Ben is a father of two girls in the Portland Public Schools, and a long-time resident of the Oakdale neighborhood. He is married to Cate Gaynor, an FNP at Greater Portland Health. Ben is a labor lawyer by trade, and has worked at McTeague Higbee for many years representing unions and working people all across Maine. He is a past President of the Ocean Avenue Elementary School PTO and a former Board member of PAYSA. He served on the District’s Enrollment and Facilities Commission in 2019.
Ben is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Maine School of Law.
Sarah has almost 20 years of nonprofit experience in equitable and inclusive programming, managing systems and operations, recruiting and developing talent, and growth strategy. Since moving to Portland, Maine (unceded Wabanaki Land), in 2013, Sarah has worked at numerous mission driven organizations and completed a master's degree in public policy and nonprofit management. Her current role is in philanthropy, helping Maine funders and nonprofits move toward equity. She is also a program leader with The Groundwater Institute, an organization that teaches people about the history of race in the United States.
Outside of work, you'll find Sarah close to the ocean, consuming all things related to social justice, meditating, creating art, adventuring with her son, and seeking deep human connection—preferably alongside food made with love. Her favorite part of this role is helping to create a stronger community. She’d love to talk about what’s on your mind, so please reach out!
East End Community School • Peaks Island School • Cliff Island School • Portland High School
Micky Bondo was born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Educated and trained in Belgium with a master’s degree in Biochemistry, she also holds two Associate’s Degrees in Business Administration and Education. Ms. Bondo arrived in the U.S. in 1996 and later moved to Portland in 2009.
Since arriving in Portland, Ms. Bondo, who is fluent in English, French and Lingala, has served as a medical interpreter, assisted the City of Portland Public Schools Multilingual and Multicultural Center, and currently serves as a parent lead for Portland Empowered, which champions under-represented students and parents voices across the Portland Public schools.
In addition, she co-founded and runs a nonprofit called "In Her Presence," an organization she co-founded that focuses on empowering immigrant women. Ms. Bondo is where she is the program’s director.
Ms. Bondo also serves on the board of Opportunity Alliance and is involved with United Way's Thrive2027 Council and Goal 1 Cabinet, which focuses is on quality early learning experiences beginning at birth, so that all children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade.
The mother of five children, Ms. Bondo has navigated and supported three of her children through the Portland Public Schools as a parent partner, mentor for Make It Happen! and as a Deering High School PTO parent.
Ms. Bondo's belief is: “Public eEducation is a platform for all students from different social status and racial profiles to thrive and access high quality education by exposing them to opportunities that will open doors to break the cycle of poverty and build a better ecosystem where students from diverse backgrounds will prevail.”
Ms. Bondo has served as the District 1 representative to the Portland Board of Public Education since 2018.
Reiche Elementary School • King Middle School
Emily Figdor has a 25-year career in public policy and organizing to make the world a better place. She currently works full time as the lead writer at MoveOn, where she has worked since 2015. Prior to MoveOn, Emily directed Environment Maine, where she led a precedent-setting campaign to block construction of a tar sands terminal in Casco Bay, which stopped the transport of tar sands through Maine and cut off the East Coast export market.
Emily spent the first dozen years of her career working for nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C., during which time she was named "one of the most effective green advocates in Washington, D.C." and one of half a dozen people "playing a big role in shaping the debate" on climate change.
Emily chaired the Portland School Board from 2020-2022 and has served on the Finance Committee since she joined the board. Throughout her two terms, she's focused on centering equity in the district's policies and budget and increasing the budget to meet students' needs. Emily also co-chaired the committee overseeing the renovation of Portland's four elementary schools—a project completed in December 2023 on budget that transformed all four schools into 21st century learning environments.
Prior to first being elected to the Portland School Board in 2018, Emily co-founded and directed Protect Our Neighborhood Schools (now Equity in Portland Schools) and led the winning campaign to pass a $64 million bond in 2017 to renovate four Portland elementary schools. She also co-chaired Reiche Community School's PTO.
Emily's two children attend King Middle School and Deering High School. Emily attended public schools for K-12 and received a B.A. from Stanford University and a master's of public health from Columbia University. Emily lives in the West End with her daughters and is the only openly gay member of the school board. You can follow her on Facebook.
Rowe Elementary School
I am a long-time resident of Portland choosing to live in this wonderful city. Our sons both attended Portland Public Schools, Nathan Clifford Elementary School, Lincoln Middle and graduated from Deering High School. My own education was earned in K-12 public schools, Wellesley College, MIT and USM. Over 40 years I have taught science at the high school and university level. Working with students has been fun, challenging and rewarding. I am deeply committed to public education.
Teaching gave me the opportunity to participate in the development of a variety of learning standards, assessment systems, professional development programs and professional evaluation systems. I pursued a doctorate in Public Policy with a concentration in Educational Policy and Leadership at the Muskie School and learned much about the growth and management of educational institutions throughout the world and in Maine. After retiring from the classroom, I collaborated with the Maine Department of Education and other educational leaders to help write the strategic plan, Teach Maine, which outlines strategies to incentivise recruitment and retention of teachers, to expand the diversity of the workforce, to develop and support educational leadership, and to elevate the teaching professional. I come to the Portland Public Schools Board with the desire to share my expertise so all students can achieve academic excellence and teachers can engage students in a supportive, healthful and safe environment.
Lyseth Elementary School • Lyman Moore Middle School • Gerald E. Talbot Community School • Deering High School • Lincoln Middle School • Longfellow Elementary School • Casco Bay High School, • PATHS
Sarah loves the city of Portland and wants to contribute to its success. She feels strongly that supporting excellent public schools is an important way for her to do that. She is a product of the Portland Public Schools herself (Riverton/Lincoln/Deering), and she is grateful for the strong educational foundation she got before attending the University of New Hampshire.
After college, she worked for two Portland nonprofit organizations, where she was glad to be able to do work that benefited the community. She went to the University of Maine School of Law and was an estate planning attorney for a short time. While she no longer practices law, she continues to use many of the same skills and ways of thinking: carefully examining complex topics, finding creative solutions to problems, and communicating clearly to achieve shared understanding. These skills serve her well in her professional life -- she does compliance work, focusing on federal and state job protection laws -- and she believes they will be useful on the school board too.
Sarah served on the board of her children's preschool, then on the board of the Foundation for Portland Public Schools. She lives in the Riverton neighborhood and spends many mornings walking to the Gerald. E. Talbot Community School and reminding her two children how far up ahead they can go on their bikes.