Find True Relief from Your Chronic Illness at Med Matrix in Falmouth, ME

Med Matrix - Your Partner in Vitality

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Functional Medicine in Falmouth, ME

Have you ever been to a primary care doctor and wondered why they focus on treating symptoms instead of addressing the root cause of your illness? Rather than take a patient-centered approach to address questions like, "Why are you ill?" they prescribe medications that alleviate symptoms but don't do much to solve the underlying issue that's causing you to be sick.

When you have a cough, you're handed a cough suppressant. When you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you're prescribed a pill that masks the issue. The truth is that this approach only masks symptoms and can even make them exponentially worse. Medication never treats the root cause; your body's dysfunction isn't due to a deficiency of the medication you're taking.

That begs the question: Wouldn't you prefer to deal with the underlying cause of the problem making you feel bad? At Med Matrix, we take a functional approach to medicine instead of simply treating the symptoms our patients have.

We ask questions like:

  • Why is your body making more cholesterol?
  • Why are you obese?
  • Why is your blood pressure higher than ever before?
Functional Medicine Practice Falmouth, ME

Med Matrix: Taking a Functional Approach to Healthcare

At Med Matrix, we delve deep to uncover the fundamental reasons behind your persistent health issues, offering you a path to lasting relief. Our team consists of knowledgeable doctors and skilled functional medicine experts who create caring environments focused on patient needs. We prioritize a holistic healing approach that looks beyond symptom management and aims to uncover and solve the core causes of your conditions for sustained wellness.

Are you:

  • Fed up with prescription after prescription and the side effects that come with them?
  • Seeking clear answers to complex health issues?
  • Craving a proactive role in improving your health?
  • Looking for a supportive, compassionate healthcare team in Falmouth?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above or cannot get relief through conventional methods, functional medicine in Falmouth, ME, is for you.

What is Functional Medicine from Med Matrix?

The functional medicine model of care offers a patient-centered approach to managing chronic diseases. It aims to answer the question, "Why are you ill?" so that you can receive personalized and effective care tailored to your needs.

Functional medicine providers in Falmouth, like Med Matrix, take the time to listen to you and gather your medical history. This information helps us identify the root cause(s) of the illness, including triggers such as:

  • Poor Nutrition
  • Stress
  • Allergens
  • Toxins
  • Genetics
  • Microbiome (the bacteria living in and on your body)

Once we identify the triggers, we can create a customized plan that helps you lead a healthy life. Your plan will address various aspects of your life, including physical needs such as nutrition, exercise, and sleep, as well as mental and emotional stressors related to social, work, and community life.

 Functional Medicine Meal Plan Falmouth, ME

The Med Matrix Difference

 Functional Medicine Testing Falmouth, ME

At our functional health center, we provide a full spectrum of services and cutting-edge technologies to support your path to optimal health. Our team is skilled in a variety of practices including functional medicine, health coaching, hormone therapy, ozone therapy, and nutrition. Unlike some clinics that prioritize profits, we use diagnostic tools such as genetic testing and comprehensive laboratory evaluations to obtain a deeper understanding of your health conditions. In short, we take the time to get to know you, your body, your needs, and your goals. That way, we can provide the most effective, longest lasting care possible.

We also introduce innovative treatments and therapies like regenerative medicine, IV nutrient therapy, detoxification programs, PEMF mat, peptides, exosomes, and more. By integrating the most effective elements of conventional and functional medicine, we offer a comprehensive approach to health care that is tailored to you - not someone with a similar body type, age, and chronic illnesses.

Our Philosophy

Med Matrix was founded on the notion that patients deserve personalized, comprehensive care and unwavering commitment. Our philosophy also includes:

Above Beyond
Going Above & Beyond

Conventional medicine primarily aims to label diseases and prescribe medications for specific symptoms. At Med Matrix, we believe in a more holistic approach. Functional medicine - our chosen path - perceives the body as a harmonious. We view it as an interconnected system rather than a mere collection of isolated organs. In essence, we treat your entire system by delving into the root causes of your symptoms rather than trying to alleviate them on their own.

