OAKLAND — The school board chairwoman and two newcomers are running for one of the Oakland seats on Regional School Unit 18 Board of Directors. The board also represents Belgrade, China, Sidney and Rome.

Darroll J. Everett and Charles E. Terrio are seeking the post for the first time, and incumbent Laura Tracy, a director since 1997 and chairwoman since 2009, is seeking re-election.

Darroll J. Everett

Everett, who has three children in the school system — Andrew, 9, and 6-year-old twins, Nathan and Autumn — called himself an average guy who would enjoy being involved in board decision-making.

“I can relate with a lot of families,” he said. “Both my wife and I work and we have kids in school. It’s a challenge. I want to take a more active role in the community and ensure children are getting the best education our tax dollars can buy.”

Everett said he has good ideas and likes to hear and consider everyone else’s, too.

“I’m an out-of-the-box thinker. There’s not one right way,” he said. “The best decisions come from a group of people.”

The self-described conservative said the school budget represents a large percentage of residents’ tax bills and that the board’s votes have repercussions.

“I’m always interested in what we spend our money on. We have wise choices to make,” he said. “Our decisions influence the entire next generation of leaders in our community.”

The production manager at J.S. McCarthy Printers in Augusta said he is determined and wants to help the Oakland-based district be a model for other districts.

“I’m not out to prove anything or change the world,” Everett said. “I’m young and if I’m not elected this time, I’ll try again.”

Charles E. Terrio

Terrio said he is running for a seat on the board because he believes district educators and administrators should be more parent-friendly and communicate better with citizens, who are paying their salaries.

“I don’t think the school district is responsive to the needs of parents,” said the dentist, whose son graduated this year from Messalonskee High School.

Terrio said he is committed to ensuring that the teachers of advanced placement courses are qualified. “They should be the best teachers in the school,” Terrio said. “From what I’m hearing, they are not.”

The graduate of Boston University School of Graduate Dentistry said he is conscientious, would attend meetings and listen to residents’ ideas and complaints.

Money will always be a big issue, Terrio said, and he said his experience running his own dental practice would bring a fresh perspective to the board.

“People in business for themselves look at things a little bit differently,” he said. “I would look at the system and see what areas can be cut. I would work to help make the school district the best in the state.”

Terrio said he is fast learner and added that when he joined Oakland’s Budget Advisory Board he was able to adapt quickly and make contributions.

Laura Tracy

Tracy, the board chairwoman, said after years on the board she remains committed to ensuring all district children have the opportunity to get a good education.

“I think I’m here for the right reasons,” she said. “I’m here for all kids and to support the teachers. I know taxpayers are concerned about the budget and I am too.”

The Messalonskee High School graduate said she had a great educational experience in local schools. In college, Tracy said, when she saw other students struggling, she came to appreciate her education even more.

The physician practice administrator at MaineGeneral Medical Center said she first ran for the board to give something back and provide community service.

“My primary interest was to make it a better place for all kids,” she said. “I am passionate about doing the best thing for kids and society and that’s giving them a good foundation.”

The budget is routinely the biggest issue facing the directors, Tracy said.

“It’s a huge challenge,” she said. “It trumps everything else. We have to consider taxpayers who can’t afford to pay more and at the same time we don’t want to compromise the programs we have. And we have to learn to do more with less money.”

Tracy said she was pleased the district’s vision and direction match those of state Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen.

“Our schools are in the midst of some groundbreaking change with more of a focus on a standards-based model, where learning is customized to meet individual student needs,” she said. “I am very excited and proud that our district is doing this crucial groundbreaking work and I hope that my role as a board member will help facilitate this effort.”

Voting Tuesday will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Williams Elementary School.

Beth Staples — 861-9252

[email protected]


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