Two incumbents are being challenged by newcomers in Tuesday’s election for two seats representing Windham on the Regional School Unit 14 board.

Michael Duffy and Kane Loukas are seeking re-election for three-year terms. The new candidates in the race are Christopher Dunn and Elizabeth Fillinger.

Windham has six seats on the school board and Raymond has three. Raymond holds its elections in the spring.

Duffy, 57, of Forbes Lane, said he is running for another term to continue the board’s work controlling spending and expenses while enhancing the curriculum for students. He said the district must find a way to do more with less.

“It’s a huge challenge to offer the programs and services that students need with limited resources,” Duffy said in a written statement. “We need to find alternative ways to save money other than reducing staff.”

Last year, the board approved a budget that cut 44 positions, including about 16 teaching positions, five administrative positions and two bus drivers.

Loukas, 53, vice president of children and family services for Youth Alternatives Ingraham, said he is running to continue the board’s work merging Windham and Raymond schools into one school system, where students in both towns have the same educational opportunities.

“There are a lot of discussions and decisions that need to be made for RSU 14 to become one school system,” he said.

To trim costs, Loukas said, the board will put everything on the table for discussion.

“(School officials) keep telling us that things are going to get difficult,” he said. “I want to keep the teachers in the classroom, and community input is very important to me.”

Fillinger, 37, of Sabbady Point Road, said she is running because she’s concerned about cuts to special education programs and the student-teacher ratio.

Fillinger, whose daughter has special needs, said she wants to help identify savings in the budget that would expand programs for students and keep teachers in the classroom.

“Ed techs always seem to be the first to go,” she said. “Consistency is a huge thing. Smaller class sizes enable children to thrive better.”

Dunn, 36, of Forest Avenue, a stay-at-home-father, said he wants to bring common sense to the board. If elected, Dunn said, he would control spending and evaluate the district’s programs and policies to determine what is working and what needs to be changed.

“I think the schools are getting away from the basics,” he said. “I could bring a lot to the table. I have a unique life experience and time to do the homework. I think the board is missing that.”

 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]