Incumbent Jennie Butler and newcomer Jessica Bridges were the winners Tuesday in a six-way race for two Windham seats on the Regional School Unit 14 School Board.

Butler

Incumbent Christina small came in fifth.

Butler received 2,167 votes and Bridges garnered 1,535. Mike Pasquini received 1,199 votes; Barbara Bagshaw, 1,065; Small, 896; and Carrie Grant, 596.

Butler, who has served on the board since 2019, said Wednesday that both she and Bridges “care about students, their families and their safety.

“There are still tough decisions to be made regarding COVID,” Butler said, “and my priority is still supporting the students, staff and families of RSU 14 to keep them safe and healthy, on top of all the regular duties of the school board.”

In a previous interview with the Lakes Region Weekly, Butler said she supports “a layered approach to prevention” when it comes to combatting COVID-19 in schools, which could include requiring masking and encouraging vaccinations for those of appropriate age.

She also said she would focus on prioritizing financial resources for teachers, as well as the social and emotional health of students and staff – including bus drivers, nutrition workers and educational technicians.

A message left for Bridges Wednesday seeking comment on her win was not returned by the Lakes Region Weekly’s deadline.

In an earlier interview, she said communication will be key to her approach as a school board member. Her focus will be on keeping students and faculty physically safe, while also prioritizing mental health by making resources more readily available for both students and teachers.

She also said she would support a higher number of classes or classrooms so teachers wouldn’t have a large number of students to instruct and so students could focus more effectively.

Bridges

Small joined the board in 2020, when she was appointed to fill a vacancy created when Dawn Dillon stepped down.

RSU 14 also includes the town of Raymond, which did not have any vacant seats up for grabs on the school board.

Also on Tuesday, Windham voters approved all three state referendum questions. Question 1, a citizen initiative to ban the construction of the CMP Clean Connect corridor, was approved 3,051 to 2,087. Question 2, a $100 million bond issue for transportation infrastructure passed 3,395 to 1,725. Question 3, a constitutional amendment concerning Mainers’ right to grow and consume their own food, passed 2,952 to 2,133.

Of the 14,398 registered voters in Windham, 5,184, or about 36%, turned out to vote.

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