Pamela Hart Submitted

Name: Pamela B. Hart

Occupation: Respiratory Therapist in Cardiopulmonary Rehab at Central Maine Medical Center

Education: Bachelor of Science in respiratory care from Quinnipiac University

Family: I have lived in Auburn with my husband, Steve, daughter Abby, son Jack, our dog Luna and cat Ginny for almost 16 years.

Political experience: This is my first personal experience in politics.

Why are you running for school board? If elected, what will be your priorities?  

I will bring a fresh perspective, respect, and open mindedness to our School Committee. I have volunteered many hours in Auburn schools over the years. Having one child currently a junior and one who’s recently graduated from Edward Little has given me first-hand knowledge of what has been going on with education in Auburn. I’m hoping to affect positive change for all of the students, to listen to our teachers and allow them the freedom to teach as they were educated to do so. It’s so important to have meaningful dialogue and to listen to everyone.

What do you like and what don’t you like about the school budget that passed in the spring?

I am a huge proponent of fiscal responsibility. The citizens of Auburn pay a significant amount of  taxes, and I feel it’s imperative that every line of the school budget is scrutinized. I believe we need to be good stewards of taxpayer resources. This last budget directs many resources away from classroom learning and towards high-paid consultants, when we could be utilizing knowledgeable members of our own community at a much lower financial burden to tackle the same issues. We need to spend carefully and efficiently to make sure we are providing the highest quality education for our children.

How would you rate Superintendent Katy Grondin’s job performance? Do you support renewing her contract? Why or why not? 

The dizzying changes to our educational platform since Superintendent Grondin was hired have left many confused and discouraged. Despite all these changes, our school’s test results have steadily declined under her leadership, as have our high school graduation rates, and we’ve lost good teachers. Because Superintendent Grondin has not been evaluated in three years, it would be difficult to say whether or not her contract should be renewed. I feel that it isn’t fair for me at this point to say what I would or wouldn’t do without all the information necessary to make such an important decision.

Auburn School Committee member Bonnie Hayes Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Name: Bonnie J. Hayes

Occupation: Retired: marketer for a national commercial insurance company

Education: Graduate of Portland High School. Bachelor of Science in education, University of Maine, Orono

Family: Married to Robert Hayes. Parent to Gretchen and Benjamin, who attended Auburn schools and graduated from Edward Little High School. Grandparent to three great young people.

Political experience: 4 terms on the Auburn School Committee when Gretchen and Ben were children. After a space of many years, I was elected again to the School Committee and am now completing another 4 terms. YMCA: past president of the Board of Directors. Past member of the Board of Directors CMMC Associates and past chairperson. Member of the New Edward Little High School Committee. Member of the Auburn School Department Finance Committee. Member of the Auburn City Audit Committee.

Why are you running for school board? If elected, what will be your priorities?

I am passionate about education and believe we need to inspire life long learners. My priority has always been to provide the best education for all the children of Auburn at a reasonable cost to all tax payers. The Auburn School Department needs to continue to find innovative ways to provide opportunities for all students to succeed in a world yet imagined. One major priority will be to complete the building of the new Edward Little High School, which will include a satellite CTE component that will complement Lewiston Regional High School. Another priority would be to find opportunities to increase the graduation rate of our students. We need to continue to appreciate the teachers and staff that make our system great by recognizing their contribution to our school department.

What do you like and what don’t you like about the school budget that passed in the spring?   

I like the fact that the community voted to accept the budget on the first vote. To me, this says the school committee did a reasonable job in listening to the citizens. We were able to help the city in keeping the property taxes low. We were able to negotiate contracts with our unions that provided higher wages. We were able to increase services to our students including the building of an autism program. It was disappointing that the committee had to hold to a zero increase.

How would you rate Superintendent Katy Grondin’s job performance? Do you support renewing her contract? Why or why not?

As you likely know, as a current member of the School Committee I am expressly prohibited by law from disclosing confidential personal information. This is especially true, given that one of the committee’s responsibilities is to evaluate the Superintendent’s performance. Consequently, I am unable to answer this question.


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