Career and Technical Education Students of the Year Honored

The Maine Association of Career and Technical Education (MACTE) held its annual Career and Technical Education (CTE) Student of the Year Award Ceremony on April 29 at the Lewiston Regional Technical Center’s The Green Ladle restaurant.

The event featured a keynote address from Maine Speaker of the House Ryan Fecteau, in addition to an awards ceremony honoring a student from each of Maine’s 27 CTE Schools for their exemplary work in their respective program.

Students Honored:

Hannah Albert
Health Occupations
St. John Valley Technical Center
Molly Bennett
Tri County Tech – Dexter
Abigail Crammer
Digital Media
Foster Tech – Farmington
Eric LaPlante
Machine Tool
Van Buren Tech
Kobe Saunders
St. Croix Tech – Calais
Cadence Allen
Building Construction Technology
Oxford Hills Tech – Norway
Evan Margison
Agriculture and Commercial Drivers License
Caribou Tech
Dustin Taylor
Culinary Arts
Coastal Washington Tech – Machias
Wyatt Smith
Automotive Technology
Region 9 – Mexico
Dane Driscoll
Farm Mechanics
Presque Isle Tech
Desmond Gonzalez
Auto Collision and Composites
Waldo County Tech – Waldo
Kristen Little
Culinary Arts
Lewiston Tech – Lewiston
Timothy “TJ” Fitzpatrick
Auto Collision
Region Two – Houlton
Wyntyr Herrera
Culinary Arts
Somerset Tech – Skowhegan
Taylor Dastoli
Law Enforcement
Lake Region Tech – Naples
Robert Bowker
Computer and Networking Systems
Sandford Tech – Sanford
Daniel Whitman
Mass Media Communication
Mid Maine Tech – Waterville
Victoria Hersey
Pre-Apprenticeship 21/22 and CNA 20/21
Region 10 – Brunswick
Alyssa Stanley
Registered Medical Assistant
Region Three – Lincoln
Elias Libby
Outdoor Leadership
Mid Coast Tech – Rockland
Emily Cheung
Biomedical and Health Science
PATHS – Portland
Samual T. Meyers
Health Occupations – CNA
United Technologies – Bangor
Iassc Hayden
Electrical Technology
Capital Area Tech – Augusta
Dawson Ramsdell
Heavy Equipment Operation/CDL (A)
Westbrook Tech – Westbrook
Amber Rae Pesek
Biomedical Science
Hancock County Tech – Ellsworth
Lucas Martin
Bath Tech – Bath
Grace Sommer
Teaching and Early Education
Biddeford Tech – Biddeford

Special recognition goes to Lewiston Regional Technical Center (LRTC) culinary arts students for food preparation and service, to LRTC mulitmedia technology students for program design, and to Somerset Career and Technical Center (SCTC) digital graphics students for their design of the award certificates.

Thank you to the Maine Administrators of Career & Technical Education (MACTE), the Maine Department of Education, the Maine State Board of Education, and the hard-working educators, students and staff at Maine’s CTE schools!


Thomas College Hosts First-ever ‘Educators Rising’ Conference in Maine; Two Students Named Preservice Teachers of the Year

Eighty-three students enrolled in teacher preparation courses in 14 colleges, high schools, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) schools across Maine gathered at Thomas College last month for Maine’s first-ever Educators Rising Conference!

The conference was planned primarily by Thomas students who are part of Maine’s first Educators Rising Chapter. A national, community-based movement, Educators Rising is an organization with a presence in all 50 states that seeks to cultivate a new generation of highly skilled educators by guiding young people on a path from high school to college and into their teaching careers. Educators Rising provides “Grow Your Own” programming through Educators Rising curriculum, standards, micro-credentials, chapters, conferences and other activities.

The Thomas Educators Rising Chapter Chair, Abby Bolvin, opened the conference by welcoming her fellow pre-service peers to the conference, and reviewed logistical details, including room locations, photo tips, and conference hashtag #EdRising22.

