Maine DOE team member Tamara (Tammy) Ranger is being highlighted this week as part of the Get to know the Maine DOE Team Campaign. Learn a little more about Tammy in this brief question and answer below.
What are your roles with DOE?
I am the Educator Excellence Team Coordinator in the Office of Higher Education and Educator Support Services. My work, along with other members of our team and MDOE staff, includes elevating and celebrating the teaching profession through educator recognition programs, such as the Maine Teacher of the Year/County Teacher of the Year program, National Board Certification, the #LoveTeaching Campaign, Teacher Appreciation week, and much more! In order to highlight, support, and leverage the heroic work happening daily in Maine’s public schools, we are exploring additional educator recognition programs and new opportunities for teacher leadership. Closely connected to these efforts is another major aspect of our work: Educator Recruitment and Retention. Stay tuned for more information about the #TeachMaine campaign and the work of the Educator Talent Committee!
How or why did you decide on this career?
Prior to coming to the MDOE last year, I taught middle school (literacy) in Skowhegan for nearly 20 years! I absolutely loved teaching—designing relevant and engaging lessons, building relationships with students (kids are the most amazing humans!), creating caring and respectful classrooms, learning and laughing alongside my students, challenging them, supporting them, and celebrating with them as they reached new goals, and yes, sometimes crying with them when life threw unexpected curveballs their way. A love for my kids, craft, and content fueled my passion for teaching and my desire to continue growing as an educator. I was fortunate to work in MSAD 54: a district that recognizes and supports teacher voice, autonomy, creativity, and leadership. During my time in MSAD 54, I earned my master’s degree, National Board Certification, was named the 2016 Somerset County Teacher of the Year, and the 2017 Maine Teacher of the Year. As the 2017 MTOY, my platform was “ensuring every student is taught by an accomplished educator.” The work I’m doing here builds on that platform, which ultimately supports equitable, strong learning opportunities and outcomes for kids, and fosters continued growth, innovation, and excitement in Maine’s educator workforce!
What do you like to do outside of work for fun?
I thrive on a healthy lifestyle! Favorite outdoor activities include hiking, kayaking, and snowshoeing (yay for living in a beautiful state like Maine!). When inside, I enjoy yoga, weight-lifting, and time on my elliptical trainer (especially if I have an awesome playlist going!) Cooking is fun–I like experimenting with plant-based recipes, and a daily meditation practice keeps me centered. Reading remains a favorite, and best of all is time with friends and family!