BATH — In order to secure a fourth term on the Regional School Unit 1 Board of Directors, Alan Walton of Bath must shake off a challenge from Woolwich resident Lorna Ryan.

Walton fills an unrestricted residence seat on the RSU 1 board. Anita Brown, the panel’s Arrowsic representative, is uncontested for this fall’s other open seat.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Lorna Ryan

Ryan said she is “committed to trying to strengthen the home to school connection,” and advocates greater community involvement and improved communication between the public and district.

She wants to go “back to basics on the value of supporting your child at home, so that their success at school will be better.”

Ryan, who has served on the district’s Finance Committee, called herself a fair person who checks politics and her own ideologies at the door. “I actually don’t want to always hear just the good news. I want to hear why something may not be working, and get other people’s perspective,” she said. “I’m really pragmatic; I’m not afraid of difficult conversations, but always very solutions-oriented as well.”

RSU 1’s schools do a strong job of advocating for its students, “but I think the larger piece of the conversation sometimes is, is (a new program) truly not only good for the community, but are we certain that (it) is really going to reap the benefits that we hope it’s going to,” Ryan said.

Alan Walton

Given his deep involvement in the construction of the new Morse High School, Walton said he wants to see that project through during another term.

The RSU 1 board also plans soon to meet with the community to discuss replacing Bath’s two elementary schools, Dike Newell and Fischer Mitchell, and determine whether Bath should have a pair of schools or one combined facility, Walton said. The public will be polled on where a school or schools should be sited, and whether people support local funding should state monies not be available, Walton added.

“I see great value in having a single school,” he said, explaining that when serving breakfast in the schools one day a week, “I see these kids, and the greatest support they have is older siblings. And breaking them (apart) I don’t think is really in their best interest.”

Walton said he has always striven to look out for those best interests for all students across the district. “I don’t pick groups from towns, or anything,” he said. “They’re all in the same pool, and I want what is best for all of the kids that we can do, and at the same time we have to look out for the bottom line for the taxpayers.”


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