Meet Sebago School Board, Selectmen candidates Monday night

By Allen Crabtree

Special to The News

SEBAGO — The initial three members of the School Board for the new Sebago School District were elected in February, and two additional members will be elected in June bringing the total number of board members to five.

There are three candidates in the running for these two additional seats — one for a three-year position and two for a two-year position.

A Meet the Candidates night will be held at the Sebago Elementary School this Monday, May 21, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. to allow Sebago voters a chance to meet the candidates running for the Sebago School Board and ask questions of them and what they see their role is in helping create a new school district.

For more information about the Meet the Candidates night, call the Spaulding Memorial Library at 787-2321 or Claudia Lowe at 653-9145.

The candidates for the Sebago Board of Selectmen will be at the Meet the Candidates night beginning at 7:30 p.m., after the School Board candidates.

Audrey Douglass

Candidate for a Three-Year Term: Audrey Douglass.

“I am personally invested in running for school board as my son is a student at Sebago Elementary, and I care deeply about the quality of his education. I also believe my professional experience makes me a qualified candidate as I often work closely with schools to support children struggling with academics or problem behavior in school or at home. I believe all children have the right to an effective education and want to ensure Sebago Elementary continues to be a place where students can find success.

“I have worked with children and families for approximately 12 years in various capacities, supporting those with mental health and developmental disabilities. I have a master’s degree in Psychology, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis. I have excellent documentation and organizational skills, as well as a strong passion for making sure all have the ability to learn.

“The biggest challenge I see is organizing and developing all the complex systems needed to operate efficiently. We have many dedicated and supportive community members working to ensure that all falls into place, and this is a great opportunity to improve our school and hold us accountable to promote positive education practices,” Douglass said.

Candidates for a Two-Year Term: David Sheldrick and Donelle Allen.

David Sheldrick

Dave Sheldrick: I believe the school board should include a parent — someone with a direct, vested interest in the decision-making process. I will be able to provide that perspective, as I have a daughter in third grade, as well as a daughter at Lake Region Middle School in eighth grade. I can provide the board with a fresh, objective perspective in the decision-making process. I have been active in coaching girls’ soccer and girls’ basketball for the Town of Sebago. Now, I want to expand my involvement with the school.

“My professional skill set involves finance and business analytics. I believe these skills will be valuable in terms successfully planning mid-term and long-term budgets/plans for the new school district. Further, having a child that attends the school provides balance in terms of maintaining the human side of the decision-making process.

“The greatest challenge facing the new Sebago School District will be identifying any unknown start-up costs associated with running this school as its own entity… Fortunately, the town has been proactive in this process. I feel the greatest opportunity for the Sebago School District will be the ability to control its own destiny. With the exception of paying tuition for middle school and high school students from the Town of Sebago (terms of the withdrawal deal), the town’s funds will go directly toward the town’s school,” Sheldrick said.

Donelle Allen

Donelle Allen: “I am an alumnus of Sebago Elementary School. I started my career babysitting in middle and high school and majored in Early Childhood Education in college. My student teaching was done in a pre-K special needs classroom. I spent 25-plus years as a professional nanny, where I was fortunate to travel extensively with the families, including China and Europe.

“As a literacy advocate, I instituted weekly library trips, resulting in early readers and one young man learning to count to one thousand before the age of two. I implemented a preschool story time at Spaulding Memorial Library, where a current Sebago Elementary School teacher’s child regularly attended. I volunteered as a reader in the first and second grade classrooms, as well.

“Making a lateral career move, for 12-plus years I worked at a residential treatment facility for latency-aged children which focused on behavior modification. While there, I was awarded Group Care Provider of the Year by the Maine Association of Group Care Providers. During that time, I also supported other agency programs, including working with adolescents in locked secure settings. I developed and implemented therapeutic groups to target specific lagging skill sets: Animal Group — empathy; Friends Group — anti-bullying; Xtreme Team (Winter Outdoor Survival Skills) — independent living. Partnering with a co-worker, we developed and facilitated experiential workshops for agency conferences.

“After a brief hiatus, I returned to the agency to run the school lunch program at the day treatment school on campus. Currently, I work at a local preschool/daycare facility working with children from infancy through second grade.

“I have been an active participant of Sebago’s withdrawal movement from its inception in 2016, beginning as a Friend of Sebago Elementary to the present as the co-chair of the Staffing/Administration Committee, where I met with the staff members of Sebago Elementary. I have attended almost all the meetings during that time; those missed were due to illness. This is an exciting time in Sebago history, a truly unique opportunity. As a member and curator of the Sebago Historical Society, I look forward to chronicling this new chapter,” Allen said.

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