Tom Vicaire Is New Woodland Jr./Sr. High School Principal

By Dorothy Johnson

 

Tom Vicaire, new principal at Woodland Jr./Sr. High School is eager to begin the new school year. He is looking forward to meeting students, parents and staff in his new setting. (Photo by Dorothy Johnson).

Tom Vicaire is the new principal at Woodland Junior/Senior High School.  He comes to this area and this school with a wealth of experiences that will benefit the students and staff at the school.  Mr. Vicaire grew up in Mattawamkeag and graduated from Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln. Fresh out of high school, he wanted to be a builder/carpenter so he went to what was then Eastern Maine Vocational Technical Institute (now known as Eastern Maine Community College). Upon graduation he worked for a carpentry company in Bangor and then following his dream of mixing work and pleasure (fishing) as compatible goals, he moved to Alaska.  There he traveled around the state building houses and fishing.

Soon the call of home influenced him to return Maine where he went back to school and in 1997 earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Technology Education, which gave him Maine State Certification to teach what we all used to call “shop” classes. He transitioned easily from a “student teacher” to full time employment at Mattanawcook Academy as the shop teacher.  As shop programs evolved to modern technology so did Vicaire’s teaching and he began to teach with more emphasis on engineering and design.

He was most recently very involved in the new STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) projects and has won several awards as the teacher of winning teams. The philosophy of the STEM programs integrates science, technology, engineering and math in experiential, hands-on learning instead of teaching those subjects as separate entities. Mr. Vicaire’s experience in coaching award winning teams from Mattanawcook Academy makes him a valuable asset to Woodland Junior/Senior High School. He has been selected Outstanding Teacher of the Maine Windblade Challenge and ITEA Teacher of Excellence Award and recently the engineering team he coached won a competition involving many  New England schools.

As his teaching evolved so did his interest in educational leadership and after being appointed as lead teacher in 2014 (equivalent of assistant to the principal), he returned to the University of Maine and earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.  He is committed to students and it is his philosophy that all school personnel have the same commitment or they would not be working in the educational field.

 

Mr. Vicaire has much to catch up on as he comes into a new school setting. He knows that the facilities study has to be considered as well as the finances available for repairs/reconstruction. Living beside and working in a mill town most of his life has given him the experience needed to lead Woodland Junior/Senior High School into a new era.  He is excited to have this challenge (he calls it “a great opportunity”) of leading the school.  He is soft-spoken, well-versed in educational procedure and enthusiastic about the direction in which education is headed.  His experience as a leader in a mill town that became a non-mill town gives him an advantage that not every candidate would have and he is looking forward to meeting students, parents and staff in Woodland.