Portland Adult Education has a new Executive Director

Portland Adult Education (PAE) welcomes Anita St. Onge as its Executive Director.

St. Onge is an attorney with 15 years of practice and 15 years of experience managing more than $11 million in grant-funded projects at USM’s Muskie School. She has worked on problem-solving and strategic planning with multiple mental health, social service, and legal organizations, including the Maine Justice Action Group, the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine (formerly United Somali Women of Maine), the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement, the Maine Attorney General, and the Portland Police Department. She has also taught at the University of New England and University of Southern Maine. After recently working in Haiti, St. Onge also attended the Boston Language Institute to study teaching English as a foreign language. Her broad and deep prior experience supporting women, families, foster youth, and immigrants will enable her to guide PAE in meeting the needs of more than 4,000 adult students.

“We are fortunate that Anita has accepted this position.” said Portland Superintendent Xavier Botana. “I believe she has a strong set of skills that are a good match for the work that needs to happen at PAE.”

Botana thanked Assistant Superintendent for School Management Jeanne Crocker for her efforts this fall, after former PAE Director Bethany Campbell stepped down for another career opportunity. “Jeanne has been tireless in her hands-on involvement at PAE,” Botana said. “She will continue to be involved in the day-to-day operation and support Anita’s transition and the search for a permanent director. This fall, under Jeanne’s leadership, we have built strong teacher leadership at PAE. They play a key role in the day-to-day operation of PAE and will continue to do so.”

PAE served more than 4,000 adults in the 2015-2016 school year, in academic and ELL classes, as well as enrichment and job skills classes. Last fall, PAE won an Education at Work for Maine Award from the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) for its work fostering “self-sufficiency through education” for adults in the community, including immigrants and refugees.

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