Pearce runs to provide experience, continuity
Rockland — Regional School Unit 13 Board member William Pearce has been working behind the scenes to get things done.
Pearce, who serves on various city and school committees, is running for reelection to the RSU 13 board. He first joined the board in 2010 when he was appointed for one year to fill an unexpired term and then ran for election in 2011 to fill the remaining two years on the seat. He is now seeking one of a two three-year seats and is being challenged by board member Donald Robishaw Jr. and newcomer Steven Roberts.
Pearce is running for re-election to help give some continuity to the board and to help lower the tax situation, which he admits is difficult.
He voted against a proposal by St. George residents in July to take additional state funds received by the district and put them strictly toward education costs because he wanted some to go to tax relief. There has to be a balance, he said. He also is in favor of Superintendent Lew Collins' work with Legislature to have a community's income factor in to determining subsidy returned to districts.
One of the reasons, he said, the Rockland district got into financial trouble is the buildings were not kept updated.
He is a member of the Rockland Energy Advisory Committee and has been using information on that board to help lower energy costs at the schools, he said. Energy audits have been done at all the schools and as a result water heaters at Oceanside High School East are now being run on propane, which costs less. Light fixtures are also being replaced with LED lighting.
"I'm trying to cut costs by doing everything in that area," Pearce said.
Pearce said he first came on the board when St. George and the district were in a stalemate because citizens wanted their eighth-graders to remain in town rather than attend middle school in Thomaston.
Ever since that issue, he said, there has been a problem with communication.
"It is true that the board is not communicating with the public," Pearce said, adding the board has been trying to do better throughout the school district so there is not such indecisiveness.
The middle schools need to be consolidated into the Rockland District Middle School building because that facility has the capability to house the students, Pearce said.
A savings would be seen by merging the two schools because students and staff would not have to be shuffled around as much.
"Students would get a better education because they wouldn't have to deal with that," he said.
He also added he does not want to see the use of portable classrooms.
The district is moving way too fast in terms of consolidating Gilford Butler and Owls Head Central School, he said.
In terms of technology, he believes the move from laptops to iPads will be beneficial for the students.
"If our poor students aren't tech-savvy, they aren't going to get anywhere," Pearce said. He also said the board recently was issued laptops and iPads in an effort to reduce paper.
He noted there is a lot of concern about students using them inappropriately, such as by being on Facebook, but believes the devices to be beneficial.
As a member of the Dropout Prevention Committee, Pearce has been involved in helping students in younger grades because by the time it is addressed in high school a student has lost the meaning of education. On another committee, he has been working to get a Concussion Policy in place and has been talking to community leaders and professionals for input.
Pearce is also a member of the Mid-Coast School of Technology Board of Directors, Rockland Parks Commission and on the executive committee of the Sierra Club. He moved to Rockland in October 2002.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Courier Publications Copy Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 594-4401 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.