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James E. Rier, Jr., Acting Education Commissioner
James E. Rier, Jr. was sworn in as Acting Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education by Governor Paul R. LePage on Oct. 8, 2013.
Following two terms on the State Board of Education during which he led the overhaul of the State’s school construction process and served as Board Chair from 1997 to 2000, Acting Commissioner Rier joined Maine DOE in 2003 as Director of Finance and Operations. He was named by Commissioner Stephen Bowen as Deputy Commissioner in 2011.
In his tenure at Maine DOE, Acting Commissioner Rier has established himself as the state’s foremost expert in education funding, and has headed reforms to the School Funding Law, Child Development Services and the Department that have increased transparency and accountability. In addition to overseeing day-to-day operations, he has been responsible for implementation and management of the Essential Programs and Services Funding Model and the 2005 School Funding Law; school audits; all school facilities, transportation and nutrition programs; teacher certification; data management; and State and federal reporting.
Prior to joining Maine DOE, Acting Commissioner Rier was a Senior Project Engineer at Buick and worked for 25 years as President of Rier Motors Co., a car dealership in his native Machias founded by his father. Committed to community service, in addition to his time on the State Board, he also has served on the Board of Directors for Bangor Hydro Electric Co., the Maine Community Foundation, the Regional Medical Center at Lubec and the Washington County Education & Economic Development Alliance, which he chaired.
He has been recognized by the Maine School Superintendents Association, the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education, the Maine Municipal Association and the American Lung Association for his outstanding leadership and service to education in Maine. He also has twice been honored by the Governor’s Office as Maine DOE’s Manager of the Year, having been nominated by the team he supervised and the Department’s Commissioner at the time.
Jim Rier, Acting Commissioner
Maine Department of Education
23 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333