LEWISTON — The City Council appointed Janet Beaudoin to the School Committee on Tuesday after a motion to table the nomination failed.

Beaudoin, a parent of two Lewiston students, will step in for Ward 2 committee member Elgin Physic, who resigned when he became the Lewiston High School boys basketball coach.

After a short application period that ended Monday, the council voted 5-2 on Mayor Mark Cayer’s nomination.

Councilor Alicia Rea made a motion to table the item until the July meeting due to the short notice of the nomination, but it failed 5-2. She said the council received the details on Cayer’s nomination about four hours before the meeting Tuesday.

Cayer had previously told officials that he’d like to fill the position as soon as possible.

He told the council that he chose Beaudoin based on her years of involvement and volunteerism in the school district.

A few residents calling into the meeting said they disagreed with the nomination, stating the board needed more representation from people of color.

One caller, Jeff Nicholson, said he opposed the nomination based on Beaudoin’s past effort urging committee member Kiernan Majerus-Collins to resign. He said it would add a “combative voice to the school board.”

Beaudoin’s petition effort was based on the School Committee’s debate over Lewiston police school resource officers. Beaudoin was also an organizer of a “Back the Blue” rally in Lewiston in July of last year.

Another resident, Najmo Ahmed, called Beaudoin “a Republican activist.”

A majority of the council, however, was positive about the nomination and pushed back on calling out political affiliation.

“It’s safe to say Beaudoin has strong passions about this community,” Cayer said Tuesday. “I’m confident she’ll strive to work with committee members regardless of whether she agrees with them or not.”

Beaudoin told the council she has “a vested interest in the quality of education in the community.”

“I’ve been told I have a different perspective than most, but I’m willing to work toward common goals,” she said.

Councilor Lee Clement said “she’ll make an excellent addition.”

Zack Pettengill said Beaudoin has the ability “to work with people who have different viewpoints,” adding he has at times been one of those people.

Councilor Luke Jensen said he didn’t agree with the scrutiny of the nomination, especially over political beliefs.

He said Beaudoin is the type of person needed on a local School Committee.

“You want that involved PTO parent to be involved,” he said. “Those are the kind of people you want to get involved. It doesn’t matter what political party they belong to. The mayor made the choice based on the people who applied.”

Councilors Rea and Safiya Khalid opposed the nomination.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Daily Headlines

  • Sign up and get the top stories to begin the day delivered to your inbox at 6 a.m.