Get to Know the Maine DOE Team: Meet Megan Welter

Maine DOE Team member Megan Welter is being highlighted as part of the Get to Know the Maine DOE Team Campaign. Learn a little more about Megan in the question and answer below.

What are your roles with DOE?

I am the Associate Commissioner of Public Education. I work closely with a number of the DOE teams, including the Office of Special Services and Inclusive Education, Communications, the Office of School and Student Supports, the Maine School Safety Center, and the Workforce Development and Innovative Pathways Team. In addition, as a member of the Commissioner’s Office, I also work with colleagues to develop policies and procedures that allow the Department to support the field.

What do you like best about your job?

Learning so much every day! I am also especially grateful to be able to work with so many people who are committed to serving the students and educators in our State!

How or why did you decide on this career?

I began my career working with children and youth in emergency shelter placements. Through this work, I understood the value of providing early and comprehensive services that address a child’s physical, emotional, social, and educational needs. Such early and consistent supports are vital to building a child’s resilience and capacity to persevere through adverse experiences. I truly believe that public education is one of the most powerful ways we can meet these needs while also opening doors to a world of opportunities.

What do you like to do outside of work for fun?

I am married and we have two almost-fully-formed-adult children, who I love spending time with. We have a big dog that I like to walk, but because he is afraid of bugs they are generally short walks.  I love all sports, but particularly enjoy watching football. I am a proud St. Louis Cardinals fan (I grew up in StL). I also love listening to music, the theater, and spending time outside. I love cycling, mountain biking, and hiking.

Maine DOE Update – December 2, 2022

From the Maine Department of Education


Reporting Items

NEO and Synergy – State Reporting Training

The Maine Department of Education Data Team is available to provide training in both NEO and Synergy for anyone looking to understand more about the navigation of these programs for state reporting purposes. Trainings can be done one-on-one with new or current users, in small groups, or in a group setting for whole districts. |  More

REPORT OPEN: EF-M-39 – Finance Report – Subsidy Allocation for 16-20 Year Old Students Exited from Regular Education and Enrolled in Adult Education Programs

The EF-M-39 report opened on December 1, 2022. This report will be due on December 15, 2022. |  More

| Visit the DC&R Reporting Calendar |


News & Updates

Lewiston Students Create Ornaments for Maine’s Tree as Part of the National Christmas Tree Display in Washington, D.C.

Students at Robert V. Connors Elementary School in Lewiston created one-of-a-kind ornaments now adorning Maine’s tree as part of the 2022 National Christmas Tree display on the Ellipse in President’s Park outside of the White House. |  More

Regional Connection Events for Extended Learning Opportunity (ELO) Coordinators

Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) is hosting Regional Connection Events throughout Maine for ELO (Extended Learning Opportunity) Coordinators. Each event is held in-person where a light breakfast and lunch will be provided, as will opportunities to spend time sharing, connecting, and being inspired. Find a detailed schedule/program here. |  More

Rural School Bus Electrification Webinar

There will be a webinar and Q&A to go in-depth on rural electric school bus deployment. The webinar will take a deep dive into challenges specific to rural Maine, cover the big takeaways of the MDI case study, and address questions. |  More

RFA- Restorative Practices for System Involved Youth in Maine Schools

The State of Maine is seeking applications to provide funding to Maine Schools in need of establishing or expanding support for System Involved Youth. |  More


Maine Schools Sharing Success Stories

Middle School Teams Prepare for the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics Competition

Spruce Mountain High School in Jay will host the Maine FIRST LEGO League Challenge State Championship with teams from all over the state this weekend. After a small-scale event at Messalonskee last year and no in-person event the year before, this FIRST Lego League (FLL) event aims to move a step closer to excitement and engagement that only the Civic Center in Augusta could contain! |  More

Student Voice and Choice a Big Part of Brewer High School Extended Learning Program

“We are seeing dramatic improvement in attitude and effort on the part of our students,” said Brewer High School’s Extended Learning Opportunities (ELO) Coordinator Kevin Napolillo. “They feel that their career goals are finally being addressed and can see the value of what they are doing.” |  More

Aroostook County Teachers of the Year Lead Effort to Face Regional Teacher Shortages

Aroostook County Teachers of the Year (CTOY) Leslie Marquis (2017), Bill Guerette (2018), Kim Barnes (2019), Jocelyn Saucier (2020), and Heather Anderson (2022), along with Maine Teachers of the Year (TOY) Elaine Hendrickson (2001) and Alana Margeson (2012) came together to plan, The Future of Aroostook County Education Symposium, or otherwise known as FACES, on November 17th at Caribou Community School. |  More

New STEAM Lab at Glenburn School Making a Big Impact

Establishing a culture of creation, innovation and hands-on learning is becoming a focal point at Glenburn School. The driving forces toward that goal are a couple of long-time educators – Technology Integrator, David Davis, and Technology Director, Ken Worster. |  More

| Submit your Maine School Success Story |


Professional Development & Training Opportunities

Inclusion for All: How to Support All Learners through Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

The Office of Special services and Inclusive Education at the Maine Department of Education is pleased to announce our next speaker in our Special Topics Series – Dr. Katie Novak on January 4, 2023 from 3:30-4:30 pm. |  More

Computer Science Mobile Lab – Training Webinars and Support Resources

Join us during Computer Science Education (CS Ed) Week for FREE virtual training for the mobile computer science labs! We’re excited to announce that we’ll be hosting webinars throughout next week to help folks get started with their lab equipment. These will be vendor-provided trainings and will cover the basics of unboxing, configuring, and getting started. Webinars will be live and recorded. Recordings will be posted to the website once they become available. |  More

What Are the MLTI Ambassadors Cooking Up? Daily Asynchronous Professional Learning Offerings Starting 11/28

Student Engagement, Blended Learning, Project Based Learning, Supporting All Learners and Computer Science & Computational Thinking Pedagogies are the main topics for a four-week professional learning series being offer by the MLTI Ambassadors starting on November 28. These daily offerings will go live on the MLTI Youtube channel and are open to all interested educators and will include useful resources and contact hours. These are also available as a professional learning calendar with links to the video and slides going live every day! |  More

| Visit the Professional Development Calendar |


Latest DOE Career/Project Opportunities:

View current Maine Department of Education employment opportunities here


 

REPORT OPEN: EF-M-39 – Finance Report – Subsidy Allocation for 16-20 Year Old Students Exited from Regular Education and Enrolled in Adult Education Programs

The EF-M-39 report opened on December 1, 2022. This report will be due on December 15, 2022.

