Maine DOE’s expertise grows with new specialists

The Maine DOE is pleased to announce new specialists who will be working in Augusta and in the field assisting you on a variety of fronts.

Bob Hasson, who has been in the education field for 37 years, is the new director of certification. Most recently, Bob worked as Deputy Executive Director of the Maine School Management Association and was Executive Director of the Maine School Superintendents Association.  Prior to that, he was the superintendent of MSAD 51. Bob earned his BA from Saint Joseph’s College in Standish in Elementary Education, a M.Ed. in Special Education from Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts, and he earned his Doctorate in Education from Boston College.

Bob plays a critical role at Maine DOE in overseeing the processing of close to 30 thousand certifications, authorizations and approvals. For example, in 2015, the Department issued 28,858 different types of certification and authorizations, all of which require background checks called approvals. This figure reflects 19,952 people. In addition to this task, Bob also oversees the analyzing of course work from postsecondary institutions and manages licensure complaints. Bob can be reached at 624-6855 or robert.g.hasson@maine.gov.

The Department’s first ever Dyslexia Coordinator Lisa Whitis will be leading a talented group of stakeholders in implementing the new law requiring dyslexia screening for students in kindergarten through second grade who have difficulty acquiring literacy skills. Additionally, she will coordinate professional development implementation of evidence-based reading intervention strategies for children who show signs of dyslexia. Lisa earned her BA in Political Science and an M. Ed. from the University of Maine and later earned a JD from the University Of Tulsa College Of Law. Upon graduation, she became the director of legal services for Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc. Aside from Lisa’s education, and following her son’s diagnosis of dyslexia, she became a certified Orton-Gillingham reading instructor, and for the past 14 years she has been an instructor and practicum supervisor at the Children’s Dyslexia Center in Portland. Lisa can be reached at 624-6643 or at lisa.whitis@maine.gov.

Sarah Ricker is the new Student Assistance Coordinator. Her responsibilities include overseeing school climate including student behavior, and she is a primary contact for school guidance counselors. Sarah is also responsible for ensuring school compliance with the Bullying Prevention and Chapter 33 Restraint and Seclusion laws.  Overall, she is the contact for parents and schools around non-academic student conduct.  Through the Maine DOE’s website and workshops out in the field, Sarah will provide professional development, technical assistance, and information relating to bullying prevention, the restraint and seclusion law, and positive and safe school climates.

A certified K-8 teacher, Sarah has been a Title I educator, Special Education Ed Tech, classroom teacher and an Assistant Principal, Athletic Director, and Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF) Coordinator, as well as a 21st Century Community Learning Center Coordinator.  Sarah earned her Bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor and completed her M. Ed. in Educational Leadership at the University of Maine at Farmington. Sarah can be reached at 624-6685 or sarah.ricker@maine.gov.

Veteran educator Cheryl Tobey is on board as an elementary mathematics specialist. Most recently Cheryl has provided supports and developed materials for mathematics educators across the state, region and country through her work for Education Development Center (EDC). Before her tenure at EDC, she worked at Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance on an NSF grant focused on increasing educator leadership capacity and increasing student achievement in high-poverty schools. Cheryl earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Secondary Mathematics from the University of Maine at Farmington and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from City University in WA. Cheryl will also serve as regional representative for the Downeast area. Cheryl can be reached at 624- 6673 or cheryl.tobey@maine.gov.

Nicole Madore has joined the Department as the early childhood monitor. This is a joint position between the Maine DOE and Child Development Services (CDS). She worked for CDS as an Educational Consultant and Part B Director Service Team Leaders where she provided supervision to over twenty special education teachers and education techs.  Nicole was an early childhood special education teacher for preschoolers as well as a first and second grade teacher.  She holds a Bachelors’ degree in Early Childhood Education from Plymouth State University and a M.Ed. from Thomas College. Nicole can be reached at 624-6677 or nicole.madore@maine.gov.

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