March 29, 2020

Newman apologizes to board candidate

BANGOR – Bangor School Committee Chairwoman Martha Newman publicly apologized Wednesday for a misstatement she made at last week’s candidates’ forum.

Newman said during a school committee meeting that she erred when she stated last Thursday that the son of school committee candidate David Gallant had not been in the Bangor School System during the past four years.

In fact, the boy was in the system as of last February, Newman said she subsequently has learned.

“I do apologize for that,” said Newman, running for her ninth term on the school committee.

Gallant did not attend the meeting.

Newman said she had been alerted to the mistake by a man who telephoned her after the forum.

“It was nice of him to give me a chance to clear up the record,” she said.

Daniel Tremble also is running for school committee which has two seats up for grabs.

One seat is being vacated by school committee member Ellen Tobin, who was presented with a plaque Wednesday by her colleagues.

“She labored mightily” during her two terms and did “very, very good work,” Newman said of Tobin as she handed her the memorial.

Superintendent Robert Ervin told the group that the statewide average SAT score for the class of 2007 was 445, a drop of 56 points from the scores of the previous class.

It’s “a little on the low side,” he said.

All students took the SAT because the Maine Department of Education is using the college admissions test to measure progress under the federal guidelines of No Child Left Behind, he pointed out.

The state likely will have some “challenging discussions ahead” as it tries to set standards based on the low scores, the superintendent said.

Also at the meeting, the Bangor JROTC was lauded for its recent U.S. Army commendation as having an exceptionally high standard of performance.

It is now designated “Honor Unit with Distinction.”

Led by Col. Jack Kurtzman, Bangor’s program is the oldest in the country.

“I am so impressed with the program. It is so valuable,” Newman told Kurtzman after the unit presented the colors.

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