Maine Celebrates 21 New and 5 Renewed National Board Certified Teachers in Virtual Ceremony

Maine recognized 21 teachers newly certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) during an April 8 virtual ceremony. These exemplary educators join more than 400 teachers across the state who have gone through this highly reflective and transformative professional development, including five of their colleagues who renewed their National Board Certification this year.

Friends, family, colleagues and administrators joined the celebration hosted by the Maine Education Association (MEA) and the National Board Certified Teachers Network of Maine (NBCTs of Maine). Offering congratulatory remarks were Education Commissioner Pender Makin, MEA President and NBCT Grace Leavitt, NBCTs of Maine Chair and NBCT, Melissa Guerrette, and Representative Rebecca Millett.

Featured speaker Kelly Elder, NBPTS, NBCT Board of Directors, 2017 Montana Teacher of the Year and 2018 NEA Foundation Fellow, shared a talk titled “What’s Next? Moving Forward from the Intersection of Emotional Health and Learning in a Post-pandemic World” Elder, a grade 6 geography teacher, acknowledged the challenges involved in teaching in a year unlike any other, and the disproportionate impact the pandemic had on our most vulnerable students. Elder noted that NBCTs, given their experience in such a highly reflective process as National Board Certification, are uniquely positioned to create, innovate, and lead the differentiated work (including rethinking assessment practices) in the coming years, in order to meet the needs of all of our students.

The event’s emcee, Heidi Goodwin, NBCT and NB Professional Learning Facilitator, was joined by Kristi Charette, NBCT and NB Professional Learning Facilitator, in leading this year’s unique pinning ceremony, with attendees being “pinned” by a family member at home. Dan Allen, MEA Professional Development Director, offered closing remarks, encouraging the NBCTs to engage in ongoing leadership opportunities, including offering support to candidates working on National Board Certification.

The journey to National Board Certification is a challenging one—the process, on average, requires nearly 400 hours of time and effort to achieve. Educators must submit a detailed portfolio that includes examples of student work and video recordings that show how they teach and interact with students. In addition, they must submit a reflective piece on student assessment and learning and demonstrate mastery of the content of their chosen certification area. This evidence must meet the Five Core Propositions and the National Board Standards, a body of knowledge that is maintained by teachers. Practicing teachers, through a peer-review process, assess the portfolios.

In pursuing and achieving National Board Certification, the following teachers have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to their students, schools, and districts. Please join us in congratulating them!

Maine 2020 New NBCTS

  Name National Board Certificate Position District/School
1. Heather Sinclair Science: Early Adolescence Middle School Science Teacher RSU 2 Hall-Dale Middle High School
2. Heidi Corliss Music: Early Adolescence/YA Fine & Performing Arts Teacher RSU 22 Hampden Academy
3. Alyce Delfino Exceptional Needs Specialist: Early Adolescence/ YA Special Education Teacher Five Town CSD

Camden Hills Regional High School

4. Christopher Driscoll Mathematics, Early Adolescence Middle School Math Teacher Falmouth Public Schools/ Falmouth Middle School
5. Sara Jones Mathematics: Early Adolescence Middle School Math Teacher Falmouth Public Schools/ Falmouth Middle School
6. Tara Robertson Literacy: Reading -Lang Arts: Early & Middle Childhood Title I Teacher Lisbon Public Schools

Lisbon Community School

7. Linda LaCasse Literacy: Reading -Language Arts: Early & Middle Childhood Title I Teacher Lisbon Public Schools

Lisbon Community School

8. Julia Bemis Science: Adolescence and Young Adulthood High School Science Teacher RSU 6 Bonny Eagle HS
9. Jennifer Fronczak- Math: Early Adolescence Middle School Math Teacher RSU 84 East Grand School
10. Vicki Bailey Generalist: Early Childhood Grade 1 Teacher RSU 22 Earl C McGraw Elementary School
11. Audrey Bracciodieta Exceptional Needs Specialist: Early Childhood through Young Adulthood Special Education Teacher RSU 22 George B Weatherbee School
12. Jennifer Brown Generalist: Early Childhood Kindergarten Teacher RSU 12 Chelsea Elementary School
13. Robin Tiller Science: Early Adolescence Middle School Science Teacher Biddeford Public Schools

