AUGUSTA — The State Board of Education in Maine has elected a Lewiston businessman and a Bangor lawyer to lead the nine-member panel for the coming year.

Peter Geiger is the new chairman, replacing Nancy Perkins, who remains on the board, and Martha Harris is the new vice chairwoman, the board announced Tuesday in a news release.

The board elected new leadership at its June 11 meeting, for terms running from July 1 through June 2015.

Geiger, who has served as chairman and vice chairman in the past, is executive vice president of Geiger Inc., a Lewiston-based company that’s the largest family-owned promotional products firm in the country. He’s also editor and publisher of the Farmers’ Almanac.

Geiger is a board member of Educate Maine, a business-led organization that promotes college and career readiness. For 26 years, his company has sponsored an adopt-a-school partnership with Montello Elementary School in Lewiston that includes an Academy Award-like celebration of outstanding writers.

Harris, who lives in Winterport and practices law in Bangor, recently completed her 19th year as a school board member of Regional School Unit 22, which includes Hampden, Newburgh and Frankfort. She has served on study groups for the National Association of State Boards of Education and was the state board representative in a group that pushed for an independent review of the way the state provides education aid to local districts.

The State Board of Education advises the commissioner of education on matters concerning state education laws and makes education policy recommendations to the Legislature and the governor. Its other duties include overseeing school construction projects that receive state funds; administering federal funds awarded to Maine for career and technical education; and setting standards for teacher education and certification programs.

Kelley Bouchard can be reached at 791-6328 or at:

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