The RSU 40 Board of Directors recently approved Beth Ahlholm’s nomination to serve as assistant principal at Medomak Middle School. Ahlholm has filled the role in an interim capacity since last December. (D. Lobkowicz photo)
By Dominik Lobkowicz
The Regional School Unit 40 Board of Directors voted May 7 to approve the nomination of veteran educator Beth Ahlholm as assistant principal of Medomak Middle School, a role she has filled as an interim administrator since December.
Ahlholm started as the interim assistant principal on Dec. 1, 2014, she said. Her predecessor, Bob England, left the district in September to become superintendent for the Acton School Department.
Ahlholm has worked as an educator since 1982, when she started the first of 18 years at Whitefield Elementary School. She came to RSU 40 in 2000, working first at D.R. Gaul Middle School and later transitioning to the new, consolidated Medomak Middle School.
Ahlholm said she decided to pursue the interim assistant principal position because she felt she was having a positive impact on the students in her class, and wondered if she could bring that impact to a school-wide level.
“It was the perfect time for me to see if I would be effective at it, because it was in my own school” and a temporary position, she said.
Ahlholm felt she already had the support of the school’s staff, otherwise she never would have applied, she said.
Ahlholm lives in Warren and attended Miller School, the now-closed A.D. Gray Middle School, and Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, she said.
“It’s good to give back to your community whenever you can, and I hope my community thinks that I am,” she said.
Kate Race, principal at MMS, said she is “so excited” to have Ahlholm staying on as assistant principal.
“She’s everything we need to get this building where it needs to be,” Race said.
Ahlholm has a great understanding of students’ social and emotional needs that need to be met before they can learn, how to make instruction relevant to the students, and how to hold the students’ interest, Race said.
Ahlholm also follows the principle of “firm but fair” in disciplinary matters, with consistent and logical consequences, and uses communication to make the handling of such matters into a teachable moment, Race said.
Ahlholm has a master’s degree in reading education, and is one course away from earning her certificate in gifted and talented education.
Ahlholm has been working under a conditional assistant principal certification, but expects to receive her full certification soon.
Ahlholm finished all the necessary coursework for the certification in 2010, but never submitted her application for the certification, she said.
In May 2014, a new requirement for a course in special education law was passed, so when Ahlholm applied for her certification last October, she was issued a conditional certification with the requirement that she pass the remaining course, she said.
Ahlholm has since passed the special education law course, she said.
There were 13 applicants for the assistant principal position, six of which were interviewed, according to Ahlholm’s nomination form.