Working Together
Working Together

At Med Matrix, we consider patients to be more than visitors. We believe they're valued partners on the path to optimal health. Our cohesive team of seasoned physicians, devoted nurses, and expert nutritionists has an unwavering commitment to steering every patient towards health and happiness - a state we affectionately term "Health Actualization." Our functional medicine clinic is your comprehensive destination for wellbeing, and healing that propels you toward a life full of energy and vitality.

Advanced Testing
Advanced Testing

We seamlessly blend time-honored Western medical practices with cutting-edge functional medicine diagnostics conducted within our state-of-the-art, in-house laboratory. We understand that every patient has unique health needs and goals. Our diagnostic testing helps uncover the underlying issues you're dealing with so they can be addressed effectively. We do so through individualized treatment plans and custom treatments, not generalized care. Whether your path to wellness includes supplements, botanical medicines, prescription medications, therapeutic diets, detox regimens, or stress-reduction strategies, we're dedicated to your health.

Patients First
Patients First

Our core philosophy revolves around patient-centered care. Our practitioners take the time to listen, truly understand your unique story, and make you an integral part of the discovery process. We firmly believe that there's no one-size-fits-all solution in healthcare. That's why we're dedicated to delivering the highest quality functional medicine in Falmouth, ME. Our approach to Health Actualization isn't solely about the absence of disease; it's about fostering vitality and overall wellbeing. Together, let's collaborate to achieve your path to Health Actualization.

Functional Medicine Memberships from Med Matrix

Our functional medical memberships are designed to optimize your health and prevent diseases from interrupting your wellbeing. These 12-month memberships feature the following core components and timeline:

Advanced Testing.png

Advanced Testing

Our advanced diagnostic testing takes into account more than 100 biomarkers, which helps us identify and ultimately address the underlying problems causing you to be sick.

Functional Medicine

Functional MedicineReview

We'll set up a one-hour meeting where you'll meet with an IFM-certified provider. During this meeting, your provider will get a better sense of who you are and the goals you have for your body and overall wellness.

Healthcare Plan

Personalized Healthcare Plan

Your healthcare plan is customized to your body and your goals and can include guidance on lifestyle optimization, diet optimization, supplement optimization, and hormone optimization.

Quarterly Testing

Quarterly Testing and Review

Once a quarter, you'll meet with a health coach from Med Matrix who will check on you and where you're at with your health goals.

Other benefits of signing up for a functional medicine membership include IV vitamin credits, access to a professional health coach, and discounted pricing on stem cell therapy.

Top 6 Reasons to Consider Functional Medicine in Falmouth, ME

One of the most popular questions we get from new patients at Med Matrix is why they should even consider functional medical services over those at conventional medical centers. We get it - if you've only known the traditional side of medicine, exploring treatment from a functional medical doctor might seem unnecessary or uncomfortable. Before you retreat back into your comfort zone, take these points into consideration.

 Functional Medicine Consults Falmouth, ME

Comprehensive Treatment Options

Unlike conventional doctors, who must work in a narrow scope of treatment, functional medicine opens the doorway to a wealth of therapies and treatments. For instance, at Med Matrix, when a patient presents with symptoms of depression, we don't simply consider which prescription medication to prescribe.

We thoroughly assess omega-3 levels, vitamin D levels, hormones, thyroid imbalances, gut issues, and inflammatory markers. Our goal is to identify the root cause of your depression. We seek to understand WHY your depression is happening. Some common functional medicine treatment options can include the following:

  • Health Coaching
  • Lifestyle Changes
  • Diet Optimization
  • Holistic Treatments and Therapies
  • Hormone Balancing
  • IV Vitamin Therapy
  • Med Spa Services
  • Peptide Therapy
Healthcare-and-Wellness

Healthcare and Wellness Services Catered to You

Functional medicine recognizes that each person is unique, so their treatment should be personalized. We all have different genetics, upbringings, diets, stress levels, and backgrounds. As functional medicine providers, we aim to understand each patient's life story from birth and create a plan that is tailored to them. Common sense says that conversation could take some time, and you'd be correct. An initial consultation with a functional medicine provider from Med Matrix can last an hour or more. But that allows us to provide you with focused, one-on-one attention.

