Maine Department of Education Recognizes this Year’s MPA eSports Finalists

Organized by the Maine Principals Association (MPA), Central Maine Community College hosted the first in-person Maine eSports championships on its Auburn campus. eSports is a form of competition using video games. This year’s champions are:


  • Noble High School: League of Legends
  • Caribou High School: Rocket League
  • Maine Central Institute: Super Smash Bros (Tyson Thompson)

Runner Up

  • Cape Elizabeth High School
  • Noble High School
  • Cape Elizabeth High School (Rohan Yadav)

See more info on this year’s competition at MPA eSports.

Establishing eSports in high school enables students to do what they love and provides them with additional opportunities to earn recognition, a sense of belonging and enhanced critical thinking and interpersonal skills.

eSports is a growing trend in Maine and across the country. Why?

  • Character Growth – Students build character and develop discipline through practice and competition
  • Grade Point – Both teachers and parents have reported a renewed interest in schoolwork and an improvement in grades as a result of participation.
  • Socialization Skills – Many students are already passionate about gaming, and eSports provides an environment where they can come together and bond over a shared interest
  • Stem Skill Growth – Esports competition is rooted in technology, and provides a natural pathway for students pursuing college majors in the STEM category. (Noble Website)


Preseason February 10, 2023
Registration deadline February 13, 2023

Consider starting a team, to learn more visit the Maine eSports website.






Three School Projects Honored with ‘Spirit of America Foundation’ Award

Spirit of America Foundation, has selected three school programs with their ‘Spirit of America Foundation Award.

Nominated by local school leaders, the Award is presented to local individuals, organizations, and projects for commendable community service within the school community. The three awardees this year are:

  • Perry Elementary Parent-Teacher Committee (PTC) – The Perry Elementary PTC worked diligently to create a Haunted Trail at the school.  Many parents, teachers, students, community members, and alumni came together to design a haunted trail that has become an annual event.  This community project provided an evening for our families and area families to come together and “Get Spooked.” There were also indoor activities and concessions provided by the 8th-grade students. It was an amazing fundraiser for our PTC.
  • Kingfield Elementary School Growing Gardeners & Outdoor Learning Program – The Growing Gardeners Program teaches students about wellness: planting and growing healthy foods and herbs, as well as how to prepare healthy foods. The Outdoor Learning Program focuses on “Place” and teaches students about their environment and the world around them.
  • Stratton School Garden Team Harvest Fest – The Harvest fest is a collaborative event that takes place with the collaboration of the entire staff, including the students and community members.  It’s a good event in this crazy world. This year we had over 150 people in attendance and raised about $600 to support the growth of the garden program. This event brings the community together to break bread, chat and genuinely build community and good feelings.

Spirit of America Foundation is an Augusta based public charity established to honor volunteerism. To see past awardees or learn more about the Spirit of America Foundation, visit

30 Maine School Nurses Complete National Certification in School Nursing 

As part of the Maine Department of Education’s (DOE) efforts to provide opportunities to the current workforce of school nurses to build upon their expertise and to promote evidence-based practice in all Maine schools, the Maine DOE hosted a National Certification in School Nursing (NCSN) Review Course created by Nurse Builders this past fall.

Fifty Maine school nurses participated in the course that was delivered online synchronously by Dr. Janice Selekman, DNSc, RN, NCSN, FNASN. As of January 1, 2023, 33 individuals have taken the certification exam with 30 passing. Those 30 are now able to use the NCSN credentials, which is a nationally accredited credential that validates specialized knowledge and expertise as a school nurse. We now have 30 more school nurses within the State of Maine who have met nationally recognized standards for providing excellence in school nursing care.

The National Association of School Nurses endorses national certification of school nurses through the National Board for Certification of School Nurses (NBCSN). School nursing is a subspecialty of public health nursing, incorporated into the baccalaureate nursing programs’ curriculum. Baccalaureate nursing education develops leadership, critical thinking, quality improvement, and systems thinking competencies attained through a minimum of a baccalaureate degree in nursing and validated by specialized certification in school nursing (IOM, 2011).

Congratulations to the following Maine School Nurses who completed the NCSN certification!

Jean Barbour, Falmouth Schools
Melissa Bishop, Mount Desert Island Regional School System
Brenda Bladen, Kittery School Department
Jennifer Bowdish, Brunswick School Department
Nell Bridger, Portland Public Schools
Angie Buker, MSAD 46
April Chapman, Blue Hill Consolidated School
Michele Cooney, RSU 40
Jean Cote, Waterville Public Schools
Candace Crocker, AOS 98
Sarah DeWitt, Winslow Public Schools
Heather Emerson, RSU 40
Jody Gray, RSU 4
Crystal Greaves, MSAD 46
Emily Guyer, RSU 5
Lori Huot, Maine DOE
Brittany Layman, RSU 22
Melanie Lord, Yamouth Schools
Monique Michaud, MSAD 27
Shirah O’Connell, Portland Public Schools
Tara Oxley, Erskine Academy
Alyssa Rainey, Waterville Public Schools
Cathryn Sherman, Brewer School Department
Elizabeth Spaulding, Portland Public Schools
Janneke Strickland, RSU 9
Melissa Tringali, Gorham Schools
Sherri Vail, RSU 40
Rosemary Wiser, MSAD 44
Jessi Woodman, MSAD 6

Nominate Today: Maine’s 2023 History Teacher of the Year

The Maine Department of Education, on behalf of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is seeking nominations for the History Teacher of the Year Award.  This recognition is part of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s commitment to K-12 education. Each year, the award honors an exceptional K-12 history teacher in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Schools, and US Territories. The National History Teacher of the Year is chosen from among the state winners. Since 2004, this award, co-sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and Preserve America, has celebrated nearly 750 outstanding American history teachers at the state and national levels

State award winners receive: a $1,000 cash prize; certificate of recognition; an archive of books and other resources, given in honor of the state winner, for use in the school library or resource center; recognition at a ceremony in their state; and the winner’s school will become a Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School.


