Maine Students Selected for United States Senate Youth Program

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

The United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) announced that high school students Mr. Joseph Eugene Bergeon and Mr. Jay Raj Philbrick will join Senator Susan Collins and Senator Angus King in representing Maine in the nation’s capital during the 57th annual USSYP Washington Week, to be held March 2 — 9, 2019. Joseph Bergeon of Kennebunk and Jay Philbrick of Limestone were selected from among the state’s top student leaders to be part of the 104 national student delegation who will also each 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 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 brings the most outstanding high school students – two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity – to Washington, D.C. for 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. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized.

Joe Bergeon, a senior at Kennebunk High School, serves as a student representative on the Maine R.S.U. 21 Board of School Directors, and is a member of the Class of 2019 Executive Council. He was also the 77th youth governor of the Maine YMCA Youth in Government program. During the summer of 2018, he was sponsored by Senator Susan Collins and served as a United States Senate page. Joe is active in his school’s debate team and is a member of the varsity swim team. He hopes to pursue a degree related to international studies and business.

Jay Philbrick, a junior at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, serves as the treasurer of the Student Senate, and leads by serving as head tutor in his school’s Learning Center and president and founder of his school’s High School Quiz Show Maine team. Jay has been recognized for his academic talents as well through his selection as a Michael P. Fabio grant winner and as a finalist for the Lemelson-MIT grant award. He believes that a degree in economics can help shape a better understanding of public policy and may serve him in a future in public office.

Chosen as alternates to the 2019 program were Ms. Lauren Cooper, a resident of Dover-Foxcroft, who attends Foxcroft Academy and Mr. Logan Holt, a resident of Brunswick, who attends Brunswick 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 being nominated by teachers and principals. For more questions about the process please visit:

For questions about Maine’s delegates, alternates, or state selection process contact Joe Schmidt at or (207) 624-6828.

For general information about the United States Senate Youth Program, contact Program Director, Ms. Rayne Guilford at or (800) 425-3632.


PRIORITY NOTICE: Live Broadcast Available for Public Hearing on Proposed Revisions to Science and Technology, and Social Studies Standards

As a reminder, the Maine Department of Education has scheduled a public hearing on November 15, 2018 as part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results. The Department is seeking public comments regarding the proposed revisions to Rule Chapter 132, revised science and technology and social studies standards.

The public hearing will take place in room 103A of the Burton Cross Building in Augusta. Anyone present may speak at the public hearing, which will be live-streamed. People that wish to speak will be asked to sign in and, preferably, provide two written copies of comments, as well as an electronic copy.

Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments by 5 pm on December 3, 2018. Written comments may be emailed to with the subject “Science Standards Review,” or “Social Studies Standards Review,” or mailed to Maine Department of Education, attn: Beth Lambert, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

Below is a list of relevant links, as well as the hearing information including a link for the live stream:

For further information about the standards review process contact Beth Lambert at

PRIORITY NOTICE: Proposed Revisions to Rule Chapter 132 (Social Studies and Science and Technology Standards); Public Hearing on November 15, 2018

This notice is one of four priority notices being sent to district and school administrators on 10/24/18 regarding proposed major substantive rules that have been filed with the Secretary of the State of Maine on this day (Rule Chapters: 101, 115, 122 and 132). Please share this notice with all interested parties.

As part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results, the Maine Department of Education is seeking public comments regarding proposed revisions to the social studies and science and technology standards found in Rule Chapter 132 Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction. Please note that the Department of Education is only seeking comments on the Science and Technology Standards and Social Studies Standards sections of Rule Chapter 132 at this time.

The standards review process for the science and technology and social studies standards began in 2017 with a public comment period and a public hearing on the current science and technology and social studies standards. After the public comment period, steering committees were convened who were charged with reviewing all submitted comments and with developing blueprints for the revision of the state standards in their assigned content area. Once the blueprints were created, writing teams, consisting of pk-12 teachers who represent Maine’s cultural and geographical diversity, assembled to draft the standards revisions. Now, as part of this review process, the Maine Department of Education has submitted the revisions as part of a proposed rule change to Chapter 132.

Find the details for proposed changes for Rule Chapter 132 on the Maine DOE Proposed Rule & Rule Changes webpage (proposed rules are listed in order by rule number).

