Maine DOE Director of Special Education Honored by MADSEC

The Maine Administrators of Services for Children with Disabilities (MADSEC) awarded Erin Frazier, Maine Department of Education (DOE) Director of Special Education from birth to 22, with the MADSEC President’s Award this year.

Frazier was selected to receive the award by the past MADSEC president Cheryl Mercier and current MADSEC president Deb Murphy.

Through weekly informational meetings with MADSEC and state special education leaders that she has led since March 2020, her ongoing coordination of the necessary changes to special education throughout the pandemic, and her continuous words of encouragement, Frazier was more than a worthy recipient of this prestigious award.

“Erin’s leadership has truly served as our beacon of light during this time of great uncertainty,” Mercier and Murphy stated at the recent award ceremony.

The Maine DOE is proud of this recognition of Erin’s leadership efforts and her ongoing accomplishments as a education leader in Maine.

This article was written by Maine DOE Intern Clio Bersani in collaboration with Maine Administrators of Service for Children with Disabilities as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea email it to Rachel at

Reminder: Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) Summer Workshops

Instead of a week-long event this summer, Maine Agriculture In The Classroom (MAITC) will be holding three single day, in-person events focusing on Dairy, Aquaculture, and Wild Blueberries.

Each professional development event for PK – Grade 12 educators will offer 7 contact hours or .7 CEU’s (Total possible = 21 contact hours or 2.1 CEU’s)

Each event will start at 8:30 AM and finish at 4:00 PM. A lite breakfast, snack, and lunch will be provided at each training.

Dairy – Thursday, August 12
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

A full day of resources, lessons, and programs surrounding dairy will be provided by MAITC and the Maine Dairy Nutrition Council. In the afternoon participants will visit dairy farms, including the Flood Farm in Clinton, and experience a day in the life of a dairy farmer! Learn about silage, see a milking parlor, and learn much more about our local dairy farms!

A Day of Aquaculture – Thursday, August 19
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Join MAITC for a day of exploring aquaculture at the picturesque Downeast Institute on Beals Island. We will spend the day exploring aquaculture with hands-on activities, hosted by Dr. Anne Langston Noll. In the morning, topics include aquaculture through history, online resources for production, ocean temperatures, salinity, etc. and an introduction to aquaculture globally, in the U.S. and Maine. Later we will tour the Institute’s working shellfish hatchery, and research facilities, including spawning shellfish and (if successful!) observing fertilization and cell division, and data collection for a real-life research project piloting the farming of sea scallops in ME lobster pounds. Last but not least we will explore resources available for teachers through MAITC and our colleagues at 4H and have the opportunity to try out activities included in the 4H teacher “toolkits”. Please bring your own computer or iPad if you are able. WIFI will be available. Venue: Downeast Institute – 39 Wildflower Lane, Beals, ME 04611

Wild Blueberry Emersion – Friday, August 20
8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Our day will begin at the Bluebird Ranch Family Restaurant, 78 Main Street in Machias. After a lite breakfast we will join teacher Eric Brooks for exploration of MAITC Wild Blueberry resources and curricula. Representatives from the Wild Blueberry Commission will host an afternoon tour of local farms and barrens to view harvest, culture, and production of Maine’s official berry! Do you know that Maine produces more wild blueberries than anywhere else in the world? Do not miss this opportunity!

Registration Fees & Information

  • 1 Training – $35
  • 2-Trainings – $60
  • All 3 Trainings – $75

Download registration form to mail a check

Online registration

Limited space – register early! Pre-Registration only – Deadline August 6, 2021. For more detailed information, including options for accommodations please visit:

Maine Agriculture in the Classroom (MAITC) is a grassroots program coordinated by the United States Department of Agriculture, and housed at the Maine Department of Agriculture. Our goal is to help students gain a greater awareness of the role of agriculture in the economy and society so that they will become citizens who support wise agricultural policies and local agriculture endeavors.

For more information visit or contact MAITC at (207) 287-5522 or

EMCC, MCCS, and Maine DOE Celebrate 88 “Badguates” in Inaugural Cohort of Learning Facilitator Program

Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC), in partnership with the Maine Community College System (MCCS) and the Maine Department of Education (DOE), held a “Badguation” ceremony on June 23rd for the first class of Learning Facilitator Program completers, or “Badguates.”

In a response 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, which enabled the Maine DOE, MCCS, and EMCC to collaborate on a high quality, fast-track training program for paraprofessional level educators to expand, strengthen, and support our excellent educator workforce.

