News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, August 8, 2013
Vacant Brooklin School Board seat draws two candidates
Forum for candidates to be held August 14

by Jessica Brophy

Two candidates are running for a three-year seat on the Brooklin school board. The election will be held on Friday, August 23. Polls will be open from 2 to 8 p.m.

A “Meet the Candidates” night will be held Wednesday, August 14, at 7 p.m. in the Brooklin School. Residents will have a chance to ask questions. For more information, call 266-5822 or email

Christi Gross

Gross said she was asked to run for school board, and while her children have graduated from school her eldest grandchild is “just starting pre-K.”

Gross grew up in Sedgwick and moved to Brooklin in 1987 after getting married. “I had three children go through the Brooklin school system, and I was very involved,” she said.

Gross said her top priority as a potential school board member is to keep the school from consolidating or closing altogether. “I want to see our school prosper,” said Gross.

A “people person,” Gross said her daughter was the first kindergarten student to walk into the new Brooklin school in 1995. She herself remembers long bus rides to Brooklin from Sedgwick as a student, when the schools were together.

A major challenge for the school is keeping it going, particularly by attracting younger families with children to the area.

“We have a great school, with good teachers and a great special ed. department,” said Gross.

Emily Blair Stribling

Stribling was asked to run by a few people in town, she said. A former schoolteacher in upstate New York, Stribling hopes to serve as a liaison between the school and the public.

“The school board is there to serve the public’s interest, but it’s always good to share a teacher’s point of view,” said Stribling.

She said she’s had experience with new and innovative programs. “I would want to know what the public thinks, but I’m not afraid of thinking of new ways to do things,” she continued.

Stribling, who is an author and has lived in Brooklin for five years, said she thinks the school system is in good shape. One of the most important things is to help students understand the world around them and the world beyond Brooklin.

“We live in a global society, and the more we can educate students about the world, the better off they’ll be,” said Stribling.

In terms of challenges, Stribling said she’s excited to work with a small school to “make it into even a better school.”

Christi Gross

Christi Gross.

Photo courtesy of Christi Gross
Emily Blair Stribling

Emily Blair Stribling

Photo courtesy of Emily Blair Stribling