WATERVILLE — Pamela Trinward said she plans to continue to work closely with the city on finances and budgets as the new chair of the Waterville Board of Education.

The board elected Trinward to the position Monday in a 4-3 vote after she was nominated by board member Elizabeth Bickford. Bickford, Trinward and board members Pat Helm and new board member Erin McDermott voted for Trinward; board members Greg Bazakas, Spencer Krigbaum and Maryanne Bernier voted for Bazakas, who was nominated by Bernier. McDermott fills a seat vacated by former board chair Joan Phillips-Sandy who chose not to run for reelection last November after 26 years on the board.

Pamela Trinward on Monday was elected chair of the Waterville Board of Education. Photo courtesy of Waterville school district

Board members on Monday voted unanimously to elect Helm executive secretary, a position Trinward previously held.

Trinward has been on the school board 19 years — she served two years in the late 1990s, took a break and has served the last 17 years. She also co-chairs the city’s finance committee with City Council Chair Rebecca Green, D-Ward 4, and says the city and schools work well together.

“Our relationship with the city has gotten excellent,” she said.

Schools Superintendent Eric Haley said Trinward follows a long line of well-respected board chairs. Trinward, he said, was recently awarded a certificate from the Maine School Boards Association for her years of service. Phillips-Sandy was the longest serving board member in Waterville and Trinward was the second longest, he said.


“I’ve said for years that I’ve been blessed to have the Boards of Education I have had,” Haley said. “They’re all just outstanding people working to make everything better for all kids, not just the elite or low socioeconomic. Pam’s just the epitome of that.”

As co-chair of the city’s finance committee, Trinward worked to help increase pay for teachers and educational technicians and said she looks forward to working with Green, Mayor Jay Coelho and acting City Manager Bill Post to continue the working relationship.

A former state representative for four years in District 77, Trinward is now a field representative for U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree and has an office on Silver Street downtown. Those experiences, as well as her experience on the school board, have helped inform her knowledge of state and federal budgets, she said.

She also is a member of the boards of directors for MaineGeneral Community Health, Alfond Youth & Community Center, and Mid-Maine Adult & Community Education. One of her goals as school board chairwoman is to continue to encourage young people with children to serve on the school board, she said.

Phillips-Sandy chaired the superintendent search committee, as Haley plans to retire this year. Trinward will now head up that committee. She said the position has been advertised and a job description created and it is open for applications.

“Now we’ll meet sometime in January and make decisions about where we go next,” she said.

A lifelong Waterville resident, Trinward went through Waterville schools herself and graduated from Waterville High School, as did her children.

“This is my way of giving back,” she said. “My children did very well by Waterville public schools and I’m hoping for the opportunity to give back to the community.”

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