Jessica Rice

SANFORD — St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish in Sanford is pleased to announce that Jessica Rice has been named principal of St. Thomas School, located on 69 North Avenue, effective immediately. Rice has served as interim principal at the school for five weeks and is the adult faith formation coordinator of St. Matthew Parish in Limerick, a position in which she will also continue.

“We are incredibly blessed to have a team of faithful and knowledgeable staff to work with our children at St. Thomas,” said Rice, who is set to earn a master’s degree in theology from Saint Leo University in Florida in the spring. “These men and women cheer them on, help them overcome obstacles, and celebrate with them as they meet and surpass their goals. Most importantly, they pray for and with our children, helping them to be ever mindful of the great love our God has for them.”

“Many in our parish and school community have already witnessed her amazing confidence, enthusiasm, and attentiveness,” said Fr. Bill Labbe, pastor of both St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Matthew. “Jessica is steeped in faith.”

Her appointment brings an end to the tenure of Principal Donna Jacques, who has served in a variety of roles at St. Thomas School for 41 years. Jacques is currently recovering from a health ailment.

Rice hopes to build upon the great foundation Jacques established, further cementing her contributions as an administrator and educator over the last four decades.

“Mrs. Jacques poured herself into St. Thomas, an act that is not only a sign of her love for it, but of her love for Jesus and her desire to share that love with others,” said Rice. “There is no doubt the shoes that I am about to fill are enormous, but the heart that stood within those shoes is even bigger.”

“None of us will ever forget all that Donna has done to make St. Thomas School a place of learning and faith,” said Fr. Labbe. “There are not enough words to express our gratitude for her generosity and sacrifice over these years.”

A celebration of Mrs. Jacques and her legacy will be held after the pandemic, providing students, staff, alumni, and friends with an opportunity to give thanks for the many gifts Donna has brought to the school.

Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, St. Thomas School aims to nurture the personal development of the whole child from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. The school instills Catholic values, fosters self-discipline, and promotes academic excellence in the spirit of a caring and affirming community. For more information about the school, call 207-324-5832.