On November 2, Sanford and Springvale voters will elect one School Committee member to a three-year term. The candidates are Jennifer Davie and Tonya Pickering. Incumbent Don Jamison is not seeking reelection.
Jennifer Davie grew up in Sanford and went to local schools, before moving to Utah for ten years. In 2006 her family returned to settle in Sanford. She left a successful career in real estate to become a full-time mom, and returned to the workforce once her kids were all in school. She is currently employed as a substitute teacher in the Sanford School District.
Ms. Davie has been an active volunteer in the community. When her children were in elementary school, she helped with the annual Lafayette School fall carnival. She also chaired the committee that hosted the “Step Back in Time” event in Gowen Park, a free community event for people to experience life in early America. Currently, she is an advisory board member with the Sanford Backpack Program. Under the direction of her daughter, she helped launch the Box of Joy campaign last Christmas with the support of the Backpack Program to provide families in need with a carton of holiday food and special treats. “This project would not be possible without the amazing support of generous community members,” she said. “We had set a goal to fill 100 boxes and when it was all said and done we filled and placed almost 300 boxes…we can’t wait to get to work on this project for this year!”
After the successful Box of Joy campaign, Ms. Davie initiated another collaboration. Working with her church, the Backpack Program, Sanford High School and dozens of volunteers, they facilitated a one-day 100,000 pound food distribution in February. This effort helped hundreds of local families meet their basic needs at a difficult time, when many people were out of work and struggling due to the pandemic. She is co-chairing volunteers for the next mega-distribution event, planned for February 2022.
She is co-chair of Project Graduation 2022 and is a member of the newly formed Sanford Police Department’s Citizens Advisory Committee. Her three youngest children are enrolled in Sanford schools, including one at Sanford Regional Technical Center.
Ms. Davie regularly attends School Committee meetings and believes she can positively contribute to the work that is being done. She describes her dedication and commitment as strengths she can bring to the position. She also wants to help all parents, students and employees of the Sanford School district feel heard and valued: “As our community leadership works hard to attract more businesses and families to Sanford, I believe I can help to foster a welcoming community of inclusion for those newcomers.”
She supports the School Department’s mandate for universal masking in Sanford’s public schools. “I believe that masking is keeping our kids in school five day a week. Although I appreciate the efforts of teachers last year in working with remote schooling options, there is no substitute to in-person learning. I also appreciate the feedback parents are sharing at our school committee meetings about current obstacles kids are facing in school while masking, and am confident that our building administration teams, central office team and current school committee will work to create viable solutions for these valid concerns.”