MEDIA RELEASE: Three Maine Schools Receive National Blue Ribbon School Honors

The U.S. Department of Education today announced three Maine schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The three schools are:

  • Cape Elizabeth High School, Cape Elizabeth Public Schools
  • Fruit Street School, Bangor School Department
  • Yarmouth High School, Yarmouth School Department

The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.

Now in its 37th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 9,000 schools. On November 14 and 15, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with 312 public and 50 non-public school honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education (CAPE).

Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at

For more information contact Kelli Deveaux (207) 624-6747 or

Medomak Valley High School Art Teacher Receives Educator Innovation Award

Medomak Valley High School Art Teacher Krisanne Baker was recently awarded awarded a Bow Seat Educator Innovation Award recently for her commitment to inspiring students to make a difference for oceans and watersheds by teaching students about ocean conservation issues and engage them in creative action. Below is a description of Krisanne’s work provided by Bow Seat:

For the past 12 years, Krisanne’s personal art practice has focused on water quality. Knowing that our lives depend on the health of the ocean, she began a conversation about climate change in her art classrooms and found that no other teachers were addressing the subject. Krisanne developed the “Gulf of Maine: Dare to Care” curriculum to teach students how to use art to make a difference, specifically in ocean advocacy. When she offered her Studio Arts class the choice to work on Bow Seat’s Ocean Awareness Contest for an entire quarter and then submit their work to the competition, the students voted unanimously to do so! They learned how to make accurate scientific illustrations of endangered Gulf of Maine marine animals, then created slumped recycled glass renditions of their creatures, which will be a part of a display traveling from the town hall to local libraries to elementary schools.

Krisanne Baker is one of six winners internationally. Read more about the Bow Seat Educator Innovation Award.

MSSM Graduate Named Air Force Academy Cadet of the Year

Submitted by Ryan McDonald, Summer Programs Director and Public Relations Coordinator at Maine School of Science and Mathematics.

Congratulations to 2016 MSSM graduate Gordon McCulloh who has just been named the 2019 United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) cadet of the year at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space, and Cyber Conference in Washington D.C. 


Gordon is working on a double major in Astronautical Engineering and Applied Math with an Arabic language minor.  His current 3.92 GPA ranks him academically 16 of 992 academy cadets.


Highlights of Gordon’s USAFA career thus far include four weeks studying Arabic in Morocco, a six week internship with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, research on hybrid rocket combustion, and securing a $19,000 Stamps Scholarship which he used  to intern with Ad Astra Rocket Company and the Air Force Research Laboratory.  


Go Gordon and Go Air Force!

Aroostook Educators Honored at Achiever Awards Gala

On Thursday, September 19, 2019 the Momentum Aroostook Awards Gala took place in Presque Isle. Established by Momentum Aroostook, the Aroostook Achievers awards recognize local professionals going above and beyond in their career.

Congratulations to three local educators who were honored in the category of education:

Deb Roark is the Executive Director of University Advancement and affairs at the University of Maine Presque Isle. She is an outstanding, goal oriented team leader. She  strives to develop programs through the development of the MMG center to help students develop a professional demeanor and provides them with access to ongoing professional development.

Valerie Waldemarson is the director of the JMG program at Caribou High School. She received 5 nominations from her students. One student wrote “I would not be ready for the real world without her wisdom.”  Her leadership and guidance in the development of Caribou High School’s JMG program has made her a highly regarded asset to the education of students in Aroostook County.

Ben Greenlaw has contributed to the development of strong student programs as the principal at Presque Isle High School. These include great dedication to students, training opportunities within the community and the County Bus Tour program for students to promote the area and build collaboration among students and the community. Ben has moved to the Assistant Superintendent role in Presque Isle and will be assuming the Superintendent position in January 2020 where he is certain to continue to develop students aspirations.

Congratulations to all of the awardees!

Greely High School Ed Tech Awarded Local High Honor

Greely High School Special Education, Education Technician Eliza Miller was honored recently at an award ceremony at MSAD 51 for being named Employee of the Year.

Recognized for her one-on-one work with students, her support for teachers, and her willingness to jump in and volunteer outside of the classroom, Eliza was praised by her colleagues during the ceremony.

“Without Eliza Miller, I could not serve my students as a teacher in the best ways I possibly can.  Because she cares so much about the special ed students and pushes them to succeed to the best of their ability and shows this by collaborating, and sharing invaluable tools with staff (as well as students). Her years of experience and positivity leads the students to benefit hugely from her structured approach and optimism – which wears off on the students beyond the classroom.” 

“She truly exemplifies the phrase, ‘going above and beyond,’ both in the world of education, and in her compassion and humanity in general.” 

Educational technicians play a pivotal role in the classroom by providing supportive educational services for students in K-12 schools and instruction for children with disabilities. They specialize in individualized or small group guided instruction, assistance in special education and the regular classrooms, and also help manage student behavior. Education technicians are a critical part of each and every school in Maine and to our education system as a whole.

Being an education technician is an enjoyable, challenging, and rewarding profession that often-times blossoms into a life-long career as an educator. To learn more about how to become an education technician in Maine, please visit Maine DOE’s Certification web page where you will find links to information about requirements by ed tech level, how to complete the certification application process, fingerprinting, and how to check application status. For further information contact our certification team at 207-624-6603 or