FARMINGDALE — The only contested race for a position on the Regional School Unit 2 school board this year is in Farmingdale.

Deb Large, a retired music teacher from Hall-Dale High School, and Megan Elliot, a waitress at The Liberal Cup Public House & Brewery in Hallowell, are to face off in the June 14 election. The winner would take Linda Leet’s spot on the 12-person board.

Residents can cast their votes at the Farmingdale Town Office from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Three other school board seats are open in the district that includes Dresden, Farmingdale, Hallowell, Monmouth and Richmond. Each term is three years.

Jeffrey Bickford is running unopposed for reelection in Dresden. Jon Hamann, the board chair, is also running unopposed for reelection in Monmouth. And in Richmond, Liana Knight is running uncontested to fill the seat being vacated by Mark Pearson, who is not seeking another term.

Hallowell’s school board election is set for November.


Residents of the five municipalities that make up the district will also vote June 14 on the district’s proposed budget of $33,770,829, which is up $984,671, or 3%, from current spending.

Although it has been a hot topic over the past year, the vote on whether Richmond will remain in or withdraw from RSU 2 is to be on the ballot in November, not June.


Megan Elliott, 38, is running for the school board with her three children in mind.

With no public service experience, she learned about the district and school board process through attending almost every RSU 2 school board meeting over the past year, while advocating during public comment for parents to choose if they would like their children to wear a protective mask.

The district required all students to wear masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19 throughout most of the school year.


“I’m not coming to the board with any sort of expertise in education, but I am a passionate learner and love to listen to people who know more than me and take that in and learn more,” Elliott said. “I have the time to put forward the energy into visiting some aspects of the district that need revisiting, like the budget.”

Megan Elliott, a waitress at The Liberal Cup Public House & Brewery in Hallowell, is running for one of Farmingdale’s seats on the RSU 2 school board. Megan Elliott

Elliott said being in the service industry has helped her become good with numbers and multitasking, skills she hopes she can lend to the budgeting process next year. She said she has already started to look into the district’s budget.

Elliott graduated from Hall-Dale High School in 2002 and has lived in Farmingdale since 1998. She lives with her husband, Josh Cichowski, and their three children — Ella, 14; Reid, 12; and Abel, 6, who go to the Hall-Dale schools.

Elliott said she thinks the district can improve how it prepares high school students for after graduation, specifically suggesting the district go away from the proficiency-based learning scale, which grades students with numerals instead of letters.

“Children are graduating high school without the skills for higher education or jobs, etc., and that is my main focus,” Elliott said. “It has been my main focus — the curriculum, the grading system. What we are doing at Hall-Dale is not working and hasn’t been working.”

She credited the district for creating a welcoming community and said the district does certain things well, such as its outdoor education program. Elliott said she loves that some students have class in outdoor classrooms.


“To see our district get into that and take the students outside, some don’t get that experience at home,” she said, adding her family loves to fish, hike and work in the garden. “It chokes me up to find that we think that’s important in our district, and I would like to put an emphasis on outdoor education.”


Deb Large, 65, a recently retired music teacher from Hall-Dale High School, has had an opportunity to watch the district through a new lens, as a retiree and a grandmother with grandchildren in the district.

Deb Large, a former music teacher at Hall-Dale High School, is running for one of Farmingdale’s seats on the RSU 2 school board. Deb Large

Her three grown children went through the district, and now six of her seven grandchildren attend the Hall-Dale schools. Before Large retired last year, she taught at Hall-Dale High School for 43 years and, before that, in the Monmouth schools for five years.

“My job was my job and my hobby, and it didn’t take over, but it was a lot of what I did,” she said. “I was always thinking about it. Now that I’ve retired, I can take a step back and see the bigger picture.”

Large said the main reason she is running for the school board is she has always wanted to do so after retiring from teaching.


“I was not done,” she said.

Large said she feels she was meant to be an educator and help represent students of all genders and races.

“I believe in kids and their potential,” she said. “They are smart. They’re all smart and have things to share. Some just don’t have the support system they need. It’s important they get it so they can flourish.”

Large said her experience from teaching in the district and running the music program on a tight budget is knowledge she can share with the board, along with knowing how to contract with teachers.

She said RSU 2 must improve its communication, especially with those in the community who do not have children in the district. Notifications for school board meetings are something for which she has to go “digging on the website,” she said, and she thinks there should be a better and an easier way for the public to watch meetings.

Large said the district is doing well with getting students through the COVID-19 pandemic and giving them resources they need, although she said a few more counselors to help students with the emotional aspect of getting through the pandemic would be helpful.

“I believe I am a very creative thinker, “Large said, “and if there is a job to be done, I can get it done. I want to be part of the process that helps RSU 2 emerge from this challenging time with evermore opportunities. We want a community that’s not divided but united on what’s best for kids.”

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