Register Now for Maine Construction Career Days – Oct 6

Maine’s chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC Maine) and the Maine Associated General Contractors (AGC Maine) are hosting a Maine Construction Career Days event on October 6th from 7:30am – 2:00pm at Midcoast Excavation in West Bath. The event will be open to all high school students.

The event will be a hands-on experience and include exhibitors and educational resources. It will be attended by construction companies, school districts, state agencies, labor unions, trade and professional organizations. All of them are collaborating to provide students with an introduction to various aspects of construction. The event will also be the platform to award scholarships to deserving Maine students entering a construction related field.

Schools interested in sending students can click here for a school registration form.

Download a printable flyer

For more information or questions, reach out to:

National Board Scholarship Application Window Now Open 

Are you a Maine public school teacher who is interested in becoming National Board Certified? Are you a school administrative unit that is eager to offer this exceptional professional learning opportunity to your teachers?  State law, 20-A MRSA Section 13013-A subsection 5 & 6; as amended by PL 2012 c. 702, established the National Board Certification Scholarship Fund to encourage teachers to apply to, and enroll in, the certification program offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, or its successor organization. 

A school administrative unit, or a publicly supported secondary school or CTE region, may request scholarship funds on behalf of its teachers who meet the requirements. 

In school year 2022-23, Maine Department of Education (DOE) will allocate $75,000 to the scholarship fund, and shall award an amount equal to the cost of the certification program, less any other funds received by the applicant to not more than 30 teachers accepted into the program annually. Priority will be given to teachers who have already begun the process and teachers employed in high needs schools.

For more information and eligibility requirements, please visit our National Board Certification Scholarship page:  https://www.maine.gov/doe/cert/nationalstandards/scholarship 

Please Note:  The application will be open from August 8, 2022 through October 15, 2022.  If you have questions about the National Board Salary Supplement Program or the National Board Scholarship Program, please contact Emily Doughty at Emily.doughty@maine.gov 

 

A Year of Success and Innovation: Rethinking Responsive Education Ventures at St George Schools

The first round of RREV (Rethinking Responsive Education Ventures) Awardees were announced in August of 2021. RREV is an initiative of the Maine Department of Education, funded by the Education Stabilization Funds through the US Department of Education’s Rethink K-12 Education Models, that bolsters Maine educators’ innovative efforts to support their students with agile, effective, and resilient learning experiences that improve learning outcomes for all students. Now, after a year of experience and development, the Department of Education would like to thank the awardees for their dedication to innovative education and highlight their achievements that have resulted from the RREV contracts over the past year. Continue reading to learn more about the ways in which St George Public Schools has used their RREV funding this past year.

Since being named a RREV Awardee last August, St George Public Schools have been working with Mid-Coast School of Technology to create a PreK-12 Career and Technical Education Program. The program builds upon a long tradition of place-based education that grounds student learning in the history, traditions, and natural environment of St. George and provides a model for preparing students to develop the technical, creative thinking, and social-emotional skills to thrive in an innovation economy and strengthen local and regional economies by meeting existing labor force needs and creating new businesses and industries.

The program implementation and increased Makerspace use over the past year has had an “energizing effect” on the community, Superintendent Mike Felton says. “Teachers are saying thank you and getting excited,” Makerspace Director Paul Meinersmann added. It’s not just teachers that are excited, though. Students are loving the “hands-on, minds-on” learning, too. One student that was feeling disengaged at the start of the year now aspires to be an engineer after spending time using the equipment in the Makerspace.

Part of the engagement, the educators say, comes from the independence and confidence instilled in the Makerspace. Students are asked “What do you want to learn?” rather than being told what to learn, and, once they feel comfortable completing a task on their own, they are allowed to do so. Another important aspect is that students receive credit for their work. A 5th grade student who helped design and create donor plaques for the new, soon to be constructed Makerspace was both surprised and proud to find his name engraved on the back of the plaques next to Meinersmann’s.

students on toboggan
St George Students at the US National Toboggan Championships

Another group of students who were beginning to feel disinterested had the opportunity to work in Apprenticeshop in Rockland. The Apprenticeshop has hosted a Junior Boat Building program that the school has participated in for multiple years, but this year, instead of a boat, the students built a toboggan. Once their toboggan was completed, the group of three students took their toboggan to the US National Championships to compete. The construction of the toboggan reengaged the students in their learning and captivated their minds by showing them just a few of the possibilities open to them after graduation.

The district is working up to build a PreK-8 CTE/Makerspace Building at St. George School, and Felton says this past year

has been integral to making the building successful when it opens. “We need vision and heart to fill the building,” he said, and that’s exactly what they’re building through the implementation of the program this past year.

Outside of the Makerspace access and use, fundraising efforts have also helped to spread the vision and create a network of people investing in the school. The community has collectively raised over $1,450,000, which includes the $250,000 from the RREV grant. Contributions came in every shape and size, from big and little donors alike. One family sold eggs on the side of the road to pitch in, while some individuals donors made contributions up to $250,000. In addition, 13 businesses have sponsored the project.

The school hopes to break ground on the building in the fall and to provide programming to every child. Felton sees the building, and the program as a whole, as an “equity builder,” a true community resource that’s accessible to everyone, all the time, that everyone knows they can use.  The school is looking forward to having the building completed by the end of the upcoming school year and is hoping to offer summer programming for students next year.

Although RREV funding ends June 30, 2023, the vision at St George does not end next year. In the long term, Felton says he hopes for the district to act as an example and a model for other schools and districts, not only across Maine, but across the country. The goal is to spread awareness about the power of this type of learning, which he views as increased student and family engagement, and job set up. By connecting and advocating with other states, Felton says he believes that other schools can be encouraged to connect higher career and technical education with younger grades, setting students up for success.

Martin Mackey, the former RREV Project Director who tragically passed away in April of this year, embodied the RREV spirit: to think and act boldly to meet the needs of students. His passion was to “change lives.” As such, he challenged each and every RREV participant to do just that as they designed pilot ideas that would ultimately have a lasting systemic impact on students.  After 18 months of leading RREV, Martin’s passion had been passed on to almost 200 educators who had participated in innovation professional development. From those educators, 27 Pilot ideas were brought to fruition and have received over $5.7 million in RREV awards. Through their pilot ideas, these educators have pledged to commit themselves to innovation.

The Maine DOE encourages all schools and districts across the State of Maine to learn more about these innovative educators and their RREV pilots through the RREV website and the online RREV collaborative platform known as EnGiNE. It is through EnGiNE that we all hope to continue the Martin Momentum to change students’ lives through innovative and responsive educational programs.

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
Firefighting
Tri County Tech – Dexter
Abigail Crammer
Digital Media
Foster Tech – Farmington
Eric LaPlante
Machine Tool
Van Buren Tech
Kobe Saunders
Business
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
Carpentry
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 (tamara.ranger@maine.gov) at the Maine Department of Education.