This approach is in stark contrast to an appointment with a primary care physician, which only lasts a few minutes and can make you feel like you're just a number. It's challenging to have a meaningful conversation and provide a comprehensive solution in such a short time. Doctors who practice functional medicine in Falmouth, ME, often see fewer patients per day, and for good reason - they're able to devote more time and energy to you, not processing transactions.

Education-that-Empowers

Education that Empowers

The primary objective of functional medicine is to equip and empower the patient to take charge of their health and enhance their quality of life. Since you can't visit a Med Matrix doctor every day, it's important that we continue your healing process using guidance provided by your functional medicine provider.

This guidance will cover important topics relating to your individual health, and may include protocols for optimizing your diet, lifestyle, exercise, stress, and supplements intake. We couple that guidance with advanced lab testing, condition diagnosis, and medication management. We understand that can be a lot to process in one or two meetings. As such, we may recommend health coaching and other services to help.

System-Based-Treatment-Protocols

System-Based Treatment Protocols

Functional medicine believes in treating the person, not just the disease or the symptoms. Most conventional medicine models prioritize prescription medications that match up to specific symptoms. In the world of functional medicine, that's a short-sided approach. Instead, providers at Med Matrix take a systems-based approach to care.

For instance, if you're concerned about enduring too much stress, we want to know that's due to inflammation, malfunctioning adrenals, G.I. problems, or something else entirely. To find out, we check the functionality of your kidneys, heart, gut, liver, thyroid, hormones, and even your vitamin D levels. The more we know, the better understanding we have of the systems we need to address.

functional-medicine-appointment

Uncover the Root Cause

Many people struggle to find answers to their medical conditions because they are passed around from doctor to specialist and back again. This happens frequently. Numerous patients have told us that they were informed, "it's all in your head" and "your labs look normal," despite experiencing severe symptoms indicating that something was wrong.

When you come to Med Matrix for a functional medicine appointment, it's almost like you're hiring a medical detective to uncover the root cause of your symptoms. Our doctors thrive on difficult cases and won't stop investigating until a solution is uncovered.

Preventative-medicine

Cost-Effective Treatment, Long-Lasting Results

Functional medicine goes by many names, such as integrative, holistic, personalized, and preventative. Preventative medicine is the most cost-effective form of healthcare. By preventing or slowing down diseases, you can save future healthcare costs that would have been incurred if a preventative approach wasn't taken.

For instance, let's consider Type II Diabetes. Patients who visit a functional medicine provider are proactive and start addressing blood sugar concerns well before conventional medicine does. Functional medicine providers monitor blood sugar levels even before they reach conventional pre-diabetes levels. When patients are informed and educated about diet and lifestyle before the onset of a disease, much better results are achieved in disease prevention. Once someone has a diagnosis or disease, it becomes more challenging and expensive to correct.

Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Maintaining Your Health

One of the major hallmarks of functional medicine in Falmouth, ME, is to stay healthy year-round by eating a healthy diet and exercising. While diet and exercise are crucial for wellness, many Americans don't get the necessary amounts of vitamins and nutrients in their diets. Whether you're working with a health coach or you're simply looking for diet tips, keep these important supplements in mind as you work towards a healthy life.

 Functional Medicine Treatment Center Falmouth, ME

Two words that send shivers down the spines of every man are "erectile dysfunction." Unfortunately, when your T levels are lower than they should be, this is one of the most common symptoms that men must endure. Being unable to get it up isn't just embarrassing - it can be downright depressing and lead to issues with mental health. It's a hard topic to discuss, but a personalized TRT plan from Med Matrix can help.

Natural sources of vitamin D include:

  • Sunlight
  • Fatty Fishes
  • Dairy Products
Functional Medicine Practice Falmouth, ME

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a crucial nutrient for supporting the immune system and overall health. In addition to its well-known role in preventing scurvy, vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis, wound healing, and combating infections. It also acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting cells from damage caused by free radicals. Including vitamin C-rich foods in your diet or taking supplements can help ensure that your body has an adequate supply of this vital nutrient.

Natural sources of vitamin C include:

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Cruciferous Veggies
 Functional Medicine Meal Plan Falmouth, ME

Anemia is a condition that affects millions of Americans, resulting from various factors including iron deficiency, which is one of the most common national deficiencies. Iron is crucial for maintaining healthy blood. It plays a key role in supporting the production of hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.

