MEDIA RELEASE: Video Message – Governor Mills Proclaims Dec. 6th-12th CS Education Week in Maine

Augusta, Maine – Monday December 6th marks the start of the 13th annual National Computer Science Education Week, which serves as a call to action to inspire PreK through 12th grade students to learn computer science, advocate for equity, and celebrate the contributions of students, teachers, and partners to the field.

In honor of National Computer Science Education Week, December 6th-12th, Governor Janet T.  Mills has proclaimed December 6th-12th, 2021 as Computer Science Education Week in Maine and has a special message to share.

To read the official proclamation, click here.

You can access the message from Governor Mills here:

To learn more about how you can get involved with Computer Science Education Week, check out our website or contact Maine DOE Director of Innovative Teaching and Learning Beth Lambert at Beth.Lambert@maine.gov.

WEBINAR: COVID-19 Vaccines for School-Aged Children: What Parents and Families Should Know

Please join the U.S. Department of Education and National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement for an informational webinar following the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech age 5-11 vaccine.

Thursday, December 9, 2021
At 8:00PM EST

This is a such special time of year, and this year, we all have one more thing to be grateful for: Kids ages 5 to 11 are now eligible to get vaccinated. The vaccine is safe and effective, specifically formulated for young kids. And getting your child vaccinated is the best way to keep them safe from COVID, including the Delta variant. This is great news for parents and families.

During the webinar, esteemed panelists including United States Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten along with representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics will address common concerns and worries among parents and families about the COVID-19 vaccine for their child(ren) ages 5-11.

Parents are invited to submit questions about the vaccine on the registration form. Pre-submitted questions will help plan the content of the session. Time will also be reserved for live questions and answers at the end of the event.

Register in advance for this meeting here!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. For further information please contact cdchealthyschools@cdc.gov or visit https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/

 

MEDIA RELEASE: Christopher Howell Named 2022 Maine Superintendent of the Year

The Maine Department of Education (DOE), along with Maine School Superintendent’s Association (MSSA) is thrilled to announce that Maine’s 2022 Superintendent of the Year is Christopher Howell, Superintendent of Schools for RSU 14.

Without question, Chris Howell leads his district with the highest level of integrity, educational vision, and organizational understanding. He exudes kindness and a calm, centered approach, characteristics that have served to create a remarkably healthy climate and culture across all schools and programs he works with. By fostering and strengthening positive relationships with town officials and outside organizations, his role as a school leader is far reaching and supportive of healthy communities where all can thrive.

Howell is at the forefront of all district initiatives, enabling his deep understanding of school finance, policies, curriculum, strategic planning, facilities, general operations, negotiations, and supervision and evaluation to guide the work. His unique and centered style serves to elevate other leaders within the organization and community to bring the model of shared decision making to fruition. In his role as superintendent, he has been able to work collaboratively with colleagues and local officials to advance critically important work that will have positive and lasting impacts for thousands of learners. From essential conversations around social emotional learning, equity, and social justice, to focusing on the design of a new middle school for 21st century learners, Howell’s leadership approach is highly inclusive, thought provoking, and deeply reflective. His colleagues describe him as a true servant leader.

Howell is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he received a BA in Biology, and a master’s in teaching and Learning. He is married to his wife Nicole and together they have three sons: Caleb, Aaron, and Nate.

MEDIA RELEASE: Hampden Eighth Grade Teacher Named 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year

Kelsey Stoyanova, an 8th grade teacher at Reeds Brook Middle School has been named the 2022 Teacher of the Year by the Maine Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year Program.

In a unique event held at the Reeds Brook Middle School in Hampden, the Maine Department of Education and Educate Maine named eighth grade teacher Kelsey Stoyanova Maine’s 2022 Teacher of the Year as surprised students and colleagues at the school congratulated and honored her dedication to teaching.

Kelsey’s journey began in May, when she was named the 2021 Penobscot County Teacher of the Year. Stoyanova, along with 15 other County Teachers of the Year, was selected from a pool of hundreds teachers who were nominated earlier this year. In August, Kelsey was named one of three state finalists before being selected as the 2022 Teacher of the Year.

Kelsey Stoyanova is an 8th grade language arts teacher at Reeds Brook Middle School, part of Regional School Unit (RSU) 22 in Hampden, Maine. Stoyanova has a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with an English concentration, a master’s degree in Education with a literacy focus, and is working toward her Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership — all as a University of Maine Black Bear.

Stoyanova is passionate about reading and helping students find an authentic love of reading through integrating a strong foundation of independent reading in her classroom. That passion really shined when she was selected as a grant recipient by the Book Love Foundation in 2020.

As an advocate for student involvement in curriculum creation, Stoyanova became the RSU22 Middle Level Language Arts Curriculum Leader, working to audit, align, and enhance the curriculum. She serves on the Equity in Education Committee where she designed and implemented the RSU22 Reads Three Reading Challenge for students and community members to participate in, thus far making a point to highlight BIPOC authors and characters, women in literature, AAPI voices, and LGBTQIA+ authors and characters.

