Maine’s 2016 County Teachers of the Year spent some time in Augusta last week learning more about their roles in representing all educators in the state. Maine’s 2016 Teacher of the Year Talya Edlund encouraged educators be connected on Facebook to read all the posts regarding education policy and more. “You don’t know where this journey will take you, but soak in every moment and enjoy the ride,” she said.
The 2015 Washington County Teacher of the Year Benjamin Brigham taught this year’s County Teachers of the Year the “just in time” professional development through social media. He told them, “You have the ability to elevate all things education; it’s a 365 day a year profession.”
2015 Teacher of the Year Jennifer Dorman reminded the educators, “The goal of the three finalists is to work as a team, on education policy in Maine.”
In a Hall of Flags celebration, the educators were recognized by Deputy Education Commissioner Bill Beardsley who said, “These County Teachers of the Year we honor today are individuals with exceptional yet different gifts. They personify the best in their profession. Their past and present students are a testament to their careers.”
Educate Maine Executive Director Ed Cervone remarked, “Our honorees, chosen from 300 nominations statewide… serve as ambassadors for their students, their schools, and for quality education everywhere.”
This year’s County Teachers of the Year are:
- Aroostook: Michael McCartney, Maine School of Science and Mathematics, Limestone
- Androscoggin: Michael Hayashida, Poland Regional High School
- Cumberland: Morgan Cuthbert, Harrison Middle School, Yarmouth
- Franklin: Selina Warren, Kingfield Elementary School
- Hancock: Rebecca Tapley, Brooklin Elementary School
- Kennebec: Andrew Forster, Messalonskee High School, Oakland
- Knox: Beth Heidemann, Cushing Community School
- Lincoln: Erica Atkinson, Dresden Elementary School
- Oxford: Joseph Cummings, Oxford Hills Middle School
- Penobscot: Cherrie MacInnes, Brewer Community School
- Sagadahoc: Lawrence Kovacs, Bath Middle School
- Somerset: Tamara Ranger, Skowhegan Area Middle School
- Waldo: Kristen Kelley, Islesboro Central School
- Washington: Jane Andrews, Princeton Elementary School
- York: Pamela Starkey, Marshwood Great Works School, So. Berwick
A distinguished panel of teachers, principals and business community members make the County Teacher of the Year selections. These educators then go on to serve as ambassadors for teachers, students, and quality education and are available to make presentations to local and regional organizations. Into the summer, these teachers will continue to participate in an intensive State Teacher of the Year selection process, including submitting a video showcasing their classroom instructional practices. The field will be narrowed to eight semi-finalists who will begin working on their professional portfolio, a component of the National Teacher of the Year process. After the portfolio review and presentations to a select panel, the field is narrowed to three finalists. In October, the 2017 Maine Teacher of the Year will be selected after a school site visit and final interview.
The Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine Department of Education, administered by Educate Maine, a business-led organization working to ensure Maine’s students and workers are the best educated and highly skilled in the world.
For more information, visit www.maine.gov/doe/toy/.