The Kendall family is recognized in 2002 by the Auburn-Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame for their years of dedication and service to the sport of skiing. From left are, front, Anne White and Mary Kendall; back, Tom, Dick and John Kendall. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo

AUBURN — The School Department will host a celebration of life Sunday honoring longtime School Committee Chairman Tom Kendall, who died last week following an accident.

The event, slated for 2 p.m. Sunday in the Edward Little High School gymnasium, will feature a number of speakers, including Superintendent Katy Grondin.

Grondin said Thursday that the event will “give us a moment” to talk about Kendall and his impact on the school community. Kendall has received praise for his work in ushering in the new era of Edward Little High School, as well as his contributions to Auburn’s ski community. Last week, Grondin said Kendall “was a champion for the School Department.”

Tom Kendall Submitted photo

Kendall died Sept. 6 from complications days after falling off a roof while making repairs. He was 69.

A flyer for Sunday’s event states, “We invite those who wish to share in the celebration of this wonderful man who did so much for the Auburn School Department and the community of Auburn.”

Grondin said there also will be light refreshments.

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As the community mourns his loss, school officials will be faced with a decision on how to move forward, with the Ward 3 seat now vacant.

Grondin said the committee will hold a workshop prior to its regular meeting Wednesday, Sept. 18, to discuss the vacancy, and what process members may want to use for appointing a temporary member.

Dick and Mary Kendall, left, and John and Anne White were among local people volunteering as timers for the biathlon and cross country events at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo

According to the City Charter, “Whenever the office of member becomes vacant within six (6) months prior to the next municipal election, the School Committee shall appoint a qualified representative at-large or from the ward in which the vacancy occurs, as the case may be, to serve until the person elected to fill the vacancy takes office.”

Auburn School Committee Chairman Tom Kendall. Sun Journal file photo 2013

While there is an election Nov. 5, Grondin said the School Committee may want to fill the Ward 3 seat, given that there are at least five meetings scheduled through November, including a performance evaluation for Grondin.

Kendall was in the middle of a reelection bid this year, alongside Ward 3 candidate Karen Mathieu, a kindergarten teacher at Sabattus Primary School and literacy coach for Regional School Unit 4.

The candidates for all seats in Auburn were finalized Aug. 22, but City Clerk Sue Clements-Dallaire said Thursday that Kendall’s name will not appear on the November ballot because they have not been printed. Someone could also run as a write-in candidate for Ward 3, or any seat.

Inauguration for newly elected officials is normally held in December.


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