Natural sources of iron include:

  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • Meat
 Functional Medicine Testing Falmouth, ME

Functional Medicine in Falmouth, ME: A Root-Cause Focus from Med Matrix

As a catalyst in the evolution of healthcare, functional medicine adopts a holistic approach to promoting health and wellbeing. It delves into the underlying causes of diseases and aims to restore optimal bodily function through a personalized and patient-centric approach. This approach complements conventional medicine and serves as a crucial partner in the overall healthcare landscape.

If you're sick and tired of relying on traditional models that push pills and prescriptions down your throat, it's time to make a change. At Med Matrix, we look beyond symptom management. We're focused on being proactive, not reactive. Our doctors of functional medicine are trained and fully equipped to help you reimagine what it's like to live a happy, healthy life.

If you're ready to take the first step toward true wellbeing, we're here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about our comprehensive functional medicine program.

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Latest News in Falmouth, ME

Falmouth High football coach resigns in wake of players’ petition

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For 38 years, John Fitzsimmons enjoyed coaching football and, despite being 74, was not ready to stop. But when three-quarters of his returning players at Falmouth High signed a petition supporting his ouster, Fitzsimmons said he knew it was time to leave.

“I love coaching football and I really enjoyed being around the players, but what has changed? The big difference was the player petition,” Fitzsimmons said. “That was what’s different. I honestly thought even though we’d lose some (players) we’d be in really good shape to play and once I saw (the petition), it wasn’t fair for them or for me to stay.”

Fitzsimmons, the Falmouth varsity coach since 2007, submitted his letter of resignation Thursday to Falmouth Schools Superintendent Gretchen McNulty. Since early last season, the veteran coach had been under fire from parents who wanted him to resign.

The player petition presented Tuesday asked the school board to remove Fitzsimmons, citing concerns about player safety and charging that the coach “struggled to prepare us for games.” It was signed by 22 of the 30 players on the 2023 team, including 21 of the 28 who would have been eligible to play in the 2024 season.

Fitzsimmons said he had resisted stepping down earlier because he did not want to buckle to what he viewed as the opinion of a few disgruntled parents.

“Once I saw it was the majority of the players, I feel like I have to respect their wishes,” Fitzsimmons said.

Fitzsimmons said he had met with school administrators on Wednesday and told them then he would need to step aside. His letter of resignation made it official.

McNulty issued a statement thanking “Coach Fitzsimmons for his many years of dedicated service to the football program and his contributions to our community.”

Fitzsimmons has been referred to as “the father of Falmouth football.” Prior to taking over as the varsity coach, Fitzsimmons was Falmouth’s youth football coordinator, then the middle school coach, and the varsity offensive coordinator in 2006. In 16 seasons under Fitzsimmons (excluding the 2020 COVID year when teams played flag football), Falmouth had 11 winning records, 12 playoff appearances, and appeared in three regional finals, losing to Marshwood in the Class B South final in 2015 and 2017 and to Skowhegan in the B North final in 2022 after upsetting No. 1 Cony in the regional semifinal. Each of those years the team that beat Falmouth went on to win the state title.

SAFETY ‘MY HIGHEST PRIORITY’

Last fall, Falmouth went 2-6 after several key players from the 2022 team chose not to return to football. Falmouth had two seniors and four juniors on its 2023 roster and had to forfeit its game against Portland because it had only 19 healthy players that week.

Fitzsimmons’ critics pointed to the forfeit as an example of the coach’s lack of concern for player safety. “Overall, we have lost confidence in Coach Fitzsimmons and know that if we continue to lose more players,” the petition stated, “the few remaining players who stay will be at higher risk of injury.”

Fitzsimmons vehemently rejected those charges.

“Player safety from my first day of coaching to my last day of coaching was always my highest priority,” he said. “The way we structured our practices, we had very limited live contact. I have a long history of being extremely conservative with player safety.”

Parents and players also questioned Fitzsimmons’ game management and portrayed Falmouth’s playbook as outmoded.

“I hated when people were talking about outmoded plays, or antiquated was another phrase I saw,” Fitzsimmons said, noting opposing coaches “would never say that about Falmouth being outdated. We are not outdated.”