Dr. Monte Selby, principal at Vinalhaven School and a talented musician, engaged the aspiring educators with an entertaining musical keynote address that stressed the importance of building strong relationships with students, and some tips on how to forge authentic, trusting connections. After the keynote, students chose from a wide variety of breakout sessions to attend. The session topics were selected by the Educators Rising Chapter students.

Bolvin explained that having the option to be part of the conference planning was a significant learning experience for her and her fellow Educator Rising Chapter members. They initially came up with a list of 50 session topics that they wanted to learn more about, and eventually narrowed it down to the topics on the program, which included classroom management, talking about controversial topics, what to expect in your first year of teaching, assessments, innovative math practices, and more.

During a delicious lunch catered by Thomas College, the students heard from Pamela Thompson, Professor and Chair of Thomas’ Education Department, and the 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year Kelsey Stoyanova. Thompson stressed the importance and impact of teachers, and Stoyanova shared, “we are not just teaching how to read to understand and write to show understanding, we are engaging learners to be global citizens—to offer them a glimpse of what it looks like to own their education, their futures, their voice, and do something with it.”

Tammy Ranger, 2017 Maine Teacher of the Year and the Director of Workforce Development and Innovative Pathways at the Maine Department of Education presented Maine’s first “Preservice Teacher of the Year” awards. Earlier this year, all Maine preservice teachers were were invited to apply  for the award. The top three preservice teachers were selected from a pool of over 20 applications from students in teacher preparation programs throughout Maine. “The future of the education profession in Maine certainly looks bright” said Ranger, commenting on the passion, creativity and commitment demonstrated in the preservice teachers’ application packets.

Students Mohamed Kilani (Bowdoin ’21) and Ivy Robinson (University of Maine Machias ‘22) were named Preservice Teachers of the Year, and Chelsea Whiting-Puckett (Bowdoin ’22) was named a runner up.  The selection committee, made up of Maine State and County Teachers of the Year, said the following about these promising teachers:

“Kilani’s work with anti-racism, bridging intercultural relationships, and restorative practices is remarkable. All students (and colleagues) will benefit from the classroom culture he creates.” 

 Ivy is a voracious learner—soaking up wisdom and practices from every teacher she works with. Her willingness to learn and improve her practice will only make her a better teacher year after year.

Chelsey’s robust and honest English and social studies classes reflect her commitment to inclusion, representation, and equitable learning environments for all students.

As part of being named Preservice Teacher of the Year, both Kilani and Robinson were awarded $1,000 each to help jumpstart setting up their classroom, and runner up Whiting-Puckett was awarded $200.

Special thanks to the Peter and Paula Lunder School of Education at Thomas College, the Maine Association for Middle Level Educators (MAMLE), Educate Maine, UNUM, and representatives from the Maine Department of Education for making this event possible.

To learn more about Educators Rising, visit the national website or reach out to Tamara Ranger ( at the Maine Department of Education.



REMINDER: Regional School Calendars Due June 1, 2022

As a reminder, Regional School Calendars are due by June 1, 2022 for school administrative units (SAU) and private schools approved for tuition purposes, in coordination with their local secondary career and technical education (CTE) school. This requirement is part of Public Law 2011, Chapter 686 to promote collaboration among local school administrative units that may benefit from inter-administrative unit collaboration beyond CTE.

For school year 2022-23, both regional school calendars and individual calendars for each school administrative unit must be submitted by the director of the local CTE Center/Region to the Department of Education (DOE) no later than June 1, 2021 for a decision on approval by July 12, 2022. Guidance and templates can be accessed electronically at

Given the coordination required for fulfillment of this law, the Maine DOE recommends that SAUs initiate discussions as soon as feasible, including representatives from all affected secondary schools and their associated career and technical education center or region.

For more information, including guidance, instructions, templates, a waiver process, and a link to the complete law, please visit Further questions should be directed to Doug Robertson at 624-6744 or Dwight Littlefield at 624-6721.

