Maine DOE team member Regina Lewis is being highlighted this week as part of the Get to Know the Maine DOE Team Campaign. Learn a little more about Regina in this question and answer.
What are your roles with DOE?
I serve in the role of Coordinator of the NAEP and International Assessments for the Maine DOE as member of the Office of Learning Systems and the Assessment Team or “A-Team” as we frequently refer to ourselves. In short, I am a liaison for the Maine Department of Education and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which is part of the US Department of Education. It’s my responsibility to coordinate the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and international assessments such as, the Trends in Math and Science Study (TIMSS), Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) as well as other special projects under the responsibility of NCES. My responsibilities include range from those that improve the collection of high quality data, to analyzing and reporting the data, and promoting the understanding about each assessment and its comparative relationship to NAEP and the respective state assessment. Participation in NAEP assessment is mandatory in order for districts to receive Title I funds according to ESSA.
What do you like best about your job?
I enjoy working with a network of colleagues across the country from my desk at home in Gardiner, Maine on one the most respected and highest quality assessments with a trendline that spans decades (Despite the belief of some, the assessment has changed over time). I also enjoy the support of the members of the Assessment Team and others from the various teams within the department. I love data collection and analysis for the purpose of improving the quality and equity of education for Maine’s students and students across the nation. Through the support of the NAEP partnership organizations and the Maine Department of education, I continue to learn about high quality assessments and their advancements. Pre-COVID, I enjoyed the occasional travel that provided networking and collaboration with those who share my passion for learning about assessments. After all, where and how else can you become a fan of Andrew Ho (Go ahead and look him up. You will find him at Harvard), get a preview of the next step in assessment items and technology, and use assessment data to promote positive social change. I believe that Assessment Systems are like military intelligence. Some assessments give you a satellite view and others provide more closely examined levels down to the formative assessments with the nitty gritty detail. We need them all to have the complete picture.
How or why did you decide on this career?
It was a long road of transitions, including multiple degrees and additional coursework from many of Maine’s universities that lead me to a career at Maine DOE. While teaching mathematics at RSU #4, I earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at Walden University. Walden’s focus on using your talents and education to create positive social change led me to apply for this position. While working my dissertation, I developed a great admiration for the NAEP and the International Assessments. During my down time, I searched for a position that would provide a mechanism to use my knowledge and education for the purpose of improving education in Maine and the United States. When I saw the vacancy at Maine DOE, I applied, was offered the position, and accepted.
What do you like to do outside of work for fun?
In my free time, enjoy hunting, fishing, wood working, sewing, gardening, and sailing with my husband. You might find me at the wheel of a two-seater convertible or a tractor. My husband and I are currently rehabbing a sailboat for future use. I love spending time with my grandchildren, supporting my husband in his duties as a Roman Catholic Deacon, and caring for our pets. I have 2 Labradors, laying hens, and meat birds including chickens and turkeys. As you just read, I love learning, but not just from books and/or educational organizations, the world is our lifelong classroom.