KENNEBUNK – There is a new member of the Regional School Unit 21 school board, representing Kennebunk.

Josiah Currier was appointed to the remainder of a term recently vacated by Kendra Connor by the select board at the Jan. 12 meeting. The term is a few months in duration – ending June 30. Voters will choose a member for a full three-year term in municipal elections that month.

Currier, 25, was chosen from a slate of several candidates. Nine had expressed interest in the post, and some withdrew. During the session, which saw a number of candidates nominated by board members, some failed to get seconds, and nominations for others went down in defeat. There were further withdrawals.

At the table at the beginning of the select board meeting were candidates Currier, Gail Asmussen Spofford, Claudia Sayre, Kortney Nedeau, Peter Sentner and David Wayne. Sentner, voicing support for Nedeau, withdrew during the meeting,

The session – as was a candidate’s night presentation the week before – was moderated by Durward Parkinson.

Select board members grappled with factors that included choosing someone who might not run for the full term; whether to choose long prior experience over a new face, or whether a candidate had prior financial experience.

Parkinson outlined the process, which included an open nomination and vote by board members.

Nedeau, Currier and Wayne were each nominated, but the motions were not seconded. Spofford, who is a former school board member and has a background in accounting, was nominated and seconded, but was defeated in a vote that included four nays, two ayes, and one abstention.

Nedeau, 31, who works in international sales and is a homeowner and former education technician, expressed frustration, and vowed to run for election to the select board in June.

“It feels like I am being pushed away for some reason unbeknownst to me,” Nedeau said, in part.

Board member William Ward told Nedeau his choice of candidate was not because of any deficiency on her part.

“There is a process we’re stuck in that is really awkward,” noted board member Shiloh Schulte. “Procedures and laws dictate the legal method to go forward.”

Board members expressed their thanks to those who stepped forward, and noted they had an “excellent slate of candidates,” from which to choose.

Currier eventually emerged as the choice in a 6-1 vote, with board member Ed Karytko dissenting.

A 2014 Kennebunk High school graduate, Currier told the board at a Jan. 5 Candidates Night that as a relatively recent graduate, he knows some of the struggles students go through and what some students may need to learn.

“A younger person may be a bit of a plus,” said Currier. He told the board he has worked since he was 15, when he pumped gas at the local Sunoco station while a student.

Currier is a graduate of York County Community College and is a machinist at Abbott.

He said since he has joined the workforce full time, he has learned the value of working as a team.

“I had been hard-headed in the past, and as I get older I realize being part of a team is very important,” said Currier. “I am a machinist and a factory worker and every day we work as a team effort. My experience comes from working trade jobs, and sometimes it can be difficult, (there are) a lot of hard-headed people … accepting other ideas is an important part of working with a team.”

At the Jan. 5 forum, candidates were asked about diversity, equity and inclusion.

“As a younger man I believed things that may not be acceptable in this society,” said Currier, noting that some young people are not exposed to different cultures and beliefs. “I got to know a certain group of people and (it) made me realize I was wrong, and helped me grow as a person.”

Candidates were asked about their accountability to the town.

Currier said if appointed to the board, he would talk with people and get their point of view.

“I think that is sometimes missing,” he said.

He has expressed interest in running for the three-year term.

Currier also said he would likeĀ  for RSU 21 to have a school program that exposes adolescents to the trades, saying he thought it would add to the school system and help meet the demands of local businesses that are having hiring difficulties.

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