MEDIA RELEASE: 2019 County Teachers of the Year Honored 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Kelli Deveaux (207) 624-6747 or kelli.deveaux@maine.gov

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 
    • Kennebec County: Emily Bowen, Hall-Dale Middle/High School, Farmingdale
    • Knox County: Thomas Gray, Camden Hills Regional High School 
    • Oxford County: Linda Andrews, Buckfield Junior/Senior High School, Hartford -Sumner Elementary 
    • Penobscot County: Tracy Deschaine, Orono Middle School 
    • Piscataquis County: Bobbi Tardif, SeDoMoCha School, Dover-Foxcroft
    • 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. 

    For more information, visit www.maine.gov/doe/toy/ or Director of Communications, Kelli Deveaux at (207) 624-6747 or kelli.deveaux@maine.gov. 

MEDIA ADVISORY: Reminder – Maine DOE to Announce Maine County Teachers of the Year May 9, 2019

What:
15 Maine teachers will be announced and honored as part of the Maine Department of Education’s annual Maine County Teachers of the Year awards. The teachers were nominated by a member of their community, underwent a rigorous application process, and were chosen by a panel of teachers, principals and business community members.

Maine county teachers of the year serve as ambassadors for teachers, students, and quality education state-wide. The Maine County Teachers of the Year are available to make presentations to local and regional organizations. Through the summer, they will continue to participate in an intensive State Teacher of the Year selection process.

Who:
15 Maine teachers, representing 15 of 16 counties* Maine Department of Education Commissioner, Pender Makin; Executive Director of Educate Maine, Ed Cervone; State Board of Education, Wilson Hess; and 2019 Teacher of the Year, Joseph Hennessey.
*Lincoln County did not have a nominee who both met the criteria and engaged in the application process.

Where:
Hall of Flags, Maine State Capitol

When:
Thursday, May 9, 2018 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm

For more information contact Maine DOE Director of Communications, Kelli Deveaux at (207) 624-6747 or kelli.deveaux@maine.gov.

Teacher of the Year Nominations Open Until February 4th

As a reminder, nominations are still open 2019 County Teachers of the Year and 2020 Teacher of the Year. Members of the public are encouraged to nominate educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and nurturing the achievement of all students.

Nominations can be made through the Maine Teacher of the Year Website. The Maine Department of Education and Educate Maine have been accepting nominations since January 4, 2019. Nominations will remain open until 5:00 pm Feb. 4, 2019.

Media Release: Nominations Sought for 2020 Teacher of the Year

AUGUSTA – As part of the Maine Department of Education’s ongoing efforts to highlight Maine’s outstanding teachers, nominations are now open for the 2019 County Teachers of the Year and 2020 Teacher of the Year. Members of the public are encouraged to nominate educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and nurturing the achievement of all students.

Nominations can be made through the Maine Teacher of the Year Website starting today, January 4, 2019 and will be open through Feb. 4, 2019.

To be considered, a teacher must:

  • hold the appropriate professional certification for the position,
  • be employed by a Maine public school – including a public charter school or publicly-supported secondary school,
  • be actively teaching students at least 50% of full-time at the time of nomination and during the year of recognition, and
  • have a minimum of five years teaching, three of which are in Maine.

The eventual winner serves as an advocate for teachers, students, and the efforts underway in Maine’s public schools to prepare students for success in college, career and civic life.

Maine’s recently named 2019 Teacher of the Year, Joseph Hennessey, an English teacher at Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford, was selected from over 300 entries and included recognition as the 2018 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year. In addition to Hennessey, the other 2019 state finalists include Connie Russell, a teacher at Mabel I. Wilson School and 2018 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year, and Shana Goodall, a teacher at Orono High School and the 2018 Penobscot County Teacher of the Year.

The 2020 Maine Teacher of the Year will be selected from the 16 county honorees. The field will be narrowed to eight semi-finalists and then three state finalists before the ultimate winner is announced by Maine’s Education Commissioner at a surprise school assembly in the fall.

The Maine Teacher of the Year program is administered by Educate Maine, a business-led organization whose mission is to champion college, career readiness, and increased education attainment. Funding is provided by Bangor Savings Bank, Dead River Co., Geiger, Hannaford, the Maine Lottery, and Pratt & Whitney with support from the State Board of Education and the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association.

The Teacher of the Year program is no cost to taxpayers. Bangor Savings Bank reimburses the winning educator’s school district for the cost of substitutes while the Teacher of the Year is out of the classroom on their official duties, which includes travel throughout the state, a week at NASA Space Camp and a visit to the White House.

For more information about the Maine Teacher of the Year program, visit the Maine Department of Education website.

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Media Contact: Rachel Paling, Maine DOE Director of Communications, rachel.paling@maine.gov

MEDIA RELEASE: Piscataquis Community High School Teacher Named Maine 2019 Teacher of the Year

Guilford, Maine – In an all-school assembly today at Piscataquis Community High School, Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr. named English teacher Joseph Hennessey Maine’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.

Hennessey was selected earlier this year as the 2018 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year. He began his teaching career in 2012 and has held teaching positions as both an English teacher and a teacher for at-risk youth ever since. He specializes in English literature and composition and has taught speech and debate as well. In his current position at Piscataquis Community High School, Hennessey has implemented a college prep, literature based interdisciplinary course that focuses on students’ interests and aims to prepare them for life after graduation.

“Mr. Hennessey is a unique and highly effective teacher. His formal manner and personality combined with a dry sense of humor and setting high standards for his students, make him an icon of our school,” said Piscataquis Community High School Principal John Keane in a written statement nominating Hennessey for 2019 Teacher of the Year. “With only four years with us, he has become legendary amongst his students and their families. Watching him in class is truly watching a person who has honed his craft to perfection,” he added.

Hennessey was selected from more than 300 teachers who were nominated by a member of their community earlier this year. The Teacher of the Year Program is a year-long process that involves educator portfolio and resume submissions, interviews, oral presentations, and classroom visits made by a selection panel comprised of State Board of Education members, school administrators, Maine Department of Education staff, former Teachers of the Year, and other Maine business partners.

“Joe sees every student as a learner and an intellectual, and he truly strives to ensure that every student sees themselves that way too,” said Emily Gribben, Maine Department of Education Educator Effectiveness Coordinator and member of the 2019 Teacher of the Year Selection Panel. “I think it is also of note that not one student has failed his class and it is obviously not for lack of rigor,” she added.

As the 2019 Maine Teacher of the Year, Hennessey will travel throughout the state and country collaborating with other educators to support the efforts underway to prepare all students for college, work, and civic life. He is Maine’s representative in the National Teacher of the Year program which includes a national forum with other State Teachers of the Year, a week at a NASA Space Camp, and a visit to the White House.

The Maine Teacher of the Year program is administered by Educate Maine, a business-led advocacy organization, in partnership with the Maine Department of Education and the Maine State Board of Education. Funding for the program is generously provided by Bangor Savings Bank, Dead River, Geiger, Hannaford, Maine Lottery, and Pratt and Whitney.

For more information about the Maine Teacher of the Year program, visit www.mainetoy.org.

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