LePage has placed in me,” said Dr. Hasson. “The next two years will be critical to addressing major challenges in Maine public education. Over the last six years, Governor LePage has demonstrated a commitment to improving education in Maine, and I firmly believe that we can make great strides to benefit all Maine students by pursuing the regional delivery of backend operations for school districts, closing the achievement gap, and strengthening professional learning for educators throughout the state. I also wish to thank Bill Beardsley for asking me to join the Department of Education and for his many contributions to education in Maine.”

Dr. Beardsley has led the Maine Department of Education since 2015, following his service on the State Board of Education from 2012 to 2015. In 2011, Dr. Beardsley was appointed as commissioner of the Department of Conservation until the agency merged with the Department of Agriculture in 2012, creating the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. He was president of Husson University from 1987 to 2009. He has previously chaired the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) Board, the Maine Development Foundation Board of Directors, and the Maine Higher Education Council.

Dr. Hasson currently oversees certification, educator effectiveness and higher education for the Department of Education and is the chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission to Reform Commission to Reform Public Education Funding and Improve Student Performance in Maine. A former teacher, principal and superintendent, Dr. Hasson served as the Superintendent of Schools at MSAD 51 (Cumberland / North Yarmouth) from 1993 to 2013 and as the Deputy Executive Director of the Maine School Management Association from 2013-2015 where he was the Executive Director of the Maine School Superintendents Association. Dr. Hasson holds a BS in Elementary Education from Saint Joseph’s College, a M.Ed. in Special Education from Fitchburg State University, and a Doctorate in Education from Boston College.