All public school administrative units (SAUs), excluding Public Charter Schools, must report even if there are no pupils to report. SAU member entities of Unions and AOSs must report separately. SAUs that send their students to Regional Adult Education Programs must file based on their own resident students attending the Regional Adult Education Program.

Students who have exited regular education, and are enrolled in Adult Education courses should be reported on the EF-M-39.

This report covers the reporting range from July 1st to December 30th of adult education students, courses, and credits/hours.

Resources, including the webinar and slideshow for this report, can be found on the MEDMS Helpdesk Website on the Webinars & Presentations page.

For questions about submitting this report contact MEDMS.Helpdesk@maine.gov or call 207-624-6896

Middle School Teams Prepare for the FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotics Competition

Spruce Mountain High School in Jay will host the Maine FIRST LEGO League Challenge State Championship with teams from all over the state this weekend. After a small-scale event at Messalonskee last year and no in-person event the year before, this FIRST Lego League (FLL) event aims to move a step closer to excitement and engagement that only the Civic Center in Augusta could contain! Every season, FIRST has a new theme that goes across its different groups. “Energize” is the theme for the 2022-2023 season with an emphasis on energy generation, efficiency, and use. At the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) level, teams will take part in the “Superpowered” challenge and “explore where energy comes from and how it is distributed, stored, and used – and then put their superpowered creativity to work to innovate for a better energy future.”

This year’s event will have 25 teams competing from across the state. Three of the teams competing this year are the Veazie Vikings (Team 26180) from Veazie Community School, the STEAM Powered Knights (Team 34104) from St. George Elementary School and the RoboSharks (Team 14407) from the Shapleigh School.

The Veazie Vikings Robotics team started in 2016 and are looking to have another successful showing coming off their success last season, which included two awards. They won the Maine Global Innovation Award with their “Veazie Moves” app design and had the highest scoring robot in the competition. Their success even led to a feature on NewsCenter Maine. This year’s team has a mix of veteran and rookie middle school students who each get to build and program a robot. Combining the building and programming to complete assigned tasks on a game field is really what brings the team together. Team coach Brian Gonyar said, “Students learn teamwork. They share ideas, successes, and failures.” Working around students’ busy after-school activities can be challenging, but they are able to practice most days. The team project that focuses on biomass energy production has been an undertaking, but they are optimistic.

St. George Elementary School’s team was formed by STEAM teacher Amy Palmer and Technology & Makerspace Director Paul Meinersmann in 2017. Team 34104 has not had a straight path. After participating in the state competition in 2017, the team is finally returning to the event held in Oakland last year. This year, they will be returning to the Maine FLL State Championship with a completely new group of students. Like many robotics teams in Maine, they are rebuilding their program after going dark during the pandemic. This new team, who renamed themselves the STEAM Powered Knights (they were formerly the “Electro Dragons”), are looking to charge back into robotics action this year.

Shapleigh School will be making their debut at this year’s event. Fifth grade teacher Heidi Randall went through the necessary training this summer to begin coaching a team this school year. They were in the starting process in 2020 and are excited to be able to finally organize a team. “It was certainly a learning year with a huge learning curve,” said Randall, “Our enthusiasm is high as we are getting the final week after the break!”  For students and coaches alike, the first time going to an event is a learning experience, but one that will help the team grow and better prepare for the future.

On December 3, 2022, the Veazie Vikings, the St. George STEAM Powered Knights, and the Shapleigh RoboSharks will join many FLL teams at Spruce Mountain High School for the Maine FIRST LEGO League Challenge State Championship. This is event is free and open to the public. Children of all ages can watch FLL teams compete. There is still a high need for volunteers to help at this event in a variety of capacities. If you have any interest in volunteering at this event, please contact Geoff Cyr (geoffrey.cyr@gmail.com). To learn more about opportunities for Robotics in Maine schools, check out Robotics Institute of Maine (RIM). For information about computer science in Maine schools, please check out the Maine Department of Education’s Computer Science page. If you have a robotics success story at your school, email jonathan.m.graham@maine.gov.

Computer Science Mobile Lab – Training Webinars and Support Resources

Join us during Computer Science Education (CS Ed) Week for FREE virtual training for the mobile computer science labs! We’re excited to announce that we’ll be hosting webinars throughout next week to help folks get started with their lab equipment. These will be vendor-provided trainings and will cover the basics of unboxing, configuring, and getting started. Webinars will be live and recorded. Recordings will be posted to the website once they become available.

Additionally, we’ve put together a webpage to provide immediate resources and support for each mobile lab option. These resources offer some quick access information to help get going with the equipment

To check out these resources, learn more about the webinars, and to register, click here. You’ll see the mobile lab options and can find quick start resources as well as the registration links for the webinars.

If you have questions or would like additional information, please reach out to Maine DOE’s Computer Science Specialist, Emma-Marie Banks at emma-marie.banks@maine.gov