BANGOR — Last week the Bangor School Committee announced the hiring of a new superintendent of schools.
After a national search, James Tager was found in New England.
“I pick out one word for every year and my word for this year is gratitude,” Tager said.
Gratitude and passion are what the new superintendent of Bangor schools, James Tager, said he’ll bring to the job.
“I think it’s the best job that there is,” Tager said. “I mean you get to make a difference with students.”
Tager will succeed Betsy Webb, who retired in 2020.
He said this will be his 40th year in education. He’s held a variety of roles, including ones in elementary education, special education, as a coach and as a father of four.
He is currently the superintendent of schools for Franklin West Supervisory Union in Vermont. But he’s no stranger to Maine.
“My wife and I were married in Deer Isle and we’ve always kind of had a warm spot for that area,” he said.
While looking at the Bangor school system’s strategic plan, he said some of the goals are similar to those he has for the city.
According to Tager, his goals include a 90 percent graduation rate.
He said he wants to see extra circular activity participation at 95 percent.
Also, he emphasized the importance of the safety and well-being of staff and students, as well as diversity.
“Things are happening in the right direction but I think I really like the idea of embracing diversity. I think it makes us all better,” Tager said.
For his first task, he said he planned to meet with every employee to understand them and the work they do.
“It’s a good school district long before I ever came along so I want to learn from the people that are a part of it,” he said.
He has one final thought for the Bangor community before starting the job role on July 1.
“Find the joy,” he said. “I think good things are happening in the schools.”