LEWISTON — Paul Beauparlant, a veteran teacher of 43 years, has been appointed to the Ward 7 School Committee seat.

The unanimous vote Tuesday will get the School Committee back to a full roster after the departure of Ryan Donovan, who resigned last month because he moved out of the ward.

Beauparlant, who was nominated by Mayor Mark Cayer following an application process, will complete Donovan’s two-year term that began in January 2020.

Cayer said Tuesday that he fielded seven applications for the seat, ultimately interviewing two candidates before settling on Beauparlant, who he said “is in it for the right reasons.”

Cayer said Beauparlant’s experience as an educator was not the primary reason for giving him the nod, but added, “I like the idea of having a longtime educator bringing knowledge to the committee. I’m confident he’ll work well with the School Committee.”

During a short discussion with the council Tuesday, Beauparlant said it’s his first time in a political position and that he’s “apolitical.”

“I don’t intend on using (the seat) as a stepping stone,” he said, pointing instead to “civil service.”

Paul Beauparlant, bottom, talks with the Lewiston City Council on Tuesday prior to his appointment as Ward 7 School Committee member.

Beauparlant has been a classroom teacher in Auburn for 43 years, and is retiring after this school year. He has two sons who went through the Lewiston school system.

Prior to the council’s vote, Councilor Luke Jensen said Beauparlant is qualified and will be an “excellent influence” on the committee. As a teacher, Jensen said Beauparlant is highly respected by staff and students.

Jensen also went to high school with Beauparlant’s son.

Councilor Alicia Rea, who serves as the council’s representative on the School Committee, said the “voice of an educator has not been present” on the committee in at least a few years, and “it will be incredibly valuable going forward.”

The Lewiston City Charter gives the mayor the authority to appoint members of the School Committee, with City Council approval, in the event there is a resignation.

It is the second such appointment for Cayer just one year into his term, with the council also approving the appointment of Elgin Physic to the board in July. That appointment came after former Chairwoman Monique Roy resigned.

Cayer said it’s been “quite surprising” to have made two appointments. Previous mayors Kristen Cloutier and Shane Bouchard each appointed one.

Bouchard appointed Cayer to the School Committee.

The appointments, he said, have been handled a little differently by each mayor. Cayer has used an application process each time, and has tried to conduct interviews with at least two candidates.

“I want someone who wants to serve for the right reasons,” he said earlier Tuesday. “I don’t want anyone with an agenda.”

Donovan, whose resignation was effective Nov. 1, graduated from Lewiston High School in 2015.

At the time of his resignation, School Committee Chairwoman Megan Parks told the Sun Journal that Donovan “was an excellent contributor to the School Committee. The fact that he was so relatable to our students because of his age definitely made him an asset.”

Donovan has agreed to continue to serve on the curriculum and finance subcommittees as a community member, she said.

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