Employee of the Week: Susan Berry

Maine DOE Health Education and Health Promotion Coordinator Susan Berry is being highlighted this week as the Maine DOE’s Employee of the Week! Learn a little more about Susan in this brief question and answer:

What are your roles with DOE?

I provide statewide leadership and guidance in school health education and healthy school environment policies, best practices, programs, and professional development to school districts, health education teachers, physical education teachers when needed, and other school personnel who address health related issues. This includes technical assistance in the design, development and delivery of quality comprehensive school health education curriculum, instruction and assessment for PreK through diploma.

I provide leadership, professional development, and technical assistance to school districts on schoolsite health promotion and wellness for staff and students to develop, support and/or enhance healthier lifestyles and learning environments.

I provide Maine schools, administrators, school board members, educators, staff, and communities with guidance, technical assistance, information and resources on school health and health education related laws and policies that assist in the prevention of unhealthy and risky behaviors and promotes health enhancing practices.

I coordinate and collaborate with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other state and non-governmental organizations to support local school districts in implementing health promoting policies, programs and best practices including, but not limited to staff and student wellness; prevention of and education around suicide, substance use and tobacco, child sexual abuse and physical activity, nutrition, and obesity/overweight

I provide leadership and knowledge on school and student health, and health education related topics to inform the legislative process and implement new laws including

What do you like best about your job?

I enjoy delivering professional development to teachers and school personnel that expands best practices in health education, health promotion and prevention of risky behaviors among children, adolescents, and school personnel. I like developing and assisting in the implementation of laws, policies, and programs that protect and enhance health, reduce risky behaviors, and promote healthy practices.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I chose to work in health education because as a young adult I observed people engaging is risky behaviors and learned that prevention through health education knowledge and skill development can enhance and/or save lives.

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

I enjoy sewing, building flower gardens, playing with my grandchildren, and I’m looking forward to enjoying my new camper with my husband and adult children!

Employee of the Week: Walter Beesley

Maine DOE’s Director of Child Nutrition, Walter Beesley is being highlighted this week as the Maine DOE’s Employee of the Week! Learn a little more about Walter in this brief question and answer:

What are your roles with DOE?

I work with several Food and Nutrition Services USDA programs.  They include USDA Food Program for schools, National School Lunch/Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program and the newly acquired Child and Adult Care Food Program.  This includes several hunger related projects/committees all related to the best interest of Maine children.

What do you like best about your job?

The job is great because I work with a number of people to help Maine children and the job is constantly changing.  We at Child Nutrition have an excellent team which makes the job so much more enjoyable.

How or why did you decide on this career? 

I worked for years in the restaurant side of food service but as my family grew I wanted to spend time with them so switched to School Food Service, which was a great move.

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

When not working, I enjoy camping with my wife and grandchildren, traveling and doing woodworking projects.  My six grandchildren keep me busy and entertained, they span from one entering college, entering high school and youngest entering kindergarten.

Employee of the Week: Mary Becker

Mary Becker, Secretary Associate for the Maine State Board of Education is being highlighted this week as the Maine DOE’s Employee of the Week! Learn a little more about Mary in this brief question and answer:

What are your roles?

I provide administrative and executive support to the eleven-member State Board of Education. On any given day my duties can range from providing liaison with the Commissioner’s Office, the Legislature’s Education & Cultural Affairs Committee, and the National Association of State Boards of Education, to handling inquiries from the public, managing accounts, processing appeals, updating the Board’s strategic plan, and generally keeping the business of the State Board’s twenty-three mandated duties and responsibilities moving forward in a timely and efficient manner.

What do you like best about your job?

I like the day to day challenges of various responsibilities.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I came to the Department of Education, Commissioner’s Office, as temporary staff filling in for an individual out on medical leave.  After two years here, enjoying working with such a wonderful group of people at the DOE, I took a position with the State Board of Education.  I have such a love for children of all ages and this position gives me the opportunity to see up front what wonderful things the State Board Members and the DOE staff do every day for the kids throughout the State of Maine.

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

I enjoy reading, walking, listening to music, attending concerts, any theater production, travel, and I am always up for a good road trip!  Most of all, I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my grandchildren!

Employee of the Week: Stacey Bean

Stacey Bean, Maine DOE Contract/Grant Specialist for the Office of Special Services is being highlighted this week as the Maine DOE’s Employee of the Week! Learn a little more about Stacey in this brief question and answer below:

What are your roles with DOE?

I manage various contracts within the special services department of DOE.

What are your roles with DOE?

I really love my team, I work with some great people, all working towards the same goal.

How or why did you decide on this career?

Special education is close to my heart my older sister has special needs and I like being able to help with that in any way. This is why I was interested in the Special Services team.

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

Outside of work, I love being outdoors. Going for walks and camping with friends and family 😊

Maine DOE Kicks off Teacher Appreciation Week Early with Video Shout-outs to Maine Teachers #TeachMaine 

The Maine Department of Education will be releasing short video shout-outs starting on May 2nd of Maine DOE employees thanking Maine teachers who have influenced and inspired them.  

Teacher Appreciation Week runs May 6th through the 10th, and it is our hope that people throughout Maine, including students, will be encouraged to thank a teacher who has inspired or influenced them and share a video message through social media with the hashtag #TeachMaine. Please tag Maine DOE on Facebook and/or TwitterWe want to spread the word! 

This campaign is intended to honor and thank Maine teachers, and we appreciate your support in sharing positive messages. 

For further questions please contact Rachel Paling at rachel.paling@maine.gov.