Nine candidates are running for seven seats on the Biddeford School Committee.

The field on the Nov. 3 ballot includes all but two sitting committee members, Laurie Jo Ready and Tammy Fleurent, who did not seek another term. The mayor of Biddeford serves as committee chairman.

In Biddeford, all school committee members hold two-year at-large seats rather than represent individual wards..

Dennis Anglea, a 56-year-old inventory specialist, is seeking to return to the committee “to ensure our children get the education they deserve.” A current member of the school finance committee and several other municipal committees, he said he approaches his role on the school committee without an agenda.

“I want to do what is right for our students and our community,” he said. “In working with other school committee and City Council members, we can do this in unison and with respect for one another.”

Anthony Michaud, a music teacher in Regional School Unit 21 said he is seeking a fifth term because he believes in “the hard work and directions that the educators in our school department are taking.” He believes the district can become the one of the best and most unique in the state.


“In the last three years, I have been excited by the changes that have occurred and the commitment shown by the educators in our district to improve the overall quality of education for students,” he said. “There has been a great deal of creativity used to make our schools a better place and I am proud to be a small part of that process.”

William “Bil” Moriarty, a father of three, is seeking his third term on the committee. If re-elected, he said, he would focus on developing more shared services with other districts that would bring revenue to the district. He also wants to develop better methods of reacting to the state’s school-funding system, which he says is broken and gives the district less money because it is designated as a coastal community.

“Being evaluated as if we were Cape Elizabeth is wrong but that is a state issue and we at the local level need to plan for those decreases and still be able to provide a positive curriculum for our students,” he said.

Lisa Vadnais, an educator for 25 years, is also seeking a third term. She said the work done in recent years has put the district “on the right path to making Biddeford a pioneer school for change and success.” She highlights the district’s partnerships with Southern Maine Community College, Thomas College and the University of New England for giving “amazing” opportunities to Biddeford students.

“I feel educators today are so overwhelmed with state testing it takes away some important elements of a school, one being school pride and building a school community,” she said. “Schools that create an environment filled with school spirit make a student feel a sense of belonging and excitement. Testing and tracking academic scores and data are important, but we must find a balance that I think we have lost.”

Political newcomers Crystal Blais and Karen Ruel are seeking two-year terms on the School Committee.


Blais, a teacher and mother of two elementary-aged children, said she is running because she has not been able to be as active as she would like to be in Biddeford schools. She said she would like to focus on ensuring the best possible schools, environment and curriculum for all city children. If elected, she said, she would like to learn more about how curriculum decisions are handled.

“Working on 11 years of experience in the field at the elementary level has taught me that there are many options for districts in how they choose to teach material to their students,” she said. “I feel that some of the choices that have been made recently took the level of rigor below where it could have been.”

Ruel, who works for Unum, said she has been involved in Biddeford schools through her two children, one a recent graduate and one a current high school student. She said she wants to help improve the academic and extracurricular experience for students.

“As we embark on implementing standards-based education within our school district, I will focus on ensuring this transition is completed in the most meaning, accurate and positive manner,” she said. “Open communications, consistency and thoughtful change is imperative in support of this transformation in our teaching, learning and grading strategy.”

Heather Mills, a current committee member, and candidates Brianna Gilbert and Timothy Pierce did not respond to multiple requests for information.



Dennis Anglea, Biddeford School CommitteeDENNIS R. ANGLEA
3 Sheltra Ave.
Age: 56
Occupation: Inventory specialist/business consultant
Family: Wife, Rev. Catherine Anglea; three grown children and two grown step-children; three grandchildren
Political experience/civic involvement: Currently on school committee and school finance committee; Downtown Development Commission; Waste Water Commission; Comprehensive Plan Committee; past member of Solid Waste Commission and board member of Joyful Harvest Neighborhood Center; Old Orchard Beach United Methodist Church food pantry committee and trustee.

Crystal Blais, Biddeford School CommitteeCRYSTAL BLAIS
Address: 5 Papoose Drive
Age: 33
Occupation: Teacher
Family: Married, three elementary-age children
Political experience/civic involvement: Has served on several committees

Address: 136 Prospect St. #1
Did not submit additional information.

Anthony Michaud, Biddeford School CommitteeANTHONY MICHAUD
24 Lamothe Ave.
Age: Not provided
Occupation: Music teacher in RSU 21
Family: Two daughters
Political experience/civic involvement: Biddeford School Committee member for eight years


Address: 30 Green St.
Political experience: Current Biddeford School Committee member
Did not submit additional information.

William Moriarty, Biddeford School CommitteeWILLIAM ‘BIL’ MORIARTY
24 Center St. #1
Age: 40
Occupation: Donation development for Salvation Army
Family: Married, three children
Political experience/civic involvement: Biddeford School Committee, four years (two years each on finance, policy and capital committees); Biddeford Historic Preservation Commission, two years; Santa Bil’s Workshop, eight years; Biddeford Democratic Committee, including three years as chairman and two years as vice-chairman; Maine State Democratic Committee, two years.


Address: 99 South St.
Did not submit additional information.

Karen Ruel, Biddeford School CommitteeKAREN RUEL
33 Forest St.
Age: 47
Occupation: Director of mortgage and RE finance for Unum
Family: Husband, Alain Lebreux; two daughters, Katelyn Lebreux, 20, and Kirsten Lebreux, 17
Political experience/civic involvement: BHS Project Sunrise co-chair, 2013 and 2016; Biddeford assistant superintendent search committee; BHS principal search committee; Biddeford Youth Cheering Board; BAA treasurer; Biddeford Soccer Club committee; Biddeford PTO
Web: [email protected]

Lisa Vadnais, Biddeford School CommitteeLISA VADNAIS
294 Granite St. Ext.
Age: 54
Occupation: Educator for 25 years
Family: Husband, Dave Vadnais; children Jessica, Tommy and Cole
Political experience/civic involvement: Four years on Biddeford School Committee; two years as chairwoman of finance committee; four years on curriculum committee; two years as MEA president for ESP



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