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 members 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.

Wilson G. Hess, Chair
Jane S. Sexton, Vice Chair

Wendy L. Ault

John A. Bird

Fern M.Y. Desjardins

Peter E. Geiger

Martha J. Harris

Jana F. Lapoint

Casey Maddock(Student)
Jaylee E. Rice (Student)



Wilson G. Hess, Chair, is a resident of Freedom.  He and his wife Ellie maintain their home in Freedom where, since 1978 they have raised a family of three daughters on 100 acres of scattered woodland, fields, and lakefront.  Wilson has over 40 years' experience in higher education, including over 20 years as a college president in private independent, two-year public, and four-year public institutions.  He has also been privileged to serve as a professor of history and thinks of himself first and foremost as an educator.  Wilson holds a deep personal commitment to community service and has a broad range of experiences with public service, economic and community development organizations, and community betterment issues.  Illustrations of his leadership in statewide educational initiatives include service as president of the Maine Independent Colleges Association, appointment by Governor Angus King to the Maine Higher Education Achievement Task Force, and being the immediate past-president of the Maine Higher Education Council.  He currently serves as University of Maine System Research Professor and Senior Advisor to the Chancellor.  Wilson currently serves as Chair of the State Board of Education.


465 Belfast Road
Freedom, ME 04941
Home: 207- 249-7670
Term Ends: 2022


Board Committees: Legislative Action 




Jane S. Sexton, Vice Chair, is a resident of Gorham.  She has served on school committees, setting policy and establishing budgets.  Jane served on the building committee for the Gorham Middle School and the Gorham Elementary School.  She has taught at middle school and high school level.  Jane has coached athletes and advised NHS members.  Jane was a member of the Maine House of Representatives from 2009 to 2012.  Her service to the Maine Legislature and taking tours of Maine businesses has given her insight about the many areas of our great state.  Jane currently serves as Vice Chair of the State Board of Education.


P.O. Box 357

Gorham, ME 04038


Home: 207-839-3880

Term Ends: 2019


Board Committees: Legislative Action, Career and Technical Education, School Facilities Construction 




Wendy L. Ault is a resident of Wayne.  She is a graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.  Wendy served as the Associate Director of Admissions at the University of Maine at Farmington for seventeen years.  During her tenure at UMF, she was elected to four terms in the Maine House of Representatives representing part of Kennebec County from 1988 through 1996.  She served all eight years as a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs, serving as its House Chair during her final term.  Wendy is the Executive Director of the MELMAC Education Foundation.


26 Pond Road
Wayne, ME 04284
Term Ends: 2022


Board Committees: Legislative Action, Career and Technical Education, Certification and Higher Education (Chair), Student Voices (Chair)



John A. Bird is a resident of Rockland.  John spent the last eighteen years of a forty-seven year career in the non-profit world as a leadership and management consultant to non-profit organizations across the country and internationally.  He retired as President of a ten-partner firm, Educator's Collaborative, in July 2007.  His clients included 268 independent schools and other organizations located in 41 states and five foreign nations and territories.  Before beginning his consulting career in 1989, John spent 29 years in independent education, five years in full-time teaching, five years as a senior administrator and teacher, and 19 years as a head of school.  In addition to his long career in the field of education, John currently serves on the boards of the Strand Theater, the Penobscot Bay YMCA, and the Island Institute.  John is also a member of the Maine Charter School Commission, the seven-member authorizing body for charter schools in Maine.  John grew up in Rockland, Maine and received his B.A. degree from Bowdoin College.  He also has an M.A. from George Washington University.  John and his wife of 55 years, Mary Alice, now live in Rockland.  They have three grown children and six grandchildren.


51 Masonic Street
Rockland, ME 04841
Home: 207-596-6276
Term Ends: 2021


Board Committees: Legislative Action, Career and Technical Education (Chair)

Outside Membership: Maine Charter School Commission



Fern M.Y. Desjardins is a resident of St. Agatha.  Fern had a 43-year career in PK-12 education as an elementary school teacher, principal, and Superintendent of Schools in the rural, small school system of MSAD 33.  Under her principalship, Dr. Levesque Elementary School was designated a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.  Fern is a life-long learner who holds a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership and a Master’s Degree in Language Arts from UMaine, a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Leadership from USM, and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from UMFK. She has taught graduate level courses for UMaine as an adjunct faculty member in their outreach programs in Aroostook County, served on UMFK’s Board of Visitors (one year as President and two as Vice President), Northern Maine Medical Center's (NMMC) Board of Trustees, and she has been an active member of numerous educational associations and committees.  Since her retirement, Fern maintains educational affiliations by working as a facilitator for school systems and by serving on various committees or special projects of the Maine DOE.  She volunteers at her local church, parish, and at the diocese level.  Fern and her husband, Francis, have three grown children and three grandchildren. 

185 Main Street
St. Agatha, ME 04772
Home: 543-6005
Term Ends: 2023

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



Peter E. Geiger is a resident of Lewiston.  Peter is the Editor of the Farmers' Almanac and Executive Vice President of Geiger, a family owned business for four generations.  He established an Adopt-A-School Program with Montello Elementary School in Lewiston in 1988 and championed similar business/school partnerships throughout Maine.  Peter believes strongly on a hands-on approach to volunteering.  For the past several years, he has been involved in many arenas of community and educational organizations including Educate Maine.  Peter served on the State Board of Education from 1992 to 1997 - three years as Vice Chair and one year as Chair.  Peter was appointed, by the Governor, to the State Board again in 2012 and served as both Chair and Vice Chair during his five-year term.  While serving in the 90s, he was Vice Chair of the Task Force on Maine's Learning Results and was also involved in the early stages of developing the Essential Programs and Services. 


16 Brentwood Avenue

Lewiston, ME  04240


Home: 576-3272

Term Ends: 2024


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



Martha J. Harris 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 21st 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.


489 Monroe Road
Winterport, ME 04496
Home: 207-299-8191
Term Ends: 2021


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





Jana F. 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
Home: 207-781-7472
Term Ends: 2019


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




Board Committees:



Casey Maddock is a student at Scarborough High School.  She was appointed to the board by the Governor in May of 2019.  Her activities include Key Club, Seeds of Peace, Maine Medical Center Junior Volunteer Program, Scarborough Dance Center Competition Team and Student Council.  Casey has done honors coursework in Environmental Science and is enrolled in an AP Government and Politics Course.  Her passion is education.

14 Teal Point Drive
Scarborough, ME 04074
Home: 671-0667
Term Ends: 2021

Board Committees: Student Voices, Certification and Higher Education



Jaylee E. Rice is a student at Nokomis Regional High School.  She was appointed to the board by the Governor in March of 2018.  Jaylee's most intriguing passion is music.  Her activities include jazz combo and jazz ensemble, imperial band, marching band, show chorus and drama club - both musicals and plays.  She currently plays the alto saxophone at Nokomis Regional High School.  Jaylee's academic interest include Science and History. 


308 Hartland Road
St. Albans, ME 04971
Home: 416-9192
Term Ends: 2020

Board Committees: Student Voices