Portland School Board member finishes 2nd in grant vote

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PORTLAND — The School Board member in the running for a $100,000 grant came up short last week.

Pious Ali, an at large member of the board, was nominated for the fourth annual Nellie Mae Education Foundation Lawrence W. O’Toole Award. The prize is given to a New England, teacher, organization, school or district based on online voting. Ali’s community youth organization Portland Empowered finished second, with just over 22 percent of the vote.

The winner was the Sanborn Regional School District in New Hampshire, with nearly 32 percent of the vote. Voting took place from Sept. 8-30.

Last year, Casco Bay High School Principal Derek Pierce was the first nominee from Maine to win the award.