BIO:

Renee P. Courtemanche, 40

Office sought:  Lewiston School Committee, Ward 1, (ward includes Main Street, area around Veterans Memorial Bridge, seat being vacated by Linda Scott). 

Occupation: oncology registered nurse at Central Maine Medical Center

Education: attended Lewiston public schools, bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of New Hampshire

Family: husband, Michael; two children, 13 and 9

Political experience: none

Questions:

1. Why do you think you’re the best candidate for this seat, and why are you running?

I am a lifelong resident of this community with two children that attend Lewiston public schools. Having deep roots in this city, I am fully committed to the success of the schools. I’m running as an involved parent to have a larger voice. I’m concerned about large classroom sizes, excess money and resources  spent on repetitive, standardized tests, and poor morale among teachers and staff leading to large turnover rates in our district.

2. What do you like, and what don’t you like, about the school budget passed in the spring? ($41.75 million in Auburn, up by $1 million; $74.3 million in Lewiston, up by $5.5 million)

As one of the few districts in Maine with a growing student enrollment, I feel that this larger budget has allowed Lewiston public schools to put more money back into their growing classrooms.  

3. When it comes to property taxes, what kind of budget would you support this spring?

I would support a budget that is fiscally responsible and limits the tax burden on Lewiston taxpayers. I would advocate for more money to be spent in the classroom and in positions that directly impact students, and less on administrative positions and programs.

4. What, to you, is the biggest issue facing Lewiston or Auburn schools, and how would you like to see it addressed? 

We have too many active initiatives in our Lewiston schools. Some are mandated by the state and federal government, but many are implemented by local choice. I feel that our educators are overburdened with these initiatives and many have had poor implementation, leaving our teachers, parents, and students frustrated. I would support reducing the number of initiatives and identifying those that are of priority. Then we could work to ensure the full success of these initiatives.

5. Do you support the merger of Lewiston and Auburn?

No.

Renee Courtemanche


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