The 2023 County Teachers of the Year and the recently named 2024 Maine Teacher of the Year Joshua Chard were celebrated at the annual Teacher of the Year (TOY) Gala event this past weekend. The Teacher of the Year Gala is an annual celebration of the Teacher of the Year Program which honors the hard work and dedication of Maine teachers and in particular the current State and County Teachers of the Year. This year marks a special 10-year milestone, which celebrates the great strides the program has made in expanding its reach to lift the voices of excellent educators in Maine.
The evening event was held at the Holiday Inn By the Bay in Portland and brought together current and legacy State and County Teachers of the Year along with their families, friends, colleagues, and administrators from across Maine to honor both the current cohort of teachers and to celebrate 10 years of growth. In 2014 the Teacher of the Year Program transformed from honoring only one teacher each year, into the robust program that it is today honoring not only a Maine Teacher of the Year that goes on to the National Teacher of the Year Program but also 16 County Teachers of the Year who participate in a full host of opportunities for networking, leadership, and outreach across our state.
In addition to an awards ceremony that honored the 2023 County Teachers of the Year and the 2024 Maine Teacher of the Year, the event was emceed by 2023 Maine TOY Matt Bernstein and featured remarks from Educate Maine Executive Director Jason Judd, Deputy Commissioner of Education Dan Chuhta, 2024 TOY Joshua Chard, and a special Keynote address from Andy Silvernail a supporter and sponsor of the Teacher of the Year program. Other program sponsors were also present, many offering words of appreciation and admiration to the educators in the audience, all speakers stressing the importance of highlighting the positive impacts that teachers make every day.
Secretary of State Shenna Bellows also attended the event bringing another year of the annual tradition of a presentation of a specialty license plate to the Teacher of the Year. Representatives from Maine’s Association of Computer Technology Educators of Maine (ACTEM) also attended the event to present Maine 2024 TOY Joshua Chard with an Apple iPad.
The Maine Teacher of the Year program is administered by Educate Maine, a business-led education advocacy organization, in partnership with the Maine Department of Education, the Maine State Board of Education, and the Maine County and State Teachers and County of the Year Association (MCSTOYA).
To learn more about the Maine Teacher of the Year Program visit https://www.mainetoy.org/.