Posts Tagged ‘Maine Teacher of the Year’


Maine Teacher of the Year

January 24, 2018

Nominations sought for 2019 Teacher of the Year

AUGUSTA – Nominations are now open for the 2018 County Teachers of the Year and 2019 Teacher of the Year.

Members of the public are encouraged to nominate educators who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and nurturing the achievement of all students at through Feb. 5.

To be considered, a teacher must: hold the appropriate professional certification for the position, be employed by a Maine public school – including a public charter school or publicly supported secondary school, be actively teaching students at least 50% of full-time at the time of nomination and during the year of service and have minimum of five years teaching.

The eventual winner of the state’s highest teaching honor, which is awarded by the Maine Department of Education through a program administered by Educate Maine, serves as an advocate for teachers, students and the efforts underway in Maine’s public schools to prepare students for success in college, career and civic life.

Maine’s 2018 Teacher of the Year, Kaitlin Young, a music and choral teacher at SeDoMoCha School in Dover-Foxcroft, was selected from over 300 entries and included recognition as the 2017 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year.  In addition to Young, the other 2018 state finalists include Kasie Giallombardo, Nokomis High School and 2017 Penobscot County Teacher of the Year, and Jen England, Noble High School and 2017 York County Teacher of the Year.

The 2019 Maine Teacher of the Year will be selected from the 16 county honorees. The field will be narrowed to eight semi-finalists and then three state finalists before the ultimate winner is announced by Maine’s Education Commissioner at a surprise school assembly in the fall.

Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine DOE that since 2013 has been administered by Educate Maine, a business-led organization whose mission is to champion college, career readiness and increased education attainment. Funding is provided by Bangor Savings Bank, Dead River Co., Geiger, Hannaford, the Maine Lottery and Thomas College with support from the State Board of Education and the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association.

The Teacher of the Year program has no cost to taxpayers. Bangor Savings Bank reimburses the winning educator’s school district for the cost of substitutes while the Teacher of the Year is out of the classroom on their official duties, which includes travel throughout the state, a week at NASA Space Camp and a visit to the White House.

For more information about the Maine Teacher of the Year program, visit For more information about Educate Maine, visit


Congrats Kaitlin!

August 24, 2017

Finalist for Maine Teacher of the Year

We learned yesterday that SeDoMoCha Elementary School Music Educator and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Kaitlin Young is one of three finalists for the 2018 Maine State Teacher of the Year (TOY). Kaitlin teaches PK-8 music in the Dover-Foxcroft school. At a ceremony at the State House in Augusta in May, Kaitlin was honored as the 2017 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year. The last two months have been busy for Kaitlin as the TOY process continued. It is so great to have Kaitlin representing her school and visual and performing arts educators from across Maine.

Kaitlin recently completed a Master of Music Education, concentration in Kodaly Pedagogy, from the Hartt School, Hartford, CT. She received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education, from the University of Maine at Orono in 2010.

Kaitlin and MALI colleague Kris Bisson, Marshwood Middle School music educator, at the summer institute. Both Kaitlin and Kris recently completed their master’s degrees. Congrats!

Kaitlin’s principal, Julie Kimball said:

Kaitlin has an incredible passion for teaching music. Our elementary and middle school concerts have grown in such size that we have outgrown our building and need to hold them at our local high school. Her ability to connect with our community members during these events is fun to watch. At the end of each concert, she has an activity that involves audience members of all ages.

Kaitlin is a true leader when it comes to advocating for her fellow peers. She leads our unified arts team and is a member of our teacher evaluation team.

Even more spectacular than our incredible concerts is Kaitlin’s passion for educating students and their families. Her energy is infectious! Thanks to Kaitlin’s desire to educate her fellow colleagues as well as our families about our music program, we are shifting to informances in addition to our traditional concerts. Her informances will offer families the ability to see what their child is learning during music classes by having opportunities for families to come to school and take part in a music class with their child.” 

Joining Kaitlin as finalists are Kasie Giallombardo from Nokomis Regional High School, Penobscot County  and Jen England from Noble High School, York County. Congratulations to all three finalists.

YAHOOOOOOOO Kaitlin! I am sure that visual and performing arts educators join me from across the state wishing you the best of luck as you continue on your Teacher of the Year pathway!

Kaitlin learning the technique of sgraffito on clay at the MALI summer institute


Maine County Teachers of the Year

May 15, 2017

Congratulations Chris and Kaitlin

Kaitlin Young, Argy Nestor – Photo by Andy Forster, 2016 Kennebec County Teacher of the year.

I felt so proud attending the Maine Teacher of the Year celebration last week in the Hall of Flags at the State House in Augusta. Sixteen teachers were named County Teachers of the Year representing each of our 16 Maine counties and they will be considered for the 2018 Maine State Teacher of the Year. There were 370 teachers nominated this year.

There are two arts teachers honored this year. Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year is Kaitlin Young of SeDoMoCha Elementary School. Kaitlin teaches PreK-8 music at the school in Dover-Foxcroft. And, Chris Goosman is Waldo County Teacher of the Year.

Center, Chris Goosman

She teaches theatre and social studies at Searsport High School.

Also attending the ceremony was Messalonskee music educator, Andy Forster, the 2016 Kennebec Teacher of the Year. We were both so proud of both Kaitlin and Chris representing Maine teachers and especially arts education!

Kaitlin’s nomination included: “Kaitlin has grown the music program exponentially during her six years at the school. She works tirelessly teaching students to love, respect, and learn from music.” You can read more about Kaitlin by CLICKING HERE.

