South Portland, Scarborough face School Board vacancies

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SCARBOROUGH — South Portland and Scarborough have unexpected vacancies on their school boards, and each is handling it in a different way.

Scarborough will hold a special election Feb. 28 to complete the term of Kathryn Miles. The South Portland City Council will appoint someone to replace Libby Reynolds, whose term expires this fall.

Miles was forced to leave the Scarborough board because she is temporarily living outside of town, although Scarborough remains her legal residence. Her last meeting was Jan. 4.

She was elected to the board in 2015 in an uncontested race and her term expires in 2018.

On Tuesday Miles said she is “disappointed” and wishes she could continue to serve. She said the School Department attorney said she’s no longer eligible for the board because she’s not physically living in Scarborough.

“My work on the board has been incredibly rewarding (and) it’s been a privilege and an honor to serve,” Miles said. “I have every confidence (the residents) will find an outstanding replacement to serve the kids of Scarborough.”

She said that serving on the School Board has been “an incredible opportunity to learn about the outstanding work” being done by teachers and administrators in the Scarborough schools. That knowledge, Miles added, “breeds only respect and humility.”

Miles called her fellow board members “talented and dedicated” and said she’s proud of the accomplishments the board has achieved in the last year and a half, particularly hiring Julie Kukenberger as the new superintendent.

Nomination papers for candidates to run for Miles’ seat are available at the town clerk’s office. Papers are due back no later than the close of business on Monday, Jan. 30.

South Portland

Reynolds represented District 4 on the South Portland School Board, and her resignation was effective Jan. 13.

She was re-elected to the board this past fall and in her letter of resignation Reynolds said, “It is with great regret that I must resign from the District 4 seat of the South Portland School Board. One month after the citizens of South Portland voted me into this honored position I received the career opportunity I had been working toward my whole adult life.

“The challenge was that in this new role at Key Bank I would travel quite a bit. With the acquisition of another bank in Connecticut this travel will be more than ever and it is not fair to the School Board to occupy this seat any longer. I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of something so special.”

Reynolds added, “I feel that the students of South Portland are blessed to have such a great group of board members, administrators, and staff looking out for them.”

Superintendent of Schools Ken Kunin called Reynolds “a great board member” and said she would be missed.

Under the South Portland City Charter, the council will appoint an interested resident from District 4 who will serve through early December. Applications, along with a letter of intent, must be submitted to the city clerk’s office by Feb. 15.

The council plans to interview candidates for the board seat at a special workshop Feb. 22 and intends to appoint a new board member during the  regular meeting held after the workshop.

Applications can be downloaded on the city website at southportland.org. Questions can be directed to City Clerk Emily Scully at 767-7627.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KirishCollins.

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