“This is emergency response at its finest, but this is also innovation at its finest where a real problem, a critical issue was presented, and everybody came to the fore to make it happen,” said Commissioner Makin during her remarks at the ceremony.

The Badguation ceremony honored the Learning Facilitators, many of whom were present during the virtual event, and featured a video message from Governor Janet Mills and remarks from EMCC faculty, EMCC President Dr. Lisa Larson, MCCS President David Daigler, Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin, and DOE Representatives.

“You participated in a new model, a new way of thinking, and learning, and leading together,” said EMCC President Lisa Larson during her opening remarks. “You’ve earned credits and credentials, and along the way you also gained some new friends and colleagues.”

“You’re not only the first, you’re also a part of building the future of our economy and you’re core to families being able to find new successes as opportunities unveil themselves through this new, ever-changing economy,” MCCS President David Daigler said to the graduates in his remarks.

“While many people were reeling and pulling inward and saying, ‘I’m just going to try to stay safe and ride this out,’ you ran into the fire like first responders. You said, ‘yep, sign me up! I’m going to go take those courses, I am going to get into this credentialing program, and I’m going to help our schools,’” added Commissioner Makin in her remarks.

The event also featured a short video showcasing written messages from program participants who shared sentiments on how they changed in positive ways throughout the program. Here are a few:

“I am happy to say I learned that if I put my mind to it then I will do it. I really wanted to learn how to write a lesson plan for my students and I did. It took a few tries before I got there, but I did.”

“I am excited to take what I have learned and apply it to the areas of my teaching. I can observe a student and know what I am looking for, I can be a better co-teacher.”

“I don’t think you will ever be able to measure the success of this program as it will continue to have a positive impact for many, many years to come.”

Offered at no cost to the participants, the Learning Facilitator Program is completed in two phases in one academic year with the ongoing support of Eastern Maine Community College faculty. Upon completion of a 3-credit “boot camp” course in phase one of the program, participants have the foundational skills necessary to fill short-and long-term substitute educator roles, as well as all paraprofessional positions. In phase two, participants engage in a combination of online work and professional learning community meetings, as well as a 315-hour structured teaching apprenticeship. When they complete the program, participants are eligible for an emergency Education Technician authorization which allows them to be employed as an Education Technician III.

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

Watch the 34 minute virtual ceremony on EMCC’s YouTube Channel:

Opportunity for Aspiring Mentors: Mentor Training Registration Opens Today

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is committed to supporting the growth and development of educators aspiring to be mentors.  Over the past three years, the Maine DOE has collaborated with teacher leaders, administrators, and higher education partners to customize Maine’s mentor resources. These resources are available to School Administrative Units (SAUs) who wish to provide local support and training to new mentors.  We extend our sincere thanks to educators who continue to offer this training throughout the state.    

Mentors serve a critical role within their schools, and we are appreciative of their ongoing dedication to supporting and growing the profession.  Current mentors have been crucial to the educational environment—each individual mentor has made an impact.  We are encouraged by and thankful for those educators who are enthusiastically stepping up to become mentors.   

This summer, the Maine DOE will be offering virtual mentor trainings. These interactive sessions will serve as a foundation for aspiring mentors and a refresher for current mentors.  Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the principles of mentoring, reflect deeply on the role of mentors, apply practices into real-world situations, and engage in lively discussion with peers from across the state.   

Details: Educators are welcome to select either session below that works best with their schedule. The sessions will take place via Zoom, a link will be sent to participants following registration. Sessions are offered at no cost, all materials will be available electronically.

Choose from two sessions:

July 22, 2021
8:30am – 3:30pm (with a built-in lunch break)
Registration Form

August 10, 2021
8:30am – 3:30pm (with a built-in lunch break)
Registration Form

Contact Hours: Educators will receive contact hours for participation 

Educators are welcome to discuss the opportunity, along with local training requirements, with their mentor chairperson prior to registering.    

Interested in learning about future offerings, discussing customizable resources, or sharing promising practices?  

Please reach out to Emily Doughty at or at 207-592-0314.  

MEDIA RELEASE: Eight Semifinalists Selected for 2022 Teacher of the Year

The Maine Department of Education, in partnership with Educate Maine, is pleased to announce the eight teachers that have been selected as semifinalists for Maine’s 2022 Teacher of the Year program. The semifinalists were selected from the 2021 County Teachers of the Year, who were honored in May in a virtual ceremony.

