SACO — The Saco School Board has appointed two residents to temporarily fill unexpired terms in Wards 1 and 5 until voters choose candidates at the Nov. 2 election, who then take office in early December.

Of the two appointed Sept. 22, neither Anthony “Tony” Palleschi in Ward 1, nor Charles Massie Jr., in Ward 5, are candidates in the November race.

Palleschi was chosen from a field of two Ward 1 residents who had expressed interest in filling the two months remaining of the term recently vacated by Christina Shea, who resigned Sept. 2. Arthur Archie also sought the appointment, and is a candidate for the three-year term in the Nov. 2 election, along with Ethan W. Alcorn.

In Ward 5, the board appointed Massie from a field of three people including Justin Chenette and William Gayle, the latter a candidate in the November contest. Former Ward 5 School Board member Arthur Tardif resigned in August, citing medical reasons. Gayle and Kerry Grover will vie for the three-year term on Nov. 2.

Palleschi has two children in the Saco school system, regularly attends School Board meetings and is one of four founders of SacoSTEAM, designed to assist PreK-Grade 8 youngsters with science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. He has taken part in school-related hiring panels and served on a prior school construction committee.

“I’m here because someone needs to be sitting over there (on the school board),” doing the job for the next couple of months, said Palleschi.


Archie, who has a child in the school system, said he brings a younger, fresher face to the community.

“I was concerned no one would apply, and I’m already on the ballot (for Nov. 2),” said Archie. “I feel like our ward will miss Christina, and I feel like we need someone to step in.”

In his letter of interest, Archie said he believes in transparency and communication.

School Board member Sarah Truman said both Palleschi and Archie have great interest in the schools and described them as great candidates.

“Because Mr. Palleschi is just looking to do short term, and is pretty familiar with the process, and so we are not giving anyone on the ballot any kind of upper hand, I’d feel comfortable making a motion to have him be appointed,” said Truman.

The vote was unanimous.


Massie is a Thornton Academy graduate who has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and who has three grandchildren in the Saco School system. In his letter of interest, Massie said he appreciates the education his grandchildren are receiving, and that he wishes to serve as a short-term member.

Massie, who at one time coached baseball at Notre Dame School, said he believed he could give something back to the community.

Chenette noted his support of raising the state share of education funding, focused on anti-bullying measures, and making service learning a part of education standards during his eight years in the Maine Legislature. He noted he served on the State Board of Education while a student at Thornton Academy and has spent time in the schools helping teach civics. Chenette currently serves on the Maine Right to Know Advisory Board. He said his experience in state government, the state board of education and longtime connection with the schools would allow him to “hit the ground running.”

Chenette on Monday, Sept. 27, announced his candidacy for York County Commissioner in the 2022 election.

Gayle is a student in Saco schools and is on the Nov. 2 School Board ballot. He said his focus is on making sure teachers and staff are successful, “because that is one of the foundations for successful students.” Gayle said he has experience in budgets and in the public sector. He currently serves on Saco’s traffic safety committee.

School Board member Jeff Richard moved Massie’s appointment, and the vote was unanimous.

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