The Bangor School Department lost a dear colleague yesterday. A family member shared that Norris E. Nickerson passed last evening surrounded by family.
Norris “Nick” Nickerson was a dedicated educator, coach, and administrator at Bangor High School for his entire career spanning forty-nine years. Mr. Nickerson began teaching biology, physical education and health and coaching football in 1962 and later became an Assistant Principal in 1974. He served in this role until 1989 when he advanced to the position of Principal of Bangor High. Mr. Nickerson led the school until his retirement in 2011.
Bangor High accomplished many awards and achievements during Mr. Nickerson’s tenure as the principal, including: National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, US Newsweek Top 5% of High Schools, Standard and Poor’s Outperformer, Sports Illustrated Top 50, Parents’ Choice Award Winner, and an extensive list of State Championships in both academics and sports. Mr. Nickerson was extremely proud of the high school, the faculty and staff, and especially of the students. He rarely missed an event and enjoyed watching all students’ progress and participation.
In addition to his leadership at Bangor High School, Mr. Nickerson held several Maine Principals’ Association (MPA) and National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) offices and served on many committees throughout his career including: MPA Swim Committee, MPA Basketball Committee, MPA Basketball Commission, MPA Class A Tournament Director, MPA Class B,C, & D Basketball Tournament Director, MPA Classification Committee, and NASSP Chairman for the National Committee for Assistant Principals.
Mr. Nickerson will be remembered for his longtime commitment and leadership at Bangor High School as well as his devotion to his children and grandchildren and his work throughout his career for tens of thousands of high school students, Maine athletes, and children throughout Maine and the nation through his work as a Shriner.
He had high expectations for all, including himself. He was tough, but fair, and no one cared more deeply about Bangor High and the success of all students. Mr. Nickerson summarized his feelings about his time at Bangor High School in a Bangor Daily News interview when he retired in 2011.
“I hope I left a good mark,” Nickerson said. “I’m kind of old school. I’m very proud of that,” he said, adding that he made it a priority to uphold “old-fashioned” values such as treating others with dignity and encouraging “old courtesies,” though he acknowledged that it sometimes made him unpopular with students.
“I did not allow some of the things that go on in other schools. It worked for us,” he said. “I had a very devoted staff and a very professional staff and we all worked together as a team. I’ll forever be indebted to them.”
Likewise, the Bangor School Department is forever indebted to Norris Nickerson.
-Betsy M. Webb, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools (Contact)