Beatty

OLD ORCHARD BEACH — Both Sally Beatty and Robert LePauloue have education backgrounds and each are in the running for a three-year term on the RSU 23 School Board, which serves the town of Old Orchard Beach.

They are vying for a seat currently held by Carol Marcotte, who is not seeking re-election.

Beatty, 70, is retired from a 30-plus year career as an elementary school teacher, much of it spend teaching in South Portland. She’s worked extensively on curriculum development, was a leader in the teachers’ association and was the grievance chair of her district, she said. Beatty earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine and an associate’s degree from the former Westbrook College, now the University of New England.

“I have a strong desire to create a good education that is affordable with our declining enrollment and budget up $700,000 and our test scores below average,” Beatty said.

She decided to run for office, she said, because “I need to stop talking about it and start doing something about it.”

LaPauloue

Beatty said she believes the current enrollment is about 707 students, down about 30. She said she believes Old Orchard Beach has the highest per pupil expenditure of any district except for the small island schools off the coast of Maine.

Retired, she is married with two adult children and moved to Old Orchard Beach about six years ago. This is her first bid for elected office.

LePauloue teaches social studies to students in seventh and eighth grade at Thornton Academy Middle School. He coaches recreational basketball, is on the Little League board and coaches Little League in Old Orchard Beach, where he is also a member of the Rotary Club. Married, he has two children in the school system. This is his second bid for a seat on the RSU 23 School Board.

“One thing that got me into it was the (state) RSU experiment that failed and left places like Old Orchard Beach in a tough spot,” said LePauloue.

The Old Orchard Beach School system became an RSU, combined with Saco and Dayton. The latter two communities later left the RSU.

One of his concerns, LePauloue said, is the physical structure of the buildings and classrooms in Old Orchard Beach which he believes are not adequate. It is his understanding, he said, that Old Orchard Beach on the state’s school construction list.

“I’d like the opportunity to be involved,” he said. “We need to think outside the box on that too.”

One idea, LePauloue said, is that Old Orchard Beach might want to look at consolidating some schools.

“It’s time to reach out to the community and get some feedback,” he said.

Old Orchard Beach has vibrant recreation programs for kids and those over 50, LePauloue pointed out,, and if space opened up in one of the school buildings for an exercise room, the community could be invited, he noted.

LePauloue earned a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Maine in Farmington and a Master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from the University of Southern Maine.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 780-9016 or twells @mainelymediallc.com.

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