Members

The Maine State Board of Education consists of nine members appointed by the Governor. Four must live in Maine's First Congressional District when appointed, four must live in the Second Congressional District, and one can live in either Congressional District. Board member serve staggered, five-year terms.

The Board elects a Chair and Vice Chair annually.

The State Board also has two nonvoting student members appointed by the Governor. At all times, the Board has one high school junior and one high school senior. One student lives in the First Congressional District; the other lives in the Second Congressional District. Student members serve two-year terms. More on student members.

The State Board of Education has four standing committees. Board members also serve on outside boards, commissions and other bodies.

Peter E. Geiger, Chair
Martha J. Harris, Vice Chair
William H. Beardsley
Alan R. Burton
Nichi Farnham
Jana Lapoint
Heidi H. Sampson
Jane S. Sexton
Ande A. Smith
Gwendolyn E. Viles (Student)
Alyssa Wardwell (Student)

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Peter E. Geiger, Chair is a resident of Lewiston. He graduated Villanova University ('73) with a BS degree in Business Administration. He is EVP of Geiger Bros., the largest family owned promotional products company in the United States headquartered in Lewiston with 425 associates. Peter also serves as editor and publisher of the Farmers' Almanac making numerous media appearances each year. His volunteer efforts have supported quality public education. He founded an Adopt-A-School partnership with Montello Elementary School in 1988 - now in its 26th year. Peter was a member of the Maine State Board of Education (1992 - 1997), vice chair of the Maine Task Force on Learning Results, former chair of the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education and many other organizations. Peter is a board member for Educate Maine and the Alfond Scholarship Foundation. He was also the recipient of the 618th Point of Light from President George Bush in 1991. Peter currently serves as Chair of the State Board of Education.

16 Brentwood Avenue
Lewiston, ME 04241
Email: pgeiger@geiger.com
Home: 207-576-3272
Term Ends: 2017

Board Committees: Legislative Liaison (Chair), School Facilities Construction, Career and Technical Education (Chair)

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Martha J. Harris, Vice Chair resides in Winterport with her husband. She is the mother of two grown sons who were ably educated through the public school system in Maine. She has recently entered her 16th year as a Board member of RSU 22/SAD 22. She has a Bachelor of Science from Tufts University, an MSW from Rutgers University, and a JD from Northeastern University. Martha has been in the general practice of law in Bangor since 1977. She brings the perspective of living in a small town and being involved in the local school board. Martha currently serves as Vice Chair of the State Board of Education.

489 Monroe Road
Winterport, ME 04496
Email: mharrismsbe@yahoo.com
Home: 207-299-8191
Term Ends: 2015

 

Board Committees: Legislative Liaison, School Facilities Construction (Chair)

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William H. Beardsley is a resident of Ellsworth. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D.), Bill served as president of Husson University from 1987 through 2009. He served as chair of the Maine Higher Education Council, the Finance Authority of Maine, the Maine Development Foundation, the New England School of Communications and as a member of the Master Logger Certification Board and Land for Maine's Future Board. From 2011 to 2012, he served as commissioner of the Maine Department of Conservation. Bill is married to Dr. Betsy Beardsley, who has taught at the pre-school to grad-school levels and served as a K-8 principal in two rural Maine schools. They live in Ellsworth in the house Bill's mother was born in. Interested in and committed to all aspects of the Maine State Board of Education's mission, he has a particular passion for rural education, early childhood education and vocational/technical/professional education.

18 Third Street
Ellsworth, ME 04605
Email: wbeardsley1@roadrunner.com
Home: 207-610-1392
Term Ends: 2017

Board Committees: Certification and Higher Education

 

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Alan R. Burton is a resident of Winslow.  He has been employed by Cianbro for the past 38 years and is Vice President of The Cianbro Companies. Alan is dedicated to workforce development and was the impetus in founding the Cianbro Institute which houses all of Cianbro’s training, education and workforce development programs and initiatives. The Cianbro Institute remains a key factor in Cianbro’s success and has become a renowned model for excellence throughout the industry. He is the founder of the Maine Craft Championships and serves on several industry workforce development Boards, Trustees, and Councils.

 

29 Corbett Lane

Winslow, ME 04901

Email: aburton@cianbro.com

Home: 207-873-7667

Term Ends: 2019

 

Board Committees: Career and Technical Education

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Nichi Farnham is a resident of Bangor. She graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree and received her master's degree from Webster University. After serving 6 years in the Air Force, she and her husband Doug (formerly of Brewer) decided to return to Maine to help grow the family business, Getchell Bros., and to raise their family. Doug is a pilot and Wing Commander of the 101st Air Refueling Wing of the Maine National Guard. They have 3 sons ages 21, 18, and 13, all educated in Bangor public schools. Her role as a mother has gone hand-in-hand with her community involvement. She recently served as a State Senator in the 125th Legislature. She has served as a City Councilor and Council Chair (Mayor) of Bangor and as a Bangor School Committee Member. Her Board involvement includes the Bangor Y, United Way of Eastern Maine, Bangor Nursing and Rehab Board, and Eastern Maine Healthcare System. She has especially enjoyed her role as Race Day Operations Chair for the KOMEN Maine Race for the Cure.

