I encourage citizens of Cumberland and North Yarmouth to pay close attention to the School Administrative District 51 Board of Directors and to share with them your perspectives and expectations for their stewardship of our outstanding school district. The great accomplishments we have achieved in building an educational system of exceptional quality at a very reasonable cost are indeed at risk.

I attended the Sept. 19 board meeting and was greatly dismayed by what transpired. The board had been unable to elect a new chairman, disagreeing on this and other matters since their initial retreat in July. What I observed was a spectacle beyond all reasonable expectations. The meeting was marked by open hostility, disrespect for the chairman and superintendent, disregard for rules of order, theatrical stunts involving sham nominations and resignations, bluffs, and bluster. Their final decision to proceed with co-chairmen entrenches the deep philosophical differences that now exist on the board and lays the foundation for ongoing divisiveness and bickering.

The tremendous quality and value of our school district evolved from the committed and consistent efforts of many citizens of Cumberland and North Yarmouth over the years. This result is consistent with the board’s mission and reflects the standard we expect the board to sustain. It would be a travesty if the board in its current constitution turns back the clock and dismantles these achievements by feuding over costs and programs and micromanaging our administrators. Our children, dedicated school staff, and experienced administrators deserve so much better than this.

John Campbell

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