PORTLAND, Maine – The Portland Board of Public Education held a virtual ceremony on December 7 to inaugurate its newest members. Sworn in by City Clerk Katherine Jones were newly elected Board members Jeffrey Irish (District 5), Aura Russell-Bedder (District 4) and Yusuf Yusuf (At-large). Seats on the Board are for three-year terms.

Yusuf Yusuf

The board also voted unanimously to choose District 2 member Emily Figdor as chair for the coming year. Figdor said she sees three priorities for the Board. One is to develop and put into practice a district equity policy. Another is to achieve universal pre-kindergarten, including transportation services for pre-K families. Third, she said, “we need to fully fund the Lau Plan, our plan to provide an equitable education to our many English Language Learners.”

Also sworn in were five student representatives to the Board: Tessa Boxer-Macomber, representing Portland High School; Haley Allen, representing Casco Bay High School; Emily Cheung, representing Deering High School; Abagail Hill, representing the Portland Arts & Technology High School (PATHS); and Mangasa Yangala, representing Portland Adult Education.