An undated photo of Veazie Superintendent and Principal Matthew Cyr, who will succeed David Walker as the next superintendent of RSU 34. Credit: Credit: Courtesy Matthew Cyr

The leader of Veazie’s school department will become the next superintendent of schools in the Old Town area.

Matthew Cyr, the current superintendent of the Veazie School Department and principal of Veazie Community School, was unanimously approved by the Regional School Unit 34 school board Wednesday night to succeed Superintendent David Walker, who is retiring at the end of the school year

Walker has led Old Town-area schools for the last 17 years. Cyr has been the superintendent of the small Veazie School Department since 2017. 

Cyr, however, is no stranger to RSU 34 and its communities of Old Town, Alton and Bradley. 

He was a math and science teacher at Leonard Middle School in Old Town from 2000 to 2004. Cyr was then the technology integration specialist for what was then the Old Town School Department until 2006, when he became the vice principal of Old Town Elementary School. 

He served in that position for nearly nine years before becoming the principal of Veazie Community School and that school department’s superintendent in July 2015. 

The Veazie School Department is responsible for 236 students, according to the Maine Department of Education. That number includes 163 students who attend the town’s school, and high school students from the town who can attend an area high school of their choice.

RSU 34 has more than 1,400 students.

“I am grateful for the support I have received during my tenure in Veazie,” Cyr said. “While this has not been an easy decision, professional growth and aspirations to lead a large district have always been on my horizon, and the RSU 34 superintendency feels like a ‘coming home’ moment for both my career and my family.” 

Hunter Umphrey, a member of the RSU 34 school board, said there were many qualified candidates, but Cyr stuck out as the obvious choice. Ultimately, the committee formed to find the district’s next superintendent supported Cyr unanimously, Umphrey said. 

Walker has been the superintendent of Old Town-area schools since 2005. He previously led MSAD 41 — which serves Milo, LaGrange and Brownville — for more than six years, and before that worked as a teacher in both that district and neighboring MSAD 31, which serves Howland, Enfield, Lowell, Burlington, Edinburg, Maxfield and Passadumkeag. 

Walker’s departure was expected. He told school board members five years ago that he didn’t plan to seek an extension to his contract after its end this year.

The RSU 34 school board formally started its search for Walker’s replacement in November 2021. 

Cyr’s first day on the job will be July 1. His contract, with an annual salary of $129,500, will be up for renewal in June 2025.

Sawyer Loftus is an investigative reporter at the Bangor Daily News. A graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he worked for Vermont Public Radio, The Burlington Free Press...