Get to Know the DOE Team: Meet Shawn Collier

Maine DOE team member Shawn Collier is being highlighted this week as the part of a Get to Know the DOE Team campaign! Learn a little more about Shawn in the brief question and answer below.

What are your roles with DOE?

As the Data and Research Coordinator for Special Services, I oversee the collection of special education data and work to ensure data quality for federal and state reporting. My role also involves research and data analysis to evaluate various special education programs and initiatives and assess compliance with federal and state regulations.

What do you like best about your job?

I enjoy the research aspects of my job the most, and I enjoy helping others use data to evaluate programs and initiatives and inform policies that promote student success. I also like to annoy my cube neighbor Leora Byras by singing classic Madonna hits like ‘Borderline’ as I work.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I’ve worked in a wide variety of positions over the years, including social work/case management, college teaching, psychological research, and I served 8 years in the Navy. In my current position, I draw most heavily on the investigative and statistical methods I learned as a researcher and teacher. I have always loved the ‘detective work’ of research – gathering data and testing hypotheses – and it is very rewarding to have these efforts benefit students.

What do you like to do outside of work for fun?

My favorite times are spent outdoors, especially at a beach or lake, with my 7-year-old daughter. I also enjoy hand-drumming and playing folk music, especially Celtic and Eastern European, on the fiddle. This winter, I’d like to start an ‘extreme’ (outdoors, in the snow) badminton league.