Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Announces 2023 Teachers of the Year and Honor Award Winners 

Every November outstanding professionals in the fields of health education, physical education, adapted physical education, and recreation are recognized during the Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (Maine AHPERD) Annual Conference. This year the following four educators were named as the 2023 Maine AHPERD Teachers of the Year and honored during the Award Banquet at the Samoset Resort.

Awards were presented to a community partner and two individuals who are recognized as strong supporters of the mission of Maine AHPERD and the field. This year’s awardees were:

Additionally, six students were recognized as the 2023 Outstanding Future Professionals in health and physical education hailing from five Maine institutes of higher education.

Pictured L to R: Sarah Wentworth - University of Maine at Orono, Zachery Creekmore - St. Joseph's College, Brecken Sargent - University of Maine at Presque Isle,(Maine AHPERD President Kayla McGee), Tyler Calhoun - University of New England, Jonah Sautter - University of Maine at Farmington, Jacob Mulligan - University of Maine at Orono
Pictured L to R: Sarah Wentworth – University of Maine at Orono, Zachery Creekmore – St. Joseph’s College, Brecken Sargent – University of Maine at Presque Isle, (Maine AHPERD President Kayla McGee), Tyler Calhoun – University of New England, Jonah Sautter – University of Maine at Farmington, Jacob Mulligan – University of Maine at Orono

Check out the MaineAHPERD website for highlights and resources from the conference.


Hancock County Technical Center Teacher Meghan Stubbs Surprised with National Recognition

Meghan Stubbs, a career and technical education (CTE) teacher at Hancock County Technical Center, found herself at the center of a heartwarming surprise during a schoolwide assembly earlier today. The visit by Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin to commend the school’s CTE programs also honored Stubbs’ individual contributions with a Milken Educator Award, a distinguished recognition bestowed by the Milken Family Foundation. The Award honors outstanding educators across the country for their innovation, achievements and exemplary leadership, and it includes $25,000 that the recipients may use however they choose.

Hailed as the “Oscars of Teaching,” the Awards will honor up to 75 recipients across the country in 2023-24 as part of the Milken Family Foundation’s Journey to the 3,000th Milken Educator. 2023-24 will reach $75 million in individual financial prizes spanning the length of the initiative and more than $144 million invested in the Milken Educator Award national network overall, empowering recipients to “Celebrate, Elevate, and Activate” the K-12 profession and inspiring young, capable people to pursue teaching as a career.

“Dedicated, an advocate, a leader, and an all-in educator: That’s how Meghan Stubbs is known at Hancock County Technical Center,” said Commissioner Makin. “Meghan is constantly seeking ways to support her students, lift up her colleagues, and foster connections with the community. Being one of her students means not just gaining the skills and knowledge needed to be an early childhood educator but also getting real-world experience through the childcare center she established at the school, competing in state and national competitions, and developing a strong civic voice through visits with legislators at the State Capitol. We are proud to join the entire Ellsworth community to honor and celebrate Meghan Stubbs for her extraordinary contributions to her students, colleagues, and public education in Maine.”

The Milken Educator Award is not a lifetime achievement honor. Recipients are sought out while early to mid-career for what they have achieved – and for the promise of what they will accomplish given the resources and opportunities afforded by the Award. The Maine DOE led the selection committee process for the Award.

More About Meghan Stubbs

Enrichment Through Civic Responsibility: Stubbs cultivates a welcoming, safe atmosphere for students in her highly regarded Career and Technical Education program, focusing on early childhood education. This program not only equips students with the knowledge and skills needed for leadership roles in their school and community, but also emphasizes the importance of civic involvement. For example, Stubbs organizes field trips to the state capital where her students advocate for early childhood education and positive changes in childcare practices.

Hands-On, Early Childhood Instruction: Leading by example, Stubbs established the “Caterpillar Clubhouse,” an on-site, part-time childcare center at the school. Under her guidance, students have the unique opportunity to mentor 3- and 4-year-olds, creating a rich learning experience that extends beyond textbooks. Collaborating with the local elementary school and YMCA, Stubbs provides her students with hands-on experiences across different age groups, and most of her students go on to earn their Certified Early Childhood Assistant certification each year.

