March 29, 2024

In the public eye: RSU 14 Assistant Superintendent values collaboration to elevate students

Editor’s note: This is another in an ongoing series of Windham and Raymond town employee profiles.

By Ed Pierce

Working collaboratively with others, including colleagues, families, students, and board members to elevate their collective efforts on behalf of every student, is what RSU 14’s Christine Frost-Bertinet says is the most rewarding aspect of her work with the school district.

Christine Frost-Bertinet has served as 
the Assistant Superintendent for
RSU 14 for the past five years and
writes and oversees RSU 14 grants and
supports the district's administrative 
team. She formerly worked as a teacher and 
a school principal. SUBMITTED PHOTO
As RSU 14’s Assistant Superintendent, Title IX Coordinator, and Affirmative Action Officer, Frost-Bertinet is responsible for overseeing compliance with Title IX and Affirmative Action related policies and procedures. She works closely with colleagues on a variety of educational projects, such as implementing a Pre-K program and developing community partnerships focused on early childhood learning and examining and improving safety measures across district schools.

Frost-Bertinet also writes and oversees RSU 14 grants, supporting the district’s administrative team with goal development, implementation, and progress monitoring, responds to the needs of families, partners with local organizations, supports the general business operations of the district, and serves as an instructional leader.

“The role of an assistant superintendent, like many leadership positions, includes a diverse range of tasks and experiences,” Frost-Bertinet said. “On any given day, I might spend time in a classroom alongside students and staff, sit down with a colleague to collaborate on a project, work on policies with board members, update a page on the website, work to support a parent with a concern, attend multiple zoom and in-person meetings, and stand in the lunch line with students at Windham High School to enjoy a meal prepared by our outstanding Nutrition Department. Each day is different and filled with both challenges and accomplishments.”

She’s been a member of the RSU 14 team for five years after working as a teacher, a Teacher Consultant for the National Writing Project, a soccer coach, a cross country coach, a track and field coach, a teacher leader, and assistant principal, and a principal during her career.

Originally from Maine, she graduated from high school and earned an undergraduate teaching degree in English Secondary Education from West Chester University, a school outside of Philadelphia, before returning to her home state of Maine to teach at a middle school.

“After a number of years teaching middle school, I started working toward a Master’s Degree from the University of Southern Maine and later worked on obtaining a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study,” she said. “Following that degree, I completed a certificate program at Harvard University focused on school management and leadership; I thoroughly enjoyed this series of courses as I learned alongside educators from around the globe and engaged in careful considerations of educational models similar to and very different from our own.”

According to Frost-Bertinet, she was encouraged to apply for the RSU 14 Assistant Superintendent position by several colleagues who were aware of the open position and felt she was ready to take on district-level leadership work. Having served as a teacher leader and school leader, as well as supported multiple district-level initiatives in my two previous districts, Frost-Bertinet said that she was growing increasingly interested in examining systems and working collaboratively to elevate schools in service of every student.

“I started working in RSU 14 in 2019. In the spring of my first year, the world was catapulted into an emergency response mode due to COVID-19,” she said. “My most memorable moment was the opening day for staff in 2021 when we gathered outside at the stadium to welcome everyone back. The Windham Chamber Singers performed, as is the long-standing tradition, and blew us all away.”

The most difficult part of her work is common for many educational leaders across America. “Managing complex problems that organizations face without losing sight of the overall vision and mission of schools is the most challenging aspect of my job,” Frost-Bertinet said.

Some of the most important things that she’s learned while working for RSU 14 involve teamwork.

“I’ve learned while working for RSU 14 that both the Windham and Raymond communities take great pride in their schools which is evident by the high level of support and engagement,” she said. “I’ve also learned a great deal about the need for Pre-K program expansion and the importance of building strong partnerships with local early childhood providers through a mixed delivery model that provides families with choices. Most importantly, I have learned that you cannot do this work in isolation, as it takes a high level of collaboration to gain momentum and move organizations forward.” <

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