Get to Know the Maine DOE Team: Meet Jaci Holmes

Jaci Holmes

Maine DOE Team member Jaci Holmes is being highlighted this week as part of the Get to Know the Maine DOE Team Campaign. Learn a little more about Jaci in the question and answer below.

What are your roles with DOE?

My position functions as the Federal Liaison of the Legislative section and serves as a member of the Commissioner’s Directors team. My primary focus is to provide specialized expertise on federal statutory and regulatory development and the advocacy of federal legislative activity in coordination with the Congressional staff, and to assist the Director of Policy and Governmental Affairs and the Legislative Director on State statutory and rules development and the advocacy of State legislative activity.  I am directly involved with the State Educational Agency’s performance management specifically in reviewing certain Federal Performance reports for the Commissioner.  I oversee the US Department of Education Federal Performance Site Reviews, develop the Report of the New Federal Mandates each October, and serve as the rulemaking liaison for all Department rulemaking. During this pandemic period I serve on the ESSER Team reviewing the SAU applications, developing the monitoring protocols for examining the utilization of the CARES Act funding, and reviewing any reporting activities.

What do you like best about your job?

I enjoy working with staff across the department as we look at: refinements in public policy, rule development and refinement, the impacts of proposed federal and state legislation on Maine educators, children and families. Maine is very fortunate to have a strong working relationship with our Congressional delegation who stay in touch with me in my Liaison role to examine the impact of new bills, federal stabilization bills over the years and proposed reauthorizations of federal statutes such as IDEA, Perkins, and ESEA.

How or why did you decide on this career?

My career in education has evolved over time. I began as a kindergarten and first grade teacher, moved on to higher education preparing individuals to become early childhood educators and then to the Maine Department of Education initially to support state level program coordination for early childhood special education. Over time state and then federal advocacy became a large part of my responsibilities. I enjoy the ever changing nature of the work and the opportunity to influence the education policy.

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

I thoroughly enjoy being on the ocean. I have competitively raced with a great sailing crew, and now enjoy meandering around Casco Bay in my power boat watching the eagles, ospreys, seals and occasionally catching a fish! Love to travel as well.