AUGUSTA – Nominations are now open for the 2018 County Teachers of the Year and 2019 Teacher of the Year.
Members of the public are encouraged to nominate educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and nurturing the achievement of all students at http://www.mainetoy.org through Feb. 5.
To be considered a teacher must: hold the appropriate professional certification for the position, be employed by a Maine public school – including a public charter school or publicly supported secondary school, be actively teaching students at least 50% of full-time at the time of nomination and during the year of service and have minimum of five years teaching.
The eventual winner of the state’s highest teaching honor, which is awarded by the Maine Department of Education through a program administered by Educate Maine, serves as an advocate for teachers, students and the efforts underway in Maine’s public schools to prepare students for success in college, career and civic life.
Maine’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, Kaitlin Young, a music and choral teacher at SeDoMoCha School in Dover-Foxcroft, was selected from over 300 entries and included recognition as the 2017 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year. In addition to Young, the other 2018 state finalists include Kasie Giallombardo, Nokomis High School and 2017 Penobscot County Teacher of the Year, and Jen England, Noble High School and 2017 York County Teacher of the Year.
The 2019 Maine Teacher of the Year will be selected from the 16 county honorees. The field will be narrowed to eight semi-finalists and then three state finalists before the ultimate winner is announced by Maine’s Education Commissioner at a surprise school assembly in the fall.
Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine DOE that since 2013 has been administered by Educate Maine, a business-led organization whose mission is to champion college, career readiness and increased education attainment. Funding is provided by Bangor Savings Bank, Dead River Co., Geiger, Hannaford, the Maine Lottery and Thomas College with support from the State Board of Education and the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association.
The Teacher of the Year program has no cost to taxpayers. Bangor Savings Bank reimburses the winning educator’s school district for the cost of substitutes while the Teacher of the Year is out of the classroom on their official duties, which includes travel throughout the state, a week at NASA Space Camp and a visit to the White House.