Employee of the Week: Faith McLaughlin

Faith McLaughlin, Office Associate from the Career and Technical Education team, is being highlighted this week as the Maine DOE’s Employee of the Week! Learn a little more about Faith in this brief question and answer:

What are your roles with DOE?

I am part of the  Career & Technical Education Team.  I work in Advantage ME & Purchasing ME, a software for processing grants & contracts.  I also work with the State FFA Advisor to plan the annual FFA Maine State Convention.  I have many other duties such as booking travel arrangements for Consolidated School Reviews and processing expense vouchers.

What do you like best about your job?

Spreading awareness of the importance of the FFA (Future Farmers of America) program and I really enjoy working with the FFA Students.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I became a part of the DOE Team about 6 years ago and am still working on my career endeavors.

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

I enjoy spending time with my family & friends

Employee of the Week: Scott Brown

Scott Brown, Maine DOE Director of School Construction, School Security, and Student Transportation is being highlighted this week as the Maine DOE’s Employee of the Week! Learn a little more about Scott in this brief question and answer:

What are your roles with DOE?

I am the Director of a team that includes School Construction, Safety and Security, and Student Transportation.  Within those program areas our team strives to align and support the values stated in the Mission, Vision, and Goals of the Department.  I also serve on the Department’s Leadership Team.

What do you like best about your job?

The planning and construction processes for a new Major Capital school project can easily take five or more years and watching the excitement of students, district staff, and community members when the facility is finally complete is always rewarding.  I also have thoroughly enjoyed working with the superintendents, principals, teachers, and community members in the process of planning and constructing over 100 Major Capital school projects across Maine.  I feel very fortunate to have had this opportunity to develop so many relationships with people dedicated to education both at the state and local level and for the experiences that have come with every project.

How or why did you decide on this career?

My education and training background is in architecture, engineering, and business.  After receiving my architect’s license I worked for a number of firms specifically on school and other larger public improvement projects in Maine and New Hampshire.  When an architect position was created in the Department in 1996 I knew that it was a position that I had a lot of interest in.  Since then I have been impressed and motivated by so many people committed to education here at the state level and I have thoroughly enjoyed my years here at the Department.

Employee of the Week: Michele Bisbee

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

What are your roles with DOE?

I am the culinary specialist within the Department of Education Child Nutrition. Along with my team members I help to monitor multiple USDA Nutrition programs across our state. I also help to facilitate culinary trainings for school nutrition employees.

What do you like best about your job?

I enjoy being able to help nutrition professionals across the state.

How or why did you decide on this career?

I worked in high volume food service for about 10 years before someone brought up the idea of school nutrition to me. I had never really thought of this as a career path but the opportunity to not only help children but to be able to spend more time with my own child really appealed to me. I am very happy that I made the decision.

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

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family. I help to coach my daughters cheerleading team and her softball team, so we are constantly on the move from one sport to the next.

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.