While Fitzsimmons’ detractors pushed to have him removed, many former players and parents of former players were coming to his defense.

In a Jan. 6 letter to the Falmouth school board, a group of parents whose sons had formerly played for Fitzsimmons and graduated between 2011 and 2021 emphasized Fitzsimmons’ history of community service.

“It is hard to imagine a better profile and role model for young men playing high school football in the state of Maine,” the letter said.

A group of 44 former players also sent a letter supporting Fitzsimmons to the Falmouth school board. The letter was co-written by Noah Nelson (Class of 2015) and Drew Chamberlain (Class of 2016), both of whom went on to play football at Bowdoin College.

“There were a number of players both before me and after me who had great fond memories of Coach Fitzsimmons and we wanted to let (the school board) know he always put us in the best position to be successful both on the field and off,” Nelson said.

Chamberlain, a co-captain on the 2015 regional finalist team, said the players’ letter was written to counter “disparaging comments” about Fitzsimmons.

“Seeing comments about Coach Fitz putting kids in unsafe positions, or that he didn’t have the best interests of players in mind and that he wasn’t looking to develop kids into young men was really just preposterous to us,” Chamberlain said. “It was such a dichotomy from what we experienced and what was being portrayed.”

HISTORY OF PUBLIC AND MILITARY SERVICE

From 1990 to 2015 Fitzsimmons served as the president of the Maine Community College System. Before that he was the state commissioner of labor under former Gov. John McKernan.

Fitzsimmons resigned as the president of the community college system under pressure from then Gov. Paul LePage. At the time, Fitzsimmons said he was resigning in the best interest of the community college system because LePage had flat-funded it and threatened further funding cuts if Fitzsimmons stayed.

Shortly after he resigned, the Maine Legislature passed a joint resolution honoring Fitzsimmons, a former Marine sergeant who served a tour of duty in the Vietnam War, for his “commitment to the Maine Community College System and for his long and exemplary public service to the State and Nation.”

The presentation of the players’ petition to the school board came after months of requests by parents to administrators asking for Fitzsimmons to be removed. After being rebuffed by Falmouth Athletic Director James Coffey, who this year was also an assistant football coach, and then McNulty, the superintendent, the parent group detailed its concerns to the school board in an executive session on Jan. 8. The school board also supported Fitzsimmons, stating in a Jan. 12 response that they considered the matter closed.

That led to the player petition.

“It’s one thing having a disgruntled group of parents coming at you. It’s another when you realize it’s the players,” Fitzsimmons said.

Before the school’s announcement of his resignation, Fitzsimmons sent a short letter to his players Thursday afternoon, which said in part:

“Every season I stand in front of the players and talk about the importance of team over self. Now it’s time to practice what I preach. Since the majority of players prefer to go in a different direction with coaching leadership, I will step aside.”

Still No Clue What's Being Built on Route One in Falmouth, Maine

It's fun imagining what could be coming.It's funny how the rumors start flying when a bulldozer shows up and something new starts getting built on busy Route One in Falmouth, Maine. I live in Falmouth, so I'm right in the middle of the rumor mill. I've been watching as the construction continues, and I still can't figure out what it could be!It's been a couple of months since that photo was taken and they've made great progress.This is the old Arta Custom Framing on Route One in Falmouth. There hasn't been any activity i...

It's fun imagining what could be coming.

It's funny how the rumors start flying when a bulldozer shows up and something new starts getting built on busy Route One in Falmouth, Maine. I live in Falmouth, so I'm right in the middle of the rumor mill. I've been watching as the construction continues, and I still can't figure out what it could be!

It's been a couple of months since that photo was taken and they've made great progress.

This is the old Arta Custom Framing on Route One in Falmouth. There hasn't been any activity in the area in a while. It's just been dormant. But then, signs of life that something was happening. This photo was in July.

And this photo was from mid-September.

The first rumor when anything happens is Chipotle is coming. I'm pretty sure that's every teenager in the area wishing very hard. That was the rumor, along with Five Guys when it turned out to be a Verizon on Route One in Falmouth.

