Candidates for Bangor City Council and Bangor School Committee greet voters outside of the Cross insurance Center on Tuesday. From left: Kimberly Boucher (city council), Katie Brydon, Shelly Okere and Tim Surrette (school committee). Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Bangor voters elected newcomers Katie Brydon and Shelly Okere and incumbent Timothy Surrette to the School Committee on Tuesday. 

All will serve a three-year term. Surrette won the most votes at 4,213. Brydon earned another 4,110 votes, and Okere claimed 3,626, according to City Clerk Lisa Goodwin. Cheri Hunter got the lowest number of votes at 2,420 and wasn’t elected to the committee. 

Four candidates ran for three spots on the school board. Committee members Clare Mundell and Susan Sorg didn’t seek another term, but Surrette, who serves as the committee’s vice chair, ran for a third consecutive term. 

The three winners will be sworn in on Monday. 

During his campaign, Surrette said he aims to continue looking at ways Bangor schools can help students recover from any learning loss they suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. This work should also include supporting and retaining talented teachers who may be suffering from burnout in the wake of the pandemic, he said. 

Brydon said she wants to participate in discussions on how schools can further help students explore their talents and interests, while ensuring school staff to ensure they feel “supported, well compensated and valued.”

As a School Committee member, Brydon said she’s looking forward to “enhancing the opportunities to build inclusion and access in and outside of the classroom.” 

“I’m grateful for the trust that the city has in me and my fellow candidates,” Brydon said. “We were able to have amazing conversations throughout the race, and I’m looking forward to implementing the ideas we heard from the city.” 

Okere hoped to continue improving the school department’s policies aimed at recruiting and retaining diverse staff while improving communication between school administrators and families. She’s already begun some of this work as a member of the school department’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging advisory committee for the past three years.

Kathleen O'Brien is a reporter covering the Bangor area. Born and raised in Portland, she joined the Bangor Daily News in 2022 after working as a Bath-area reporter at The Times Record. She graduated from...