‘Candidates’ Night’ set in Sebago; those seeking school board election

SEBAGO — Sebago voted overwhelmingly at a referendum on Nov. 7, 2017 to withdraw from the SAD 61 school district and form a new Sebago School Administrative Unit (SAU).

One of the first steps in this process will be the election of a new Sebago SAU School Board.

Three members with staggered one-, two- and three-year terms will be elected at a referendum and special election on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018.

At that time, Sebago voters will be asked to also expand the School Board from three to five members, with the additional two members elected at the Sebago annual town meeting in June.

A “Meet the Candidates” night will be held at the Sebago Elementary School on Thursday, Feb. 8, from 7 to 8 p.m. to allow Sebago voters a chance to meet the candidates running for the Sebago SAU School Board and ask questions about the process of forming a new school. Snow date is Feb. 15.

There are five candidates in the running — one each will be elected for the three positions. Here is information on the candidates that they have provided.

Joseph McMahon

Candidate for a One-Year Term

Joseph McMahon was born in Lowell, Mass. He visited Maine on many an occasion often camping at Sebago Lake State Park. He studied Plastic Technology at Lowell Technological Institute and UMass Lowell (same building, new name). Joe earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Married Anne Marie Kelley of Lowell in 1975.

His career changed to computer process control in 1977 with a specialization in Plastic Processes. The position involved extensive travel in the United States, and occasionally to other countries.

He moved to Sebago in 1981 to build their home and raise a family. Their children, Patrick and Bridget, attended school here. Joe sees the local school as an important element to the lifeblood of the community. The parents he met while his children attended the local school have become lifelong friends. He feels that his children benefited from attending SES, a small school. It is an environment in which students are more visible. It offers a more personal educational experience. It is a treasure to be protected.

Joe is one of two SAD 61 School Board members from Sebago. The vote to begin withdrawal negotiations from SAD 61 was a sign of frustration regarding the targeting of our school for closing. There was no discussion of educational benefits for Sebago students that could justify closing our school. Now Sebago is on the path to secure the future of its own school. Joe will be doing his best to help make that happen.

Candidates for a Two-Year Term

Jock MacGregor

John (Jock) MacGregor is a student of history and politics, a pursuit he has enjoyed for most of his 77 years. Jock attended Villanova University’s School of Education; served in the U.S. Marine Corps; and is an entrepreneur with enterprises in restaurants, construction and boatbuilding.  Mr. MacGregor was managing editor of an online news site in Hot Springs, Ark.  He was a founding member of the Garland County (AR) TEA Party.

Currently, he is a member of the SAD 61 Board of Education for Sebago and is a candidate for the newly liberated Sebago Board of Education.

Jock is a conservative, who believes in Constitutionally limited government instituted by the people to protect their right to life, liberty and property.

Tina Vanasse

Tina Vanasse has spent 35-plus years as a classroom teacher for the Auburn School Department. During that time, she was Math Department Chairman (six years), doing teacher evaluations, developing curriculum and rewriting summer school procedures.

While on the Sophomore Teaming Project (13 years), she worked on Integrated Learning, Block Scheduling and exit performance evaluations. Tina also developed, implemented and ran a self-contained secondary program for an emotionally impaired student (six years).

Tina is the mother of two children and grandparent of a special needs child. She has always lived her life being involved in community, believing that it represents each of us and all of us. Thus, she believes we all have a responsibility to step forward, whenever and however we can, to make Sebago what is, and more importantly, what it can be.

Since retiring from teaching, she has become a year-round resident of Sebago and is presently serving her second five-year term on the Sebago Planning Board, where she has learned how to make some very difficult decisions that were ultimately in the best interest of the whole community.

Tina served for eight years as the president of the Long Beach Community Association and is still on the board of directors. She ran the annual raffle for over 12 years and organized and ran the annual Kid’s Field Day for over 15 years. Her latest endeavor was to redesign and replant the LBCA Memorial Garden, including a plaque memorializing deceased members.

Her vision for Sebago Elementary School is open minded. She feels the town needs to look long and hard at all aspects of the educational processes that are now in place and “DARE” (DARE — Dream, adventurous, responsible, endeavors) to be innovative and creative in developing the best educational curriculum and delivery possible for our students. It is Sebago’s responsibility to provide a safe and nurturing atmosphere in which each child will be intellectually challenged to reach his or her potential, resulting in a well-rounded, educated individual.

Yes, she wants to be involved and would appreciate your vote! She would be truly honored to serve on the Sebago School Board as it develops and implements the new school system to benefit local young people — the future of the town.

Candidates for a Three-Year Term

Jeremy Turon

Jeremy Turon has been a Sebago resident for the past eight years. He and his wife, Amanda Dearborn, have two daughters that attend SES. They have been active with many youth-oriented organizations. He has been employed by Verizon for the past 12 years and held many positions. Jeremy currently supports 100 retail locations as a Senior Account Manager, influencing the careers of roughly 400 people.

Wendy Newcomb is the parent of four children, who attended Sebago

Wendy Newcomb

Elementary School and is a former member of the PTC, formed “K.I.D.S.” (Keeping Informed about District Schools) with Anne McMahon to improve communication between parents and teachers, has been a parent instructor for the ski program for five-plus years, painted the mural in the SES lobby with Evelyn Abrams, and painted murals for Percent for Art at Songo Locks and Stevens Brook Elementary Schools.

Currently, she volunteers at both Sebago Elementary School and the Westbrook Teen Center doing art projects with kids. Wendy is active with the Sebago Artist’s Group. She has also been a Loon Echo Land Trust board member for eight years and started the Loon Echo Bike Trek and worked on the trek for 15 years.

Wendy believes that the Sebago Elementary is the heart of the community. Bringing the school and the community together will be a mutually rewarding experience that can benefit everyone of all ages. Having our own community school is a unique opportunity to improve the education of our children in academics, the arts, physical education and to create a caring and nurturing environment that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

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