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Ever since studying civics in sixth grade, I have admired public service and hold it as a strong personal value. The year 2020 represents a significant point of inflection in which many dramatic events have occurred and will occur. While it is easy to be overwhelmed by the general anxiety that pervades political and social themes at a national or international level, I have always considered that focusing attention on local matters is a good antidote. It remains a place accessible to individual citizens where real cause and effect relationships can be seen and understood.
Prior to coming to Falmouth in 2013, I served for several years on the Gorham planning board. I subsequently joined the Falmouth planning board for a three-year term. Professionally, I previously worked as a consultant in land survey and design for large regional utilities. These days, I am primarily a stay-at-home dad and manage a small portfolio of real estate investments in my spare time. You can often find me walking around Mackworth, paddling around Mackworth, or wishing I was doing A or B above!
Although I do not have a background in education theory or practice, this is not a liability. While taking an active role in participating with my 11, 10, and 7-year old during their time in Falmouth schools, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know some of the dedicated people who form the cultural and pedagogical core. We trust them to be expert. The board’s role is that of oversight of school administration, care and planning of its facilities, compliance with State of Maine guidelines, and above all representing the community of Falmouth, not matters of daily practice. It also must balance the interests of a multitude of stakeholders inside and outside the school walls at an especially prone moment and considering finite resources.
My goal is to learn what is working well, what requires more attention, and how to act as a custodian of the public trust. It is important to make a commitment that, as proud as we are of our excellent schools today, the incoming kindergarten class of 2020 will be graduating from an equally high-quality school system in 2033. To do so requires long-term resolve and mapping the knowledge held by our best and brightest teachers, staff, and administrators so that the institution itself is robust through time and can withstand or even be strengthened by change. I believe that requires humility and curiosity as prerequisites to leadership and vision.
There are and will continue to be a wide range of challenges facing Falmouth students and the parents, teachers, and staff who are dedicated to supporting them. As I endeavor to continue serving the Falmouth community, I ask for your vote to meet these challenges with careful attention, consensus- oriented thinking, and a growth mindset.