Get to Know the DOE Team: Meet Shawn Collier

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

What are your roles with DOE?

As the Data and Research Coordinator for Special Services, I oversee the collection of special education data and work to ensure data quality for federal and state reporting. My role also involves research and data analysis to evaluate various special education programs and initiatives and assess compliance with federal and state regulations.

What do you like best about your job?

I enjoy the research aspects of my job the most, and I enjoy helping others use data to evaluate programs and initiatives and inform policies that promote student success. I also like to annoy my cube neighbor Leora Byras by singing classic Madonna hits like ‘Borderline’ as I work.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I’ve worked in a wide variety of positions over the years, including social work/case management, college teaching, psychological research, and I served 8 years in the Navy. In my current position, I draw most heavily on the investigative and statistical methods I learned as a researcher and teacher. I have always loved the ‘detective work’ of research – gathering data and testing hypotheses – and it is very rewarding to have these efforts benefit students.

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

My favorite times are spent outdoors, especially at a beach or lake, with my 7-year-old daughter. I also enjoy hand-drumming and playing folk music, especially Celtic and Eastern European, on the fiddle. This winter, I’d like to start an ‘extreme’ (outdoors, in the snow) badminton league.

Get to Know the DOE Team: Meet Stephanie Clark

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

What are your roles with DOE?

I am the fiscal compliance associate with School Finance and Compliance.  I am responsible for collecting and reviewing the financial audits from the School Administrative Units as well as the municipal schools and towns,  I am also responsible for the Special Education tuition financial reports and I conduct the audits for the school construction projects once the project is complete and closed.

What do you like best about your job?

I like the fact that I can help the districts with staying in compliance with what statute requires of them.  It is so rewarding to start with a person that is confused or doesn’t understand something work with them and explain why and how to help them complete the job they are trying to accomplish.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I have worked for the State of Maine for over 13 years and in that time I have worked in a few different agencies, I am happy to say that I am enjoying the Department of Education and the work that we do here the most.

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

I have two dogs, Sadie, a Yorkshire terrier and Remy, a toy poodle named after the color announcer Jerry Remy of the Red Sox, with whom I like to cuddle and watch TV with.  Along with my dogs I like to spend time traveling with my husband Glen around and outside of the State.  I also enjoy spending time with my church family.

Get to Know the Maine DOE Team: Meet Valerie Chiang

Valerie Chiang, Maine DOE School Construction Coordinator is being highlighted this week as the part of a Get to Know the DOE Team campaign! Learn a little more about Valerie in the brief question and answer below.

What are your roles with DOE?

I am a School Construction Coordinator with the Office of School Construction team.  My role gives me the opportunity to work with various school departments on improvements to their facilities through a number of programs including the Major Capital School Construction, Revolving Renovations Funds, and when requested, provide assistance to any school departments taking on their own local projects.  I assist school departments navigate DOE and other State construction related requirements, review and prepare contracts, review design documents, invoices, and oversee construction activities.

What do you like best about your job?

I really enjoy being a part of the overall process and helping it all come together every step of the way.  Since the process takes years, it is a unique blend of patience and excitement – from hearing the thoughts and ideas generated by students, staff, and administrators, to working with the designs developed by architects and engineers and balancing their creativity with fair and equitable solutions, and finally watching it all transform into reality as construction goes on.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I’ve always been fascinated with the technical aspects of how things come together and how things work, with a twist of artistic flair thrown in the mix.  Architectural drafting while I was in high school started me down my education and career path.  Before I moved to Maine, I was working as an architect in New Jersey designing schools.  Eventually, I started looking to move to Maine with dreams of a career change and becoming a forest ranger.  (Little known fact – I had volunteered with the National Forest Service while I attended college in Virginia, and got to teach kids while dressed up as Smokey Bear!)  When I finally made it to Maine 15 years ago, I stayed involved in construction, working for the Bureau of General Services in an architect position.  While I was at BGS, part of my project load included participating in portions of the DOE school projects, reviewing design documents and overseeing construction.  When the School Construction Coordinator position opened up where I could join DOE and get even more involved with all aspects of school projects, I jumped at the opportunity!

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

The biggest reason why I moved to Maine was to live in my favorite playground, instead of just visiting Vacationland.  You’ll find me outdoors as much as possible with my husband and 6 huskies – we’re always having fun restoring our apple orchard, hiking, kayaking, camping, snowmobiling, dogsledding…and occasionally building something!

Get to Know the DOE Team: Meet Shelly Chasse-Johndro

Title II Program Coordinator Shelly Chasse-Johndro is being highlighted this week as the part of a Get to Know the DOE Team campaign! Learn a little more about Shelly in the brief question and answer below.

What are your roles with DOE?

I am the Title II Program Coordinator and the State Ombudsman on the Elementary and Second Education Act (ESEA) team.  My role within the team is to manage local funding allocations and the Title II programming for districts and schools. Our team also ensures continuous state oversight, support and technical assistance for districts and schools, and assists districts and schools in serving eligible students and implementing effective programs. In my role as the state ombudsman, I serve as the SEA’s primary point of contact for addressing questions and concerns from private school officials and LEAs regarding the provision of equitable services under Titles I and VIII; and monitor and enforce the equitable services.

What do you like best about your job?

The best part of my job is supporting districts and schools that are of putting students first in public education along with engaging and collaborating with the department’s dedicated and energetic staff.

How or why did you decide on this career?

At my kindergarten graduation, my career goal was to become a teacher! So, at a very young age I knew that I wanted to be in education. I began my career overseeing the day-to-day operations and supervising employees for a National Professional Development Title III grant at the University of Maine, then moved into a position focused on state approval and CAEP accreditation for the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF). With over a decade and a half with the University of Maine System, I transitioned into the Title II Program Coordinator at the Maine Department of Education for a new challenge and outlook.

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

It’s all about my FAMILY! My husband of 15 years, 7 year old daughter, and 3 year old Moyen Poodle keep us all busy with sports, swimming, and playing outside.

Getting to Know the DOE Team – Meet Jamie McFaul

Grants Officer Jamie McFaul from the Maine Commission for Community Service (MCCS) is being highlighted this week as the part of a Get to know the DOE Team campaign! Learn a little more about Jamie in the brief question and answer below.

What are your roles with DOE?

I work for the Maine Commission for Community Service, a partner agency to the Maine Department of Education. The Commission builds capacity and sustainability in Maine’s volunteer and service communities by funding programs, developing managers of volunteers, raising awareness of sector issues, and promoting service as a strategy. Learn more on our website (MCCS)

My role with the Commission is as the Grants Officer. In this role I administer AmeriCorps grants in the State. I am responsible for monitoring financial and program performance, identifying noncompliance and corrective actions, and all other oversight tasks associated with grant program management including federal performance and compliance reporting.

What do you like best about your job?

I really love working with all of the programs that we have throughout the State, their AmeriCorps staff & members are doing great work and I am proud of what they are able to accomplish. Plus, every day at MCCS, I learn something new – the staff I work with is very dedicated to lifelong learning and professional/personal development, and that means a lot to me.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I wanted to work in the field of public service with a focus on community development & planning and, with my current position at MCCS, I am able to do just that.

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

I like to work on the garden, play a variety of musical instruments, read non-fiction, and go for hikes with my puppy, Zebadee.