Biddeford Middle School

14. Rachel Singh Generalist: Early Childhood Grade 1 Teacher Bar Harbor Public Schools

Conners-Emerson School

15. Rebecca Sanborn Generalist: Early Childhood Kindergarten Teacher RSU 60 North Berwick Elementary
16. Krista St. Cyr English as a New Language: Early Adolescence/YA English Language Learner Teacher Lewiston Public Schools

Lewiston Middle School

17. Lacey Todd Generalist: Middle Childhood Grade 5 Science Teacher RSU 10 Mountain Valley Middle School
18. Kaitlin Woodbury Literacy, Reading Language Arts: Early/Middle Childhood Grade 1 Teacher RSU 1 Phippsburg Elementary School
19. Lorene Hinkley – Gordon Literacy, Reading Language Arts: Early/Middle Childhood Title I Teacher RSU 49 Albion Elementary School
20. Jessica Archer English Language Arts: Early Adolescence Middle School: English, Science and Health Teacher RSU 26 Orono Middle School
21. Danielle Quimby Exceptional Needs Specialist: Early Childhood through Young Adulthood Gifted & Talented Teacher RSU 6 Buxton Center Elementary School

Maine 2020 Renewed NBCTS

  Name National Board Certificate Position District/ School
1. Laurie Alves Literacy, Reading Language Arts: Early/Middle Childhood Grade 5 Teacher Scarborough Public Schools Wentworth School
2. Brian Cote Science: Early Adolescence Middle School Science Teacher Bar Harbor Public School

Conners-Emerson School

3. David Doubleday Literacy, Reading Language Arts: Adolescence/YA High School English Language Arts Five Town CSD

Camden Hills Regional High School

4. Rachel Landry Exceptional Needs Specialist: Early Childhood/YA Special Education Teacher Portland Public Schools

Harrison Lyseth Elementary School

5. Joanne Powers Literacy, Reading Language Arts: Early Middle Childhood Elementary Literacy Teacher RSU 1 Dike-Newell School

National Board certification is voluntary and open to all teachers who have at least three years of classroom experience and a bachelor’s degree. Certification is available in 25 certificate areas, from preschool through 12th grade.

Maine offers an annual salary supplement for teachers who have achieved National Board Certification and scholarships to support up to 30 teachers, annually, in attaining National Board Certification.

Contact information for National Board Certification in Maine:

NBCTS of Maine:

Heidi Goodwin:

Melissa Guerrette:

Susan O’Brien:

Kristi Charette:

Maine Education Association:

Dan Allen:

Maine Department of Education:

Tamara Ranger: tamara.ranger@Maine.Gov

Considerations for Schools Supporting Observances During School Year- Ramadan Begins

Other than the Christian observance of Christmas, Maine school calendars do not currently include days off from school for religious holidays. As a result, those of other faiths must navigate their observances around the expectations of schools – including expectations regarding attendance and participation – which may conflict with the traditions of the observance. To assist schools in understanding the timing, traditions, and possible impacts of some religious holidays, the Maine Department of Education has shared a calendar and considerations for major religious observances that may occur during the school year.

Islam is the second most populous religion in the world, and Maine is home to many Muslim families. Maine Department of Education would like to provide some general information about Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr to schools, so they can support their Muslim students and community members as they enjoy this very special time of year.

Ramadan is a month-long fast observed by Muslims around the world. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. To wish someone a happy Ramadan, you can say “Ramadan Kareem” or “Ramadan Mubarak.”

This year, in the United States Ramadan will start around April 12th and end around May 12th. The official beginning and end of the month of Ramadan will not be announced until the sighting of the new moon. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is about 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, Ramadan happens about 11 days earlier each year.

