Maya Crosby will begin her new position as Lincoln Academy’s Director of Applied Learning in the summer of 2023, returning to LA after six years at the Allendale Columbia School in Rochester, New York.

Lincoln Academy has hired former Director of Innovation and Technology Maya Crosby to serve as the school’s first Director of Applied Learning. This new position will oversee LA’s Applied Technology and Engineering Center (ATEC) as well as building and strengthening Community partnerships with local businesses and organizations to expand learning and employment opportunities for LA students.

“The Director of Applied Learning will oversee hands-on education here at Lincoln Academy,” said Head of School Jeff Burroughs. “She will help move ATEC and the DET [Design, Engineering, and Technology] department to the next level of innovation.”

After working at LA for 15 years, Crosby left in 2017 to work at Allendale Columbia School in Rochester, NY, where she served as Director of the Invent Center for STEM and Innovation and Learning Systems Developer. She believes that leaving LA for six years allowed her to develop leadership skills and gain perspective.

“Working at a smaller school at a more administrative level gave me a more holistic understanding of how school management works,” said Crosby. “I was able to pull back from a tight focus and see the whole school, including the hiring of new teachers and overseeing a wide-ranging curriculum.”

Crosby, who holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and a Masters in Marine Science from the University of Maine, started working at LA as a science teacher in 2002, and held that position until 2010 when she became the school’s first Director of Academic Technology. In 2015 she added additional roles including serving as Department Chair for the Department of Design, Engineering, and Technology (DET) and overseeing the newly opened ATEC building.

Spending six years away from Maine in general and Lincoln Academy in particular has given Crosby plenty of time to reflect. “Leaving LA allowed me to value a leadership team with vision and a plan, and also to value this specific model of a town academy,” Crosby said. “An independent school serving a public population like Lincoln does is wildly unique. A few years ago I toured schools with quality STEM programs. I visited 13 schools, and while all of them have fantastic programs, none of them has this unique mix of independent and public that happens at LA. It is a model that may be impossible to replicate without the history and traditions that exist at LA.

“There is excellence at other schools, but there is not the same kind of excellence that town academies have, because of the diversity of the population and the tight community connections. With the addition of the international program, LA has a program and diversity that I didn’t see anywhere else.

“Getting out and around the country and connecting with a lot of different people allowed me to see the value that an LA education has.”

“In her time in New York, Maya has really dug into project based learning and building connections with community partners to enrich student learning,” said LA Director of Curriculum and Instruction Kelley Duffy. “She knows this community, and will be ready to jump into creating independent learning projects and opportunities for Lincoln students. She genuinely loves teenagers, and loves helping them find practical ways to turn their ideas and passions into concrete learning experiences.”

“It’s always a win when you can welcome someone back to a community after they have gained experience in other institutions, but understands the culture and community here and appreciates our model of learning,” said Burroughs. “Maya’s experience and perspective will help us move towards increasingly innovative ways to address the wide range of learning styles and aspirations among our student body. We are excited to have her back!”

Crosby will begin her role in the summer of 2023, and she says she always hoped to return to Maine. “Personally, it was never a question. Maine is my home. But it is a joy to be able to come back to this specific school, this specific role that I am beyond excited about.”