MEDIA RELEASE: Piscataquis Community High School Teacher Named Maine 2019 Teacher of the Year

Guilford, Maine – In an all-school assembly today at Piscataquis Community High School, Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr. named English teacher Joseph Hennessey Maine’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.

Hennessey was selected earlier this year as the 2018 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year. He began his teaching career in 2012 and has held teaching positions as both an English teacher and a teacher for at-risk youth ever since. He specializes in English literature and composition and has taught speech and debate as well. In his current position at Piscataquis Community High School, Hennessey has implemented a college prep, literature based interdisciplinary course that focuses on students’ interests and aims to prepare them for life after graduation.

“Mr. Hennessey is a unique and highly effective teacher. His formal manner and personality combined with a dry sense of humor and setting high standards for his students, make him an icon of our school,” said Piscataquis Community High School Principal John Keane in a written statement nominating Hennessey for 2019 Teacher of the Year. “With only four years with us, he has become legendary amongst his students and their families. Watching him in class is truly watching a person who has honed his craft to perfection,” he added.

Hennessey was selected from more than 300 teachers who were nominated by a member of their community earlier this year. The Teacher of the Year Program is a year-long process that involves educator portfolio and resume submissions, interviews, oral presentations, and classroom visits made by a selection panel comprised of State Board of Education members, school administrators, Maine Department of Education staff, former Teachers of the Year, and other Maine business partners.

“Joe sees every student as a learner and an intellectual, and he truly strives to ensure that every student sees themselves that way too,” said Emily Gribben, Maine Department of Education Educator Effectiveness Coordinator and member of the 2019 Teacher of the Year Selection Panel. “I think it is also of note that not one student has failed his class and it is obviously not for lack of rigor,” she added.

As the 2019 Maine Teacher of the Year, Hennessey will travel throughout the state and country collaborating with other educators to support the efforts underway to prepare all students for college, work, and civic life. He is Maine’s representative in the National Teacher of the Year program which includes a national forum with other State Teachers of the Year, a week at a NASA Space Camp, and a visit to the White House.

The Maine Teacher of the Year program is administered by Educate Maine, a business-led advocacy organization, in partnership with the Maine Department of Education and the Maine State Board of Education. Funding for the program is generously provided by Bangor Savings Bank, Dead River, Geiger, Hannaford, Maine Lottery, and Pratt and Whitney.

For more information about the Maine Teacher of the Year program, visit www.mainetoy.org.

###

National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

The Maine Department of Education in collaboration with the Maine State Police are helping to promote the 2019 National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest, a nationwide contest administered by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as part of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The contest is designed to promote awareness among teachers, parents/guardians and children and engage them in discussions about safety.

Contest Rules

  1. Applicants must be in the fifth grade.
  2. Artwork should reflect the theme “Bringing Our Missing Children Home”. This phrase must appear somewhere on the poster.
  3. The theme may be depicted in the student’s artwork through one or a combination of illustrations (e.g., signs and symbols, people, abstract, industry, wildlife) and can be created using media such as acrylics, watercolor, pencils, charcoal, magic markers, spray paint, crayons, and pastels. Digitally produced images, collages, cutouts, and stamping will not be eligible for consideration.
  4. The finished poster must measure 8½ x 14 inches.
  5. The poster must be submitted with a completed application, which includes a description of the poster and a brief biography of the artist, either typed or written legibly.

Awards

  • State Level – Each state winner whose poster is selected to go to the national judging competition, will receive a national award certificate from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
  • National Level – The national winner, his/her teacher (or designee from selected school) and parents/guardians (typically two people), and the state manager will be invited to Washington, D.C., to participate in the U.S. DOJ’s National Missing Children’s Day ceremony on May 22, 2019. Transportation and lodging will be provided. The national winner will also receive a national award certificate and a professional print of their poster.

Further information can be found in the Poster Contest Packet.

For further information and to confirm your participation in the contest and to obtain the submission deadline for your state, contact Maine’s State Contest Manager Ms. Carol Tompkins, Maine State Police at 207-626-3805 or carol.tompkins@maine.gov

Nominate Students for the U. S. Presidential Scholars Program

The Maine Department of Education invites school districts to nominate graduating high school seniors for the U. S. Presidential Scholars Program.

Each district may nominate one senior who is a U.S. citizen or legal permanent U.S. resident and has scored exceptionally well on either the SAT of the College Board or the ACT of the American College Testing Program.  In addition, a district may nominate a high school senior who has demonstrated excellence in a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. Application materials will be sent directly to Superintendents and CTE Directors by Friday, October 5th. Application are due to the Maine DOE by Friday, October 26th.

Students chosen as U.S. Presidential Scholars receive an expense-paid trip to Washington, D. C. in June and are presented the U.S. Presidential Scholars medallion at a ceremony sponsored by the White House, in commemoration of their achievements. During their visit to Washington, Scholars have access to important national and international figures, including government officials, educators, authors, musicians, scientists and other accomplished people.

For more information please contact Beth Lambert, Coordinator of Secondary Education or Dwight Littlefield, Coordinator of Career and Life Education.

MEDIA RELEASE: National Blue Ribbon School Honors for Three Maine Schools

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today recognized three Maine schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2018. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“I’m pleased to celebrate with you as your school is named a National Blue Ribbon School,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to the honorees.  “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. Congratulations on your students’ accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs.”

“Congratulations to the students, educators and school leaders at Dr. Levesque Elementary School, Falmouth High School, and Yarmouth Elementary School for their unwaivering commitment to education and student achievement,” said Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr.

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.

Now in its 36th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,800 schools. On November 7 and 8, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with all honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

All schools are honored in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education (CAPE).

Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at http://www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.

School Name and City

  • Dr. Levesque Elementary School, Frenchville
  • Falmouth High School, Falmouth
  • Yarmouth Elementary School, Yarmouth

 

Camden Hills School Nurse Janis Hogan Named 2018-2019 School Nurse of the Year

Janis LoganThe Maine School Nurse Association (MASN) recently announce that Janis Hogan from Camden Hills Regional High School is the School Nurse of the Year, 2018-2019. This award acknowledges a member of the Maine School Nurse Association who demonstrates excellence in school nursing practice and leadership in school nursing.

In her role at Camden Hills, Janis’ presence and influence can be noted everywhere. The librarian/technology director who nominated her stated that “Janis is well-informed on issues that affect our students’ health, and is aware of local, state, and national health trends for youth; she uses this to inform her decisions about student care, programming, advocacy, and outreach efforts, and she also shares this information with teachers and administrators at the building and district level.” The pervasiveness of her influence can be grouped into the initiatives that she embraces and leads.

For more information visit the Maine Association of School Nurses Website. Learn more about how to nominate your school nurse.