Scarborough special School Board election draws 1 candidate

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SCARBOROUGH —  Only one candidate is on the ballot to fill a seat on the Board of Education.

The Feb. 28 special election will fill the position recently vacated by Kathryn Miles.

With no one running against her, Mary B. Starr is likely to win the one-year term.

Voting will take place at the Municipal Building, 259 U.S. Route 1, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Starr, 47, graduated from Wellesley College with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. She also earned a master’s degree in education from the University of New Hampshire.

Starr, formerly a preschool teacher and high school swim coach,  grew up in South Portland and has lived in Scarborough since 2001. She has three school-age children – two in middle school and one at Scarborough High School.

As a parent, Starr said, she would like to see more funding for extra-curricular activities. She said there is a lot of pressure on parents to raise money for sports and arts, and she would like to see opportunities for funding increased.

Starr also said she would like to see foreign language instruction in the lower grades.

“I was a volunteer in the Scarborough schools for nine years in the classroom and the Learning Commons. I am a member of the Scarborough Band Boosters and have been involved with the Scarborough Kindness Project as well. In the past year and a half, I volunteered with the Scarborough School Supporters group,” Starr said.

The Scarborough Kindness Project is a grassroots effort started by residents in response to debates over the school budget and rules at Higgins Beach, and is an effort to bring people together by doing “random and targeted acts of kindness,” according to the project’s website.

Starr said the Scarborough School Supporters group “worked to educate community members about the budget process in town  and encourage voter participation to support the school budget.” It notes the school budget was passed by the town last spring on the first vote, after four years of rejected budgets.

Starr said she wants to emphasize “communication and transparency” between the schools and the community.

“I feel it is important for all members of the community to feel invested in the success of our schools, whether they have students in our schools or not,” Starr said. “Schools are an integral part of the community, and we all need to work together to help our students learn and grow.”

Melanie Sochan can be reached at 781-3661 ext.106 or Follow her on Twitter@melaniesochan.