2017-09-15 / Community News

Candidates lined up for education posts

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer

The Board of Education will have two new faces on it this winter filling the seats of Christine Massengill, who resigned in June after moving to Florida and Kelly Murphy, who chose not to run after six years on the board, including the past year as chairman.

Rebel Douglas, Hillory Durgin, Leanne Kazilionis and Christie McNally are running for the two seats and are all pursuing public office for the first time.

Kazilionis, the president of the Community Bicycle Center, an organization in Biddeford that “provides youth enrichment opportunities for personal growth through bicycling-related activities,” said she is running for the Board of Education for a number of reasons, one to give back to the youth community and two to try to improve the divisiveness in the community.

“I am really hopeful we can build some sort of united front and deal with the issues instead of it being one side versus another,” she said, adding growing up her father always told her to be part of the solution, not the problem.

Christie McNally, an active force behind state and local politics, would also like to help the board of education find a way to communicate and interface with the community better.

“We seem to be in a cycle year after year of having school budget after school budget vote and the us versus them mentality. The school supporters against the taxpayers type of thing. I have a specific skill set of working together with people that don’t necessarily work well together,” McNally said.

After years of complaining about repeated school budget validation votes, McNally said now is the time “to put my money where my mouth is” and go find a solution.

The time is right for Durgin, a vocal supporter of the schools during the budget process, to get more involved with education in Scarborough.

“My youngest just started kindergarten, so the timing works well for me to step up and do more for our schools and students. I feel strongly our schools are the cornerstones of our community,” said Durgin, who has a background in elementary school education.

Douglas is also trying to get involved in the community she now calls home.

“I am trying to be more involved in town, especially with the schools,” said Douglas, who moved to town with her family earlier this year and recently enrolled her son at Wentworth School. “I am working on my teaching certificate. I want to be able to contribute to education in town.”

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

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