Employee of the Week: Courtney Baehr

Maine DOE Certification Specialist Courtney Baehr is this week’s Employee of the Week! Learn a little bit more about Courtney in this brief question and answer:

What are your roles with DOE?

I work in the Certification office and ensure that all educators are properly credentialed. My main focus is to review the background checks of all applicants to ensure it falls within state and federal policies. I have performed all jobs in the certification office and continue to assist the office regarding rule changes, implementing policies and procedures, and assisting to create the new credentialing system that will help the field in processing their credentials.

What do you like best about your job?

Knowing that I am protecting students and helping the educators obtain their credentials. The certification process can be confusing at times, and I love to help the educators walk through the process and explain the rules and laws that are involved with obtaining their credentials. I feel like I’ve done my job for the day if I am able to help an educator understand the process and leave them with a better understanding of how the laws work for each endorsement we offer. I always like to hear the “Ah ha!” moment when an educator finally understands the process. It makes it a good day.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I kind of fell into the Department initially when I transferred from Maine Revenue Services in 2008. I started working in Certification as an office associate and worked my way up to my current position. I have a customer service and military background with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from USM. Having spent 8 years in the US Coast Guard doing search and rescue and previous to that working in hotels for almost 10 years, my unique background not only helps me in my research performing background checks but also allows me to give the utmost customer service to the field. I’ve stayed in the office for so long because I truly believe in the effectiveness of the office and love that every day there is something new to learn.  As we’ve said for years, “there is never a dull moment in Certification”.