LISBON — Five candidates will compete for two School Committee seats in the Nov. 8 election.

Kelli Rogers is the only member running for reelection. Longtime members Traci Austin and Kathi Yergin have decided to retire from the committee.

Laura Craig, Leonard Lednum, Chelsey Harvey and Mary Jane Wellington will also be on the ballot.

There are five members on the committee.

Candidate profiles for the five candidates are listed below.


Laura Craig Submitted photo

Name: Laura Craig

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Occupation: Full-time parent

Connection to Lisbon schools: Former secretary at Lisbon High School (2018-2022)

Community involvement (limit of 25 words, list and separate with commas): left blank

Why do you think you are the best candidate for the Lisbon School Committee?

I believe I would be an asset to the Lisbon School Committee for two valuable reasons. Firstly, I worked at Lisbon High School until recently, and it’s this insider perspective that influenced my decision to run. I see opportunity for improvement in our school district, and I wanted to take a more active role in the betterment of the Lisbon School Department for students, families and staff members. Secondly, I truly care about this community and its students. I want to help provide an inclusive, caring environment for all students and staff within the Lisbon School Department as I believe they all deserve to be in a place that is welcoming and safe.

What do you think is the most pressing challenge facing Lisbon schools? What ideas do you have to address this challenge?

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A challenge within the Lisbon schools is communication. I don’t mean the basic conveying of information; I am referencing being seen, being heard, and having a safe space to voice opinions or concerns. The need for better communication is twofold: it is between members of the community and school administration, as well as between members of administration and the teaching staff in our district. My first step would be to listen and learn before any action could be taken. I plan on meeting with administrators in each school building. I have also reached out to the town office about having a space there to have consistent “office hours” where I am available to meet with the community.


Chelsey Harvey Submitted photo

Name: Chelsey Harvey

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom

Connection to Lisbon schools: Parent of one child who attends Lisbon schools

Community involvement (limit of 25 words, list and separate with commas): left blank

Why do you think you are the best candidate for the Lisbon School Committee?
I am a very passionate person who enjoys problem solving and is willing to put the time in. I think one of the best investments in our future is our children’s educations, and I want to advocate for every one of the students in the district receiving the best possible education. As a parent of a Lisbon student and as a community member, I would take my responsibilities seriously.

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What do you think is the most pressing challenge facing Lisbon schools? What ideas do you have to address this challenge? 
I think one of the most pressing issues for our students is bullying. I would like to look at what has been successful in our district and work with my fellow board members to address the issue more. Overall, I want the children of Lisbon to receive an impactful education in an environment that is safe and where they can be who they are, with all their basic needs met by a balanced budget. That would be my aim, if elected.


Leonard Lednum Submitted photo

Name: Leonard N. Lednum

Occupation: Manufacturing

Connection to Lisbon schools: Parent of four children who attend Lisbon schools

Community involvement: Positive Change Lisbon vice president, Philip W. Sugg Middle School Parent Teacher Organization vice president

Why do you think you are the best candidate for the Lisbon School Committee?
A committee member must have the ability to be nonpartisan at all times. Operating a successful manufacturing company, I have learned the skills required for understanding complex budgets while navigating differing personalities to seek compromises that suit the needs of an organization. Through community service, I have gained valuable insight into the opportunities and challenges our students face in an ever-changing world. As the father of four students in our district, I have both the personal experience and personal connection to the stakeholders of our district.

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What do you think is the most pressing challenge facing Lisbon schools? What ideas do you have to address this challenge?
Bullying is an issue that touches many students in our district. I propose a district subcommittee to be formed to research and propose ways to prevent future bullying as much as possible. Ideally, representatives from the administration, Lisbon Police Department/school resource officers, the School Committee and parents/community members would be a part of this effort. This group would report directly to the School Committee. By pooling the experiences and knowledge of these three stakeholders, our School Committee would be given experienced-based information and varied perspectives that will aid in finding solutions for this serious issue.


Kelli Rogers Submitted photo

Name: Kelli Rogers

Occupation: assistant principal

Connection to Lisbon schools: Parent of three children who attend Lisbon schools

Community involvement: Current School Committee member  for three years; eight-year volunteer for local youth athletic programs Lisbon Recreation Department and Lisbon Junior Athletic League, past volunteer for various PTO activities.

Why do you think you are the best candidate for the Lisbon School Committee? 

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I am a strong candidate for the Lisbon School Committee because, as a public educator and administrator of 15 years, I bring to the table experience navigating the challenges our schools face and understand the essential resources needed in ensuring ALL of our students’ needs are met. Professionally, I hold myself to a high standard ensuring that we are doing what is right for our students, not just what is easy. I advocate for equitable and inclusive learning opportunities and environments that will prepare our students for life beyond our school system.

What do you think is the most pressing challenge facing Lisbon schools? What ideas do you have to address this challenge? 

As with all schools across our country, one of the major challenges our organization faces is regrouping and moving forward on the heels of the impacts of COVID. There have been social-emotional and academic ramifications that we have to be responsive to. This gives us a great opportunity to reassess what within our system is impactful and that we want to move forward with, as well as the areas in which we need to evolve and/or revise to better match the needs of our learners.


Mary Jane Wellington Submitted photo

Name: Mary Jane Wellington

Occupation: Skilled/hospice private duty caregiver

Connection to Lisbon schools: Parent of three Lisbon high school graduates and an alum of Lisbon High School.

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Community involvement: Owner of MJ’s Helping Hands; Lisbon resident for over 60 years; and various volunteer roles with kids’ sports teams, fundraising and events.

Why do you think you are the best candidate for the Lisbon School Committee?

It’s not a matter of trying to shelter our children from other ideas, but as parents, it’s our responsibility to decide when and how those ideas are introduced. For certain teachers to decide that they’re going to take a role as parents without their involvement has gotten not only my attention as a mother and grandmother, but citizens throughout the country. Parents have a fundamental right to be engaged in their children’s education and to be heard. We do not co-parent with the government, we partner with our children’s school.

What do you think is the most pressing challenge facing Lisbon schools? What ideas do you have to address this challenge?

By far it’s the reading and math scores. Basic skills aren’t even disputed anymore. It’s also time to talk about getting back to teaching trades for those students who might not have the academic qualifications to be computer programmers or engineers, but most certainly possess skills to become welders or skilled tradespeople. Home economics is another important class for students to learn valuable life skills, along with industrial arts.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that there are five candidates competing for three School Committee seats. On Oct. 26, the Lisbon town office issued a statement noting an election error. There are only two open three-year terms up for grabs this election. This article has been updated to reflect the town’s error.


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