FARMINGTON – A sophomore studying Political Science at the University of Maine Farmington is running for the Regional School Unit 9 School Board; Brandon Reed is under no impression that just because he is still a 19-year-old doesn’t mean he can’t make a difference in local government. Over the past few weeks, he has managed to acquire almost twice the required signatures for his petition to run. The Pennsylvania native has established a history of placing himself in leadership positions during his time in college, but is now interested in exploring more opportunities outside of the University system.
“I’m really active at UMF and I’ve been trying to get more active in the Farmington community as well, and this was a great opportunity for that. It’s more about being selective about where I can make the biggest impact,” said Reed.
Despite his age, Reed believes that his unique perspective as well as the experience he’s already acquired in past positions, makes him an exemplary candidate for the school board.
“I think the fact that I’m still a student in some capacity gives me a good perspective for students that would be beneficial for the board. Educators of course have a good idea of how students are doing with covid and virtual learning restrictions, but I think in order to get true representation you need to have someone in that position. I have the ability to give that representation,” said Reed.
The candidate has served as the manager for UMF’s student life space, the Landing, as well as the Treasurer for the campus’ College Democrats club. He’s currently the President of the College Independents club and considers Fen Fowler, whom he assisted with his County Commissioner campaign, a close and respected mentor. Reed sees the opportunity to join the school board as one that would provide him with skills to aid him as he continues to explore local government.
“It’s more of a way to dip my toes into the water so that I can see what kind of skills I could get from this experience,” said Reed.
The position is a training opportunity for Reed, but one of which he plans on taking full advantage. Reed’s ambition, if he does obtain the seat on the school board, would be to address the difficulties that students are facing as a result of virtual learning obstacles.
“I’d like to make sure that students have the resources that they need to maintain some sort of normalcy, make things as easy as possible for students to continue their education,” said Reed.
The position is a three-year commitment, which would require Reed to stay in the area for the duration, even if he were to graduate prior to that. Though Reed doesn’t have a firm plan for a post-graduation career, he does see himself remaining in political and/or leadership positions.
“Ultimately I think I would like to get into a lower position of government and work up from there. But as far as community goes, this is the place to be.”
The verdict for the school board position will be announced after the annual town meeting which is tentatively scheduled for April.