Governor Nominates Dr. Hasson to Lead Department of Education
March 16, 2017
For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 16, 2017
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531
AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today announced the nomination of Dr. Robert G. Hasson, Jr of South Portland to serve as Commissioner of Education. Dr. Hasson has served as Acting Commissioner of the Department of Education since November 24, 2016.
“Bob Hasson has demonstrated that he understands the one thing that matters most in education: every decision should be made based on the best interest of our students,” said Governor LePage. “As long as I am Governor, we will do everything within our power to reshape the education system in Maine to center around students, push more of the dollars spent on education into the classroom and remove barriers to educational opportunities. I thank Dr. Hasson for his willingness to lead and advocate for Maine students and teachers.”
“I am grateful to Governor LePage and the State Board of Education for their confidence in me and for the opportunity to serve,” said Acting Commissioner Hasson. “I have had more fun leading the Department these last several weeks than at any other time in my career, except for when I was teaching first grade. This is an important moment for our State to recommit to our students, to empower our teachers and leaders and to bravely dream about new possibilities that we wouldn’t have dared to imagine. It is an exciting time in Maine education. I am especially committed to ensuring that the State of Maine finds new ways to serve our disadvantaged youth and prepare them for lifelong success.”
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 to 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.
In a letter to Governor LePage dated March 9, 2017, the State Board of Education evaluated the strengths that Dr. Hasson will bring to the position of Commissioner. On behalf of the Board, Chair Martha Harris wrote: “The Board enthusiastically supports Dr. Hasson for the positon. Bob is eminently qualified to be Maine’s Commissioner of Education. The Board looks forward to working closely with Dr. Hasson for the next two years (and perhaps beyond). He will make an outstanding Commissioner. He has the background, skills and leadership style to move our state forward.”
Dr. Hasson comes from a family of educators. A math teacher, his father taught and coached at Oxford High School. In addition, he taught for the South Portland public schools, the Long Creek Youth Development Center and Southern Maine Community College. Also a teacher, his mother taught at the elementary level for South Portland public schools. Dr. Hasson’s wife Sue is a teacher at Holy Cross in South Portland, and his daughter Megan is an Ed Tech at Acadia Academic, a public charter school in Lewiston.
Under Maine law, the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs must hold a confirmation hearing no later than 30 days following the nomination by the Governor.