Gov.-elect taps assistant superintendent as education chief

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine Democratic Gov.-elect Janet Mills has tapped a longtime educator as education chief.

Mills announced Wednesday she's nominating former Maine Principal of the Year and Brunswick assistant superintendent Pender Makin as Maine's next Department of Education commissioner.

Makin says she'll provide steady leadership at the education department and work with Mills. The gov.-elect wants to pass universal pre-kindergarten and raise minimum teacher pay.

Makin would replace Robert Hasson, who succeeded several acting commissioners under Republican Gov. Paul LePage. The governor has pushed for voluntary school consolidation.

The 54-year-old educator from Scarborough served as long-time principal at an alternative high school on Mackworth Island in Falmouth for students who struggled in traditional school settings.

The Legislature's Education and Cultural Affairs Committee and the Maine Senate will consider her nomination.

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