One of the three candidates on Harpswell’s ballot for two seats on the school board has withdrawn, while a write-in candidate has entered the race.
Margaret “Greta” Warren has withdrawn from the race. William “Bart” Beattie will make a write-in bid.
Warren currently serves as one of Harpswell’s four representatives to the Maine School Administrative District 75 Board of Directors. The Harpswell Board of Selectmen appointed her in March 2022 to fill a vacancy on the board.
Warren said she would complete her term, which ends in June. Her name will appear on the ballot for the March election, despite her withdrawal.
“It’s with sincere regret that I remove myself as a candidate for the MSAD 75 school board elections to be held on March 11th,” Warren said in an email on Saturday, Feb. 11. “This chapter of my life is busy and complicated, and while I had hoped to continue to help shape and evolve our school district, life has gotten in the way.
“I’m very grateful for the support this community has shown me starting out this race, and I hope that another candidate might come forward in my stead.”
By Sunday, another candidate had come forward. Beattie, of Orr’s Island, is a clinical social worker. He has run behavioral health companies throughout his career and currently runs the Maine operation of SaVida Health, a provider of addiction treatment.
He and his wife, Hannah Beattie, have four daughters, all of whom have attended MSAD 75 schools. Three have graduated from Mt. Ararat High School. The youngest is a sophomore at the Baxter Academy for Technology and Science, a charter school in Portland.
Beattie said that after Warren withdrew from the race, school board member Ryan Larsen, a friend and fellow MSAD 75 parent, contacted him and asked if he was interested in running.
Beattie said he agreed to run for two reasons. First, his kids had an excellent experience in MSAD 75 schools and he wants to support the district’s teachers and administrators. Second, he knows board members are struggling to work with one another and with the administration, and he wants to use his leadership experience to help bring about unity and cooperation.
The other candidates are newcomer Gregory Greenleaf and incumbent Eric Lusk. The top two vote-getters will serve three-year terms. The polls for the election will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 11 at Harpswell Community School.
MSAD 75 consists of Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell and Topsham.