Category Archives: Somerset County

Celebrating Maine’s 2015 Teacher of the Year

Last week I had the honor of announcing Jennifer Dorman as the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Mrs. Dorman, who dreamed of being a teacher since her very first day of Kindergarten, has been a special educator in Somerset County schools for two decades, most recently at Skowhegan Area Middle School (SAMS) where she is a seventh-and eighth-grade special education and reading intervention teacher.

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Longtime Skowhegan special educator Maine’s 2015 Teacher of the Year

In a surprise all-school assembly Thursday at Skowhegan Area Middle School, longtime MSAD 54 special educator Jennifer Dorman was named the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year. She is the second special education teacher ever honored with Maine’s top award for educator excellence. Pictured here: Skowhegan Area Middle School Principal Zachary Longyear, Maine Department of Education Commissioner Jim Rier, 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year Jennifer Dorman and MSAD 54 Superintendent Brent Colbry.

Longtime MSAD 54 special educator Jennifer Dorman is the 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year, the second special education teacher ever to receive this honor. Pictured here: Skowhegan Area Middle School Principal Zachary Longyear, Maine Department of Education Commissioner Jim Rier, 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year Jennifer Dorman and MSAD 54 Superintendent Brent Colbry.

In a surprise all-school assembly today, Maine Education Commissioner Jim Rier announced Skowhegan Area Middle School’s Jennifer Dorman was selected from nearly 400 nominees as Maine’s top teacher

SKOWHEGAN – A 20-year veteran special educator in Somerset County schools committed to supporting her students succeed despite their challenges has been selected as the 2015 Teacher of the Year.

In a surprise assembly at MSAD 54’s Skowhegan Area Middle School (SAMS) on Thursday, Education Commissioner Jim Rier announced Jennifer Dorman had been chosen from a field of 376 nominees as Maine’s top teacher. Continue reading

Social studies council hosts PD sessions in March

The Maine Council for the Social Studies (MCSS) is sponsoring two professional development sessions on the topic “Food for Thought: Regional Professional Development Gatherings for Teachers.” Continue reading

Commissioner applauds strong start of charter schools

Monitoring by the Maine Charter School Commission of the two charter schools that served students during the 2012-13 academic year show the state’s first charters are meeting their missions

AUGUSTA – The State’s Acting Education Commissioner is applauding the state’s first two public charters after their inaugural monitoring reports show the central Maine schools are engaging students and adapting quickly to meet emerging needs.

Cornville Regional Charter School in Cornville, which served approximately 60 grade K-6 students, and the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences (MeANS) in Hinckley, which served 52 students grades 9-12, opened in the fall of 2012 after Maine, under the leadership of Governor Paul R. LePage, became the 41st state to allow public charter schools. 

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Commissioner Bowen recognizes those who support at-risk youth

AUGUSTA – Maine education chief Stephen Bowen has presented his annual Commissioner’s Recognition Awards to those who have helped at-risk youth find success in school and beyond.

Commissioner Bowen was joined by Emanuel Pariser and Leslie Morrill, co-chairs of the State Advisory Committee on Truancy, Dropout and Alternative Education, in presenting the awards at a Blaine House ceremony last week. 

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Biddeford and MSAD 54 bring coaches to the classroom

Biddeford Middle School student Breneg Howard listens as math lab coach Heidi Miller shows students how to measure the rebound of a bouncy ball.

Biddeford Middle School student Breneg Howard listens as math lab coach Heidi Miller shows students how to measure the rebound of a bouncy ball.
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Last week I visited Biddeford Middle School as well as elementary schools in MSAD 54, where administrators and teachers are taking hands-on, customized learning to the next level with math labs, academic coaches and workshop-model classrooms.

These districts were the last stops on my Promising Practices Tour, which has taken me to all nine superintendent regions to see innovative practices schools are implementing that show promise and support the Maine DOE’s vision of an evolving education system.

While touring Biddeford Middle School, I was struck by the school’s highly effective use of a full-time math coach. Students attend Coach Heidi Miller’s math lab once a month with their core math teachers, receiving dual instruction as they solve experiential problems. Continue reading

Commissioner Bowen to complete Promising Practices Tour with visits to MSAD 54 elementary schools

SKOWHEGAN – Maine Department of Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen will complete his Promising Practices Tour with visits to elementary schools in Skowhegan and Canaan on Friday.

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Madison Elem. earns nutrition award

Madison Elementary School staff and students receive the HealthierUS School Challenge Bronze Award.

Madison Elementary School earns the HealthierUS School Challenge Bronze Award.

RSU 59 received a HealthierUS School Challenge Bronze Award at Madison Elementary School, with students and parents in attendance. HUSSC is a voluntary certification initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of nutrition and physical activity. Fewer than 4 percent of schools nationally have achieved the award.

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Portland and Jackman school districts receive USDA farm-to-school grant

The Portland Public School District and District 12 in Jackman both received U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School grants to improve student nutrition programs.

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Maine’s first two charter schools open doors

Olivia Broadrick, senior at the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences, chose to attend the public charter school because she plans to work in the sciences.

Olivia Broadrick, senior at the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences, chose to attend the public charter school because she plans to work in the sciences.

AUGUSTA – The Maine Academy of Natural Sciences (MeANS) and Cornville Regional Charter School opened as Maine’s first two public charter schools Monday, providing new choices for Maine students.

Charter schools are public schools of choice that have more flexibility than traditional public schools over decisions concerning curriculum and instruction, scheduling, staffing and finance. The opening of the charter schools directly aligns with the LePage administration’s ABC plan, which aims to improve achievement growth in Maine by prioritizing three core areas: accountability, best practices, and choice.

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