Nothing against Verizon at all. Hell, I have Verizon and this is a very convenient location - but when you've got your mind set on a burrito or a double patty greasy burger, high-speed Wi-Fi just isn't as satisfying.

So what will replace the old Arta? This place I think was a bank at one point because the old Arta boasted to have a climate-controlled bank safe to keep portraits dry.

If anyone has the scoop on what's coming, curiosity is killing this cat! A lot is happening on Route One in Falmouth these days. There's a new place Fuego that looks like it's replacing the closed Bueno Loco Mexican Restaurant. But it's stuck. I don't know why the delay (there could be a million reasons) but the sign is up and that's it.

So, whatever is coming to Route One in Falmouth - I hope to give you some business to keep you around.

100 best albums of the 21st century, according to critics

Stacker set out to find the best albums of the 21st century, compiling data from Metacritic (as of October 2022). We ranked albums according to their Metascore, which represents an aggregation of critic reviews.

Internationally renowned musician James Kennerley named music minister at St. Mary’s Falmouth, ME

Nathan Ferrell, Rector of the Episcopal Church of Saint Mary in Falmouth, Maine, has announced that James Kennerley will serve as the church’s Music Minister beginning in September. Mr. Kennerley is known worldwide as an inspiring and multifaceted musician, working as a keyboardist, singer, conductor, and composer.Working with choirs over the past 17 years in the US, he has garnered praise for his exciting concerts and sensitive liturgical music. As an organist, his artistry is known for thrilling virtuosity, subtlety and finess...

Nathan Ferrell, Rector of the Episcopal Church of Saint Mary in Falmouth, Maine, has announced that James Kennerley will serve as the church’s Music Minister beginning in September. Mr. Kennerley is known worldwide as an inspiring and multifaceted musician, working as a keyboardist, singer, conductor, and composer.

Working with choirs over the past 17 years in the US, he has garnered praise for his exciting concerts and sensitive liturgical music. As an organist, his artistry is known for thrilling virtuosity, subtlety and finesse.

“It is fantastic to be able to work with James,” stated Father Ferrell. “Music has been a vital component of the Anglican tradition since the first day that St. Augustine of Canterbury brought the Gospel to England in 597 AD. With James’ vast talents and creative skill, we will continue to demonstrate the power of the liturgical Christian tradition to change hearts and lives.”

“I’m thrilled the join the inspiring and vibrant community in Falmouth, which will serve as the perfect partnership to my work as Municipal Organist of Portland”, James Kennerley said. “I have loved Maine since my first visit in 2015 and have always admired Saint Mary’s excellent reputation for liturgy and music.”

Appointed as Municipal Organist of Portland in 2017, Mr. Kennerley has been a strong presence in Cumberland County, performing concerts throughout the year at Merrill Auditorium on the historic Kotzschmar Organ.

Based in Boston since 2019, he is looking forward to spending more time with his family in Maine. Mr. Kennerley, a native of the United Kingdom, holds degrees from Cambridge University and The Juilliard School. Working with choirs has been the singular purpose of his career since beginning as a boy chorister at Chelmsford Cathedral, UK, continuing as Organ Scholar at Jesus College, Cambridge then Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London, and serving as Music Director at three influential Episcopal churches in the New York and Connecticut, and most recently at St. Paul’s Choir School and Parish, Harvard Square. His work as a conductor ranges from directing Early Music and performing from the harpsichord, to symphonic repertoire and contemporary music. As a prizewinning organist and composer, Mr. Kennerley is particularly well suited to the incredible music tradition of the Anglican church world.

For more information on Mr. Kennerley’s extensive background, please go to: https://www.jameskennerley.com/

The Episcopal Church of Saint Mary, located at 43 Foreside Road in Falmouth, Maine, and part of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, seeks to serve Christ in all people with love and compassion. The website is: https://www.smary.org/

Janet Bowne, jmitchellbowne@gmail.com

Falmouth candidates on ballot for school board focus on communication

Editor’s Note: This article is being published this week, in spite of The Forecaster’s traditional policy of not running election stories during the week prior to the election, for fairness. Write-in-candidates Analiese Larson and Emily H. Martin were quoted in a June 3 article announcing their candidacy, but the three candidates on the ballot, previously unopposed, were not given equal time to comment about their own views. The Forecaster does not cover unopposed races.Falmouth residents will elect three school b...