In addition to these roles, Stoyanova is sought out as a technology enthusiast, mentor, and loves to share and design creative projects and assessments with her colleagues in all content areas. After school, you can find her going on outdoor Maine adventures with her family, or with her nose in a book which she will undoubtedly talk about in class tomorrow.

Kelsey was nominated by students, Tessa Castrucci and Stella Fox. Here are their nominations:

Ms. Castrucci “She is a really understanding teacher who plans lessons with her students in mind, making the lessons suited to fit the class and environment. If we are interested in a certain event that happened in our country, we might have a class discussion or assignment about it to encourage our interest while learning the facts. She forms meaningful relationships with her students and creates an environment that is welcoming. Along with that, I feel like I can be challenged in her class to do my best while also developing and working on skills that might be harder for me. We do this by having class discussions, creative projects, and interesting assignments. Overall, Mrs. Stoyanova is a teacher that listens to and understands her students while trying to create a space to encourage our interests and push us to be our very best.”

Ms. Fox“Mrs. Stoyanova is an amazing teacher. She makes learning fun, and she makes sure her classroom is a safe and fun learning environment for everyone to share their thoughts and interact with others. She makes sure everyone gets their work done, and she makes sure everyone understands how the work will get done. Not only is she a teacher, but she is an incredible mom, friend to her students, a person to talk to, and overall, someone you can trust. I think it goes for all of her students that Mrs. Stoyanova has had when I say that Mrs. Stoyanova is the right teacher for this award.”

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.

As the 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year, Kelsey will spend her year of service advocating for students and teachers and speaking to the importance of education in preparing Maine students for the future.  She will also represent Maine in the National Teacher of the Year program.

Said Cindy Soule, Maine’s 2021 Teacher of the Year, “Kelsey Stoyonova is a powerful example of the myriad ways educators across the state of Maine impact their communities as agents of change.  As 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year Kelsey Stoyanova will shine a light on the myriad ways Maine educators impact their students and communities as agents of change. Kelsey’s unwavering belief in her students, strong collaboration with colleagues, leadership within her school and district, passion for literature and justice, and commitment to her own learning will serve her well as she advocates for and celebrates education, students, teachers, families and schools at both the state and national level. I am thrilled to learn alongside her as she embarks on this incredible journey!”

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, the Maine State Board of Education, and the Maine County and State Teachers and County of the Year Association (MCSTOYA). Funding for the program is generously provided by Maine businesses.  The program’s lead sponsor is Bangor Savings Bank.  Other program sponsors include Dead River, Geiger, Hannaford, the Maine State Lottery, Unum and the Silvernail Family.

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

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine DOE Opens 2021/2022 Student Cabinet Application – Calling on Diverse Voices to Apply

PLEASE SHARE WITH STUDENTS

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) today announced that it is opening applications for the 2021/2022 Student Cabinet, a group of students that meet regularly with the Maine DOE to discuss educational opportunities, improvements, and policy.

The purpose of the Student Cabinet is to provide a forum for Maine students’ voices to be heard. This year will be a special opportunity for Cabinet members to design a pilot project that reflects on the past two school years, to reinvent how schools think about remote and responsive learning as part of the Reinventing Responsive Education Ventures (RREV) initiative.  RREV is the product of a $16.9 million award from U.S. DOE to support and develop projects which will strengthen a culture of innovation in PK-12 education.

This is the third year the Maine DOE has appointed students to a Student Cabinet with the goal of integrating student voice into decision-making on education issues that impact their journey through Maine’s education system. In past years students have helped in identifying mental health needs at school, raised issues of racial equity, and helped brainstorm ways to individualize learning.

The Maine DOE is especially interested in having perspectives from students with diverse experiences, interests, cultures, and backgrounds. It is important that the student cabinet include members who are able to represent and advocate for underrepresented groups, including but not limited to students who identify as: gender expansive, English learners and other bilingual/multilingual students, members of a racial or ethnic minority in Maine, economically disadvantaged, new to living in Maine, or living with a mental and/or physical health diagnosis, as well as students who have special educational needs, experience in the juvenile justice system, or experience in one of the many different educational pathways found in education, including Extended Learning Opportunities, Adult Education programs, and Career & Technical Education.

There are 16-20 seats that are open for students in grades 4 – 12 and first year of college. The newly selected members will serve for a term of two years starting this November. All 16 counties in Maine will be represented on the Student Cabinet.

Selected cabinet members will be expected to attend scheduled meetings, prepare for each meeting as needed, work in a collaborative manner with one another and with Department staff as needed; and express views and opinions openly, constructively, and respectfully.

Instructions for applying:
Students interested in serving on the Maine DOE Student Cabinet will need to submit the electronic application by Monday, October 25, 2021 DEADLINE EXTENDED to November 1, 2021 at 5 pm. Applications can be submitted electronically here.

For more information contact Rachel Paling, Communications & Outreach Manager, Maine Department of Education at rachel.paling@maine.gov.