Maine DOE team member Janette Kirk is being highlighted as part of the Get to Know the Maine DOE Team Campaign. Learn a little more about Janette in the question and answer below.
What are your roles with DOE?
I am the Chief of Learning Systems at the Department. This role coordinates the work of Office of Learning Systems which comprises of five teams – Assessment, Career & Technical Education, Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Standards & Instructional Support team (Early Learning and Secondary teams).
What do you like best about your job?
A good number of us who choose education as a career do so to make a difference – this is the most important aspect of my work, to feel that I am one of many, contributing to make a difference in the lives of Maine students. The wonderful and knowledgeable folks I get to work with within the Office of Learning Systems and those in the Department in general is another important element. The fact that no two days look the same also keeps the role interesting.
How or why did you decide on this career?
Working at a Department of Education was not necessarily a career aspiration but at the age of 12, my 6th grade elementary school teacher, Mr. McClellan, inspired me to become a teacher. He made learning fun, incorporated music, performance and brought history and social studies to life in a practical, interactive and fun way. He made a huge difference in my life and as a result motivated me to want to do the same for others. From that point on I wanted to be a teacher. After initially teaching in an elementary school in Liverpool, UK, I moved to the U.S. and worked with marginalized populations at The Salvation Army coordinating afterschool programming across Northeast Ohio. More recently my husbands work brought us to Maine where I started working at the Department. Education and working with and supporting children and students has always been an area in which I’ve wanted to work from an early age.
What do you like to do outside of work for fun?
My 12 and 14 year old boys, Nathan and Owen and their hockey schedules take up most of my time but any free time I have I enjoy spending with them and my husband of 17 years, Jon. Outside of family time, I enjoy watching movies and more recently exercising.