Two Maine Educators Honored with 2020-2021 Financial Educator of the Year Award

The Maine Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy has awarded two Maine educators for their outstanding work in financial education. The Maine Jump$tart Financial Educator of the Year Award, established in 2012, was created to recognize an individual who has distinguished themselves through their efforts to improve the financial capability of the students and families they serve. The Maine Jump$tart Coalition is pleased to honor Sheree Inman and Joe Schmidt as the 2020-2021 recipients of the Financial Educator of the Year Award for their leadership and accomplishments in personal finance education.

Sheree Inman is a teacher at South Portland High School, where she wears many hats as the Career Prep Teacher, School to Work Coordinator, and Career Fair Coordinator. Sheree is a leader in her school, and consistently pursues professional development opportunities in personal finance education.

Sheree has played an active role in trainings and events held by Maine Jump$tart, as well as participated in weekly conversations with other Maine personal finance teachers during the transition to distance learning this past spring.

Joe Schmidt is the Social Studies Specialist at the Maine Department of Education, where he provides technical support and professional development to Maine teachers. Joe also led the review of the social studies standards, which includes personal finance and economics, within the Maine Learning Results.

Prior to his role at the Maine DOE, Joe spent nine years as a high school social studies teacher in Wisconsin and three years as a teacher leader for social studies curriculum and instruction for the Madison, Wisconsin public school district. Joe currently serves on the national advisory boards for iCivics and Teaching Tolerance, chairs the National Council for the Social Studies Government and Public Relations committee, and has completed multiple fellowships and leadership opportunities.

Joe’s support, knowledge, and expertise has been an invaluable resource to Maine social studies teachers, particularly this past spring. Mary Dyer, president of the Maine Jump$tart Coalition, says, “Joe’s work in support of Maine educators, particularly during the transition to distance learning as a result of COVID-19, was simply extraordinary. Joe has served as an important voice for personal finance and economics educators in Maine and we are truly blessed to have him in our ranks.”

As recipients of the Financial Educator of the Year Award, Ms. Inman and Mr. Schmidt will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Jump$tart Educator Conference in 2021, where they will network with financial educators from across the country. Ms. Inman and Mr. Schmidt will also be formally honored at the 2021 Fostering Financial Education in Maine Schools Conference.

Learning Facilitator Program- Great Resource for Schools, Free for Trainees!

In order to be responsive to critical staff shortages in Maine schools as a result of the pandemic, Governor Mills created additional flexibilities and opportunities for educators in Executive Order #7. Based on the Executive Order, the Maine Department of Education, in collaboration with Maine Community College System and Eastern Maine Community College, has developed the Learning Facilitator Program, a fast-track training program for paraprofessional level educators to expand, strengthen and support a high quality educator workforce.

The program, which is offered at no cost to the participants, is completed in two phases in one academic year with the ongoing support of Eastern Maine Community College faculty.

  • A week-long 3-credit course “boot camp” with foundational elements of classroom management and school culture. Additionally, the core boot camp curriculum includes training in COVID readiness, bloodborne pathogens, suicide awareness and prevention, mandated reporter training, and fingerprint clearance in order to address both substitute teacher and long-term support staff preparedness.
  • The second phase of the program consists of a combination of online work, professional learning community meetings, and a structured teaching apprenticeship (315 hours).

Upon completion of the 3-credit course “boot camp,” participants will have the foundational skills necessary to fill short- and long-term substitute educator roles, as well as all paraprofessional positions. They can support instruction and provide guidance to learners in the classroom under the supervision of a mentor teacher or teaching team. Mentor teachers or teaching teams may be working remotely or in-person. Special coding for Learning Facilitators has been created within NEO for schools, so that subsidy will not be impacted.

Educators who complete all elements of the Learning Facilitator Program, as outlined above, will qualify for an Educational Technician III certification.

For more information related to the program, please visit the EMMC website, here.

National Board Certified Teacher Salary Supplement Request Due November 6, 2020

Do you have National Board Certified Teachers on your staff? Awesome! We are sending along a reminder to those fortunate superintendents, or directors of a publicly-supported secondary school or CTE region, with eligible staff who have attained National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification prior to July 1, 2020. Please let us know so we can provide you with their legislatively allocated salary supplement.

In order to qualify for the salary supplement, eligible staff must be currently employed by a Maine public school, or by a publicly-supported secondary school or CTE region in Maine. Eligible position titles include classroom teacher, special education teacher, literacy specialist, long-term substitute teacher, library media specialist, guidance counselor, and teacher leaders with certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, or its successor organization.