11 Fairmount Park West
Bangor, ME 04401
Email: nichi@aol.com
Home: 990-2011
Term Ends: 2018

Board Committees: Certification and Higher Education (Chair)
Outside Membership: Maine Charter School Commission


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Jana Lapoint is a resident of Falmouth. Jana earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree with high honors from the University of Bridgeport. She is a former business teacher and taught at the New Canaan High School. Jana previously owned Lapoint Industries in Auburn, Maine, and she is currently a consultant for Packgen and UF Strainrite of Auburn. Jana served as a trustee on the Maine Community College System board for 11 years, with two years as Chair. She also was a Trustee at Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts for six years. Jana currently serves on the boards of Habitat for Humanity and Cheverus High School. She is a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House and the University of Southern Maine School of Music. Jana received a Distinguished Service Award from Dean College and a Women of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of Maine.

110 Woodlands Drive
Falmouth, ME 04105
Email: Jana.F.Lapoint@gmail.com
Home: 207-781-7472
Term Ends: 2014

Board Committees: Certification and Higher Education
Outside Membership: Maine Charter School Commission

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Heidi Sampson is a resident of Alfred. She graduated from St. Lawrence University with a Bachelor of Science in Bio-Chem and a minor in Sports Medicine. Heidi began her career as a research scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the New England Aquarium. Simultaneously, she maintained her interest in fitness and sports and developed and managed several corporate wellness programs in southern Maine. Subsequently, she developed a unique children's multidimensional fitness program, Fun O'Fit™, that was piloted at Alfred Elementary School and later adopted by public and private schools throughout the United States. She has also taught science and coached various high school sports at both public and private schools. During the winter months, she is the Children's Snow-sports Director at Shawnee Peak, where she trains and mentors a large staff of mostly teenagers. For the past 20 years, Heidi has been greatly involved with homeschooling throughout Maine, the United States and Canada as a frequent conference speaker and consultant. She currently leads a large, active homeschool support group. During this time, she has taught a wide range of high school courses to many homeschoolers in addition to her own three children. The bustling farm she and her family still manage is an example of a homeschooling project creating a life of its own. All of her children have graduated and are eagerly pursuing their dreams.

465 Kennebunk Road
Alfred, ME 04002
Email: hsampson512@gmail.com
Home: 324-0307
Term Ends: 2017

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Jane S. Sexton is a resident of Gorham.

 

10 Valley View Drive

Gorham, ME 04038

Email: knappjanes09@gmail.com

Home: 207-839-3880

Term Ends: 2019

 

Board Committees: Certification and Higher Education

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Ande A. Smith is a resident of North Yarmouth with his school-age children. He graduated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BS degree in Nuclear Engineering, the University of Connecticut with a Masters of Public Affairs degree, and the University of Maine School of Law with his Juris Doctor. He is President of Deer Brook Associates, a privately held firm providing legal and consulting services principally in information security, technology, and privacy. Having earned his submarine warfare qualifications, Ande also holds the rank of Captain in the US Navy reserve, where he commands a Pentagon-based undersea warfare unit and is the director of the reserve component's undersea warfare operations program for the US submarine force. Ande's hopes as a Board member are to be a champion for STEM education and for the effective integration of information technology into education.

48 Deer Brook Farm
North Yarmouth, ME 04097
Email: ande@maine.rr.com
Home: 207-829-5263
Term Ends: 2017

Board Committees: School Facilities Construction
Outside Membership: Maine Charter School Commission (Vice Chair)

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Gwendolyn E. Viles is a student at Nokomis Regional High School. She was appointed to the board by the Governor in May of 2014. Gwendolyn's activities include Future Business Leaders of America, Key Club, Latin Club, Junior Varsity Golf, Varsity Track, 4-H, and she is a member of the Nokomis Book Club. She is a volunteer at the Etna/Dixmont Harvest Fair, Christmas Caroling at the Tissues Boarding Home, and the Home for Little Wanderers. Gwendolyn has received many awards and achievements.

114 Fox Hill Road
Athens, ME 04912
Email: gwen.viles@gmail.com
Home: 654-2035
Term Ends: 2016

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Alyssa M. Wardwell is a student at Massabesic High School in Waterboro. She was appointed to the board by the Governor in February of 2014. Alyssa's activities include Student Council, Unplugged Music Performer, Massabesic Select Chamber Singers, Regional Fine Arts Vocal Music, DAR Christopher Columbus Essay Winner, AMVETS Americanism Essay Contest Winner. She is a volunteer for Special Olympics and Maine Lab Rescue. As a student athlete, Alyssa plays soccer, baseball and basketball.

90 Sokokis Trail North
Limerick, ME 04048
Email: alyssawardwell12@gmail.com
Home: 699-8927
Term Ends: 2015

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