Oakland Teacher Named 2011 Teacher of the Year

Shelly Moody is chosen from among 13 nominees

Downloadable photos from this event

OAKLAND – Education Commissioner Angela Faherty named Shelly Moody, a third and fourth-grade looping teacher at Williams Elementary School in Oakland, the 2011 Maine Teacher of the Year in front of students, colleagues, family, and other distinguished guests Friday. In keeping with Maine tradition, Moody was not informed ahead of time that the “all-school assembly” was called to honor her.

“Shelly Moody is a quiet leader who, without knowing it, makes those around her better,” Faherty said. “Her enthusiasm, her commitment to children, and her professionalism are contagious.”

“Shelly Moody represents what is wonderful and right about public school education and is truly the epitome of what every teacher should be,” said Kathy Harris-Smedberg, principal of Williams Elementary School.

During her 10 years as an educator, Moody has taught grades three, four and five in RSU 18, formerly MSAD 47. Moody individualizes instruction for all students in her classroom because “my students and their families know that each child’s education is important and that everyone has their own roadmap for success,” she wrote in the “philosophy of teaching statement” she submitted as part of the nomination process.

One of her former students called her “the most energetic, exuberant, fast, encouraging and inspiring teacher that I have had yet!”

Moody is a resident of Oakland. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Maine at Farmington and her master’s in literacy from the University of Maine.

The annual selection process began with 13 nominees from elementary, middle and high schools across the state. Nomination packets were scored by a group of educators, administrators, business partners, and former Teachers of the Year to determine the semi-finalists. A school-wide nominating committee that included parents prepared the application packet to nominate Moody for the 2011 Teacher of the Year. The semi-finalists then underwent review by a team of educators who spent a day at each of their schools last spring. During the summer, the semi-finalists compiled professional portfolios and gave a scored teaching demonstration to graduate students at the University of Maine. Those with the highest scores were named state finalists and interviewed by former Teachers of the Year to make the final determination.

In addition to Moody, the 2011 state finalists were William “Bill” Buzza, a music and band teacher at Leavitt Area High School in Turner and Kate Gardoqui, who teachers English at Noble High School in North Berwick.

Friday’s ceremony was attended by several former Maine Teachers of the Year. Also in attendance were: Tap Fitzgerald, of Hannaford Supermarkets, which gives financial support to the Teacher of the Year program; Chair Laura Tracy and other members of the RSU 18 School Board; school officials; former students; Marilyn Temple Tardy of the State Board of Education; Maine Department of Education staff; and members of Moody’s family.

Moody will go on to compete in the selection process for the 2011 National Teacher of the Year which will be announced in April 2011 at the White House.

“I encourage all communities in Maine to acknowledge their teachers through continuous affirmations and support,” Faherty said. “This special recognition as Maine’s Teacher of the Year comes through the nomination process, which is open to parents, principals and other teachers.”

The nomination process for the next Teacher of the Year begins this November. Those interested in nominating a teacher should contact their school principal, or visit the Maine Department of Education Teacher of the Year website .

The Teacher of the Year program is coordinated by the Maine Department of Education, supported by the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association and the Maine State Board of Education, and is funded by Hannaford Supermarkets.

For more information, visit the Maine Department of Education website