MEDIA RELEASE: Eight Semifinalists Selected for 2022 Teacher of the Year

The Maine Department of Education, in partnership with Educate Maine, is pleased to announce the eight teachers that have been selected as semifinalists for Maine’s 2022 Teacher of the Year program. The semifinalists were selected from the 2021 County Teachers of the Year, who were honored in May in a virtual ceremony.

2022 Teacher of the Year Semifinalists:

Andrew Kirby
Aroostook County
Kirby has been teaching for 13 years and will be teaching science to grades 9-12 at Caribou High School.

I know Andrew is a teacher that will go above and beyond to work with students that need extra help, he sees when a student understands the material and may just need an alternative route to explain it, and is willing to adjust his classroom to the needs of his students to keep them successful.” – Andrea Hallett, Director of Guidance, Presque Isle High School

Paige Fournier
Cumberland County
Fournier has been teaching for 17 years and currently teaches special education at Freeport Middle School.

Paige’s influence on our building stretches well beyond the four walls of her classroom. She truly has changed the lives of many kids. She has such a positive impact on our entire school from the life skills classroom.” – Ray Grogan, Principal, Freeport Middle School

Michelle Laliberte
Franklin County
Laliberte has been teaching for 20 years and currently teaches PreK – Kindergarten at Rangeley Lakes Regional School.

Mrs. Laliberte truly makes learning fun for the kids, teaches teamwork and responsibility to very young kids with regular assigned classroom “jobs,” and involves the students’ families to help ignite the passion for learning both in and outside of the classroom.” – Kathryn Kay, Parent

Patti Forster
Knox County
Forster has been teaching for 29 years and is currently teaching English to grades 9-10 at Camden Hills Regional School.

Patti brings a huge heart and expert understanding of pedagogy to her work with students. She purposefully works with students who struggle with school or English. She is successful where other teachers have failed. As department head she leads her peers in bringing more social and emotional learning into their program, has developed and implemented a set of tier 2 interventions for students 9-12 who are struggling in English.” – Shawn Carlson, Principal, Camden Hills Regional School

Melissa Guerrette
Oxford County
Guerrette has been teaching for 20 years and currently teaches grade 5 at Oxford Elementary School.

Melissa Guerrette is a teacher that creates an impact at all levels: at OES, in MSAD #17, in the greater Oxford Hills Community, and in the state of Maine. She exemplifies what it means to be a reflective practitioner and is generous with her time and knowledge of best practices.” – Heather Manchester, Curriculum Director, RSU 17 / MSAD 17

Kelsey Stoyanova
Penobscot County
Stoyanova has been teaching for 7 years and currently teaches grade 8 English Language Arts at Reeds Brook Middle School in Hampden.

She forms meaningful relationships with her students and creates an environment that is welcoming. Along with that, I feel like I can be challenged in her class to do my best while also developing and working on skills that might be harder for me. We do this by having class discussions, creative projects, and interesting assignments.” – Tessa Castrucci, Student

Hillary Hoyt
Waldo County
Hoyt has been teaching for 7 years and currently teaches grade 3 at Leroy H. Smith School in Winterport.

Her desire to make sure each child feel like they are important is evident in her ability to individualize for each child, yet set high expectations of citizenship and respect. Her ability to restructure lessons and units to meet student’s interests, with such a diverse classroom, is unique.” – Dawn Moore, Principal, Leroy H. Smith School

Christine Goulet
York County
Goulet has been teaching for 21 years and currently teaches grade 2 at for Biddeford Primary School.

Christine has been a part of our Tiger community where her passion for teaching and learning has engaged, empowered, and supported all students in her learning environment which is not necessarily determined by the four walls of her classroom. Christine has a positive attitude, a growth mindset, and a strong passion of teaching all learners.” – Mandy Cyr, Director of Instruction, Biddeford School Department

The eight 2022 Teacher of the Year semifinalists will continue in the selection process which consists of a professional portfolio review and an oral presentation, and results in identifying three state finalists. The state finalists will then sit for a final interview and have a school-site visit before one of them is named the 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year.

The Teacher of the Year selection panel is made up of legacy Teachers of the Year, school administrators, Maine DOE staff, members of professional education organizations, and the business community. The 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year will be announced in October.

The Maine Department of Education’s Maine Teacher of the Year program is administered and managed by Educate Maine and supported by both the Maine State Board of Education and the Maine County and State Teacher of the Year Association. Funding for the program is generously provided by Bangor Savings Bank, Dead River, Geiger, Hannaford, Maine Lottery, the Silvernail Family and Unum.

More information about Maine’s Teacher of the Year program, the 2021 County Teachers of the Year, and the 2022 semifinalists can be found on the Maine Teacher of the Year website. For questions and information, please reach out to Program Director Dolly Sullivan at or call 631-3385.