Editor’s Note: This article is being published this week, in spite of The Forecaster’s traditional policy of not running election stories during the week prior to the election, for fairness. Write-in-candidates Analiese Larson and Emily H. Martin were quoted in a June 3 article announcing their candidacy, but the three candidates on the ballot, previously unopposed, were not given equal time to comment about their own views. The Forecaster does not cover unopposed races.

Falmouth residents will elect three school board members next week from among three candidates on the ballot and two others who launched a write-in campaign late last month for three seats on the Falmouth School Board.

The candidates are incumbents Jennifer Libby and Matthew Pines, newcomer Alicia Johnson and write-in candidates Analiese Larson and Emily H. Martin. Johnson, Libby and Pines in interviews Tuesday with The Forecaster, discussed the importance of improved communication between the board and its constituents, especially in the wake of the pandemic and recent contentious teacher contract negotiations.

Alicia Johnson

Johnson said one of her biggest priorities is rebuilding trust and communication between parents, teachers and board members following the contract negotiations.

Johnson, who moved to Falmouth with her husband and two children from Oakland, California, last year, has experience working with public schools. In Oakland, she co-founded a group that worked to prioritize funding for public schools over charter schools and she was an advocate for teachers when they went on strike.

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“I ran a strike school so that parents could bring their students to my house and they didn’t have to miss work in order to not cross the picket line in support of the teachers,” Johnson told The Forecaster.

She said she has the ability to work through difficult school board situations without fostering parent and teacher anxiety.

Johnson also believes she will bring a diverse point of view to the school board if elected.

“We are fairly new to the community, so it’s a little bit of an outsider’s perspective,” she said. “I have a diverse family, and I think that’s important.”

Another issue that Johnson feels passionate about, she said, is transparency between teachers and parents. If elected, she hopes to work on how the schools can manage the need for information, transparency and honesty within the school system.

“Falmouth has excellent schools,” Johnson said. “Parents just want to be sure that their children are receiving the best education.”

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Jen Libby

Libby, a lifelong Falmouth resident, middle school teacher in Scarborough and the mother of three, said her decision to run for another term on the school board is anchored in pride for the Falmouth community.

She wants to focus on communication between teachers, parents, the board and the community. Coming out of the pandemic, Libby said, communication needs to be rebuilt and the board needs to elevate teacher, student and family voices.

“We need to get back to looking each other in the eye, having conversations, and actively listening to each other,” she said. “That is going to come through relationship building, trust and authentic communication.”

As an experienced school board member and educator, Libby emphasized that she is well skilled at meeting challenges head on, and is not afraid of having robust or difficult conversations with other people.

“People want to say how they’re feeling, and they don’t feel that there is a mechanism for that,” Libby said. “We need to communicate in a way that encourages trust and compassion.”

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During her time on the Falmouth School Board, Libby said one of the most important lessons she has learned is listening.

“At the end of the meeting, I have developed a practice of finding who I think might be among the most frustrated, or fearful, or upset people or persons in the room, and I go straight to them,” Libby said. “I want to hear more about their position and how they’re feeling, and what they need.”

Matthew Pines

Pines told The Forecaster that one of the biggest issues facing the Falmouth School Board is trying to create a budget that works for everyone in times of rapidly escalating costs and inflation.

The Falmouth budget is one of the best in the state, Pines said, and the district has some of the best teachers in the state.

“Taxpayers are feeling a crunch in a time of inflation,” he said. “Trying to balance those things is really tough.”

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Post pandemic, it will be increasingly important to maintain an open line of communication between the school board, teachers, parents and community members, Pines said. COVID changed so much in schools for students, teachers and parents, and parents now have a different appreciation and insight to their kids’ education, he said.

While it is “difficult” to communicate the complexities of something like a school budget and a teacher contract, Pines said, having more involvement and engagement is imperative.

“I think the Falmouth School Board has done a good job at having more workshops and community forums,” Pines said. “Those things are helpful, but you need to keep having them over and over again and get the whole community involved.”

Pines and his wife and son have lived in Falmouth for 10 years. He also owns and runs the Maine Teen Camp, a summer camp for teenagers.

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