Babcock, Bailey seek Boothbay’s CSD committee seat

Kevin Anthony, Lorraine Hodgdon and Ashleeann Lowery circulating nomination papers for other offices
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Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 7:30am
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Two Boothbay residents are seeking one vacancy as the town’s representative to the community school district school committee. Former member Bill Bailey and first-time candidate Kari Babcock are the candidates for a three-year term.

Bailey, 67, served one term from 2013-16. He lost last year’s election to Bruce MacDonald. Bailey is retired and has lived in Boothbay since 1999. Babcock, 48, teaches third grade at Woolwich Community School. She has worked in education for 24 years both as a classroom teacher and principal.

Babcock began her teaching career as an educational technician in Boothbay Harbor. Her next job was as a WCS  special education teacher and she later moved into her own classroom teaching Woolwich fourth and fifth graders. She tried her hand at school administration as principal at Phippsburg and Bath elementary schools before returning as a teacher. For the past two years, Babcock has taught Woolwich third graders. 

“The best part of my job is by far the kids,” she said. “When they start something new, and watching them as it comes together, it’s a very special moment in time.”

Bailey became involved with the local school system through his Boothbay Region Student Aid Fund volunteer work. As a school board member, he served as the board’s Teacher Assessment and Advisory committee’s representative.

Bailey’s daughter graduated from Boothbay Region High School and recently from Thomas College. Babcock has two children, a senior and freshman, attending BRHS.

Both candidates are impressed with the school’s past performance.

“I want to continue the district's tradition of quality education. My daughter was well-prepared for college and providing a good education is also important toward attracting young people to the region,” Bailey said. 

Babcock said her two sons have had a great educational experience in the local school system.“Both myself and my husband are very supportive of the schools. We think the teachers work really hard and do a great job and I’m looking forward to being a part of it,” she said.

Bailey is a Pennsylvania native and Michigan State University graduate. He worked 25 years for General Electric as a design engineer, business executive and president of the company’s Aircraft Engine Services Worldwide. He enjoyed his previous service as a school board member. He believes the local school system has several innovative programs.

“One of the most important things about our school is the real life education with science training, robotics, debates on business issues, and classes which develop a product with a business team. Those are cutting edge programs for a rural Maine school. I think they are very helpful for the future of our kids,” said Bailey.

Babcock grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Greenfield High School. She began her college education at Leslie College in Cambridge, Massachusetts before transferring and graduating from the University of Maine at Farmington. Later, she received a master’s in education from the University of Maine in Orono.

As an educator, she understands state mandates often occur at a rapid pace.

“Education changes happen quickly with all the state mandates. I have a pretty good background in public education and I understand what type of decisions need to made,” she said.

The only contested races on the municipal ballot are for selectmen, with four candidates vying for two seats, and the school committee contest. The other offices only have one candidate: Kevin Anthony, Boothbay Region Water District trustee; Lorraine Hodgdon, Cemetery District trustee; and Ashleeann Lowery, Community School District trustee. Each office is for a three-year term.

The municipal election is Monday, May 1.