School Committee Candidates: Paula T. Cote

At the November 3 election, Sanford and Springvale voters will elect two School Committee members to three-year terms. The three candidates are Paula T. Cote, Amy Turgeon Sevigny and incumbent Emily A. Sheffield. Kendra Williams is not seeking reelection.

Paula T. Cote has lived in Maine over 25 years, and has raised her family here.  She has degrees from Florida State University and Middlebury College. She has worked as a Spanish teacher at schools in Sanford and Yarmouth.

With 5 children in school, Ms. Cote has volunteered and facilitated school fundraisers and activities at Carl J. Lamb, Sanford Middle School, Sanford High School and St. Thomas.

Her decision to run for School Committee was rooted in her commitment to Sanford, and desire to give back to our community.  She has been waiting for the right time for her family and feels that time is now.

Ms. Cote believes that having two perspectives – that of a parent who has experienced every level of schooling in Sanford, as well as that of a teacher who has worked in the system – are her strengths and qualifications for a seat on the Committee.

Ms. Cote believes the School Department is handling the Covid-19 crisis as well as they can given the circumstances and fluidity of Covid -19, and describes their actions as responsive not reactionary, thoughtful and cautious.

With regard to the challenges facing the district: “I would like to have us do our best, not only to get through the challenges and restraints that Covid poses in the immediate, but to meet them head on and overcome them in such a way that this period in time does not hinder or stunt our children’s learning and development.”

On the subject of the School Department’s budget: “I think this next year we will be adjusting the budgets, in part, according to what challenges Covid continues to throw our way.  We will have to balance those immediate needs with projected future needs and vision we identify for our schools.”