Commissioner’s Update – July 14, 2011

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I had the pleasure of meeting Blake Bourque in May during my visit to the Kennebec Valley as part of my statewide listening tour. A recent graduate of Messalonskee High School in Oakland, Blake devoted much of his high school career to the Messalonskee robotics team. He told me he learned best when the time came for his team to put its innovations to the test at regional competitions.

This week, Blake shares with us a video he produced for his senior English class that’s supposed to depict what he learned and what impacted him most during his time in high school. The result is a production that gets us thinking about how our schools need to change to prepare students for 21st-century careers.

Blake, who’s headed to the University of Maine’s college of engineering in the fall, wants to live and work in Maine when he’s older. Our education system is a crucial link in creating the economy that will allow that to happen. Let’s work toward an education system that trains a workforce that’s second to none.

— Stephen Bowen



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Video: A high school more like a robotics team

I’ve benefited from the chance to develop essential skills — like teamwork and clear communication — in a hands-on environment. We need more opportunities like that in our high schools. By Blake Bourque | More

Building project turns focus to instruction

The teachers and administrators at Mount Blue High School and Foster Technology Center in Farmington are using new construction as a way to improve instruction. | More

Writing skills apply for Warden aspirants

The Maine Warden Service has partnered with the Maine Department of Education to make sure new recruits to the law enforcement agency have an essential skill for the job: the ability to write. | More

Travis Roy: ‘Challenges define who we are’

Travis Roy, the Yarmouth native who skated onto the ice for the Boston University hockey team in 1995 and became paralyzed 11 seconds later, spoke at the 2011 Maine Schoolsite Health Promotion Conference. | More


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