Friday, May 11, 2018

Faculty spotlight on Deborah McAfee by Matt Pascarella

Deborah McAfee has been working at Windham High for 21 years. Her first position was as the principal, holding that position for 14 years until she stepped down to heal from cancer. She returned as assistant principal and has held that position since 2011.

McAfee will soon be retiring – not because she is a quitter but because she is a fighter in the toughest
Thank you for your service in education, Deborah McAfee
sense of the word. Her cancer has returned and despite the fact that she loves her career in education, she says it’s time to take care of herself.

McAfee became interested in education because she admired her home economics teacher in middle school. As a result, she majored in home economics at the University of Maine at Farmington. Her first teaching job was at the Maine Youth Center, now the Long Creek Youth Development Center.

To further her career in education, she became fascinated with the idea of becoming a principal after working with several principals at the Maine Youth Center. She wanted to have more of a voice within her school, having more impact as an educator. McAfee took graduate courses at the University of Southern Maine and got a degree in educational leadership.

Her first job as an assistant principal was at Mount Valley in the late 1980s. In the early 1990s she accepted the position as assistant principal at Waterville High School. In the late 1990s, she got her first job as a principal at Medomak Valley High School. McAfee wanted to work in the Greater Portland Area and applied to be principal in Windham, where she was accepted. She came to Windham High for the 1996-1997 school year and has been here ever since.

McAfee enjoys being in the district because it’s a collective community where connections with staff and faculty are made with students. That connection makes a difference and often leads to service to the community. Kids go off to college and are part of service organizations, or they’ll come back to the high school coaching when their kids come through. “It’s a community thing here in Windham; I think it’s something kids take…with them,” she states.

McAfee is the oldest of four children. She has two brothers and one sister. McAfee has a lot of nieces and nephews and spends time with them during the summers.

During retirement, McAfee plans to get back to gardening, sewing; visiting museums and seeing plays – you’ll probably see her at the occasional varsity game, too.

For McAfee working at the high school has been wonderful. She thinks of it as home.
We, here at The Windham Eagle Newspaper, wish her the best in her retirement years and that they are long, happy and healthy.

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