Kathy Garrard is running for the Gorham School Committee because she feels it’s her civic duty and responsibility to give back to her community.

“I care very much about this community,” Garrard said. “I’m raising my family here, and I’ve been involved with the schools for 15 years, since my oldest daughter, who’s now 20, was a student.”

Garrard, 47, has lived in Gorham for 17 years with her husband where they have raised their three children. She received a nursing degree from Northeastern University and currently works as a public relations associate for Barton & Gingold in Portland.

Garrard said she wants to tackle budget issues the school district might face with the increasing downturn of the state and national economies by ensuring money is being spent on necessary items.

“I’m ready to contribute what I can,” she said. “I think the next couple of years are going to be challenging, especially from a budget point of view so I’m ready to get in there and do what I can to help.”

Garrard, who has had two children graduate from Gorham schools, wants to continue Gorham’s “quality education” and said she is pleased with the way the town’s schools encourage community involvement.

While there isn’t much she doesn’t like about the school district, she said she would work to make sure students don’t get “lost in the shuffle,” especially while the district grows.

“I think that could be a detriment,” she said. “While you can’t do anything about the size of the district, you can look at systems to address that every student’s needs are being met.”

Garrard said the recent White Rock Elementary School referendum that passed in September would help address the needs of accompanying a growing student population. She said she is in favor of the project.

“The new school will enable Gorham to go to three kindergarten-to-fifth-grade schools,” she said. “That makes for a much more unified trip through the schools for the kids, and it’s one less transition they need to make, so that makes for a much more consistent experience.”

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