Salary Supplement amount: Despite enacting language regarding a $5,000 supplement for those teaching in a school with a Free and Reduced Lunch Rate (FRLR) 50% and higher, no additional funds were appropriated to provide full funding for that, or full funding of the $3,000 for those under the 50% FRLR; therefore, both supplements will need to be prorated. Estimated* prorated amounts:

Teaching in a school with a Free and Reduced Lunch rate 50% and higher:  $3,350

Teaching in a school with a Free and Reduced Lunch rate below 50%: $2,022

*Please note these are estimated amounts. Final salary supplement totals will depend on the number of qualifying teachers in each category. We expect to have that information published on our web site the week of Dec. 7. The submission form and further information is available on our National Board Certification Salary Supplement web page:

National Board Scholarship Information:

Information will be available on November 10 on our National Board Certification Scholarship web page:

Thank you for your patience regarding the delay in releasing information. Due to the pandemic, we are navigating a very different school year.

If you have questions, please contact Tamara Ranger at

Registration Open for FREE Virtual Future Teachers Academy Oct. 20-21

Open to Maine high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors, this free, virtual Future Teachers Academy will be held on Oct. 20, 1:00 – 3:00 pm and Oct. 21, 2:00 – 4:00 pm. The event is for students who are interested in exploring the field of education.

During the academy, students will have the opportunity to imagine themselves as a future educator as they: design a game idea for a future classroom, problem-solve challenges, and collaborate with peers throughout the state.

Any students who are interested in creativity, leadership, and making a positive difference in the world through education are encouraged to attend the academy. The Future Teachers Academy is a collaboration between Thomas College, The Maine State Teachers of the Year program, and the Maine Department of Education.  #TeachMaine #LoveTeaching

Register here:


Application Deadline Extended for Maine’s Leadership Development Program  

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is pleased to announce the opportunity for Maine leaders to participate in the 2020-2021 Maine Leadership Development Program (LDP) cohort!  The Maine LDP is an initiative designed to build and strengthen instructional leadership skills among Maine’s educational leaders at the school, district, and state levels. In our ongoing efforts to support and foster the educational expertise in Maine, educators who aspire to do the same are invited to take advantage of this high impact opportunity!

The Department will re-open the application process for a limited time.  Applications will be due by September 28, 2020 in order to ensure that selected participants are prepared to participate in Unit 1 on October 19 and October 20. A link to access more information and application materials can be found below.

During the 2019-2020 school year, the Maine DOE partnered with the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL) to prepare the first cohort of candidates to become certified trainers and facilitators of future cohorts.  The 2020-2021 cohort will be led by Maine leaders committed to excellence in education.

Maine’s LDP is delivered through a blended learning model including case studies, inquiry, and hands-on activities with practical applications that meet the rigorous expectations for today’s educational leaders.  Successful completion of the LDP may contribute to credit hours for participants pursuing an advanced degree or contact hours for re-certification purposes.

Benefits for Maine Schools

  • Prepares educational leaders to lead for excellence and equity
  • Increases student achievement, and fosters a culture of high expectations
  • Enhances teacher recruitment, retention, and quality

Program Curriculum

  • Nationally researched, evidenced-based, and locally delivered in a cohort model
  • Improves the practice of leadership, transforms instruction and student achievement in schools
  • Consists of 12 two-day units, delivered in 12 months
  • Bridged with online coursework, readings, and job-embedded application of key concepts through action learning

Characteristics of Ideal Candidates

  • A belief in and commitment to improving instruction and increasing achievement for all students
  • Experience in a leadership role at the school, district, and/or state level with background as a classroom teacher. Ideal candidates include, but are not limited to, teachers, principals, assistant principals, instructional coaches, deans, Title I directors, department leaders, ESEA coordinators, special education directors, English Learner directors, assistant superintendents, instruction and curriculum directors, CTE instructors, CTE directors, and superintendents. Priority will be given to educational leaders from schools identified to receive Tier III support throughout Maine.
  • Excellent communications skills; able to effectively facilitate professional development for peers
  • Demonstrated skills in mentoring and coaching
  • Experience as a successful practitioner who is able to translate concepts to actions, theory to practice, and programs to craft
  • Able to participate in the entire Maine LDP Program and deeply engage in action learning
  • Likely to live and work in Maine for the next five years

Please visit to hear from participants and for more information.

To view the program schedule and download the application visit:

The Department encourages educational leaders to consider applying for this exciting opportunity!

For more information please email