Jonathan D. Moody
Superintendent of Schools, MSAD 54
Jonathan Moody has been in public education all of his life, serving as a coach and tutor in college, a secondary level civics and history teacher, a middle level administrator, and High School Principal, and for the past seven years, as a district level administrator in MSAD 54. A product of Western Maine, Moody comes from a long line of educators. His grandfather, a craftsman and farmer by trade, was the first in his family to leave town and get his education, eventually becoming a beloved elementary principal to hundreds of families in his community. Jon’s mother, a secondary civics teacher who left education to raise her family in the early 1970’s, returned to get her CAS in special education and went on to become a champion for students with special needs. Jon credits his drive, moral compass and love of education to his mother.
A graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington (B.A.) and the University of Maine (M.A.), Moody is the Superintendent of Schools in MSAD 54, serving the towns of Canaan, Cornville, Mercer, Norridgewock, Skowhegan and Smithfield. In MSAD 54 Moody has worked tirelessly to advocate for the importance of education in his communities. As Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent, he spearheaded the development and support for the district Mission, Vision and Guiding Beliefs. As a champion of the underdog, Jon shifted the district’s instructional focus to poverty and its impacts on both students and the community. With a foundational understanding of poverty, Jon leveraged professional development to train staff on the impacts of trauma and the ways in which trauma informed practices can support a rigorous education for ALL students. Jon’s tireless enthusiasm and inspirational leadership has been integral in the district’s success over the last seven years.
As Superintendent, Jon began his tenure by leading the transition from the old MSAD 54 Indian mascot, to the new “Riverhawk”. Following the change Jon supported a student-led approach to developing the imagery for the new mascot. He included numerous stakeholders throughout the community (over 3000 responses were gathered) in a process that resulted in what one local reporter called “The best mascot I’ve seen”, and an image (https://bit.ly/45GZpJ3) that very quickly became a symbol of pride in the community.
As Superintendent Jon championed the expansion of the district’s half-day pre-k program, becoming one of the first districts in the area to provide comprehensive, five day per week, universal pre-k. Through the district’s partnership with KVCAP, a local community action program, the district developed a vision of how early childhood education could move from the sidelines to become fully integrated into a public school. Jon’s leadership was paramount in bringing the vision to reality, as he led the design, development, and funding of a new 76-million-dollar school that will serve children from age 6 weeks to grade 12. The school, which Maine DOE has called the “First of its kind in Maine”, will provide early childhood programming for children ages 6 weeks through age three, and comprehensive programming to students age 3 through grade 12.
Finally, Jon is a transformational change-agent. His work to bring together stakeholders around a common shared vision and guiding beliefs became a foundation from which all decisions have been made in the district under the umbrella of his leadership. Whether it be the mascot or the pandemic, or your everyday run of the mill challenges of school, MSAD 54 is a district whose decisions are principled and built on a strong district vision.
Jon’s educational journey is not one he has taken alone. Shelly Moody, his partner and wife of 23 years, is Maine’s 2011 State Teacher of the Year and is an educator herself. Together they have three children all of whom have attended their local public schools.
Past AASA Maine Superintendent of the Year Winners:
2023 Maine Superintendent of the Year: Jeremy Ray
2022 Maine Superintendent of the Year: Christopher Howell
2021 Maine Superintendent of the Year: Michelle Reid
About the Award:
The Superintendent of the Year program, sponsored by First Student and AASA, pays tribute to the talent and vision of the men and women who lead the nation’s public schools.
State-level winners are selected on the following criteria:
- Leadership for Learning
- Community Involvement