The Maine Department of Education (DOE) launched Maine’s Teacher Leader Fellows today with an inaugural class of five extraordinary educators from across the state. Waterville Senior High School social studies teacher Jessica Graham, Fryeburg Academy national-board certified teacher James St. Pierre, Nokomis Regional Middle School Integrated Technology teacher Keith Kelley, Mattanawcook Academy mathematics teacher Sarah Krause, and national-board certified music teacher Dorie Tripp will work with Maine DOE staff to support Maine’s educators in cross-cutting, interdisciplinary concepts of civics, STEAM, and humanities.
The Teacher Leader Fellows will provide educators across Maine with weekly updates on resources and materials, host monthly professional learning opportunities, and maintain webpages with rich and informative content. To receive weekly communications and monthly professional learning around civics, STEAM, and/or humanities concepts, click here.
“Taking on this new position offers so many opportunities to engage with exactly what I love about teaching—meeting other educators, making connections with community partners, and celebrating community centered student learning. I truly believe that building strong communities and educating engaged citizens is the core mission of schools, and that civic learning happens in every grade and every content area. I am so excited to help connect, celebrate, and create with educators and learners around Maine,” said Waterville Senior High School social studies teacher Jessica Graham.
“Being a teacher leader means connecting and helping others connect. It means gathering the ideas and experiences of the teachers in the state and sharing them in manageable, practical, and efficient ways. We have such a great array of professionals whose knowledge can elevate all students, so to be one of the leaders bringing them together is a privilege,” said Fryeburg Academy national-board certified teacher James St. Pierre.
“To be a teacher you need to know the material and your students. A great teacher never stops learning and the best learning is done by teaching others. I hope, with the other Teacher Leader Fellows, to help educate others and myself until STEAM pours out of all of our classrooms,” said Nokomis Regional Middle School Integrated Technology teacher Keith Kelley.
“As a STEAM Teacher Leader Fellow, I hope to help spread important information and opportunities to the other STEAM educators in Maine. I plan to regularly provide teachers with some meaningful STEAM lessons and activities that can be incorporated into their classrooms. Additionally, as a teacher of mathematics and a fan of the arts, I would like to help others see the beauty in the world of STEAM,” said Mattanawcook Academy mathematics teacher Sarah Krause.
“I’m delighted to be working with the DOE to support Maine teachers! I look forward to working with other educators to learn, collaborate, and to create unique learning opportunities for our students,” said national-board certified music teacher Dorie Tripp.
Meet Maine’s Teacher Leader Fellows
Jessica Graham is a high school social studies teacher at Waterville Senior High School. She serves as the National Honor Society advisor and Trivia Club advisor and on the district curriculum committee. After working in museum education around the state of Maine for a decade, Jessica transitioned to classroom teaching six years ago and relishes the opportunity to build lasting relationships with students. She is passionate about civics education conceived broadly: helping students practice community in the classroom and in the wider world through conversation, action, and applied knowledge of decision-making processes. Her background in museum work leads her to approach content in an interdisciplinary and experiential way. Her greatest honor as a teacher was receiving Waterville’s annual staff Renaissance Award, a recognition bestowed by the student body.
In her free time Jessica is pursuing a PhD in history from the University of Maine, volunteers as a Girl Scout leader, and enjoys slowly converting her suburban yard into a garden retreat full of native plants and pollinator habitat.
James St. Pierre is a national board-certified teacher with thirty years of teaching experience at Fryeburg Academy where he has taught courses in English and biology and served as English department chair. In addition to his work at the secondary level, he also holds the position of Lecturer at both Granite State College and White Mountains Community College, where he has taught as an adjunct for two decades. He holds a master’s degree in English Literature from Middlebury College and has presented at state and regional conferences regarding the medium of comics. He is married with two sons and enjoys making comics in his free time.
A Maine educator for more than 33 years, Keith Kelley is currently teaching Integrated Technology. Having taught Language Arts, Social Studies and serving as the School Librarian, he is now teaching IT at Nokomis Regional Middle School. His students make Robots, Skateboards, 3D print, and build Guitars. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Education at UMaine. He has coached soccer, track, and various tech camps. In his free time, he enjoys riding around in his classic mustang with his wife and dogs.
Sarah Krause is a graduate from the University of Maine with a B.S. in Secondary Education, a B.A. in Mathematics & Statistics, and a Minor in Zoology.
Currently, she is in her twelfth year of classroom experience with AP Calculus, Precalculus, and AP Computer Science Principles as the bulk of her teaching schedule over the years. Other teaching experiences include: Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, Math Problem Solving, Linear Algebra, Advanced Topics in Mathematics (and elective that explored advanced precalculus topics). Next year she will be adding Intro to Digital Art & Design into her course load.
Sarah is currently teaching at Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln, Maine, where she also juggles a handful of other roles in the building. Some of those other positions include Math Team Coach, National Honor Society Advisor, Senior Class Advisor, Mentor Teacher, Mathematics Department Head, Technology Team Member, and Cohort/PLC Leader.
Sarah, is in the beginning stages of being part of the #MaineTeachesCS program as a Computer Science Integration (CSI) Educator, and back in 2019, she was a member of the Maine DOE: Mathematics Standards Writing Team.
Moving forward, Sarah is excited to be part of the Maine DOE in this new role as a Teacher Leadership STEAM Fellow with her other teammates in the Office of Innovation.
Dorie Tripp is a national board-certified music teacher with 14 years’ experience teaching elementary music in Maine public schools. Over the years, it has been her mission to promote music instruction that is developmentally appropriate, inclusive, diverse, and engaging. In her quest to do this, she has taken on many roles as a learner and leader. Dorie spent two terms as Vice President of the Maine Music Educators Association, contributed to the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative as a Design Team member, was an active member of the Maine Learning Results writing team for the Visual and Performing Arts, and co-hosted a series of PD sessions for educators during the Covid 19 pandemic. In 2021, she was awarded the MMEA Music Educator of the Year Award. In this next step of her journey, Dorie is looking forward to working with the Maine DOE. She’s excited to practice, share, and support unique learning opportunities for Maine students and educators!
To receive weekly communications and monthly professional learning around civics, STEAM, and/or humanities concepts, click here.
For more information about this or other innovative programs at the Maine Department of Education, contact, Beth Lambert, Acting Chief Innovation Officer and Director of Innovative Teaching and Learning, at email@example.com.