Norman Theberge said he wants to put his experience as an internal auditor with the Maine National Guard to work for Maine School Administrative District 40.

Theberge is on the ballot to run against incumbent school board member Gail Hawes in the June 14 election.

Two school board seats in Union are up for election this year. One is held by Hawes and the other by Erik Amundsen, who took out nomination papers to seek re-election, but did not turn them in.

Both Amundsen and Theberge had expressed interest in being elected to that seat as write-in candidates.

Theberge took some time to answer VillageSoup’s e-mail survey about his campaign. The election will be held 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 14 at the town office. Town meeting will be held 7 p.m., June 20 at the town office.

Why are you running?

My decision to run for a position on the SAD 40 school board was to make sure that Union did not have any vacant seats on the board. The school board recently discussed doing away with positions because they had vacant seats.

I decided to run for the school board to apply my work experiences as an internal auditor with the Maine National Guard to the SAD 40 school board to help them improve process, efficiency and effectiveness.

Which school board seat are you interested in?

I initially wanted to run for Union’s two-year position that was vacant for a while, but the papers for that position had been taken out. However, the three-year position was still available, so I took out the papers for that seat to ensure no vacant seats.

The three-year position that I’m currently seeking is held by Gail Hawes and she has submitted her papers for that position. The two-year position is held by Erik Amundsen, who was recently appointed to that position and did not return his papers, but is still interested.

Now that the two-year position is a write-in for interested candidates, I’m offering the voters of Union a three-way option on who they want as their representative on the school board.

I would like to thank both Gail and Erik for volunteering to serve on the school board, and whether I win or lose, I hope that they will allow me the opportunity to work with them in the coming year.

Class size has been an issue raised in the district. How do you feel that should be handled?

Class sizes will always be an issue due to many variables, and should depend on the students’ abilities and attitudes in the classroom with a maximum of 20-22 students, less if the students have difficulties that are supported by the previous year’s result.

How should the district balance the rising school costs with the pressure on taxpayers in Union, who are facing a difficult economy?

The cost of operating our school district will continue to rise every year. The important issue is how efficiently are we spending the available funds and are those expenditures achieving SAD 40’s goals? This is an area that my experience as an internal auditor can be beneficial.

You will hire a new superintendent this year. What are you looking for in a successful candidate for the district’s top position?

Our new superintendent has to be the conscience of the district for efficiency and effectiveness, in addition to the most important job of our school district, and that is to make sure students are learning and achieving at high levels. He or she must be knowledgeable of the best practices for maximizing student achievement and can work well with teachers and administrators in the district. Must be willing to make tough decisions and work with the diverse political forces — parent groups, unions, the communities, and make them all work together to be part of the solution. Must also be an effective communicator, good manager, good listener, and flexible.

How long have you lived in the town?

I’ve lived in Union for over 20 years with my wife and two daughters.

Do you have children in the school district?

My two daughters are attending Medomak Valley High School as a freshman and a junior.

Can you tell me a little bit about your work history and education background?

I recently retired as the supervisory auditor for the Maine Army and Air National Guard. I’ve been a federal internal auditor and a management analyst for the past 20 years. I‘m also a 27-year military veteran. I’ve attended the University of Maine in Augusta, the Indiana Institute of Technology and USDA Graduate School.

What boards and committees have you served on in the past?

I served on the school board at a private school in Augusta for six years and served as their budget chair for five years. I served as a board member and treasurer for the Institute of Internal Auditors’ Downeast Maine Chapter for several years. I also served as their chapter president and chaired their scholarship committee.