AUGUSTA – Now, more than ever, we need to honor and recognize the great work of Maine teachers! Nominations are now open for the 2021 County Teachers of the Year and 2022 Teacher of the Year. Members of the public are encouraged to nominate educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and who inspire the achievement of all students.
“We know that Maine teachers are doing amazing work educating our students, especially through the impossible challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Commissioner Pender Makin. “By putting a name forward as a nomination in the Teacher of the Year Program you will not only give them the recognition they deserve, but you will also give them the chance to take a more active leadership role in education in our State.”
Nominations can be made through the Maine Teacher of the Year Website and will be open through 5:00 pm on Feb. 5, 2021. Nominations will be accepted from students, parents, school administrators, colleagues, college faculty members, and associations (self-nominations, and nominations from family members are not accepted).
To be considered for the County and Maine Teacher of the Year award, a person must:
- Hold the appropriate professional certification for their position
- Be employed by a Maine public school
- Be actively teaching students at least 50% of full-time at the time of nomination and during the year of recognition
- Have been teaching for a minimum of five years – three of which are in Maine
- Remain teaching in the County for which they are selected during year of recognition
The 2021 County Teachers of the Year serve as advocates for teachers, students, and the efforts underway in Maine’s public schools to prepare students for success in college, career and civic life. They serve as advisors to the Department of Education and state-level education stakeholders across Maine. Additionally, the County Teachers of the Year join a of cohort of teacher leaders that actively work together for the betterment of education in Maine. County Teachers of the Year receive on-going professional learning and participate in many state and county leadership opportunities. The 2021 County Teacher of the Year cohort will be recognized in a special announcement in May and the Teacher of the Year Gala in the fall.
Maine’s recently named 2021 Teacher of the Year, Cindy Soule, a 4th grade teacher at Gerald E. Talbot School was selected from over 300 entries. Mrs. Soule was also honored as the 2020 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year. In addition to Soule, the other 2021 state finalists include Heather Webster, an English teacher at Medomak Valley High School and 2020 Lincoln County Teacher of the Year, and Alison Babb-Brott a second-grade teacher at St. George School and the 2020 Knox County Teacher of the Year.
The 2022 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 Maine Teacher of the Year is announced by Maine’s Education Commissioner at a school assembly in the fall.
On behalf of, and in partnership with Maine Department of Education, 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, the Silvernail Family, and Unum, with support from the State Board of Education and the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association.
The Maine Teacher of the Year program is committed to a nomination and selection process that ensures people of all backgrounds are represented. Educate Maine and the Maine Department of Education champion that commitment by encouraging the nomination of educators from all culturally diverse experiences and backgrounds.
Through the generous support of Maine businesses, there is no cost to the local district when the Teacher of the Year is out of the classroom on their official duties, which includes representing educators state-wide and nationally through safely distanced in-person and virtual events that highlight the important work of Maine schools, communities, and educators.
For more information about the Maine Teacher of the Year program, visit the Maine Teacher of the Year website.