Regan Nickels will step down as Superintendent of Regional School Unit 22 in Hampden at the end of the 2021-2022 school year. Credit: Courtesy of RSU 22

The superintendent of Regional School Unit 22 will leave at the end of the school year after 17 years as an educator in the Hampden-area school district.

Regan Nickels, who became superintendent of RSU 22 in July 2020, will depart for the Pacific Northwest after school ends in June.  

The Sequim School District in Sequim, Washington, named Nickels as its new superintendent on Thursday. She’ll start there on July 18.

Sign up for The B-Side, a weekly inside look at what’s going on in the Bangor area

* indicates required
Yes! I want to get an email each week with Bangor area news, events, history, food and more

Nickels began her education career in nearby Bremerton, Washington, as an elementary and middle school teacher, and later dean of students, while her husband John served in the U.S. Navy as a submariner there.

“My husband and I spent many wonderful years in Washington and we are excited to return,” Nickels said, adding that the decision to leave RSU 22 was difficult.

Nickels moved back to Hampden in 2005, where she was principal of the George Weatherbee School, then principal of Reeds Brook Middle School, before becoming assistant superintendent of business and operations for RSU 22 in 2017.

RSU 22 serves Hampden, Winterport, Frankfort and Newburgh.

Nickels led RSU 22 through two pandemic years after she became superintendent in July 2020, helping to establish mitigation policies and navigate hybrid learning. She also helped to develop the district’s strategic plan, which the school board approved in December.

She successfully led during “the most unprecedented time in education,” said Heath Miller, the chair of RSU 22’s board of directors. “I extend my sincere appreciation for her countless hours, going above and beyond to reimagine student learning.”

The school board will determine next steps to fill Nickels’ vacancy in the next few weeks.

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to