2017-01-13 / Front Page

Seat open on school board

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer

A little more than two months after voters returned Jodi Shea and Cari Lyford to the Scarborough Board of Education at the general election in November, another seat has opened on the board.

Kate Miles, who has been serving on the board since 2015, was required to vacate her seat after being “temporarily relocated” out of Scarborough.

After notifying chairman Kelly Murphy and Superintendent Julie Kukenberger, Miles checked in with Drummond and Woodsum, the board’s legal council, which determined because she will temporarily not be a resident of Scarborough anymore, it rendered her ineligible to continue serving.

“It is with incredible regret and a heavy heart,” Miles said of leaving the board. “I took that role incredibly seriously. It was far and away some of the most rewarding work I have done. If there was any way legally possible to continue to serve, that would have absolutely have been my first choice.”

According to the Town Charter, “members of the Board of Education shall be registered voters of the Town and shall reside in the Town during their term of office.” If a member of the board doesn’t meet that standard, or others set out in the charter, “the office should immediately become vacant.”

A special election to fill the remainder of Miles’ term, which runs until 2018, will take place within the next 60 days. The date of the election will be set by the town council.

Miles said she was pleased to have been on the board to hire Kukenbeger, who she feels is doing a great job in her first year as a superintendent and to be part of a budget process in which the budget was accepted by voters on the first attempt.

Miles, who served on the board’s policy committee, was proud of the work she and her fellow committee members did to formally adopt a transgender policy in June. While technically a new policy, much of the practices had already been in place.

It was one of the first such policies in the state.

“It is an important way for use to be able to show that all students are valued and will be treated with respect and dignity,” said Miles, who will continue to support the school board and schools.

Murphy and her fellow board members said Miles will be missed.

“We absolutely loved having Kate on the board. “We are sad to see her go. She offered a unique voice that brought a lot to our decision making process and discussions,” she said.

Lyford said Miles’ writing and critical thinking skills was “valuable to the school board.”

Staff Writer Michael Kelley can be reached at news@scarboroughleader.com.

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