MSAD 75 board actions signals return to civility

The MSAD 75 Board of Directors Meeting on Oct. 21 left me with hope, but not for the most obvious reason. The board voted 10-3 (with 1 absent) to continue the district’s universal masking policy until Interim Superintendent Lucy makes a recommendation not to. This is less a vote for masking and more a vote for working together to get back to focusing on education.

While there continued to be disruptive behavior and an unwillingness to listen by some board and audience members, I witnessed 10 board members step into their roles as leaders. After the initial motion to continue masking until the Maine DOE and CDC change their recommendations, the motion would have likely passed; but following discussion led by Chairperson Kopp, members Dumont and Hall were open to changing the motion to maintain universal masking until the superintendent recommends otherwise. This was in response to concerns voiced by some board members.

As a result, most put aside personal philosophies, absorbed district-specific data, and came together to implement all tools available within the framework required by the State of Maine to keep as many kids in school as possible. By putting confidence in the superintendent to work with the state, other administrators, our educators, and support staff to make future recommendations, this is a vote for empowering our administrators, educators, and staff to do the jobs that they are trained to do (at which they are outstanding) and for moving the board towards fulfilling its role of enacting and upholding policy, ensuring our facilities are serving our students, drafting a budget, and supporting all members of our community in ways that ensure exceptional educational opportunities for all.

Thank you, board members Burak, Chandler, Dumont, Gardner, Hall, Hobson, Kopp, Montejo, Tome and Wright for giving me hope that we as a district are moving towards a return of civil discourse and cooperation. Part of Bowdoin Central School’s guiding philosophy is to be “safe, responsible, and respectful.” Our kids are looking to us to model this, so let’s be that example!

Anna Christie-Carnicella,

Vote Spelke, Timberlake for MSAD 75 School Board

We support Amy Spelke and Mike Timberlake as they seek positions on the MSAD 75 School Board. They are two decent people who are running for all the right reasons: they both wish to serve our community.

We believe they both have the temperament and skills to serve on the Board at such a challenging time when COVID-19 influences everything. As public servants, they will be thoughtful, deliberate, hard working and above all else, civil in their decision making process.

Amy and Mike are children of educators, both products of public education, and have or continue to send their children through MSAD 75 schools. Amy has a bachelor’s degree in history and two masters degrees, one in education and one in public administration. She is the former Director of Safety and Security at the Maine Public Utilities Commission where she was immersed in the public policy process and gained a deep understanding of budgets. Mike graduated from Mt. Ararat High School and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine. As an account manager for a large healthcare technology company, his work involves relationship building with his sales teams and customers, and requires an intricate knowledge of the budget process as well.

Amy and Mike have our support due to their interest in addressing the short and long-term needs of MSAD 75 students. In the near term, their top priority is to keep kids in school, out of quarantine, and in the classroom learning. They will prioritize the voices of experts when making difficult decisions. In the long term, Amy and Mike will help the Board focus on attracting and retaining qualified teachers and hiring a permanent superintendent. They are committed to helping the Board ensure the District is providing a quality education for all students. In essence, their mission. We hope you will vote for Amy and Mike for school board. We will.

Jim Byrne, Heather Hollenbach, Angela Twitchell, Mary Kate Appicelli, Steve Trockman

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