Candidates seek to bring a fresh perspective to the Scarborough School Board

Three out of four newcomers will be elected to the Scarborough Board of Education on November 2, with three seats up for grabs and no incumbents in the race.

The four candidates – John JP Kelleher III, Jenna Leong, Joshua Pobrislo and Jillian Trapini-Huff – are eager to be able to shape the future of the school system.

“I would be happy to receive any ideas from people who could point us in the right direction,” Kelleher said. “I want the funds to be where they need to be for students, staff and faculty. “

Pobrislo thinks teachers “owe more”.

“I am very sensitive to the teachers’ collective agreement. I firmly believe that we do not pay teachers appropriately as long as they work hard, ”he said.

He also believes in keeping the Scarborough salary scale competitive to maintain a high quality of teachers and staff.

Trapini-Huff said she was inspired by the nearby town of Westbrook.

“Westbrook schools got a really good grant to work on their cultural diversity and food systems,” Trapini-Huff said, adding that she would like to see schools in Scarborough employ something similar. “Yes, they’re going to spend a little more money on it, but they got a grant to offset a lot of the costs. “

Leong is new to the Scarborough area, which she believes could make her an asset on the board.

“I can see where everything is at and what needs to happen with a new set of eyes,” she said. “Having a background in education and really focusing on child development, I can really see where things need to be changed.”

The candidates all agree on plans to consolidate three of Scarborough’s elementary schools to combat overcrowding.

Kelleher said that “it is much more profitable” to consolidate the schools than to “rehabilitate” all three.

“You now have one school and everything is on a centralized campus,” he said. “I think it’s a win for everyone.

Pobrislo stressed that security was one of the main reasons he supported the project.

“The three buildings have not only exceeded their capacity, but also their lifespan at this point,” he said, adding that “health, safety and emergency planning” are of utmost importance. for him as a firefighter.

Trapini-Huff was initially “wary of consolidation” but has since been convinced that this is the best way forward.

In addition to addressing overcrowding in schools, having a larger school will also allow the school system to consolidate its resources.

“As it stands now, we have staff who have to move between buildings,” she said. “These services can be grouped together in the same space.

Additionally, Trapini-Huff said there are “opportunities for safer drop-off situations” when schools are consolidated.

Leong also agrees, saying the current actions taken by the school board should not be permanent.

“You see a lot of trailers as classrooms,” she said. “These outside classrooms are just a sort of band-aid to our current situation.”

Voters will vote at Scarborough High School in the Alumni Gymnasium on November 2. Polling stations will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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