McElwee looks to represent Caribou in House of Representatives

12 years ago
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Carol McElwee

By Barbara Scott
Staff Writer

Carol McElwee, 67, of Caribou is seeking election to a legislative seat in District 4. McElwee stated she has always been interested in politics, but more as a behind-the-scene person, working to help get candidates elected. Now she is ready to become one of those individuals who makes the changes and helps constituents find the answers to their complex problems.

“I certainly do not know all the answers, but I am willing to work hard to find them,” she stated.

For the past 25 years McElwee’s political involvements have included being active in the Aroostook   County and Caribou Republican delegations serving as Caribou city chair on numerous occasions as well as vice president and secretary at the city level.

McElwee has served as city chairs for campaigns including Richard Kneeland for state senator, Peter Mills for governor, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe both for U.S. Senate. “This political experience has been quite valuable, especially as now I am running for the legislature myself,” said McElwee.

Some of McElwee’s political and community concerns include those issues dealing with a more accountable government; less spending; less government debt; less taxes; stronger schools; greater support of our seniors; more jobs and promoting more youth involvement in community issues.

“Caribou needs to support a strong business community,” said McElwee, “and encourage more job creation; we need positive growth for our community. This is where we want to work and live. Yes, there are challenges to overcome, but with this goal set before us, and by working together, we can secure a prosperous future,” she added.

“I am a ‘fix it’ type of person, someone who wants to make a situation better,” stated McElwee. “I am also a hard-working individual, who enjoys helping others; therefore, I believe this job is a good fit for me. From the young people to the seniors in our community, I will do my very best to be of service to everyone.”

An educator for 35 years, many as an English teacher at Caribou High School, McElwee retired in 2005. She would be the first to admit she really has never stopped teaching. “I just get to pick and choose what I want to do now,” she said. “I especially have enjoyed working for the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Husson College, Northern Maine Community College, and the regional Gifted and Talented, the Upward Bound and the Caribou Adult Education programs.” The candidate was also involved with the 2000 Teacher of the Year program.

As president of the Aroostook Retired Educators Association, McElwee has had the opportunity to polish her leadership skills. Presiding over one of the largest retired educators groups in the state with a membership of 425, she was responsible in setting the agenda and planning the monthly summer business meeting for an audience of 65 to 70 individuals.

“It was a challenging and very fulfilling term of office,” said McElwee, “and I also had an opportunity to attend several appropriation meetings in Augusta as a representative of the Maine Educators Association-Retired. I found these meetings to be enlightening and that started my interest in running for a legislative office.”

Service plays a major role in the candidate’s life and on April 2012, she was presented Caribou’s Citizen of the Year Award. McElwee has compiled many volunteer hours through her work with service organizations that include Kiwanis (past president); Beta Sigma Phi (past president); and C.A.N.C.E.R group (Bread of Life). She was also served on the board of directors for the Caribou Public Library, Nylander Museum and the Caribou Children’s Discovery Museum. She worked in a variety of leadership roles for the biathlon events held here in The County and is a member of the Northern Skiers and Nordic Heritage.

McElwee said she isn’t all work as she enjoys participating in sports such as golfing, kayaking, canoeing, skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and has successfully completed six marathons. “Running has helped me to develop a strong constitution — I have learned to push myself and not to give up easily,” she said.