Hannah Bitjoka was elected Tuesday to represent District 3 on the South Portland School Board, resoundingly defeating her opponent, Adam Hamilton, 4,181 to 2,712.

Bitjoka said Wednesday that she wants to help make improvements in the equity of education and support all of South Portland’s students. She also hopes to address issues such as fully staffing positions that need to be filled, including in the transportation department, and to help students who do not have permanent housing.

“I’m also aware that the percentage of students who are currently without permanent housing is higher than South Portland has seen in the past,” she said. “I would like to learn more about the impact that’s having for those students and school staff.”

Bitjoka also emphasized that health and safety are important in the wake of the pandemic.

“We need to pay attention to and support the emotional health of our students and our staff,” she said.

Hamilton’s campaign came under fire last month as screenshots of past Facebook posts he made were circulated.

State Rep. Christopher Kessler, D-South Portland, and South Portland City Councilor Jocelyn Leighton called on Hamilton to withdraw from the race.

“His posts demonstrated a disregard for transgender individuals, a disdain for Somali immigrants, and full-fledged Islamophobia,” Kessler said in an email to The Forecaster.

Leighton questioned whether Hamilton would be able to fairly represent all South Portland students.

In an Oct. 20 email to The Forecaster, Hamilton stated that he had received “a huge influx of community support” in the wake of the screenshots surfacing.

“Those who know me and my family know my heart and my dedication to being a solid community member and always looking out for those who are disadvantaged and in need,” he wrote.

Bitjoka said that while Hamilton’s posts had an impact on the District 3 race, her campaign did not revolve around Hamilton.

“My campaign was not about my opponent’s views or actions,” she said. “It was about my own strengths and experiences in working with South Portland kids and families in various capacities.”

Newcomer Andrea Levinsky was elected unopposed for the District 4 seat on the School Board, and incumbent Elyse Tipton, was reelected in her unopposed bid for another term for District 5.

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