By Morgan Hume, Contributing Writer
NORTHBOROUGH – Former Northborough resident Reza Namin’s passion for education has withstood the test of time.
Having spent years helping students learn and achieve their goals, he’s now bringing all those experiences to Maine, where he is working as the new superintendent of Maine Indian Education.
Educator grateful for opportunity
Maine Indian Education has three schools: Indian Island School, Sipayik Elementary School and Indian Township School. The schools serve the children of Passamaquoddy, Penobscot and the Wabanaki Tribes.
Although Namin is not native himself, he is an immigrant, which has helped him relate to some of his students’ experiences with diversity and equity.
“I’m very proud of the fact that they trusted me to take this position as a non-native person,” Namin said in a recent interview.
Academic experience predates new job
While Namin is new to Maine Indian Education, he is not new to the world of education and academia.
He earned a Ph.D. in Math and Science Education with a focus on Curriculum and Technology, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in 3D Geometric Modeling from Brown University.
He also has experience as superintendent of schools in both Massachusetts and Maine.
Reza Namin looks back on time in Northborough
Namin has ties to several places in New England but shares a special connection to the town of Northborough.
As a resident of Northborough for over 15 years, he said he got involved with the community in any way possible.
Notably, he spent six years as the town’s Youth Commission Chair.
“I loved the community and I loved the people and the area,” Namin said. “I continue to like the community because of its people. And they were always friendly and very much into the community.”
Passion for education and helping community drives efforts
The duties of being a superintendent stretch far beyond administrative responsibilities for Namin. He said being superintendent also means acting as a leader and role model for the students.
“Leadership is all about inspiration, because what you have to do is be the person that can inspire someone, the way you were inspired by someone else,” Namin said. “So, when kids look at you, they see the stuff you’ve overcome, they see the challenges you had to go through.”
Namin further keeps an eye on students long after they graduate. He is still in touch with a former student who is completing research in Denmark about engineering. Namin hopes that someday they can collaborate on a project together.
“You may not realize how you impacted someone else’s life in the smallest things you do,” Namin said. “[Students] reach out to you and say you thought it was small, but it made a big difference and I appreciate it. I think as a teacher that always lasts with me.”