MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Educators Win $400 Each in First Drawings of Bicentennial Curriculum Sharing Initiative

Stephanie Nichols

Narragansett Elementary School 2nd grade teacher Stephanie Nichols and Brooksville Elementary School PK-8 art teacher Nick Patterson are the first two to win prizes. 

Stephanie Nichols, a 2nd grade teacher at Narragansett Elementary School in Gorham School District is the first to win a $400 cash prize as the February drawing winner. There will be drawings held every month until December 2020 as part of Maine’s Bicentennial Curriculum Sharing Initiative.

The Maine Department of Education (DOE), in collaboration with the Maine Bicentennial Commission ( and the Maine Historical Society launched the online resource in February as a way to help Maine teachers integrate Maine’s Bicentennial into their lessons.

Stephanie is one of several educators who have shared their lesson plans through the curriculum sharing initiative by uploading it into the curriculum tool since its launch. Stephanie’s lesson plan is called “How Communities Represent Themselves” and helps students learn to identify the historical and current flags of Maine, and understand the concept of “community” representation through the symbols on the flags. The lesson includes an activity where students work in small groups to create flags to represent their classroom/school communities.

Nick Patterson
Nick Patterson

Nick Patterson is the drawing winner for the month of March. A PK-8 art teacher for Brooksville Elementary School, he says his lesson plan first started as an interest in silhouettes and blob painting which prompted him to start having his middle school art students work with images from the internet including sea creatures, an interest of theirs.

“This lesson plan will give students an overview of the creatures in the Gulf of Maine,” said Patterson describing the lesson plan he uploaded for other educators to use. “Students will be able to describe the creatures they learn about, first learning simple art skills, and then combining these simple skills to make an Oceanscape picture that is complex.”
The Initiative enables educators to share their own lesson plans, download lesson plans created by other Maine teachers, and access new curriculum resources and primary documents related to Maine, its history, and culture.

“Now more than ever is it imperative that we embrace the online resources we have in place to share ideas and lesson plans, and that we continue to celebrate the 200th anniversary of our amazing state,” said Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin. “I encourage all Maine educators to use this tool to share their curriculum resources related to Maine with other educators around the state so that we can encapsulate and celebrate our land, culture, history, and community for generations to come.”

To submit a lesson plan, educators can visit to complete a simple submission template, and then upload additional resources. Once uploaded, lesson submissions will be reviewed for completeness and then placed on the, where other educators from across the state can access them.

Educators who participate by sharing resources will have their names entered into a random monthly drawing (February 2020 – December 2020) for $400 in cash for use for lesson planning and teaching. Participants for this program are intended to be public and private school educators for grades pre-k to 12, Career and Technical Educators, Adult Education Instructors, and Post-Secondary Instructors.

By participating in this unique collaboration, not only are you are setting the stage for present and future Mainers to learn more about our great state, you can also share and learn from the collective brain of educators around Maine.

For more information or to ask questions about the process, please contact Kathleen Neumann