PRIORITY NOTICE: Weekly Schedule of DOE Virtual Meetings; NEW Q&A for Admin Assistants

Virtual Meeting Schedule: May 18 – May 21, 2020

The Maine Department of Education continues to schedule virtual office hours and professional development with Department Specialists to support educators and administrators during extended remote learning. During these meetings, our specialists are available to provide support, professional learning opportunities, and guidance regarding distance learning and school supports, as well as to facilitate networking and resource sharing between educators.

It is advised to check the schedule in advance. Many of the virtual meetings now require pre-registration or the need to email the host to obtain meeting information, these measures help to prevent inappropriate interruptions.

Virtual Meeting Schedule:

The virtual meeting schedule for educators is updated on the Maine DOE website: See the schedulePlease note:

  • This week there will be no special education meetings on Monday, May 18th.
  • A Q&A meeting specifically for school administrative assistants has been added to the schedule this week on Thursday, May 21st at 9am.

See the professional learning schedule for Education Technicians here  – Ed Tech professional learning sessions are being recorded and available here after they are scheduled to take place.

Nominations are being accepted for the 2020 MAHPERD Teacher of the Year Awards

Nominations are being accepted for the 2020 Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (MAHPERD) Teacher of the Year awards.

Maine educators in the following categories are eligible for consideration:

  • Elementary Physical Education Teacher,
  • Middle Level Physical Education Teacher
  • Secondary Physical Education Teacher
  • Adapted Physical Education Teacher
  • Health Education Teacher (All levels)
  • Recreation Teacher/Leader, and Dance Teacher

There are many deserving teachers throughout the State of Maine and MAHPERD would like to be able to recognize more of those individuals.

Click here for more information regarding eligibility, nomination criteria and to access the nomination form. Nominations are due by May 30th  and completed applications are due by June 30th.

For more information contact Liz Hemdal at, MAHPERD Awards chairperson, before May 30th.

MEDIA RELEASE: 2020 County Teachers of the Year Announced in Virtual Ceremony

Teachers from all 16 of Maine’s counties were honored today in a virtual announcement that was broadcast live on the Maine Department of Education Facebook PageHere is a direct link to view ceremony.

The Maine County Teacher of the Year announcement is held annually in the spring to honor the teachers selected from nominations for Maine Teacher of the Year from each county. The County Teachers of the Year are the finalists for Maine Teacher of the Year, an honor awarded each year to one teacher in Maine.

The educators were each nominated by a member of their community for their exemplary service in education, and dedication to their students. They were selected by a distinguished panel of teachers, principals and business community members from a pool of hundreds of other nominated teachers in their communities.

During the ceremony, teachers were honored by Maine Department of Education Commissioner, Pender Makin; Executive Director of Educate Maine, Jason Judd; State Board of Education member, Martha Harris; 2018 Maine Teacher of the Year, Kaitlin Young; and 2020 Maine Teacher of the Year, Heather Whitaker.

2020 County Teachers of the Year:

As ambassadors for teachers, students, and quality education in Maine, the Maine County Teachers of the Year are available to make presentations to local and regional organizations. Throughout the summer, they will continue to participate in an intensive State Teacher of the Year selection process.

The Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine Department of Education, administered and partnered by Educate Maine, a business-led organization working to ensure Maine’s students and workers are the best educated and highly skilled in the world.

For more information contact Rachel Paling (Maine DOE) at or Dolly Sullivan (Educate Maine) at


RSU 14 Senior Spotlight: “This is How I was Raised”

AustinEvery year around this time RSU 14 starts to highlight the Senior class and their achievements as they take their next steps down the career paths they’ve chosen. But Austin Merkle is an example of one Senior who hasn’t waited for graduation to take solid steps towards his goals. 

Austin has actually been pursuing his career since before high school, starting his work as a Junior Firefighter six years ago. Austin chose this path in order to follow in the footsteps of his father, who has been a firefighter for more than two decades and who he credits for giving him the desire to be a firefighter as a career path.

“I was raised to work hard and do what I can to help others,” Austin says, “This is a dangerous job that is hard on your body. It takes a lot of heart and a lot of commitment and a lot of training, but I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Austin has taken every opportunity over the last 6 years to dig into his passion for firefighting, participating in dozens of trainings to help hone his skills. Even tasks that seem incredibly simple require specific training under the types of circumstances firefighters are often in.

“One of the most important things you learn early on is how to breathe correctly,” Austin says, “ When I first started I could burn through our ½ hour tanks in 10 minutes. But firefighters use a technique called ‘skip breathing’ to conserve oxygen.”

Austin’s training didn’t stay with the basics. Over the years, he has done everything from Search and Rescue training to training in car extractions and ice water rescues, dedicating hundreds of hours to becoming the best firefighter he can be.

So while many students are planning for future careers right now, Austin’s career isn’t in the future at all.

Austin Merkle is living out his career, right now, as a firefighter.

This story was submitted by Lanet Hane, Director of Community Connections, RSU 14 as part of the Maine Schools Sharing Success Campaign. To submit a story or an idea, email Rachel at


MLTI Virtual Student Conference to Feature New “Innovation Challenge” – Registration Open! 

The Maine Department of Education is excited to share that the registration for the much anticipated Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) student conference is open. The conference will be held on May 28th, in virtual format, and it is FREE to Maine students!

Registration for the 2020 MLTI Virtual Student Conference is open until 5/22/20. The Conference will take place online on Thursday, May 28th from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

The 2020 conference theme, “Looking Backward, Looking Forward,” draws inspiration from Maine’s bicentennial. The event will feature an “Innovation Challenge” that fosters research, design, and presentation skills for aspiring innovators and motivates them to solve important issues related to Maine’s—and their—future.

Conference sessions have been developed for students in grades 6-12, although students from non-MLTI grades can attend the conference and are welcome to register/attend. Teachers are encouraged to register to observe sessions and/or attend with their students.

Please complete your registration form here. Confirmation is returned when the registration form is successfully submitted. Conference log in and session information, along with preparation requirements, will be emailed directly to registrants no later than 5/27/20.

For more information and the registration link, please visit: or for questions don’t hesitate to reach out to the Conference planning team at, and we look forward to seeing you.

Please be sure to register by Friday, May 22nd! Pass this exciting news along.

Virtual Student Conference Schedule

  • May 25th – May 27th Pre-Conference Activities – Looking Backward
  • May 28th – Conference Day Activities
    • Live Presentations/Interactive Sessions via an online platform 9:00AM – 3:00PM
    • Session categories include Animation, Augmented Reality, Design, Gaming, Music, Productivity, Robotics, Video
    • Uber Session: Innovation Challenge “Pitch Competition”
  • May 28th – June 1st – Post-Conference activities – Looking Forward
    • Innovation Challenge “Prototype Competition”

Registration Form: