High school student drops out of school board race


Portland High senior Sophia Njaa. (photo/Portland Schools)
Portland High senior Sophia Njaa. (photo/Portland Schools)

High school student drops out of school board race 
Incumbent McRae will face one opponent 

By Chris Busby

Sophia Njaa, the Portland High School senior who became a certified candidate for the School Committee race in District 4, has dropped out of the running.

Njaa, 17, said she underestimated the amount of time and energy a school board race would entail, and needs to devote her attention to applying for college. 

“The timing was off,” said Njaa, who is one of two non-voting student representatives to the board (the other is a Deering High School student). She will continue in her position as a student representative until school-wide elections for a new rep take place this December. 

Njaa said she would encourage other students to take a shot at running for a voting seat on the nine-member board, but added, “I would also encourage them to know what they’re getting into.”

Njaa’s departure leaves two candidates in the race: incumbent Teri McRae and challenger Lori Gramlich. 

Gramlich, 42, is a single mother and self-employed consultant. This is her first run for public office, though she has plenty of previous political experience – Gramlich was formerly the communications director for former State Senate President Beverly Daggett. 

McRae is seeking a second term on the School Committee. Last fall, she was elected to be the Cumberland County Register of Probate.

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