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Incoming Bangor superintendent highlights relationship-building as top priority

Jim Tager will officially start as the new superintendent of Bangor schools on July 1st.
Jim Tager
Jim Tager(WABI)
Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 4:08 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Summer maybe around the corner for students, but Bangor’s new superintendent is getting ready to start his new role in just a few weeks.

Jim Tager picks a word to live by each year, and this year that word is gratitude.

“It’s really forced me to find something positive every day even over the last 15 months,” said Tager. “It’s a great opportunity to work with students and I can’t wait.”

Tager will officially start as the new superintendent of Bangor schools on July 1st.

He’ll be coming to Maine from Vermont where he’s been serving as the superintendent for Franklin West Supervisory Union.

“This coming year will be my 40th year in education,” said Tager. “So at heart I’m a teacher, I’ve coached sports, basketball and track, I’ve been a principal and a district administrator and I would tell you that every day is my best day and when it’s not I’ll stop doing it.”

Tager says one of his favorite things about being a superintendent is getting to work with principals.

He has a few things on his list to get done once he arrives like focusing on the graduation rate that’s currently below the state average, but his top priority is building relationships.

“Nobody is really more important than anybody else so I’m going to set up time for anybody that works in the school system to meet with me and I’m going to ask them to tell me about their families, tell me about their jobs. I think ultimately it’s a relationship job and I think that you make relationship jobs in the community,” said Tager.

Tager says he wants to talk with each principal about what’s working and what isn’t, especially coming out of the pandemic.

“Let’s look at wellbeing, mental health as one then engagement, why do students come to school and does every student have a reason to come to school, and then academics as well, which the Bangor School Department is performing pretty well in that area,” said Tager.

Tager and his wife got married in Deer Isle and he says they are looking forward to coming back to the area.

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