Get to know the DOE Team: Meet Roy Fowler

Maine DOE team member Roy Fowler is being highlighted this week as the part of a Get to know the DOE Team campaign. Learn a little more about Roy in the brief question and answer below.

What are your roles with DOE?

I’m the Special Services team member that serves as the State Director of Child Development Services (special education and related services for infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children).

What do you like best about your job?

It’s an incredibly challenging job, but the CDS State Office team is amazing. It feels good to see the positive impact that our work over the past few years has had on the young children and families that we serve and on the almost 400 CDS staff out at the CDS regional sites.

How or why did you decide on this career?

Early intervention/early childhood special education weren’t on my radar when I decided to pursue a career in education. However, birth through age 5 is the period where we can have the greatest impact on development and potentially change the life trajectory of these children and their families.

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

I’ve got an 1850 farmhouse, so there’s perpetual remodeling and repairs. I also have a big garden, chickens, occasionally bees, make maple syrup, and forage wild mushrooms.

Get to know the DOE Team: Meet Jason Anderson

Maine DOE team member Jason Anderson is being highlighted this week as the part of a Get to know the DOE Team campaign. Learn a little more about Jason in the brief question and answer below.

What are your roles with DOE?

I serve as the Visual and Performing Arts Specialist on the Secondary Education and Integrated Instruction team at the DOE.  I frequently communicate with arts educators statewide, addressing their needs in a variety of different ways – collaborating on student pre- and post-assessment tasks as an outside evaluator, serving as a master of ceremonies for concerts, and constant visits to school arts programs to observe unique and effective teaching strategies that are yielding significant results for students.  I also administer a statewide music education initiative called Maine Kids Rock (30+ teachers statewide that incorporate modern music into their classrooms), and a rotating art exhibit at the DOE offices in Augusta.  As I continue at the DOE I will actively work with other content specialists on cross-disciplinary projects that will benefit teaching and learning statewide.

What do you like best about your job?

I love the opportunity to celebrate arts education at all levels statewide.  It’s a good day when I have the opportunity to visit a program in a school/district and celebrate all the hard work they are doing to make arts education an integral part to a student’s public school experience.

How or why did you decide on this career?

After 14 years of teaching music in Vermont and Maine (and a graduate degree in curriculum and instruction), I was looking for an opportunity to have a wider impact on arts education/arts curriculum and instruction than my own classroom… this position was posted on the first day of my most recent summer vacation, so it was almost serendipity that I should apply.  It has been a great career shift, and I’m honored to be able to serve my arts education colleagues all over the state!

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

Outside of work, I love to both attend performances and perform as a vocalist.  Time at our family camp in Aroostook County is also a love of mine outside of work – just getting to spend time with my stepchildren, wife, and fur baby Simon (black Labrador retriever) is my favorite pastime.

Get to know the DOE Team: Meet Pam Ford-Taylor

What are your roles with DOE?

I am the DOE School Enrollment Specialist for K-12.  This includes approving public and private schools, managing home instruction, coordinating Commissioner waivers and Superintendent agreement appeals, and conducting policy and analysis work related to student enrollment and eligibility.

What do you like best about your job?

Everything! I was a university system employee for years (I loved that too). It’s great to be part of the executive branch of government where we get to share the privilege of shaping education for all of our children and youth. I also appreciate so much all of the excellent, dedicated and collaborative colleagues in the Department.

How or why did you decide on this career?  

I’ll answer by sharing a favorite statute, from § 5001-A(7):  “Compulsory education is essential to the preservation of the rights and liberties of the people and the continued prosperity of our society and our nation. Maintaining regular student attendance is necessary to achieve the goal of an educated citizenry.”

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

Hike the woods and fields with my cattle dog, Nancy; spend time with my husband and children camping (or doing anything); global travel; read; cook. I have a first grandchild too, very sweet!

Get to know the DOE Team: Meet Morgan Dunton

Maine DOE team member Morgan Dunton is being highlighted this week as the part of a Get to know the DOE Team campaign! Learn a little more about Morgan in the brief question and answer below.

What are your roles with DOE?

I am the English Language Arts Specialist with responsibility for grades 6-12. I am part of the Standards and Instructional Supports Team and I also work with the Assessment Team as needed. Another responsibility for the position is to act as a regional representative to the Midcoast Superintendents region – this is West Bath to Searsport!

What do you like best about your job?

My favorite part of the job is providing continuous learning opportunities to educators. I am passionate about literacy and the power that comes from expression, whether it is taking in information and experiences or sharing the results of research, adventure, or reflection. I also like building relationships with people who come back again and again. We think of every student in our class as “our” children and I think of every teacher who relies on me for support as one of “my” teachers.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I taught my first class when I was six years old – I was visiting my grandmother’s class and she helped me develop and deliver a lesson plan. She felt I was born to teach. When I was in the 11th grade, I went to Girls State and served as moderator of my town and chair of the platform committee. This showed me how much I like the behind-the-scenes work we do as it has great impact on our state without the spotlight or intrigue that comes from being in the spotlight. I describe my position as having one foot in policy and one foot in practice. I think I was headed in this direction all along.

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

I learned to knit a couple of years ago. It was the third time I tried and the first time I found success. I have knit at least 100 hats, several of which can be worn by humans! I have 7 grandchildren who are constantly entertaining and always up to something. I also like to play cribbage and a variation of Canasta and of course, I am a prolific reader.

Get to know the DOE Team: Meet Charlotte Ellis

Maine DOE team member Charlotte Ellis is being highlighted this week as the part of a Get to know the DOE Team campaign! Learn a little more about Charlotte in the brief question and answer below.

What are your roles with DOE?

I am the Data Manager, my responsibilities are to manage the Data Team and to ensure that data coming in and out of the Department meets state and federal requirements as well as not being overly burdensome to the districts, all while being safe and secure.

What do you like best about your job? 

I love working across all the programs and learning about how all the programs work to enhance education across Maine.

How or why did you decide on this career? 

I sort of fell into it over time.  I started as a programmer long ago and became a Systems Analyst for MDOE.  I really love working with the data and with MDOE, so when this position became available, I was very interested.

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

I love baking, reading, and spending time with friends and family, especially my two grandsons.