During Ramadan, most Muslims fast (i.e., consume no food or water) from dawn to dusk. Many Muslims also pray more frequently, recite the Quran (Islamic book) and make special efforts to be kind, generous, and compassionate. This is a joyous time of year, and each Iftar (post-sunset meal to break the fast) is a celebrated opportunity to gather with friends and family. Muslims may also wake before dawn to eat Suhoor (a pre-dawn meal), which helps give them energy to endure the day’s fast. (Iftar and Suhoor timings can be found here.) For some Muslims, the typical patterns of sleep are shifted so that more waking hours occur during the night, which can make it difficult to wake up early and stay alert during the day.

After Ramadan, Eid-al-Fitr (the festival of breaking the fast) is a three-day celebration with feasts and gatherings of families. This is an extremely important and cheerful time of year for Muslims, and students will likely be absent for all or part of the three days. Children often receive a new outfit or a small amount of money as a gift from their family for the holiday. To wish someone a happy Eid, you can say, “Eid Saeed” or “Eid Mubarak.”

Here are a few tips for supporting students during Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr.

  1. Learn about Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr.

There are many resources available online that can help you understand how and why Ramadan is observed. Keep in mind that practices may vary depending on culture, so your students and their families are the best sources of information about their Ramadan traditions. Here are a couple of articles that give a general overview.

This video provides a brief and accessible explanation.

  1. Encourage cultural sensitivity for all school community members.

Fasting can have many physical and mental effects, such as fatigue, lack of concentration, and irritability. For your students, your understanding and support can help ensure that they continue to learn and make the most out of their time at school while fasting. Teachers, school nurses, sports coaches, bus drivers, cafeteria staff, and all other staff who interact with students will need to know how fasting can affect students.

Talking with staff and students about Ramadan and Eid-al-Fitr helps encourage an atmosphere of cultural awareness and sensitivity for the whole school community. Sensitivity towards fasting students includes avoiding consuming food and beverages in front of them whenever possible. Consider holding any celebrations that include food, such as awards banquets, after Iftar (breaking fast at sunset).

  1. Ask students and their families how you can best support them.

Some schools may choose to offer a place for students to go during lunchtime, alternative options for physical education, or dedicated prayer spaces. Schools may also avoid scheduling assessments or other required activities during Eid-al-Fitr, when students are likely to be absent. The best way to ensure that your school is a supportive, culturally-aware learning environment is to involve students, families, and other community members in planning and policy creation. Check out these two articles for some practical ideas that may benefit fasting students.

  1. Have a clear, well-communicated policy on tardies and absences.

Maine’s statute on excused absences is Title 20-A, Section §3272. It states that an absence is excused when it is for “observance of a recognized religious holiday when the observance is required during the regular school day and the absence has prior approval.” Fasting during Ramadan is a required religious observance, and the physical and mental demands of fasting may cause students’ tardies and absences to increase. Eid-al-Fitr celebrations are also religious observances. Districts will need to share clear expectations for attendance with students and families. It is highly recommended to develop these expectations in collaboration with your community members, recognizing that interpretation and translation may be necessary to ensure meaningful communication.

Approved Non-public School Data Needed by May 14 for Equitable Service Calculations

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is seeking overall school enrollment and economically disadvantaged student count data from all approved non-public schools across the state.  The Department needs this important data to calculate equitable service levels for non-public schools under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  Approved non-public schools are encouraged to provide this data as soon as possible, but no later than May 14, 2021. Any approved non-public school that does not provide the Department with this requested data by the May 14, 2021, deadline will not be eligible for equitable services during in the 2021-2022 school year.

The Maine DOE is collecting this data from approved non-public schools through an online survey.  As part of this survey, approved non-public schools will be asked for the following information:

  • Overall school enrollment as of October 1, 2020 (required)
  • Economically disadvantaged student information (optional for those seeking Title I services)

October 1, 2020, enrollment counts are used to calculate equitable service levels for both Titles II and IV of the ESEA.  Similarly, economically disadvantaged student information is used to calculate equitable service levels for the Title I program.

