Five candidates vying for two seats on the Auburn school committee

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Pamela albert Submitted photo

Name: Pamela Foster Albert, MPH

Age: 43

Occupation: Epidemiologist

Community engagement: Former Co-Chair of the Fairview Parents’ Organization, Edward Little High School Construction Committee, and Auburn School District Health and Safety Committee, formerly the Learning Based Learning Task Force. ASD and health and well-being committee skills.

Question 1: Do you think students should be required to wear masks at school to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under current pandemic conditions?

ASD should use all available mitigation strategies per Maine Center for Disease Control and Department of Education standard operating procedure, including masking, to reduce transmission and students who need to be quarantined to keep students in the building as much as possible. However, in the ASD health and safety committee, I supported the compromise to only hide preschool through sixth grade, as students at Auburn Middle School and ELHS are eligible for vaccination. I also supported the possibility for the superintendent to apply universal masking in specific buildings, if necessary, depending on the number of cases in real time.

Question 2: Do you think equity and race issues are dealt with appropriately in Auburn schools?

While work has been done to address equity through ASD in the past, improving equity among all disparate populations should be an ongoing effort in a diverse district like Auburn. To be sure, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed racial and economic inequalities within education systems nationwide as the shift to distance learning has revealed gaps in resources, social and emotional supports and Internet access for many. Filling these gaps should be a priority for ASD.

Question 3: What two specific issues would you address as a school committee representative?

Currently, the two most important issues facing our school department that I hope to resolve are doing everything possible to keep students and staff physically in the buildings as much as possible, while keeping them healthy and safe. security ; and supporting our exhausted school staff in every way possible to ensure a successful school year for all while retaining staff and limiting turnover.


Faith Fountain Submitted photo

Name: Faith Fountain

Age: 41

Occupation: BSN Real Estate Agent / Registered Nurse

Community engagement: I have served three full terms as a general board member, coach several youth sports in the community, deliver weekly food packages on weekends, and volunteer in schools.

Question 1: Do you think students should be required to wear masks at school to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under current pandemic conditions?

Masks SHOULD NOT be mandatory in schools. This should be at the discretion of the parents. Auburn started the optional school year mask, and until recently masks were optional in middle and high schools as well. Our caseload is similar, if not better, than other districts with mask warrants. It is important to note that these children continue to play sports, hang out with friends and participate in extracurricular activities outside of school without wearing a mask.

Question 2: Do you think equity and race issues are dealt with appropriately in Auburn schools?

EQUITY / RACE issues are major issues! We have to constantly approach / adapt the way we live life and reach out to students. Auburn is proactive in addressing these issues and ensuring children are treated fairly and have every chance of success. Can we do better? Absoutely. We need to be open-minded, address problems as they arise, and make sure we have the resources to make all students feel safe and successful.

Question 3: What two specific issues would you address as a school committee representative?

Our teachers and staff need to feel supported and have the tools they need to be successful. The past two years have been extremely difficult. We need to make sure the voice of teachers is heard and their needs met so that they stay in our district and do what they love. It is important to increase students’ scores on tests. The changes we’ve made to the curriculum and the systems we’ve put in place are just the start!


Patricia M. Gautier Submitted photo

Name: Patricia M. Gautier

Age: No response provided

Occupation: Edward Little High School Retired Librarian

Community engagement: 2017-2019 Auburn School Committee, various Auburn School Department sub-committees, SHAREcenter Advisory Board, Auburn Public Library Administrator and current Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Question 1: Do you think students should be required to wear masks at school to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under current pandemic conditions?

The high number of COVID-19 cases and the coming winter are good reasons to wear masks. They keep students and staff healthy and help mitigate the spread. Masks protect elementary school students who cannot be vaccinated. Students and unvaccinated staff who are in close contact should be quarantined, which negatively impacts learning and teaching. To keep everyone in school healthy, masks should be mandatory.

Question 2: Do you think equity and race issues are dealt with appropriately in Auburn schools?

Auburn staff members respond appropriately to issues of race and equity in our schools. They use particular incidents as opportunities to teach appropriate responses, to discuss problems openly in class, and to model appropriate behavior for students to see. Staff members welcome all students and invest in everyone’s success. Answers to these issues will always be needed as we live in an imperfect world and Auburn staff will continue to fight racism and inequality in our schools.

Question 3: What two specific issues would you address as a school committee representative?

The health and safety of Auburn’s students and staff is the most pressing issue that must be addressed until the pandemic is brought under control. School committee members need to stay on top of the protocols that keep students in school as the pandemic comes and goes. The second problem is remediation for students who are behind in school. Hiring additional staff and providing alternative learning opportunities for students is a necessity at this time. Students also need support in their social and emotional growth which has been affected by the pandemic.


Jodi goldrup Submitted photo

Name: Jodi goldrup

Age: 41

Occupation: Cosmetologist

Community engagement: Vice President of the Parents’ Organization at Walton Elementary School, Walton Parents Representative for Positive Behavior Interventions and Support Committee, Walton Parents Representative for the Auburn Parents Advisory Committee

Question 1: Do you think students should be required to wear masks at school to prevent the spread of COVID-19 under current pandemic conditions?

I believe it is important that the physical health of our students is a priority, but I also strongly believe that their social, emotional and mental well-being as well as their educational needs must be met. This is achieved by the stability of being in a classroom five days a week, feeling safe and supported by their families, friends, teachers, administrators and the community. The masks help limit the spread of COVID-19, thus keeping our students healthy and in school full time.

Question 2: Do you think equity and race issues are dealt with appropriately in Auburn schools?

I believe there is always room for continued growth and development. We must continue to learn from the past to create a better future for all of our students.

Question 3: What two specific issues would you address as a school committee representative?

I think it’s important to increase our test scores, our graduation rates, and tackle the learning loss caused by the pandemic. We have a diverse socio-economic population in our schools. We have many students who struggle with food insecurity on a daily basis, which prevents them from achieving academic success. I believe it is important that parents and the community get involved with our students to help them feel safe and supported in order for them to be successful.


David Simpson is currently a general representative on the Auburn school committee. He did not return a request for a questionnaire.


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