The three candidates for two seats on the SAD 51 School Board, incumbent Jared Levin and newcomers Anneke Hohl and Megan Lichter, agree that finding a long-term solution to overcrowding issues in the district is their chief concern.

The candidates discussed this priority with The Forecaster in advance of the June 13 election.


Anneke Hohl

“There is a need for more space for our growing student population,” Hohl said, and that need must be met sooner rather than later.

Temporary solutions, such as modular classrooms, are straining the school budget.

The school board and the community must collaborate to minimize that strain, she said.


Hohl, who moved to Cumberland with her husband and two children in 2017, has volunteered in the schools and with the Greely PTO. She has a background in restorative justice and mediation.

Ensuring that the schools are well-run is one of the most important duties of a school board member, she said.

“It’s the policy that administrators are putting into practice on a day-to-day basis,” Hohl said. “We need to help support that.”


Jared Levin

Levin said the lack of a long-term solution to overcrowding could have a big impact.

“If we do not find a solution, the space issue will begin to impact our competitiveness as a school system,” he said. “We need to put forth a solution that works and one that the town can get behind.”


Communication with district residents will be important in solving the space issue moving forward, Levin said, and an upcoming community survey will provide the board more information.

He thinks the Gray Road property in North Yarmouth is still the best site for a new elementary school. While he understands residents’ concerns about costs, he said, it likely will cost more to find another site.

“We have a good plan, and changing course now is likely to cost more and delay a resolution of our space shortage,” Levin said.

Levin, who moved to Cumberland in 2015 with his wife and three daughters, has a background in finance and in coordinating with architects and builders on commercial projects. He joined the school board last year to fill a vacated one-year term, and believes his experience working in commercial building is an asset to solving the current space issue.


Megan Lichter

Lichter favors the Gray Road site as the best option for a much-needed new Cumberland-North Yarmouth elementary school.


“We’re being squeezed. We have so many kids in our schools,” she said.

A focus on quality of education and the wellbeing of students is the most important role of a school board member, and adding more portables to address overcrowding does not provide the best learning environment, she said.

Lichter, a nurse practitioner who moved to Cumberland with her husband and two sons in 2016, said the patience, compassion and creativity she has learned in the health care field will help her to foster communication and compromise to focus on the school system’s top priorities.

“There is a huge emphasis on compromise and communication,” Lichter said. “The schools do not exist in a vacuum, they exist in the community.”

Comments are not available on this story.