The economically disadvantaged student data needed for the survey includes each student’s:  (1) home address, (2) grade level, (3) eligibility criteria met (i.e. Free Lunch, Reduced Lunch, TANF, Medicare, or Tuition Assistance based on Free or Reduced Lunch Income Levels); and (4) the SAU District and School the student would have attended based on their residence.  Equitable service levels for Title I include those identified economically disadvantaged children who would have attended public schools that have Title I services.  Children who would not attend a public Title I school do not contribute to the equitable service levels.  Generally, children ages 5-17 can be counted for this data collection.  Please note that the low-income measure used for Title I for current students could be from the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

For more on the economically disadvantaged student data elements requested within the survey, as well as information about Title I program implementation, please review a snapshot of .

Approved non-public school officials are encouraged to review Equitable Services Guidelines as well as the non-regulatory guidance for Titles I, II, and IV when thinking about possible ways to support the needs of their students through ESEA programs.  Non-regulatory guidance for each program is provided below:

The information provided by each approved non-public school will be used to calculate the level of equitable services that school would be eligible for during the 2021-2022 school year.

For any questions regarding this data collection process or the survey itself, please contact Title IA Program Specialist, Jackie Godbout, at

Priority Notice: Popular Multi-Tiered Systems of Support MicroPD Session Offered for Second Round

Beginning April 29th, the 6-week MicroPD LIVE MTSS training will be repeated. This professional learning session focuses on strategies for strengthening tier 1 supports for all students by exploring a 4-step problem solving process as it is applied at the tier 1 level.

The goal of the training is to develop both understanding and application strategies for improving supports for all students through tier 1 instruction. Participation in this MicroPD live training will prepare administrators, interventionists, and other support staff/teams with skills to evaluate the tier 1 setting in their school, application of a four-step problem solving process for addressing areas of need, and action planning for initiating the process to better support teachers and students as they round out the school year and begin planning summer and fall professional learning.

This live training will be held on Thursdays from 3:00-4:00 PM for 6 weeks. Unlike other MicroPD offerings, this is a live training and is being capped at 25 participants (or teams, when applicable) due to the highly interactive nature of the training. Individuals may register, but it is recommended that teams of at least 2 join together.

Session dates and topics:

· Session 1: April 29: Exploring effective four step problem solving models

· Session 2: May 6: Goal/Problem Identification

· Session 3: May 13: Problem Analysis

· Session 4: May 20: Instructional/Intervention Design

· Session 5: May 27: Response to Instruction/Intervention

· Session 6: June 3: Implications for leaders/action planning

You MUST register for this new PD series even if you have registered for MTSS MicroPD in the past. Registration for this PD will close on Wednesday, April 28th (or when it is at capacity, whichever comes first). To register for this new professional learning opportunity, click here.

Get to Know the Maine DOE Team: Meet Marcy Whitcomb

Maine DOE team member Marcy Whitcomb is being highlighted this week as part of the Get to Know the Maine DOE Team Campaign. Learn a little more about Marcy in the question and answer below.

What are your roles with DOE? 

I sit on the Early Learning Team, as the Early Childhood Monitor.  My position is to connect with public pre-k programs across our state for monitoring, observation and support around best practice.  I also work closely with our team, and other agencies on initiatives that also support the field, children, and families in our state.

What do you like best about your job?

This is a field that I am very passionate about.  I love the inclusion within the Early Learning team, and the support that I receive from my colleagues.  I enjoy working on each and every project that comes my way.  Being in a position to support our educators in the field is an honor.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I chose the EC field as my career when my youngest entered into preschool at 3 years old.  Learning how important those early formative years are for children, and for my son specifically at the time, was something the really resonated with me.  I started my career in the field as a classroom substitute, and over the years, have held many roles and worn many hats in early childhood programs, which led me to where I am today.

What do you like to do outside of work for fun?

I have two teenage children who keep me busy, and I am usually found at a sporting event supporting them.  Living in the mid-coast area, I enjoy the local reserves and trails to the rocky coast, and of course, the beach.  And, finally it is spring and the flowers are coming up – playing in the garden is my happy place.