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Camden area school boards select leadership

By Staff | Jul 23, 2020
Source: File photo Rebecca Flanagan

Both the Five Town CSD and MSAD 28 school boards met July 20 and voted to select their leadership.

For the Five Town CSD, Rebecca Flanagan was unanimously elected Board Chair, 7-0, and Marcia Dietrich was elected Vice-Chair, also by a unanimous 7-0.

For the MSAD 28, Patrick McCafferty was elected Board Chair, 6-0, and Brieanna Gutierrez was elected Vice-Chair, 6-0.

At a candidates forum in 2016, Flanagan said running for the school board is "simply about the kids." She has raised four children in Camden who have all attended the public schools, as did numerous other family members.

“Schools are the backbone of any community,” she said in previous comments. “We're fortunate our schools are consistently ranked among the best in the state. It's our commitment to our children and their educations that contributes to making this a wonderful community."

She coached for about 10 years, and said she loves to talk to the students she formerly coached. "They all have a wonderful yet different perspective on their education here in Camden," she said. "That's the type of energy that we always have to keep in mind when making decisions regarding our kids."

Dietrich was reelected in 2018 to represent the town of Rockport on the boards.

"My involvement in our schools began in the early 1990s, serving on a community-based committee that ultimately recommended to the school board that the district should pursue forming a Five Town CSD and apply for state funding to build a new high school," Dietrich said.

"I was elected to the school board in 1994 while my daughter was in elementary school and son in high school. It has been an honor to serve because I believe educating our children is the most important work we undertake as communities. Our schools, with their well deserved reputation for excellence, are truly cornerstones for the quality of life in our community. Integral to school leadership and local control, our towns have enjoyed a long tradition of highly capable, student-centered boards.

"I have a BS in accounting from the University of Maryland and an advanced degree in Montessori education."

McCafferty was elected in Camden in 2018 and talked to The Camden Herald at that time.

McCafferty owned a masonry business and said he would bring to the board, "14 years of experience in banking and finance under one of America's greatest businessmen, Mr. Charles Cawley, at MBNA in Camden."

In 2012, he started a project in diplomacy to improve and modernize U.S. youth cultural exchange programs. In 2013, he was invited to share his idea with world leaders at the World Justice Forum in the Netherlands.

He grew up in Camden, where he has lived his entire life. "Now I have the privilege of raising my family here," he said. "I walked through the halls of each of these buildings from my first day of kindergarten to my high school graduation. I played little league out on the ball fields and now I get to watch my kids do the same," he said. What he most remembers from his time in school is the teachers and the aides, "who some days carried me on their shoulders," he said.

"I owe them my sincerest gratitude and now my service," he said. "I truly have the interest of this community in my heart."

Gutierrez is a 2004 graduate of Camden Hills Regional High School, a 2008 graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington and a 2011 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. She currently works at the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child and Family Services in the area of communication and compliance.

"I was born and raised in Rockport and feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to return here with my husband to raise our family and be a part of this magical place," she said.

"When I look back on my childhood one of the things that stands out to me most is that I was always aware that the people around me cared deeply about me and my friends, about our education, happiness, opportunities, and success. I’m not just talking about my parents or the parents of my friends. I knew that people in my community who didn’t even know who I was wanted to ensure I (and my classmates) had every opportunity to successfully forge our own paths in life. As an adult I know that the community’s dedication to the quality of my education was a significant factor in this understanding.

"...As a part of the school board it is my hope to continue this investment in and commitment to our children to ensure the next generation feels the same support my contemporaries and I experienced. It is my goal to support the incredible work and innovation currently underway in our schools and to provide our dedicated educators and administrators with the tools they need to be successful. This is particularly important in this time as we confront the COVID-19 pandemic and seek to ensure the safety and well-being of our children, our educators, and our community. This next year will require us to be flexible, creative, dynamic, and innovative and I look forward to supporting our educators and administrators as they continue to meet the educational, social, and emotional needs of our children in every way possible.

Gutierrez added, "I’m particularly excited to be serving with Patrick given our shared experience and passion for this community and it’s children. ...Our schools are doing incredible work to 'level the playing field' for all students, and I look forward to the opportunity to support this work in a leadership capacity."

Patrick McCafferty (Source: File photo)
Brieanna Gutierrez
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