Maine DOE Team member Gayle Erdheim is being highlighted this week as part of the get to know the DOE Team campaign. Learn a little bit about Gayle in the brief question and answer below.
What are your roles with DOE?
I am the Integrated Student Supports Team Leader in the DOE’s new Office of School and Student Supports. My own work on that team includes serving as Maine’s coordinator for homeless education, truancy and dropout prevention, alternative education, bullying prevention, and restraints and seclusion monitoring. Other members of my team coordinate initiatives in migrant foster care education, family engagement, social emotional learning, restorative practices, and cultural responsiveness.
What do you like best about your job?
I am fortunate to be in a role where I hear every day from schools, parents, human service providers, and concerned community members who are trying to find solutions to complex challenges that impact student success and well-being. That keeps me connected to the reality of how our work plays out on the ground where it really matters. I like being a partner in that kind of problem solving and appreciate the perspective it provides.
How or why did you decide on this career?
Hard to say. After teaching math and science for many years, I fell into a position helping to create a university extension program in a maximum security prison. That experience rocked my understanding of what I was supposed to be doing as an educator, and my current work here seems like a natural extension of the path I’ve been traveling ever since.
What do you like to do outside of work for fun?
I moved to Maine 3 years ago because it is the most beautiful place in the world! So I spend as much time as possible out of doors, hiking, gardening, canoeing, and keeping my dumb ducks out of trouble.