WESTPORT — Debra Dunn, superintendent of the York School Department in Maine, is taking the helm at Long Lots Elementary School. The new principal was introduced at the June 12 school board meeting.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be back at the building level,” Dunn said about going from superintendent to principal. Dunn added that she was impressed by the interview process.

Dunn served as York’s superintendent for five years and before that, spent 17 years as principal of Woodland Elementary School in Weston, Ma. Dunn has also lectured and taught at higher education institutions including Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester and Regis College in Weston.

“I’m very excited to work with everyone and so honored,” Dunn said before leaving for her three-and-a-half-hour drive back home.

Dunn will make $40,000 more as principal of the Westport elementary school than she did as superintendent in York, where she oversaw two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school.

According to seacoastonline, Dunn made $134,006 last year. Set to start at Long Lots on July 17, her base salary will be $174,283 with a $1,500 bonus for having a doctorate.

There has been some recent turnover at Long Lots, with Dunn set to be the third top administrator there this year.

Former Long Lots Principal Jeffrey Golubchick was removed from his position as principal and placed on administrative leave on Feb. 10 and replaced by interim principal Michael Cicchetti, who will finish out the school year.

At the June 12 meeting, parents and school board members expressed excitement over once again having a permanent principal at the school.

“We are so very excited to have you at Long Lots,” said Carolyn Caney, Long Lots PTA co-president. Board Chairman Michael Gordon echoed her excitement.

Superintendent Colleen Palmer stressed the competitiveness of the interview process for the principal job — including several rounds of interviews with stakeholders — and said she was confident in Dunn as principal of Long Lots, noting she left a superintendent job.

“I think she was really following the passion in her heart,” Palmer said, adding she believed this is where Dunn “would derive the greatest personal and professional satisfaction.”

“I believe this is where she sees her future,” Palmer said.