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 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 attends a school in the First Congressional District; the other attends a school 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
Peter Geiger, Vice Chair

Wendy L. Ault

John A. Bird

Fern M.Y. Desjardins

James E. Ford

Victoria Kornfield

Cynthia A. Murray-Beliveau
Cordelia T. Pitman

Casey Maddock (Student)
Greyson Orne (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
Email: wgh.sbe@fairpoint.net

Home: 207- 249-7670
Term Ends: 2022

 

Board Committees: Legislative Action, Certification and Higher Education, Career and Technical Education

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. Peter currently serves as Vice Chair of the State Board of Education.

 

16 Brentwood Avenue

Lewiston, ME  04240

Email: pgeiger523@gmail.com

Home: 576-3272

Term Ends: 2022

 

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

Outside Membership: Professional Standards Board

 

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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
Email: ault@melmacfoundation.org
Phone:
Term Ends: 2022

 

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

 

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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

Email: jabmab51@gmail.com

Home: 207-596-6276
Term Ends: 2021

 

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

Outside Membership: Maine Charter School Commission

 

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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
Email: fern.desjardins8@gmail.com
Home: 543-6005
Term Ends: 2023

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

 

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James E. Ford is a resident of Brunswick. 

 

23 Boody Street

Brunswick, ME  04011

Email: jef54@comcast.net

Home: 841-9377

Term Ends: 2026

 

Board Committees: 

 

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Victoria P. Kornfield is a resident of Bangor.  Tori served four terms in the Maine House of Representatives, representing part of Bangor.  She was the House chair of the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee for three of the four terms she served on the committee.  A lifelong educator, she taught for 37 years, 30 of which were at Bangor High School.  Tori has a master's degree in teaching and a certificate of advanced study in educational administration.  She has traveled extensively, including a trip around the world by ship.  She has been out with Maine game wardens to tag bears in their winter dens and on the red carpet at the Academy Awards.  Tori feels extremely lucky to retire from a profession she loved and then to immediately begin a new career in the legislature which she found very interesting and stimulating.  After being termed out of the legislature, she was appointed to the State Board of Education by Governor Mills.  Tori has two daughters, four grandchildren and her late husband who was a professor at the University of Maine.

 

48 Madison Street
Bangor, ME 04401
Email: torikornfield@gmail.com

Home: 207-907-9491
Term Ends: 2026

 

Board Committees:

 

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Cynthia A. Murray-Beliveau is a resident of Portland.

 

135 Sheridan Street, Unit 405
Portland, ME 04101

Email: cmurraybeliveau@gmail.com

Home: 207-215-6118
Term Ends: 2026

 

Board Committees:

 

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Cordelia T. Pitman is a resident of Portland.

 

70 Gray Street
Portland, ME  04102
Email:
Home:
Term Ends:

Board Committees:

 

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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
Email: caseymad03@gmail.com
Home: 671-0667
Term Ends: 2021

Board Committees: Student Voices, Certification and Higher Education

Outside Membership: Commissioner's Student Cabinet

 

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Greyson Orne is a student at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics (MSSM) in Limestone.  He was appointed to the board by the Governor in February of 2021.  Greyson's activities include Astronomy Club, Math Team, National Science Bowl, Varsity Nordic Ski Team, Kiwanis Key Club, Maine YMCA Youth in Government, Jazz Band, and he is an officer in the MSSM Student Senate.  He is pursuing a private pilot's license.  He has a strong interest in community service.  Greyson believes in student involvement in the education system of Maine and plans to advocate for “advanced education in public schools, especially rural areas with little access to other schooling options.” After high school, Greyson plans to apply to the three major U.S. Service Academies to become a commissioned officer in the United States Military.  

 

95 High Street
Limestone, ME 04750
Email: orneg@mssm.org
Home: 706-6643
Term Ends: 2022

Board Committees: Student Voices

Outside Committees: Commissioner's Student Cabinet

 

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