2022 Teacher of the Year Semifinalists:

Andrew Kirby
Aroostook County
Kirby has been teaching for 13 years and will be teaching science to grades 9-12 at Caribou High School.

I know Andrew is a teacher that will go above and beyond to work with students that need extra help, he sees when a student understands the material and may just need an alternative route to explain it, and is willing to adjust his classroom to the needs of his students to keep them successful.” – Andrea Hallett, Director of Guidance, Presque Isle High School

Paige Fournier
Cumberland County
Fournier has been teaching for 17 years and currently teaches special education at Freeport Middle School.

Paige’s influence on our building stretches well beyond the four walls of her classroom. She truly has changed the lives of many kids. She has such a positive impact on our entire school from the life skills classroom.” – Ray Grogan, Principal, Freeport Middle School

Michelle Laliberte
Franklin County
Laliberte has been teaching for 20 years and currently teaches PreK – Kindergarten at Rangeley Lakes Regional School.

Mrs. Laliberte truly makes learning fun for the kids, teaches teamwork and responsibility to very young kids with regular assigned classroom “jobs,” and involves the students’ families to help ignite the passion for learning both in and outside of the classroom.” – Kathryn Kay, Parent

Patti Forster
Knox County
Forster has been teaching for 29 years and is currently teaching English to grades 9-10 at Camden Hills Regional School.

Patti brings a huge heart and expert understanding of pedagogy to her work with students. She purposefully works with students who struggle with school or English. She is successful where other teachers have failed. As department head she leads her peers in bringing more social and emotional learning into their program, has developed and implemented a set of tier 2 interventions for students 9-12 who are struggling in English.” – Shawn Carlson, Principal, Camden Hills Regional School

Melissa Guerrette
Oxford County
Guerrette has been teaching for 20 years and currently teaches grade 5 at Oxford Elementary School.

Melissa Guerrette is a teacher that creates an impact at all levels: at OES, in MSAD #17, in the greater Oxford Hills Community, and in the state of Maine. She exemplifies what it means to be a reflective practitioner and is generous with her time and knowledge of best practices.” – Heather Manchester, Curriculum Director, RSU 17 / MSAD 17

Kelsey Stoyanova
Penobscot County
Stoyanova has been teaching for 7 years and currently teaches grade 8 English Language Arts at Reeds Brook Middle School in Hampden.

She forms meaningful relationships with her students and creates an environment that is welcoming. Along with that, I feel like I can be challenged in her class to do my best while also developing and working on skills that might be harder for me. We do this by having class discussions, creative projects, and interesting assignments.” – Tessa Castrucci, Student

Hillary Hoyt
Waldo County
Hoyt has been teaching for 7 years and currently teaches grade 3 at Leroy H. Smith School in Winterport.

Her desire to make sure each child feel like they are important is evident in her ability to individualize for each child, yet set high expectations of citizenship and respect. Her ability to restructure lessons and units to meet student’s interests, with such a diverse classroom, is unique.” – Dawn Moore, Principal, Leroy H. Smith School

Christine Goulet
York County
Goulet has been teaching for 21 years and currently teaches grade 2 at for Biddeford Primary School.

Christine has been a part of our Tiger community where her passion for teaching and learning has engaged, empowered, and supported all students in her learning environment which is not necessarily determined by the four walls of her classroom. Christine has a positive attitude, a growth mindset, and a strong passion of teaching all learners.” – Mandy Cyr, Director of Instruction, Biddeford School Department

The eight 2022 Teacher of the Year semifinalists will continue in the selection process which consists of a professional portfolio review and an oral presentation, and results in identifying three state finalists. The state finalists will then sit for a final interview and have a school-site visit before one of them is named the 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year.

The Teacher of the Year selection panel is made up of legacy Teachers of the Year, school administrators, Maine DOE staff, members of professional education organizations, and the business community. The 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year will be announced in October.

The Maine Department of Education’s Maine Teacher of the Year program is administered and managed by Educate Maine and supported by both the Maine State Board of Education and the Maine County and State Teacher of the Year Association. Funding for the program is generously provided by Bangor Savings Bank, Dead River, Geiger, Hannaford, Maine Lottery, the Silvernail Family and Unum.

More information about Maine’s Teacher of the Year program, the 2021 County Teachers of the Year, and the 2022 semifinalists can be found on the Maine Teacher of the Year website. For questions and information, please reach out to Program Director Dolly Sullivan at or call 631-3385.