The Maine Department of Education’s (DOE) Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) 2.0 is excited to share that the Ambassador program is expanding with an additional five distinguished educators joining the team.
MLTI Ambassadors are distinguished educators, on loan from their school for two years, to bring their expertise and experience as a resource and partner with MLTI.
The Ambassador program is a signature program of MLTI 2.0.The full team of ten Ambassadors will deliver professional learning experiences and provide instructional coaching to MLTI-participating schools. The new “Junior Ambassadors” will be working with the established “Senior Ambassadors” to build upon existing relationships across the schools in the MLTI Ambassador Regions in addition the existing connections that they bring to the team.
Nicole Karod comes to the MLTI Team from Mt. Ararat Middle School, where she served as a science teacher and last year was the 6-8 remote science teacher. She has eighteen years of experience as a classroom teacher at the elementary and middle levels including several years teaching in North Carolina. A graduate of Maine School of Science and Mathematics, Nicole spent her formative years working in numerous roles at the school and worked her way up to directing summer camps for MSSM. Nicole’s passion for leadership have led into curriculum development, spearheading student leadership opportunities and she currently serves as her district’s teacher past association president. Nicole holds a Masters in Elementary Education from Gardner Webb University and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Literacy from the University of New England. She lives in Damariscotta.
Joshua Schmidt comes to the MLTI Team from China Middle School, where he served as a mathematics teacher. He has twelve years of experience at the middle level with half of those in Maine and half in his home state of South Dakota. While working in South Dakota, Joshua worked closely with TIE (Technology and Innovative in Education), where he developed his passion for educational technology. His experiences with customized learning and data-informed practices led him to China Middle School, where he led work around the mathematics department’s redesign. That work resulted in shared math choice boards and assessments for all students in grades 5-8 while allowing students to progress through content at their own level and speed. Concurrently, Joshua took on other leadership roles within the school as well as innovative teaching in his classroom through game-based, project-based, real-world, and cross-curricular projects. Joshua was also part of the Introduction to Experiential Teaching through Technology cohort in 2019 run by current MLTI SLAM Coordinator Kern Kelley. He is currently working on a Master of Education in Instructional Technology with a Certificate in Computational Thinking at the University of Maine. He lives in Farmingdale with his wife, Krista, and their energetic two-year-old, Corrin.
Yuhong Sun comes to the MLTI Team from Noble High School, where she served as a technology integrator, computer science, and Chinese language teacher. She has twenty years of experience teaching computer and technology-specific classes at the middle and high school levels. As the landscape of technology has changed, Yuhong has learned and expanded her course content to include programming languages, website design, web animation, game design, and Cisco networking. In addition to teaching these subjects, Yuhong has often served as a webmaster and filled technical support roles as well. She also has led many after-school organizations such as the robotics at the middle and high school levels, a web design club, and most recently organizes students to participate in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow (SST) contest. In 2018, her team was recognized as the Maine state winner team and a top ten national finalist team for a project removing manganese from local drinking water. This project also earned her an Excite Award from Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam Program at MIT in 2018. In 2019, her SST team was once again selected as the Maine state winner team for a project fighting against suicide. Yuhong has been the director of the Noble Exchange Program for over ten years, bringing the students to Noble High School from other countries such as China and Italy. This exchange program has helped increase understanding of cultural diversity, foster friendship and promote mutual respect among people of diverse backgrounds and races. Yuhong loves cooking. During the pandemic, she fully engaged her students with fun extracurricular activities such as Chinese cooking. Yuhong received her M. Ed in Instructional Technology from the University of Maine and previously holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature and Law Degree from Southwest University in Chongqing, China. She holds teacher certification in K-12 Computer, Chinese, and English Language Arts and she is also a National Board Certified Technology Educator. She lives in South Berwick.
Martha Thibodeau comes to the MLTI Team from the Mt. Blue Regional School District, where she served as a technology training coordinator. She has forty years of experience teaching from early elementary to adult education, working primarily in school districts in Central and Western Maine with seventeen years teaching at Lawrence Junior High School. In recent years at Mt. Blue, she has focused on technology integration and planning professional development throughout the school year as well as the district’s summer institute. She has been involved in previous programs such eMINTS and MARTLs in Maine that have given her experience around regional training and statewide collaboration. Martha also holds Curriculum Coordinator certification in addition to multiple teacher certifications as well as certificates from Google, Apple and eMINTS. She holds a Master’s Degree from Thomas College in Computer Technology in Education and an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Technology from Walden University. She lives in Madison.
Tracy Williamson comes to the MLTI Team from Gorham Middle School, where she served as a music teacher. She has twenty years of experience at the middle level and has taught general music classes, chorus and steel band throughout her career. Tracy was nominated as a semi-finalist for the 2021 GRAMMY Music Educator Award. She is an Apple Certified Teacher and has been a regular presenter at the ACTEM, MMEA and the MLTI Student Conferences, where she advocates for ways to braid music and technology together. She has long sought to integrate technology such as Soundtrap, WeVideo, EdPuzzle, Google Apps and more into her music classes to promote both efficiency and innovation. Tracy has worked with her students on Project S.U.S.T.A.I.N. (Students Using Soundtrap to Accomplish International Necessity) to compose original music for a worldwide collaborative album supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. She has created an innovative digital badging program to help students learn to read music. Serving as the middle level repertoire and resources chair for the Maine ACDA (American Choral Directors Association), Tracy has overseen the Maine Youth Honor Choir All-State Festival since 2019. She has also hosted the New England Steel Band Festival several times in Gorham. Tracy received a Master of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory in 2000 focusing on Music Education and Flute Performance and she is currently working on a degree in Media Arts & Graphic Design from Southern New Hampshire University. She lives in Bridgton with her husband, Ben, who is a middle school ELA and Social Studies teacher in Windham.
The Maine DOE MLTI team works hand-in-hand with the MLTI Ambassadors to support the MLTI professional learning plan in addition to the many other components MLTI 2.0. For more information about MLTI 2.0 and its evolution visit the Maine DOE Website or contact Beth Lambert, Director of Innovative Teaching and Learning.