KENNEBUNK – Three candidates are vying for two, three-year Kennebunk seats on the Regional School Unit 21 Board of Directors. Andrew Freda and Claudia Sayre have teaching backgrounds, while Gayle Asmussen Spofford is a retired accountant.

Candidates for RSU 21 board seats in Arundel and Kennebunkport are unopposed.

In Arundel, Erin Nadeau was appointed to the RSU 21 board to fill a vacancy last year and is a candidate for a three-year term currently held by Ira Camp. Ryan McQueen is the sole candidate for the remaining two years of the term currently held by Nadeau.

In Kennebunkport, Jameson Spang Davis is unopposed for Kennebunkport RSU 21 director, a three-year term currently held by Loreta McDonnell.

Voting is June 14. Polls are open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Arundel Municipal Building, 257 Limerick Road; at Kennebunk Town Hall, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Village Fire Station in Kennebunkport, 32 North St. Those who wish to vote absentee should contact their town clerk.

Candidates for the Kennebunk races responded to questions about their backgrounds, why they are in the race, and what they see as issues going forward.


Andrew Freda Courtesy photo

* Freda was raised near Philadelphia, where, he said, he received a great public school education, is a retired schoolteacher. Married, he lives in Kennebunk.

“I have over 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher, coach, and community service leader,” said Freda. “I understand schools from the “inside,” and I believe I could serve the board and the town by being a good listener to community concerns – I could be a “different ear” for the board. I am also concerned about financial sustainability and making sure that we have a terrific RSU 21 in the future, not just in the present. Our current level of debt is over 10 percent of our budget – this is not sustainable.”

Freda said the two biggest issues he sees are how the RSU 21 board interacts with the community and how the district can prepare for rising costs.

“I think that the board can and should do a better job of listening to the parents and residents of Kennebunk,” said Freda. “Too many people have told me that they don’t feel that the board listens to them, and that feeling needs to be addressed. I also think that the pattern of “over-borrowing” to meet expenses is like living off a credit card, and the costs to pay for these loans is money that does not get used in the classroom.”

Claudia Sayre Courtesy photo

* Sayre has been an attorney and a school teacher. Married, she is the mother of two adult daughters. She practiced law in New York City for nine years, but left, she said, because she was “unwilling to continue in a career that neither aligned with my values nor permitted much time with my growing daughters.” Later, she taught elementary school and was a substitute in RSU 21 for five years after moving Kennebunk in 2014.

“I’m committed to living my values and excited to use my teaching background to support the public education of every student living in the community I call home,” she said.


Sayre volunteered in her children’s classrooms and in her New Jersey church. She is active with the Democratic Committee of the Kennebunks and is founder of the Just History Group of local citizen historians researching the lives of people of color in the region.

Sayre said the job of the RSU 21 board “is to make sure that no matter what the world throws at us – a pandemic, inflation, war – our public schools remain student-centered, committed to maximizing every student’s academic and personal growth, so students will graduate with the skills and abilities they need to forge their own path in an uncertain future.”

She said she is grateful the district has hired a strong well qualified leader, employed human resources professionals, created a policy review process, and more.

She said students need help overcoming COVID-related learning deficits and mental health challenges and believes teachers must be supported as they master new curricula and instructional planning methods while ensuring students overcome COVID-related deficits.

Gayle Asmussen Spofford Courtesy photo

* Spofford has been active in community service since junior high school. In college, she was a member of the student activities board and student council.

Married, she is the mother of four and is a grandparent. She was a member of the Wells-Ogunquit school district’s improvement committee and chaired the Wells Capital Improvement Committee. In Kennebunk she has chaired the Kennebunk Taxpayers Association, was elected to the MSAD 71 School Board and served on various committees including the consolidation team. She has served on RSU 21 committees, and was appointed to fill an unexpired RSU 21 directors term in 2021. Spofford is groundskeeper and current president of Evergreen Cemetery.

“Based on my experiences to date I feel it is important to step up and serve because I am a concerned, involved community member,” said Spofford. “I believe I have acquired the skills to be part of solutions because I am able to participate in the discussion about the problems. “

“The biggest challenge I see is making sure all students are ready for whatever they will face when they leave public school whether it is the military, college, or a job,” said Spofford. “ The best way forward is to make sure the students are critical thinkers to the best of their ability. Changes in the world are accelerating exponentially. None of us know what our children’s and grandchildren’s future will be.”

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