  • Any full-time educator of grades K-12 who teaches American history (including state and local history). American history may be taught as an individual subject or through social studies, reading, language arts, and other subjects.
  • Nominees must be planning to teach for at least one year following the award year.
  • Past state and national winners are not eligible and self-nominations are not accepted.

Ready to Nominate?

  • Nominations must be submitted on the Gilder Lehrman website at A teacher can be nominated at any point during the year but must

be nominated by March 31, 2023, to be considered for the current year’s award.

  • Nominators are asked to provide contact information for themselves and information about the nominee, including a short statement about why the nominee should be honored. Nominations can be made by any individual who is familiar with the teacher’s work, including students, parents of students, colleagues, etc.

For more information please visit:

Maine Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

Students Headed to Washington, D. C. and to Receive $10,000 Scholarship

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announces that high school students Ms. Natalie Barbara Emmerson and Mr. Shawn Jiminez will join Senator Susan M. Collins and Senator Angus S. King in representing Maine during the 61st annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 4 — 11, 2023. Natalie Emmerson of Woolwich and Shawn Jiminez of West Gardiner were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation. Each delegate will also receive a $10,000 college scholarship for undergraduate study.

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the Senate leadership of the day, the impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony is “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world.”

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program provides the most outstanding high school students – two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity – with an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each student with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. All expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.

Natalie Emmerson, a senior at Morse High School, serves as the student representative to the Regional School District 1 School Board. She also serves as the president/co-founder of Morse’s Women’s Empowerment Club, a member of National Honor Society and the Maine People’s Alliance, and was a former member of the Feminist Action Board (Hardy Girls Healthy Women). She has accumulated over 200 volunteer hours since freshman year through swimming, climbing, the Teen Library Council and more. She has received AP Scholar With Distinction, AP Capstone Certificate, Phi Beta Kappa Certificate of Recognition, Harvard Book Award, Language Certificate in French from the University of Maine at Augusta, and the Seal of Biliteracy in French. This summer she won delegate of the week for her town at Dirigo State and attended the Cohen Leadership Institute. She swims competitively and hopes to major in political science or government in college.

Shawn Jiminez, a senior at Gardiner Area High School, serves as the president of the Interact Club and has been appointed to several leadership positions throughout his high school years, including serving as the president of the Drama Club and the Maine Junior Classical League. Shawn was named the 2021 Young Maine Volunteer of the year, accumulating over 300 hours of community service. In addition, he was named a 2022 national quarterfinalist in the American Legion Oratorical Contest, the runner-up in the 2021 Maine State Voice of Democracy Contest, a QuestBridge National College Match scholar, a Horatio Alger State Scholar, a National College Board Rural and Small Town Scholar, and a National Coca-Cola Scholar semifinalist.

Chosen as alternates to the 2023 program were Mr. Ryan Hafener, a resident of Hampden, who attends Hampden Academy and Ms. Carolyne Sauda, a resident of Bangor, who attends Bangor High School.

Delegates and alternates are selected by the state departments of education nationwide and the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Education Activity, after nomination by teachers and principals. The chief state school officer for each jurisdiction confirms the final selection. This year’s Maine delegates and alternates were designated by Pender Makin, Commissioner of Education. During the program week, the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with senators, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, and leaders of cabinet agencies, among others.

In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 6,000 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service. Among the many distinguished alumni are: Senator Susan Collins, the first alumnus to be elected U.S. senator; Secretary of Transportation and former Mayor of South Bend Indiana, Pete Buttigieg, the first alumnus to be appointed as a cabinet secretary; former Senator Cory Gardner, the second alumnus to be elected U.S. senator and the first to be elected to the
U.S. House of Representatives; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the first alumnus to be elected governor; former Chief Judge Robert Henry, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit; former Ambassador to West Germany Richard Burt, former presidential advisors Thomas “Mack” McLarty and Karl Rove. Additional notables include former Lt. Governor of Idaho David Leroy, Provost of Wake Forest University Rogan Kersh, military officers, members of state legislatures, Foreign Service officers, top congressional staff, healthcare providers and other university educators.

Members of the U. S. Senate Youth Program 2023 annual Senate Advisory Committee are: Senator John Hickenlooper of Colorado, the 2023 USSYP Democratic Co-Chair and Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, the 2023 USSYP Republican Co-Chair. The full USSYP Senate Advisory Committee consists of the vice president of the United States and the Senate majority and minority leaders who annually serve as the program’s Honorary Co-Chairs; two senators, one from each party, serving as acting Co-Chairs who each have keynote speaking roles, and an eight-member bipartisan senate panel, four senators from each party, who lend their names in support. Serving on the Advisory Committee for the upcoming program are: Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Senator Jon Tester of Montana, Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Senator Bill Cassidy, MD, of Louisiana, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Senator Cynthia M. Lummis of Wyoming.

For more information please visit: