Welcome from Jeff Porter

I am very excited and proud to be serving as the superintendent of schools for MSAD #51. The communities of Cumberland and North Yarmouth provide their youth with some of the best learning opportunities to be found in all of Maine. There is much to be proud of and much to celebrate. It is readily apparent to anyone who spends any amount of time in this community that education is valued and supported.

I believe fervently in the role of public schools as a mechanism for advancing the common good. The strength of any community rests on the strength of its public schools. So, too, does a district’s success hinge on the success of the community to which it serves.

Public education in America began with the intent of creating an educated citizenship. Today, public schools continue to fulfill this promise. But the mission of public education today has been significantly broadened to include preparation for more than just citizenship. Now, schools must prepare students for a global economy, often easily dismissed as a cliché. But dismiss it at our own peril.

The 21st Century demands that young people have the ability to:
  • Collaborate 
  • Effectively communicate in various ways 
  • Think critically 
  • Problem-solve 
  • Locate, gather, and evaluate information from multiple sources 
  • Use technology in ways that spark ingenuity 
  • Be fully literate in ways that can be applied to any content area 
  • And the one thing we have been lacking over the last decade more than anything: Creativity and Innovation. 
So, what does this mean for creating a vision for the future? It means meeting every single one of our students’ needs. We cannot afford to just meet the needs of 80% or 90% or even 99% of our students. We must fully meet the needs of 100% or our school system has failed. The stakes are too high to do any less.

But schools cannot do it alone. We must have partners in this process. The greatest of these partners is parents. Teachers’ jobs are more complex than ever before. Your involvement as parents is critical not only to the success of your own children, but all children in our schools. Despite the demands of parenthood in a busy world, never forget that you do make a difference.

Bill Cosby has observed, “Nothing I have ever done has given me more joy and more reward than being a parent to my children.” Indeed. 

The mission of MSAD #51 is to guide all students as they acquire enthusiasm for learning, assume responsibility for their education, achieve academic excellence, and discover and attain their personal best. Perhaps the most important part of this mission is the latter. We owe it to every child who steps through our doors the opportunity to attain their personal best by providing multiple pathways for learning and achievement.

President John F. Kennedy once challenged our nation by stating, “We need people who can dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” It is our collective responsibility to meet this timeless challenge by providing the best quality education possible for our youngest citizens.

I am truly fortunate to be joining the MSAD #51 community and look forward to working with all of our students, staff, parents, and community members in moving the school district to the next level.

Jeffrey J. Porter 
Superintendent of Schools