Meet Our Maine Connections Academy School Leaders

Chad Strout


Chad Strout

Principal Chad Strout joined the Maine Connections Academy (MCA) family in the fall of 2017. He holds a BS degree in secondary education and history from the University of Maine and an MA degree in education administration from the University of Denver. Mr. Strout has 10 years of experience in the educational field as a teacher and administrator. He shares more below:

“Every child has the right to find the best educational experience that works for them. MCA offers a rigorous, enjoyable experience for those students who wish to challenge themselves outside of a traditional brick-and-mortar school. Our school believes that a student can learn anywhere and at any time, and our teachers are dedicated to every student's education and will go the extra mile to help him or her succeed. MCA is different because it can mold to student and family needs, rather than adapting to an antiquated school system.”

In his free time, Mr. Strout enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and dog. Together, they like to go to the movies, walk, run, and spend time in the gym. He believes that staying healthy helps keep the mind sharp.

Lauren Thompson

Dean of Students

Lauren Thompson

Lauren Thompson is the Dean of Students at Maine Connections Academy (MCA). She earned a bachelor’s degree in math education and a master’s degree in education from the University of New Hampshire. Ms. Thompson began her teaching career in 2013 and joined MCA for the 2016–17 school year. She shares more below about her background in teaching.

“In high school and college, I always helped my friends with homework because I was considered a math whiz. I really enjoyed showing people how to solve questions that they were so perplexed by. In college, I excelled in my math courses and wanted to explore all my options. I took some education courses so I could be placed in schools that would allow me to practice and observe other teachers. I liked bonding with the students and helping them. At that time, I switched my major to math education. I had to finish some courses in the fall of 2012 to get my master’s degree, and in the meantime, I took a job as an instructional aide in a math tutoring center. I loved working with the students and teaching them math skills. I couldn’t wait to get a regular classroom teaching job. I haven’t turned back since then.

I love the flexibility I have at MCA to reach out to students and make useful contact with their families. The flexible scheduling gives me more time to work with students who really need my support. I think this is one of the main benefits of teaching at an online school versus a bricks-and-mortar school.

Our school is very special because all of our teachers are so dedicated and caring. We all work together to help each other, as well as the students. Collaboration and improvement is a big part of our school community.

The education we offer at MCA teaches students the 21st century skills necessary for being successful in our modern world, including technical skills. They also learn how to use resources to self-teach, and how to become self-advocates in reaching out to teachers for help.

If a parent was interested in our school, I would certainly tell him or her how happy our family and students are with making the change to our virtual learning environment. Our curriculum and flexible schedules allow students to work at a pace that works best for them and receive help when they need it throughout the day. Teachers have more time to focus on your children and provide them the support and attention they need.”

Outside of teaching, Ms. Thompson loves the beach, outdoor sports, and spending time with her husband and son.