School Board Candidate Nichole Stevens [re-posting for Facebook – eds.]

Name: Nichole Stevens

Address: 9 Miecaskyl Drive, New Gloucester

Personal (age, marital status, family): 39, married, two children (Kerrigan, 17-year-old step-daughter and student at GNG High School; Brooklyn, 5-year-old daughter and pre-k student at Dunn School).

Education: B.S. Legal Studies/Pre-Law, Husson University – Bangor, ME

Professional experience:

  • Business Process Manager, Tilson Technology Management, Inc., a telecommunications construction and engineering firm located in Portland, ME.  At Tilson, I lead a team responsible for subcontracting, licensing, insurance & bonding, fleet management, policy review, drafting and implementation, process development and implementation, and legal support in the form of contract review, risk assessment, negotiation, and administration. 
  • Established, operated and subsequently sold an award-winning brewery tour business (Maine Beer Tours) from 2012 – 2017.

Civic (& volunteer?) experience: Former:
• Chair, New Gloucester Economic Development Committee
• Big Sister, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine

Presently:
• Member at Large, Gray-New Gloucester Development Corporation
• Coach, New Gloucester Little League
• Chair, New Gloucester Democrats
• Steering Committee, Leadership Portland

Reason/s for running? What do you hope to contribute?  With a daughter entering kindergarten and one heading into her senior year at GNGHS, I want to make sure that the school system offers each a safe environment that offers competitive academic and co-curricular activities.  They are my reason for running.  I hope that my skills in reviewing, drafting and negotiating contracts and experience with policy implementation, while remaining thoughtful and diplomatic, will be useful to the board and our community. 

What are the greatest challenges facing the school district and what would you do to address these?  Retaining and attracting the very best educators, responsible for enriching the youngest members of our community, is the one of the greatest challenges our school district faces.  We are surrounded by communities with higher median incomes, greater per-pupil spending and, as a result, higher paying salaries for teachers and staff.   We have done a great job at retention, despite these challenges, and I want to ensure that this continues.  I also think that school safety is of the utmost importance.  This includes physical threats to our students and staff, mental health services/support and combating drugs and tobacco use at school.

Anything else we should know about you?  I feel strongly that a community is only as strong as its school system.  A highly regarded school system attracts new home buyers, retains families and attracts the best, and brightest, teachers.  I’m proud that our district offers the IB program and has a strong co-curricular.  I am passionate about making sure our school system continues to thrive, so my 5-year-old has the same experience my soon to be senior does.

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