Belfast Teacher Named Alternative Educator of the Year

The Alternative Education Association (AEA) of Maine has announced that Lindsey Schortz of the Belfast Community Outreach Program in Education (BCOPE) has been named the 2021 Alternative Educator of the Year. Lindsey is the Lead Science and Math teacher in the program and has become integral to the success of the students while engaging them in their learning. The Maine Department of Education joins the AEA in recognizing the hard work and determination of Lindsey and all of alternative educators across Maine for everything they do to ensure that each and every student has the opportunity to learn.

“I love alternative education because it provides opportunities for students and teachers both,” said Lindsey Schortz. “For students who have not seen success in a traditional setting for whatever reason, it shows them that there is another way for them to learn.  For teachers and students, it is an opportunity to be creative, study topics in depth and perhaps most importantly form real relationships.  I feel fortunate to work at a school with such deep roots in the community and in a district that values alternative education and how it can transform a student’s educational experience.”

Colden Golann, Assistant Principal at Belfast High School, says “what separates Lindsey is her commitment to her students. She will stop at nothing to support kids and help them overcome the obstacles they are facing. Last year during school closures, Lindsey took it upon herself to visit any student who was not participating and often taught individualized lessons in driveways, porches or on breaks from student’s jobs.

Daisy Bradney, a student in the BCOPE program described Ms. Schortz as a, “kind, caring, and very passionate about what she does….she has always been my go to person whenever something exciting happens, she is always so thrilled for our achievements…no matter how big or small.

The AEA also recognized the other finalist for this award, Linda “Cookie” Dana of Bangor High School remarking that these great educators represent the level of excellence as determined by the National Alternative Education Standards.

The AEA will recognize both honorees and their achievements at their Annual Conference on May 28th.



MEDIA RELEASE: Three Maine Schools Win a Brand New $100K DON’T QUIT!® Fitness Center

Today, Governor Janet Mills and fitness icon Jake (Body by Jake) Steinfeld, Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils (NFGFC), announced three Maine schools have won a state-of-the-art $100,000 DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center. The multi-million dollar DON’T QUIT! Campaign has selected Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School in Deer Isle, Gorham Middle School in Gorham and SeDoMoCha School in Dover-Foxcroft for new fitness centers in recognition of their commitment to the health of their students.

“The last year has proven just how important investing in the health of our students is to keeping our state strong,” said Governor Mills. “I congratulate these deserving schools on being selected to receive a state of the art fitness center and I thank them for their commitment to the health and well-being of Maine children. These centers would not be possible without the generosity of the National Foundation for Governors’ Fitness Councils and Mr. Steinfeld and I thank them for their investment in the children of Maine.”

“We had an overwhelming response from elementary and middle schools throughout the great state of Maine. None of this would have been possible without the incredible support of Governor Mills, who helped make this campaign a huge success by putting the health and well-being of children first,” said Mr. Steinfeld.  “Three schools really embodied our mission of building a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.  I’m thrilled to announce that Deer Isle-Stonington Elementary School, Gorham Middle School and SeDoMoCha School are all being awarded a brand new $100,000 DON’T QUIT! Fitness Center. Congratulations to all, we look forward to visiting these three schools during our ribbon cutting ceremonies this fall!”

Each fitness center is financed through public/private partnerships with companies like The Coca-Cola Company, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, Wheels Up and Nike, and does not rely on taxpayer dollars or state funding. Fitness in Motion provides all the fitness equipment, which is manufactured right here in the United States. The foundation’s goal is to build a nation of the fittest, healthiest kids in the world.

These state-of-the-art DON’T QUIT! Fitness Centers will be unveiled during ribbon cutting ceremonies this fall. This year, the NFGFC program will have completed 40 states and will make its way into all 50 states in the coming years.

For more information about the National Foundation, visit


Waldo County Technical Center Names Daisy Bradney CTE Student of the Year

Daisy Bradney
Daisy Bradney

Waldo County Technical Center (WCTC) proudly announces Daisy Bradney as its 2020-2021 CTE Student of the Year.

Daisy, a senior from Belfast Area High School’s BCOPE, is a second year student in the Culinary Arts program. Miss Bradney is a member of the National Technical Honor Society and has also served as a Student Ambassador while at WCTC.

Aside from having asserted herself as a top notch baker, Daisy also excels in the production of soups and stews. A past volunteer at the Starrett Children’s Center, she is the daughter of Jody Johnstone and James Bradney.

Daisy plans on attending the University of Maine at Presque Isle next year to pursue a degree in education. When not focused on her studies or honing her culinary skills for family and friends, Daisy enjoys dancing, hiking and working part time at a local restaurant.

Congratulations and GOOD LUCK, Daisy!

Learn more about Waldo County Technical Center by visiting their website, learn more about the Career and Technical Education Sites in Maine by visiting the MACTE website to see a listing by location. To learn more about Career and Technical Education, watch this short video:

United Technologies Center Names Mackenzie Stepp as CTE Student of the Year

The United Technologies Center is pleased to announce Mackenzie Stepp of Hermon as the 2020-2021 Student of the Year.  Mackenzie is a student in the school’s Medical Assisting Program.  Mackenzie attends Hermon High School.  While at Hermon she has been a member of the Student Council and has served as the organization’s treasurer and president.  She is currently president of the National Honor Society. Mackenzie is a two year member of the Key Club and is the school’s student school board representative.

Mackenzie is taking part in the medical assisting externship at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bangor.  She has distinguished herself in the medical assisting program through her outstanding academic and clinical performance. Trudy Vintinner, Mackenzie’s medical assisting instructor, explains that not only has Mackenzie excelled in the classroom and clinical portion of the program but has a remarkable sense of care and compassion for others which truly distinguishes her in the medical field.  Mackenzie is also a member of the National Technical Honor Society.  United Technologies Center is proud to have a student whose kindness and empathy are the centerpieces of a superb set of personal qualities.

Mackenzie will attend the University of New England in the fall where she plans to major in medical biology.  She is the daughter of Charlene and Andrew Stepp of Hermon.

Learn more about United Technologies Center by visiting their website, learn more about the Career and Technical Education Sites in Maine by visiting the MACTE website to see a listing by location. To learn more about Career and Technical Education, watch this short video:

Tri-County Technical Center Honors Ann Gerardi as CTE Student of the Year

Director Leavitt and the faculty at Tri-County Technical Center have selected Ann Gerardi as the 2020-2021 Career & Technical Education Student of the Year.

Ann is a senior at Tri-County Technical Center enrolled in the Criminal Justice Program.  Her instructor, Steve Spaulding nominated her for the award.  “Anne exceeds all of the program standards, excels academically, and demonstrates exceptional leadership.”

Last year Anne was enrolled in the Emergency Medical Technician Program where she earned her certification in the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT).  Tri-County Technical Center Director Brian Leavitt stated, “This is a huge accomplishment for a high school student.  Ann now is able to be employed throughout the United States as an EMT.  Ann is also a member of the National Technical Honor Society.”

Ann has been accepted into the New Brunswick Bible Institute in the Biblical Studies program.  After college she plans to pursue a career in the emergency medical services field.

Ann is a homeschooled student who resides with her family in Dexter.  She is the daughter of Brenda and Paul Gerardi of Dexter.

Everyone at Tri-County wishes Ann the best of success!

Learn more about Tri-County Technical Center by visiting their website, learn more about the Career and Technical Education Sites in Maine by visiting the MACTE website to see a listing by location. To learn more about Career and Technical Education, watch this short video: