Jan Michaud speaks in September 2017 at a celebration for the Calumet Educational & Literary Foundation Inc. in Augusta.

Although the city extended the deadline to file nomination papers for a vacant Ward 3 seat on the Augusta Board of Education, Jan Michaud will be the sole candidate on the ballot.

Michaud was the only person to submit nomination papers for the post, having done so when they were first able to be turned in during April.

After the initial deadline had passed, Augusta councilors extended it when they shifted the election originally planned for June to July due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

In April, city officials decided to follow the state in moving elections initially scheduled for June 9 to July 14, due to concerns that having an election in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic could expose voters and poll workers to COVID-19.

Prior to that change, At-Large Councilor Raegan LaRochelle said in April she had been contacted by a resident who was interested in running for the vacant Ward 3 school board seat but ran into trouble getting enough signatures due to the social-distancing requirements in Maine.

Employees at the Augusta City Clerk’s Bureau confirmed this week Michaud was the only candidate to file papers seeking the spot by the extended deadline of May 15.

A retired educator, Michaud said she decided to run to be of service to the community and put her experience to good use. She spent 25 years teaching and 12 as a school administrator, most recently as principal of Helen Thompson Elementary School in West Gardiner.

Michaud said she took her nomination papers out when they were first available in March and collected the needed signatures before concerns about the spread of the coronavirus became widespread and social distancing limited people’s ability to interact.

“I took out papers in March when they were first available and started (collecting signatures) that afternoon,” she said.

To be on the ballot, candidates for school board ward seats must submit nomination papers signed by at least 50 qualified voters.

In addition to the school board election to fill the Ward 3 seat vacated when Michael Michaud was elected to the City Council, residents in the next Augusta election will vote on the proposed school budget.

Jan Michaud said she is not related to Michael Michaud.

With a master’s degree in educational leadership, Jan Michaud is founder of the Heritage Center at Mill Park and a past president of the Calumet Education Foundation.

The polls have been consolidated and all voting will take place July 14 at the Augusta Civic Center or by absentee voting.

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