HARPSWELL — Maine School Administrative District 75’s board will get two new faces, following a fracas that saw two long-standing members abruptly resign.

Harpswell selectmen appointed Frank Wright and Molly Perry to the MSAD 75 School Board Thursday.

They will fill the seats of Joanne Rogers and David Johnson, who had served on the board for 34 years and 22 years respectively. Rogers and Johnson resigned from their positions on Feb. 8, stating that they no longer had the trust of the board.

Harpswell sends four people to represent the town on the 14-member school board. Lind Hall was re-elected to the school board at the March 9 annual town meeting in a write-in campaign, but the resignations of Rogers and Johnson took place too close to the town meeting, precluding the town from organizing and holding elections for the two seats at that time.

According to Town Administrator Kristi Eiane, the town cannot hold elections for school board seats at any time other than the annual town meeting, forcing the selectmen to either appoint two new representatives to the school board or leave the seats unfilled for more than a year.

On Thursday, selectmen interviewed three candidates and ultimately appointed Wright and Perry.

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Wright was raised in Topsham and on Harpswell Neck and ended up graduating from Brunswick High School in 1965. He taught high school-level science from 1973 to 2000 in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. After that he did engineering work and taught in a private school for several years before going on to work at Spurwink in Casco for 10 years, ending as a therapeutic crisis intervention instructor to staff.

Now, Wright is a stay at home dad in Harpswell. He volunteers at the school with the chess club and the Lego club and is active with the PTO.

Wright said he wasn’t interested in running for the school board in the past, but saw a need in the town after Rogers and Johnson resigned.

“It’s really about the need for Harpswell to have its full quota of members of the school committee,” said Wright. “I’m a child of the time of Kennedy, and I really took to heart his (call) for us to see what we can do for our country. So this is really just doing my part as a citizen.”

“I came in with no agenda, and I really have to see what are the issues. I intend to get to all the schools in the district, talk to the staff, see what it is that’s going on with them, seeing what they need and helping them where I can,” he added.

Perry also grew up in Harpswell and attended Mt. Ararat for a few years before moving and graduating from Lincoln Academy. Perry owns her own business, Go Babe, which makes children’s clothing and bedding. Perry serves as the treasurer of the PTO at Harpswell Community School and is a parent of a student in the school.

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Perry said that a focus for her joining the school board is increasing the special education services available at Harpswell Community School.

“I think it’s kind of a bummer that we already have a small school, and 24 students from Harpswell are having to go to Woodside Elementary school in Topsham to receive the special services that they need,” she said. “I just feel like we should be able to have more adequate services at our school.”

Perry had run as a write-in candidate for the open school board seat at the Harpswell annual town meeting, but was defeated by Hall, who decided to run for reelection as a write-in candidate.

Both Wright and Perry declined to discuss the specifics of the conflicts on the school board that led to the resignation of Rogers and Johnson.

“I didn’t want to form a side about it,” said Perry. “I want to go in with fresh eyes.”

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