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Meet Camden's school board candidates

By Susan Mustapich | Jul 12, 2020
Elizabeth Noble and Marcus Mrowka are running for election to two open three-year seats on the Camden-Rockport and Five Town CSD school boards.

CAMDEN — Marcus Mrowka and Elizabeth Noble are running for two open three-year positions on the Camden-Rockport and Five Town CSD school boards. Both are residents of Camden, which has two seats on each of the boards.

Marcus Mrowka

Mrowka is senior director of communications for the American Federation of Teachers and has worked there for nearly 10 years.

He works remotely from home, and, prior to COVID-19, spent a lot of time traveling the country visiting different school districts in addition to advocating for pro-public education policies in Washington. He works with teachers, parents and students on education issues and initiatives, including school funding, fighting for smaller class sizes, ensuring teachers have a voice, and refocusing away from standardized testing to learning what engages students, such as project-based learning.

He has advocated for the community school model, which offers services such as health clinics, dental and social and emotional supports for students and also their families, schools open from sunrise to evening with increased academic enrichment and extracurricular activities and activities for adults to make schools the center of the community. Right now, much of his work is around how to safely reopen schools in the fall.

Based on his experience with American Federation of Teachers, Mrowka said he is able to bring back lessons from other places, which he hopes will be of value.

He is a public school graduate and "from not a super great family situation. Schools were my lifeline," he said. "I view public education as one of the best vehicles to help kids reach their dreams. And to ensure all kids have the opportunities that I had growing up. That's been a guiding light in my life and career."

Mrowka moved to Camden 2019. He has friends who had moved to Camden, and began visiting them. "It really felt like home," he said. "I started to figure out how to live here."

He said that while running for the school board, "it's been important for me to reach out to as many people as I can, and get their perspectives about what the community and other board members want for the schools, and to have a dialog. The most successful school districts are ones where there's a real collaboration between administration, teachers and staff and parents and community. It feels like there's a solid foundation here to build on."

As a school board member, Mrowka will focus on "ensuring we meet the instructional and health needs of our students, respecting and valuing the voice and experience of teachers and school staff, making sure we deliver the education parents want for their children and being a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars."

Elizabeth Noble

Noble was elected to the Camden-Rockport and Five Town CSD school boards in 2017. She is running for reelection as a write-in candidate. She was experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms in March when candidates collect signatures on nomination papers, in order for their names to appear on the ballot. She decided at that time not to collect signatures, but to run as a write-in candidate instead.

Noble is an assistant district attorney for Waldo County and a mother of two young children who attend Camden-Rockport Elementary School.

"I have enjoyed the opportunity and privilege to serve our community as a member of the current School Board since 2017," she said. "I look forward to the prospect of continuing to work alongside the other dedicated members of the School Board to help shape our district's future."

She worked at Harmon, Jones & Sanford LLP in Camden prior to her current position in the District Attorney's Office. She is a graduate of Duke Law School, and worked at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in Los Angeles for several years following a clerkship at the Delaware Supreme Court. She moved to Camden in 2008 to attend the Maine Media Workshops. In addition to her role on the School Board, she has served on the board of the Points North Institute since 2011.

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