Four political newcomers are vying for two open seats on the Falmouth School Board.


Scott Booth, Emily Hinman, Sara Juli and Laurel Regan are on the June 14 ballot to fill the seats being vacated by James Cahan and Krisztina Napolitano, who are not seeking seeking reelection.

The Forecaster asked the four candidates to weigh in on the issue of staff shortages, which is facing public schools nationwide, including Falmouth’s.

Regan, 45 and a 20-year resident of Falmouth, said the board should communicate with the administration to understand which openings are most critical.

“Staffing vacancies are best avoided by retaining the talented educators and staff in our district, so understanding their needs and concerns is important to me,” said Regan, who has a daughter at Falmouth Middle School.


Hinman, 44, a four-year resident with two sons in Falmouth schools, said the district needs to get to the root cause of why people are leaving in the first place.


Juli, 43, an eight-year resident with two daughters in the schools, said keeping “salaries competitive and working conditions happy and productive so teachers want to grow and do their jobs successfully” is key. It’s also important to have professional development days for teachers, she said.

Booth, 37, a 10-year resident with sons in kindergarten and pre-K, said his mother worked as an elementary school teacher in Falmouth for many years, so he understands how much is asked of educators. Given the past two years with the pandemic and remote learning the board and the administration need to listen to teachers’ changing needs.


The four candidates also were asked to comment on the recently released U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of the nation’s schools, which placed Falmouth High School at No. 5 in the state and Falmouth Middle School at second, both falling just behind Greely High School and Greely Middle School in Cumberland-based School Administrative Unit 51.

Booth said the ranking creates “healthy competition” between the two neighboring districts and it can help Falmouth look into what’s working for the community and what’s not. Hinman agreed that these metrics can be used to analyze where the district has some room for improvement.


Juli said the U.S. News rankings are based heavily on test scores and not qualitative data, so it’s not a “holistic approach.” She said the district should focus on recruiting and retaining high-quality staff so they “can continue excellence in education” and continue efforts to be more inclusive and welcoming of families and students from varying backgrounds.

Regan shared a similar sentiment. She said the pandemic has pushed Falmouth schools to focus on the social-emotional well-being of students and staff, which has helped cultivate “a cohesive community,” qualities that should continue to be prioritized.


Booth, who declined to provide his political party affiliation due to the School Board being a non-partisan body and “wanting to keep the race about the school and the kids,” works in risk management for TD Bank, is on the board of directors for Falmouth Football and coaches for several youth programs. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Maine.

Hinman, who also declined to provide her party affiliation, is a physician’s assistant. She previously taught at a private school and has volunteered with the Scouts. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology and sociology from Bowdoin College and a master’s in science from the University of New England.

Juli, a Democrat, has been the president of Falmouth Elementary School’s PTO for two years, is a founding member of Falmouth schools’ Intercultural Awareness and Inclusion Committee and a member of the Equity Audit Subcommittee. She works as a fundraising consultant to nonprofits and has degrees in both dance and anthropology from Skidmore College.

Regan, a Democrat, leads the Information Technology and Business Intelligence department for Dead River Company. She has served on the board of Habitat For Humanity 7 Rivers, and she has bachelor’s degrees from the University of Maine in Food Science & Human Nutrition and Wildlife Ecology and a Masters in Business Administration from Green Mountain College.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 14 at Falmouth High School.

Residents will also vote for town councilors on Election Day. Incumbents Tommy Johnson, Janice De Lima and Jay Trickett are all uncontested in their bids for reelection.

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