BATH — Newcomer Jamie Dorr is challenging incumbent Megan Fuller for a three-year seat on the Regional School Unit 1 Board of Directors representing Bath.

Dorr serves as the executive director of the Midcoast Community Alliance in Bath, a nonprofit offering after school programming with the goal of supporting the mental health of local students. She said she founded the organization in 2016 when the community was grieving a young adult who took their own life.

Jamie Dorr is running for a spot on RSU 1 school board for the first time. She is the founder and executive director the Midcoast Community Alliance, a nonprofit in Bath aimed at supporting the mental health and wellbeing of students in the Bath-area. Photo courtesy of Jamie Dorr

With surveys showing suicidal thoughts increasing in teens across the state, Dorr said prioritizing students’ mental health is essential when making decisions about education. If elected, she said she’ll focus on “making sure students’ mental wellness comes first, because without that, education cannot successfully happen.”

“I’m naturally a helper,” she said. “I love to serve and I love seeing kids who face a large amount of adversity overcome that. For many students, school is hard, so is there more we could be doing to make school accessible and enjoyable for them?”

Dorr was raised in Bath and attended Morse High School where she met her husband. They raised two sons in Bath, the younger of which attends Morse High School, and she has remained heavily involved with the school district.

“I watch the school board meetings, I participate in school committees, so joining the board feels like the natural next step in having a strong voice in the community,” she said.

Dorr said in the coming years she wants to see the school board “keep lines of communication open” between school administrations, teachers, parents and students amid the COVID-19 pandemic that halted in-person learning in schools across the country.

“I think RSU 1 is doing an amazing job and there are no right or wrong answers for getting kids back to school right now, but we need to figure out exactly how to get kids back to school safely, and constant communication between the schools and families is essential for that,” said Dorr.

Similarly, increasing communication between parents, students and teachers is something Fuller said she’ll work to improve if re-elected after parents weren’t informed the board would be discussing and ultimately deciding, to keep pre-kindergarten through fifth-graders in their part-time in-person learning plan last month.

Incumbent Megan Fuller is seeking re-election to her seat on the RSU 1 school board. She works as a librarian and a gifted and talented teacher at West Bath School. Photo courtesy of Megan Fuller

“The only thing, looking back over the years, that I would have done differently is the school board meeting held on Sept. 21, 2020,” said Fuller. “I think the agenda didn’t give parents and community members enough information and time to prepare for the discussion and vote on the elementary schools reopening plan.”

Elected in 2014, Fuller said she’s seeking re-election because she remains invested in RSU 1 students and wants to help the school navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a time like no other and it is important to stay informed and make informed decisions so that we provide a safe environment for both students and staff and continue to provide a quality education to all of our students,” she said. “Being part of the decision making that determines and shapes the education of our youngest community members is an important job.”

Fuller also grew up in Bath and graduated from Morse High School before continuing on to get a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Northern Arizona University and a Master’s degree in library and information science from Southern Connecticut University.

She is a national board certified teacher and is in her 19th year of working in education. She now works as a librarian and a gifted and talented teacher at West Bath School and has three children in the district.

RSU 1 covers Bath, Phippsburg, Arrowsic and Woolwich.

Jennifer Ritch-Smith and William Perkins are also running unopposed for re-election to their respective seats on the RSU 1 school board.

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