Teachers from 15 of Maine’s counties were honored today in Maine’s State Capitol at an annual event in the Hall of Flags announcing the 2019 Maine County Teachers of the Year.
The group is the county finalists for Maine Teacher of the Year, an honor awarded each year to one teacher in Maine.
Commissioner of Education Pender Makin notes, “The MTOY program offers all of us the opportunity to celebrate the phenomenal work that is being accomplished every day in Maine’s public schools. Each of the County Teachers of the Year exemplifies a deep commitment to Maine’s students and a belief in the power of education to create positive and lasting change. They bring their compassion, creativity, and innovation to the art and science of teaching, amplifying the dreams and futures of their students. In highlighting the accomplishments of these 15 educators, we are also honoring all of Maine’s teachers, and the outstanding talents and dedication they bring to their classrooms and communities.”
The educators were each nominated by a member of their community for their exemplary service in education, and dedication to their students. They were selected by a distinguished panel of teachers, principals and business community members from a pool of hundreds of other nominated teachers in their communities.
2019 County Teachers of the Year:
Androscoggin County: Shawn Rice, Edward Little High School, Auburn
Aroostook County: Kim Barnes, Caribou Middle School
Cumberland County: Heather Whitaker, Gorham Middle School
Franklin County: Robert Taylor, Spruce Mountain Middle/High School, Jay
Hancock County: Nell Herrmann, Blue Hill Consolidated School
Sagadahoc County: Charles Bingham, Morse High School, Bath
Somerset County: Katherine Bertini, Madison Junior High School
Waldo County: Ashley Reynolds, Captain Albert Stevens School, Belfast
Washington County: Jeanna Carver, Jonesport Elementary School
York County: Ethel Atkinson, Bonny Eagle Middle School, Buxton
*Lincoln County did not have a nominee who both met the criteria and completed the application process.
As ambassadors for teachers, students, and quality education in Maine, these teachers will continue to participate in the intensive State Teacher of the Year selection process, including the submission of a video showcasing their classroom instructional practices.
The field will be narrowed to eight semi-finalists who will begin working on their professional portfolio, a component of the National Teacher of the Year process. After the portfolio review and presentations to a select panel, the field is narrowed to three finalists. In October, the 2020 Maine Teacher of the Year will be selected after a school site visit and final interview.
The Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine Department of Education. It is with gratitude from the Maine DOE that the program is administered by Educate Maine, a business-led organization working to ensure Maine’s students and workers are the best educated and highly skilled in the world.
On April 19, 2019 Governor Mills signed LD 283, which contained the revised Maine Learning Results for Social Studies. While personal finance has always been included in the standards, this bill and the subsequent revision of the standards were designed to make explicit the importance of this content area.
The signed bill is currently going through the Maine Administrative Procedure Act to officially become law through the Secretary of State’s office. It is anticipated that the law will go into effect near the end of this school year. This timeline allows schools to begin planning for implementation during the summer of 2019. Planning is underway for a series of professional development opportunities around the state in 2019 and 2020, as well as online resources, to help support schools as they transition to use of the revised standards.
In the meantime, a new Social Studies: Standards & Instruction website has been created, along with links to related pages and resources, to help educators and districts begin planning for any curricular changes that are deemed necessary in light of the revised standards.
Nearly 200 English teachers from across the state attended the Maine Council of English Language Art’s annual conference at the summit of Point Lookout in Northport last week. The conference began on Thursday with a celebration of poetry headlined by Maine Poet Laureate Stuart Kestenbaum. Kestenbaum read several of his poems, explaining how several started as a list of words handed to him by students, then transformed into moving and vibrant stories in verse.
On Friday, teachers supported teachers by providing 24 different opportunities to learn with and from each other. Topics included Teaching Trauma and Resilience Through Literature, The Dream-Centered Classroom, and Exploring Power, Social Justice, and Other Contemporary Issues Through Book Clubs in Middle and High School Classrooms.
The event ended with Gillian French, author of Grit and several other novels, reading from her works and encouraging place-based writing. A native of Bucksport, French embraces to beauty of Maine, the grittiness of its residents, and the sometimes challenging, sometimes uplifting experiences that come from rural living.
MCELA presented the 2019 Brassil Award, honoring distinguished Maine educators John and Claudette Brassil, to Stephanie Hendrix of Bangor High School. Hendrix teaches English and Humanities, is a doctoral student, integrates technology flawlessly into her instruction, and is quite active in theater. This award recognizes exceptional English language arts and literacy teachers who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, contributed to the profession, and shown a commitment to the community. MCELA is currently accepting nominations for the 2020 Brassil Award. Go to the MCELA Brassil Award page for further details.
Catch up on all the details on twitter with #MCELA2019
Based on feedback from our school and district colleagues who have been responsible for the graduation reporting process in the past, we have divided the tasks into what we hope are more timely and manageable steps. We recognize the hard work being done to ensure accuracy of the data reported, and would like to offer technical assistance with the process of meeting this federal requirement.
Phase 1 will allow schools the opportunity to review and make any necessary changes to incorrect data. This phase will focus on ensuring accuracy of start and exit statuses for students who are part of the 2019 cohort. The cohort is comprised of any student who entered grade 9 for the first time in the 2015-2016 school year. The emphasis of this phase is on examining the accuracy of the enrollment data, including transfer-in and transfer-out statuses. Validation of these codes assists us in ensuring accurate calculations of four-year graduation rates.
Phase 1: Graduation Reporting Phase I
Opens: April 1
Due: May 15
Phase 2: Validating Start and Exit Statuses in Synergy
Now through June 30
Phase 3: Graduation Reporting Phase II
Opens: July 1
Due: August 30
Phase 4: Dropout Reporting
Opens: November 1
Due: November 30
The Department will be holding an online webinar, offered at two different times, for convenience. The webinar is designed for any school staff who may be asked to complete Graduation Reporting Phase I in their school or district. We will review the process, and will also give a detailed walk through on how to complete Phase I. Registration is free, but necessary prior to the webinar. This ensures that connection details can be shared with participants.
Webinar #1 – Thursday, April 4th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm OR
Webinar #2 – Tuesday, April 9th from 10:00 to 11:00 am
School administrative units and private schools approved for tuition purposes are expected to establish regional school calendars, in coordination with their local secondary career and technical education school, by May 3, 2019.
The Legislature enacted that requirement as part of Public Law 2011, Chapter 686, which expands access to career and technical education in Maine and ensures that students completing career and technical education (CTE) coursework have greater access to post-secondary opportunities. Specifically, the law addresses scheduling conflicts that pose barriers to students by requiring that those school districts and private schools approved for tuition purposes that share a CTE school adopt a regional school calendar with no more than five dissimilar days. Furthermore, implementation of the law is intended to promote collaboration among local school administrative units that may benefit other forms of inter-administrative unit collaboration beyond CTE. The law became effective Aug. 30, 2012, and establishing the regional calendar is a condition for eligibility for state subsidy.
For school year 2019-20, 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 no later than May 3, 2019 for a decision on approval by June 7, 2019. Guidance and templates can be accessed electronically at www.maine.gov/doe/regionalcalendar/.
Given the coordination required for fulfillment of this law, the Maine DOE recommends that school districts initiate discussions as soon as possible, including representatives from all affected secondary schools and their associated career and technical education center or region.