Four candidates are vying for three seats on the Cape Elizabeth School Board in the Nov. 3 election.

Seeking three-year terms are Heather Altenburg, William Gross, former board member Elizabeth Scifres and John Voltz. Current board members John Christie III, David Hillman and Mary Williams-Hewitt aren’t seeking re-election.

Altenburg, 44, is a yoga teacher and mother of three children in town schools. She said she’s “running to help keep our schools strong for our children.”

Altenburg said she wants to help develop innovative learning strategies and cultivate communication in the schools and the community. “If elected, I will be open-minded on all issues with the best interest for our children, their futures and our community,” she said in an email.

Gross, 70, is a retired telecommunications engineer whose two children graduated from town schools. He volunteers regularly as a physics tutor at Cape Elizabeth High School.

Gross said he wants to improve the quality of education in town schools and control the rate of increases in the school budget, including innovative programs that would increase students’ time in the classroom and improve staff development for teachers.

Scifres, 40, is a tennis coach who was a board member from 2012-14, serving as vice chairwoman the last year. She’s also a newsletter editor on the executive board of the Pond Cove Parents Association.

Scifres said she’s running to protect and improve upon what is working well in the town’s schools while supporting innovation and changes where needed and enhancing communication at all levels within the district and the community.

Voltz, 54, is a business and financial consultant who said he’s running to keep the town’s schools excellent. He fought school budget reductions last spring and hopes to improve communication on school issues if he’s elected.

“I think it needs to be better across the board,” Volts said, “between the district and the community, between the administration and the staff and between the School Board and the Town Council.”



Heather Altenburg Cape Elizabeth School BoardAge: 44
Address: 31 Old Colony Lane, Cape Elizabeth
Family: Married, three children
Education: Bachelor’s degree, Spanish, University of New Hampshire
Occupation: Homemaker; yoga teacher
Political/civic experience: Co-chairwoman, annual scholastic book fair, Pond Cove Elementary School


William Gross Cape Elizabeth School BoardAge: 70
Address: 7 Sea View Ave., Cape Elizabeth
Family: Married, two children
Education: Bachelor’s degree, engineering science, Rensselaer Polytenchnic Institute
Occupation: Retired telecommunications engineer and former manager of a software development group; served in U.S. Marine Corps
Political/civic experience: Volunteer tutor in freshman honors physics class at Cape Elizabeth High School


Elizabeth Scifres Cape Elizabeth School BoardAge: 40
Address: 22 Longfellow Drive, Cape Elizabeth
Family: Married, two children
Education: Bachelor’s degree, English, Bowdoin College; secondary education teacher’s certification, University of New England
Occupation: Homemaker; varsity girls’ tennis coach, South Portland High School
Political/civic experience: Former member, Cape Elizabeth School Board, 2012-14, including one year as vice chairwoman; member, executive board, Pond Cove Parents Association


John Voltz Cape Elizabeth School BoardAge: 54
Address: 33 Philip Road, Cape Elizabeth
Family: Married, two children
Education: Bachelor’s degree, biology, Grinnell College, Iowa; master’s degree, finance and marketing, UCLA Anderson School of Management
Occupation: Business and financial consultant
Political/civic experience: None


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