Public Hearing Information for Rule Chapter 132:
November 15th from 1-4pm
room 103 at the Cross Building, 111 Sewell Street, Augusta
Anyone may speak at the public hearing which will be live-streamed (A link to the livestream will be available prior to the public hearing). People wishing to speak will be the asked to sign in and, preferably, provide two written copies of comments, as well as an electronic copy. Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments

Comment Period Deadline: 5 pm on December 3rd, 2018

Written comments may be sent to Standards Review at, or mailed to Beth Lambert, 23 SHS Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

Social Studies Standards Review – Writing Team

The Department of Education is performing a review of the Maine Learning Results for Social Studies and is looking for participants to serve as part of the writing team. The purpose of the writing team is to revise the current standards based on guidance provided from a steering committee. For more information about the standards review process, check the new Maine DOE standards revision website.

The team will serve as a representative sample of Maine K-12 social studies educators covering pK-12 grade levels, geographic locations, and content area strengths across all four of the social studies strands. While specific dates are still to be determined, a majority of the work will take place in July and August and will include at least one face to face meeting in Augusta.

While all interested educators are encouraged to participate, those who work in elementary grades or have background in teaching economics or personal finance are highly encouraged to apply. Also, to help ensure that the geographic diversity of our state is represented, those who teach in the following counties: Hancock, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, or Washington are strongly encouraged to apply.

Participants will receive contact hours for time work, be reimbursed for travel costs, and lunch will be provided for face to face meetings.

If you are interested in participating, please complete this short survey by 4:00pm on Monday, June 4 to be considered. We will reach out to interested participants with more information in the coming weeks.

For further questions, contact Maine DOE Social Studies Specialist Joe Schmidt at (207) 624-6828 or


Summer professional development opportunities for social studies teachers

This summer the Maine Department of Education is hosting three different professional development opportunities for social studies teachers including sessions specific to elementary teachers. The eleven dates range from June to August in five locations around the state to give everyone a chance to join us!

See below for more information or to register. Contact the DOE Social Studies Specialist Joe Schmidt ( with any questions.

Summer Symposium:

A group of teachers have been working with me throughout this school year to learn more about best practices in social studies and how to incorporate those practices into their classrooms. These teachers have completed their last session and some are looking to provide FREE regional professional development opportunities to share their learning and experiences. With teachers from Portland to the County, there is the potential for a training to take place near you!

  • The Dover-Foxcroft Symposium will take place from 8:30am-12:00pm at SeDoMoCha Middle School on Friday, June 29th. Click HERE to register.
  • The Poland Summer Symposium will take place from 8:30am-12:00pm at Bruce M. Whittier Middle School on Friday, August 17th. Click HERE to register.

Forum 2017: Inquiry – LAST CALL!

For those that were unable to attend Forum 2017: Inquiry last summer, I am going to hold one last FREE session before moving on to Forum 2018: Disciplinary Literacy (see below). Forum 2017: Inquiry LAST CALL will take place in Augusta at the Cross Building on June 28th from 9am to 4:00pm. Click HERE to register. Participants will have the opportunity to win door prizes!

Forum 2018: Disciplinary Literacy

Are you interested in learning more about DISCIPLINARY LITERACY in the social studies classroom? Join the Maine DOE Social Studies Forum 2018 in August with sessions in Augusta, Bangor, Portland, and Presque Isle. Each location will have one day focused on pK-6 Elementary teachers and one day focused on 6-12 Secondary teachers.

*NOTE* You will only need to attend one session as the elementary/secondary sessions are not sequential and the four locations will have the same training.

This FREE workshop will walk teachers through current research about disciplinary literacy in social studies, provide resources to examine current practices, and provide time and support for the creation of your own unit that can be used in the upcoming school year. Teachers are encouraged to bring members of your department/district and use the day to update current units of instruction with research based best practices. See below for locations and dates and click HERE to register. Participants will have the opportunity to win door prizes!

  • Presque Isle/UMPI – 8/6-8/7
  • Portland/Maine Historical Society – 8/14-8/15
  • Augusta/Cross Building – 8/21-8/22
  • Orono/UMO – 8/28-8/29

For more information or questions contact, Joe Schmidt,  Social Studies Specialist for the Maine Department of Education at (207) 624-6828 or