Jessica Belanger, head of the English Department at Mount Ararat High School, will move into a new role as an assistant principal effective Jan. 3.

The Maine School Administrative District 75 Board of Directors approved the hire on Nov. 18. A teacher at Mount Ararat for 12 1/2 years, Belanger will replace Alison Pols as assistant principal for grades nine and 11. Pols, in her 25th year at the school, will retire Dec. 31. Deron Sharp serves as assistant principal for grades 10 and 12.

“As a teacher, Jessica is well known for the relationships that she develops with students and parents, as well as her consistent creativity in developing engaging lessons for students,” MSAD 75 interim Superintendent Bob Lucy said. “As the head of the English Department, Jessica has demonstrated consistent thoughtfulness and ability to put the good of the whole ahead of the parts … as well as a dedication to mentoring and supporting new teachers.”

Belanger is a past president of the Merrymeeting Teachers Association. She leads the school’s advisory and capstone programs, according to Lucy.

Belanger has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education from the University of Southern Maine, as well as a certificate of advanced study from St. Joseph’s College.

“I’m really thrilled to be able to serve as a leader here at Mount Ararat High School,” Belanger said after the board’s vote. “It is my home.”