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County local chair State Board of Education

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 4:17 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Fern Desjardins is homegrown from the County. Born and educated in St Agatha, she got her degree from UMFK, and returned to her local district to teach. She eventually became principal at Frenchville’s Dr Levesque Elementary, then superintendent of the district.

“I really have loved living in my hometown where I’ve spent my entire life,” said Desjardin in her St Agatha home office. “And I really believe the school system where we had Frenchville and St Agatha together, they’re the fabric of my being.”

Now, she’s bringing her leadership to the rest of the state. Desjardin began her role as Chair of the State Board of Education this month. She’s the only member of the board from Aroostook County.

“I think we all have the same goals of providing the very best for all students throughout Maine,” she said. “But the idea that that person comes from your area, comes from Aroostook County, comes from your region, comes from your town—of course we take pride.”

Desjardin always wanted to be in education. She said she cried leaving her teaching positions, her principalship, and even after 43 years when she finally retired—maybe a little too early, she said—but she looks forward to her work as chair of the board.

“All the positions I’ve held were equally important and gratifying for me.”

The board is currently working on changing credentials to fill teaching vacancies and beginning a new five year plan. Desjardins says she looks forward to working with her colleagues in her new capacity and takes joy in visiting schools all around the state.

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