LRTC Student, Olivia Servidio, Chosen for a Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity in Nashville, TN.

Pictured: Pam Abzan the instructor of Lewiston Regional Technical Center’s Medical Science Program, left, stands with her student Olivia Servidio who has been selected for the AspirnautTM Summer Research Internship.

One of Lewiston Regional Technical Center’s very own students, Olivia Servidio, has been chosen for a spot at AspirnautTM Summer Research Internship. This internship is hands-on and a mentored laboratory experience for high school students interested in a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM).

Participants reside for six weeks on the campus of Vanderbilt University and conduct biomedical research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. Interns are paid a stipend for the time they work in the lab, provided room and board, and given the opportunity to interact with university faculty and administrators.

Students in the past have been involved in research ranging from understanding diabetic kidney disease and breast cancer to designing microfluidic devices with engineers.

Only 20-25 students, from all over the country who apply, are accepted into the program. Students applying need to achieve excellent test scores in science and math and are committed to pursuing a career in the STEM field. The right candidate needs to be curious, resourceful, highly engaged, and resilient.

Olivia Servidio is a bright and driven student and was nominated by her Medical Science teacher, Pam Abzan, to participate in this internship.

LRTC 8023 – A Robotics Underdog Story

Pictured: Team LRTC 8023 with their robot. From left to right: Ahmed Hussein, Omar Osman, Jacob Willette, and Chance Tuttle.

April 2nd – 10th is National Robotics Week, a time to focus attention on this interdisciplinary component of computer science. In Maine public schools, robotics comes to life in a variety of ways. From our high school students participating in robotic competitions down to the youngest elementary student programming robots to follow a sequence, robotics is a grassroots effort that we can see in many schools. This recognition, dating back to 2009, has a simple mission – “to inspire students in robotics and STEM-related fields and to share the excitement of robotics with audiences of all ages.”

This second installment highlights the underdog story of LRTC 8023 (Team 8023*) from Lewiston Regional Technology Center. The team formed in 2019 and only had one competition under their belt when FIRST suspended the season. At that first meet in Massachusetts, they walked away the Rookie Inspiration Award and many lessons learned from competing on the field.

LRTC 8023’s two awards in a display case at their school.  Two events, two awards, including an Alliance win, is quite the feat.  The broken piece was sent with love from Team 6324 with the inscription “Ouch!”
LRTC 8023’s two awards in a display case at their school. Two events, two awards, including an Alliance win, is quite the feat. The broken piece was sent with love from Team 6324 with the inscription “Ouch!”

After a year and half without in-person competitions, the team made their return to the carpet for the Pine Tree District’s FIRST Robotics Competition held at Thomas College in Waterville. The twenty-six teams were from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, many of them with long established programs and experienced mentors.

The team had been spending months getting their robot ready for their first competition of the 2022 season.  They were, however, underdogs.  They came out of the qualifying matches with a 3-6 record.  They were brought into an Alliance with Orange Chaos (Team 4564) out of Brewer and Morpheus (Team 5813) out of New Hampshire going into the playoffs.  After a spectacular final match with a close point count, LRTC came out victorious.  It was a big lift for the young team mentored by LRTC Trade Works instructor Alan Graves and Lewiston High School Social Studies teacher Kathy County.  As a result, they ranked 21 of 183 in New England district. LRTC 8023 was one of the fourteen Maine teams headed down to the NE District Pease ANG Event this past weekend, where the field was deep and the competition was fierce.  They came in 32nd overall after a 5-7 record during qualifying and did not make the playoffs. “They worked hard, showed up and had what it took to show what a true underdog can do,” LRTC Student Services Support Kelsey Poliquin said.  The town of Lewiston recognized the team’s accomplishments and proclaimed April 5th to be “Robotics Team Day” and invited the team to city hall to be formally recognized.

If you would like to follow LRTC 8023, check out their Facebook page or their Twitter feed.  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

* team numbers are given in order of creation, so LRTC 8023 is the 8023rd team to become part of FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition).