Pamela Albert Submitted Photo

Name: Pamela Foster Albert, MPH

Age: 43

Occupation: Epidemiologist

Community engagement: Former co-chair of Fairview parent teacher organization, Edward Little High School building committee, and Auburn School District health & safety committee, formerly ASD proficiency based learning work group and health & wellness committee.

Question 1: Do you believe students should be required to wear a mask in school to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under current pandemic conditions?

ASD should be utilizing all mitigation strategies available per the Maine Center for Disease Control and Department of Education standard operating procedure, including masking, to reduce transmission and students who need to quarantine to keep students in the building as much as possible. However, on the ASD health & safety committee, I supported the compromise of masking only pre-kindergarten to sixth grade because Auburn Middle School and ELHS students are eligible for vaccination. I also supported allowing the superintendent flexibility to enforce universal masking within specific buildings, if necessary, based on real-time case counts.

Question 2: Do you feel that issues of equity and race are being appropriately addressed in Auburn schools?

While work has been done to address equity by the ASD in the past, improving equity across all disparate populations should be an ongoing endeavor in a diverse district like Auburn. Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic further exposed racial and economic inequities within education systems nationwide as the switch to remote learning uncovered gaps in resources, social and emotional supports, and internet access for many. Addressing these gaps should be a priority of the ASD.

Question 3: What are two specific issues you would address as a School Committee representative?  

Currently, the two most important issues facing our school department that I hope to address are to do whatever we can to keep students and staff physically in buildings as much as possible, while also keeping them healthy and safe; and supporting our exhausted school staff in every way possible to ensure a successful school year for all while retaining staff and limiting turnover.


Faith Fontaine Submitted Photo

Name: Faith Fontaine

Age: 41

Occupation: Realtor/Registered Nurse BSN

Community engagement: I have served three full terms as an at large board member, I coach multiple youth sports in the community, deliver weekly weekend food packs and volunteer in the schools.

Question 1: Do you believe students should be required to wear a mask in school to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under current pandemic conditions?

Masks SHOULDN’T be mandated in schools. It should be at the discretion of parents. Auburn started the school year mask optional and, until recently, masks were also optional at the middle and high schools. Our number of cases are similar, if not better, than other districts with mask mandates. It’s important to note that these children are continuing to play sports, hang out with friends and participate in extracurricular activities outside of school while not wearing masks.

Question 2: Do you feel that issues of equity and race are being appropriately addressed in Auburn schools?

EQUITY/RACE issues are major issues! We need to be constantly addressing/adapting the way we live life and reach out to students. Auburn is being proactive about addressing these issues and ensuring children are treated equitably and have every opportunity to succeed. Can we do better? Absolutely. We need to be open minded, address issues the moment they happen, and ensure we have resources to ensure all students feel safe and are successful.

Question 3: What are two specific issues you would address as a School Committee representative?  

Our teachers and staff need to feel supported and have tools they need in place to be successful. The past two years have been extremely difficult. We need to ensure the teachers voices are heard and their needs are met so they will stay in our district and do what they love. Raising students test scores is important. Changes we have made in curriculum and the systems we have in place are just the start!


Patricia M. Gautier Submitted Photo

Name: Patricia M. Gautier

Age: No response provided

Occupation: Retired Edward Little High School librarian

Community engagement: Auburn School Committee 2017-2019, various Auburn School Department sub-committees, SHAREcenter advisory board, Auburn Public Library trustee and current president of the board

Question 1: Do you believe students should be required to wear a mask in school to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under current pandemic conditions?

High numbers of COVID-19 cases and the coming winter are good reasons to wear masks. They keep students and staff healthy and help mitigate the spread. Masks provide protection for elementary students who can’t be vaccinated. Unvaccinated students and staff who are close contacts have to quarantine and this negatively impacts learning and instruction. To keep everyone in school healthy, masks should be required.

Question 2: Do you feel that issues of equity and race are being appropriately addressed in Auburn schools?

Auburn staff members respond appropriately to racial and equity issues in our schools. They use particular incidents as opportunities to teach appropriate responses, discuss issues openly in class, and model appropriate behavior for students to see. Staff members welcome all students and invest in each one’s success. Responses to these issues will always be needed because we live in an imperfect world, and Auburn staff members will continue to address racism and inequity in our schools.

Question 3: What are two specific issues you would address as a School Committee representative?  

The health and safety of Auburn students and staff is the most pressing issue that needs to be addressed until the pandemic is controlled. School committee members must stay on top of the protocols that keep students in school as the pandemic ebbs and flows. The second issue is remediation for students who are behind academically. Hiring extra staff and providing alternative learning opportunities for students is a necessity at this time. Students also need support in their social and emotional growth that were impacted by the pandemic. 


Jodi Goldrup Submitted Photo

Name: Jodi Goldrup

Age: 41

Occupation: Cosmetologist

Community engagement: Vice president of Walton Elementary School parent teacher organization, Walton’s parent representative for positive behavioral interventions and supports committee, Walton’s parent representative for Auburn’s parent advisory committee

Question 1: Do you believe students should be required to wear a mask in school to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under current pandemic conditions?

I believe it is important that our student’s physical health be a priority, but I also strongly believe their social, emotional, and mental well-being along with their academic needs must be met. This is achieved by the stability of being in a classroom five days a week, feeling safe and supported by their families, friends, teachers, administrators, and the community. Masks help limited the spread of COVID-19 therefore keeping our students healthy and in school full-time.

Question 2: Do you feel that issues of equity and race are being appropriately addressed in Auburn schools?

I believe there is always room for continuous growth and development. We must continue to learn from the past to create a brighter future for all of our students.

Question 3: What are two specific issues you would address as a School Committee representative?  

I feel it’s important to raise our testing scores, graduation rates, and address learning loss brought on by the pandemic. We have a diverse socioeconomic population in our schools. We have many students that struggle with food insecurities every day, which limits them from achieving academic success. I believe it is important for parents and the community to be engaged with our students to help them feel safe and supported so they will become successful.


David Simpson is currently an at-large representative on the Auburn School Committee. He did not return a request for a questionnaire.

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