Fostering Pathways to Success: Stubbs leads one of Maine’s most active chapters of SkillsUSA, a student-led organization that connects young adults to trade industries for career opportunities. Stubbs serves as a SkillsUSA advisor at both the state and national levels and volunteers on the SkillsUSA Maine Board of Directors. Her students have excelled at SkillsUSA competitions, with some earning gold medals and serving as state officers. Stubbs is active on Hancock’s MELMAC committee that works with students to make informed decisions about their futures, starting with advancing successfully to college or post-secondary training. New teachers look to Stubbs’ guidance and support to instill these values in their own students.

A Role Model Beyond the School: Stubbs’ generosity extends to the community, where she spearheads initiatives such as food and clothing drives. She is also engaged in Comfort Cases, a project that assembles backpacks with essential personal care items for youth entering the foster care system.

Education: Stubbs earned her Bachelor of Arts in early childhood education and child and family studies from Lesley University in 2012.

Three Maine Educators Recognized by Maine Psychological Association

The Maine Psychological Association (MePA) recently honored three outstanding Maine educators at its Annual Conference earlier this month, during an all-day event at the historic Harraseeket Inn in Freeport that celebrated diversity and excellence in psychology and education.

The MePA Educator Recognition Program recognizes PK-12 educators who prioritize the establishment of positive relationships with their students, effectively integrate social-emotional learning within the classroom, and model leadership and advocacy within their school communities.

Recipients of the 2023 Educator Recognition Awards:

Jeni FrazeeJeni Frazee,
Waterville Public Schools

Jeni Frazee, a grade-5 teacher at the Albert S. Hall School, was honored for her trauma-informed approach to supporting students in the classroom. Frazee shows a deep respect for the dignity of all students and adeptness in providing guidance and mentorship to colleagues. She also responds to challenging behaviors in the classroom with empathy and practical coping skill development.

JoyJoy Jancewicz
RSU 56

Joy Jancewicz, a grade-4 teacher at Dirigo Elementary School, was recognized for her innovative approach to integrating social-emotional learning into the classroom and commitment to partnering with families to support positive student outcomes. Jancewicz uses “respect circles” to give her students voice and shows unwavering dedication to whole-education and trauma-informed practice.

Catherine Newell

Catherine Newell
Scarborough Public Schools

Elementary Music Educator Catherine Newell received the award for her commitment to the Responsive Classroom approach and skillful integration of self-regulation tools and strategies within the classroom. Newell’s recognition of how traditional classroom expectations may contribute to challenges in emotional and behavioral regulation, coupled with subsequent efforts to create a more inclusive learning environment and curriculum, highlights her dedication to meeting the diverse needs of students.

During the ceremony, MePA President, Jamie Pratt, PsyD congratulated the educators for their exceptionally psychologically minded performance and dedication to advancing positive mental and behavioral health outcomes for Maine students. “These teachers understand the importance of supporting students’ mental and behavioral health and make a tremendous impact by creating psychologically safe environments for learning,” said Pratt.

For more information about MePA and its mission, please visit

Nominations Open for Exceptional English Language Arts and Literacy Teachers; MCELA Conference Set for March 2024

The Maine Council for English Language Arts (MCELA), an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English, has announced the Claudette and John Brassil Distinguished Educator Award.  The purpose of this award is to recognize exceptional English language arts and literacy teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, contributed to the profession, and shown a commitment to the community.

The award is open for nominations until 12/10 to learn more and make a nomination visit MCELA’s nominations webpage.

Mark your calendars for the MCELA Annual Conference, on March 29, 2024
at Holiday Inn By the Bay Portland, Maine. To learn more about the conference visit the MCELA website here.

For further information about these opportunities reach out to The Maine Council for English Language Arts (MCELA)

Celebrating 10 Years of Success: Teacher of the Year Program Hosts Annual Gala Event

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