Maine DOE staff changes and additions

While many take time to relax over the summer, some folks at Maine DOE have done little of that while embracing their new positions with the Department.

As some of you may know, Rachelle Tome has been the Department’s Chief Academic Officer since 2013 and is now Acting Deputy Commissioner. Rachelle has been with Maine DOE for 12 years and prior to joining the Department, Rachelle worked for 25 years serving students as a fourth- and fifth-grade teacher and as a principal. Her first roles at the Department included School Improvement Specialist, Title 1 Coordinator, and Title I Director. In 2009, she was promoted to Federal Programs Director where she coordinated a number of federal programs for the Department, helped to develop the Department’s request for an ESEA waiver, and proposed a new accountability system for Maine schools. Rachelle, with her wealth of knowledge and experience, is a valuable resource for everyone at the Department and for those in the field.

Rachelle now hands job of Chief Academic Officer over to the Department’s Anita Bernhardt. As Acting Chief Academic Officer, Anita will provide policy and operational leadership for the State and federal programs from PreK through adult education. These broad responsibilities include major team programs related to continued implementation of the Maine’s Learning Results, proficiency based education, career and technical education, adult education and assessment and accountability. Anita joined the Department as a “Distinguished Educator” in 2004 to guide the revision of Maine’s Learning Results. In 2013, she was named the Department’s new Coordinator for Standards and Instruction, a job that prepares her for her new position by providing her with a keen awareness of Maine DOE’s mission.

In June, Anne Gabbianelli came on board as Director of Communications bringing with her a wealth of skills in communication and education. Most recently, Annie was News Director of Stephen King’s radio stations in Bangor; she was a college professor at University of Maine’s New England School of Communications and Eastern Maine Community College teaching all things journalism, writing, English, communications, and helping Bangor Adult Ed develop a college readiness program at the University of Maine at Bangor. While Annie learns the many layers of our Department, she has been quick to realize the great services and programs generated and managed here.

Last month Kathy Hollicker joined us as the new Certification Team Coordinator. Kathy will provide oversight of and direction to the certification team to ensure successful implementation of policies and procedures for the achievement of the Department’s strategic goals. For now, Kathy’s major focus will include a comprehensive review of the current credentialing statutes and rules and oversight of the team’s work on the new online credentialing system. Kathy’s wealth of experience encompasses serving as assistant principal and principal in Maine’s public schools over the years. Kathy’s energy is the perfect match for the task at hand.