Chris’ nomination included: “Chris is kind and caring to all students. She is patient with every student and always takes the extra time to help students truly understand what they are being taught. She views every student as a unique individual.”

Below is the list of the teachers representing each county.

2017 County Teachers of the Year:

  • Androscoggin: Nesrene Griffin, Governor James Longley School
  • Aroostook: Leslie Marquis, Fort Kent Community School
  • Cumberland: Brooke Teller, Casco Bay High School
  • Franklin: Allison Warman, Rangeley Lakes School
  • Hancock: Marielle Edgecomb, The Peninsula School
  • Kennebec: Lisette Bordes, Messalonskee High School
  • Knox: Iris Eichenlaub, Camden Hills Regional High School
  • Lincoln: Christopher Coleman, Great Salt Bay Community School
  • Oxford: Janet Harriman, Sacopee Valley High School
  • Penobscot: Kasie Giallombardo, Nokomis High School
  • Piscataquis: Kaitlin Young, SeDoMoCha Elementary School
  • Sagadahoc: John Dever, Mt. Ararat High School
  • Somerset: Eric Brown, Lawrence High School
  • Waldo: Christi Goosman, Searsport District High School
  • Washington: Rhonda Stevens, Beatrice Rafferty School
  • York: Jen England, Noble High School

Good luck to all of the county teachers of the year as they move to the next step in the state teacher of the year process and especially to Kaitlin and Chris!



Maine Teacher of the Year

January 27, 2017

Nominate someone you know

I am proud to know that year after year visual and performing arts teachers have been nominated for the Maine Teacher of the Year. Applications are being accepted for the 2018 Teacher of the Year and I am sure that arts educators names will be among the nominations. Music  teacher Andrew Forster from Messalonskee High School is the 2016 Kennebec County Teacher of the Year. The Teacher of the Year information is below – please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the program.


Do you know a great teacher? Someone who inspires students? A teacher who is a leader in the profession and deserves recognition for their great work with students? Here is your chance to nominate him/her for County Teacher of the Year!

Who can nominate a teacher?
Teachers may be nominated by students, parents, teaching colleagues, principals, superintendents or anyone from the community who has an interest in honoring an outstanding educator. To recognize a teacher’s role in engaging his/her students positively to improve student achievement click below to nominate.

Please submit your nomination by 5:00 pm on February 6, 2017 – CLICK HERE for the nomination information.

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-7-42-38-amAbout the Teacher of the Year Program
The Maine Teacher of the Year Program starts with your nomination! From the nominees, one exemplary teacher from each of the 16 Maine counties will be selected as the 2017 Maine County Teacher of the Year. From the 16 County Teachers of the Year, 8 semi-finalists are selected. The field is narrowed to 3 state finalists, one of whom will be announced as the 2018 Maine State Teacher of the Year at a surprise school assembly in the fall of 2017. The Maine State Teacher of the Year represents Maine at the national level and becomes eligible for the National Teacher of the Year award.


In Today’s News

June 24, 2016

YAY for Andy!

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Andrew Forster

Andy Forster was nominated for Maine Teacher of the Year by his principal Jon Moody who said: “When I first met Andy as a colleague in 2001, it was immediately apparent to me that he is a one of a kind human being. Andy cares deeply for his students and puts in the time necessary to ensure that all of them (including those not enrolled in his classes) are touched by music and given the chance to shine at Messalonskee.”

The Maine Department of Education in partnership with Educate Maine, is pleased to announce eight teachers as semifinalists for Maine’s 2017 Teacher of the Year. They were chosen from the 2016 County Teachers of the Year, who were honored in May at a celebration held in Augusta.

The semifinalists are:

  • Aroostook: Michael McCartney, Maine School of Science and Mathematics, Limestone
    McCartney has been teaching for ten years and currently teaches English, fitness, history, and first-year seminar to grades 9-12.
  • Cumberland: Morgan Cuthbert, Harrison Middle School, Yarmouth
    Cuthbert has been an educator for 15 years and currently teaches seventh grade math and science.
  • Franklin: Selina Warren, Kingfield Elementary School, Kingfield
    Warren has been teaching for six years and teaches second grade.
  • Hancock: Rebecca Tapley, Brooklin Elementary School, Brooklin
    Tapley has been teaching for 15 years and currently teaches all subjects for grades 4-8.
  • Kennebec: Andrew Forster, Messalonskee High School, Oakland
    Forster has been teaching for 27 years and currently teaches band, music production, independent study, and jazz band.
  • Knox: Beth Heidemann, Cushing Community School, Cushing
    Heidemann has been teaching for 23 years and currently teaches Kindergarten
  • Penobscot: Cherrie MacInnes, Brewer Community School, Brewer
    MacInnes has been teaching for 26 years and currently teaches third grade.
  • Somerset: Tamara Ranger, Skowhegan Area Middle School, Skowhegan                                                               Ranger has been teaching for 16 years and currently teaches English language arts to grades 7-8.

The eight semifinalists will continue in the intensive selection process which consists of a professional portfolio review and an oral presentation, before narrowing the pool to three state finalists. The finalists will then sit for a final interview and have a school-site visit before the 2017 Maine Teacher of the Year is selected.

Review panels during the selection process consist of past Teachers of the Year, school administrators, Maine DOE staff, members of professional education organizations, and the business community. The 2017 Maine Teacher of the Year will be announced at a surprise all-school assembly in October.

The Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine DOE, and is administered and managed by Educate Maine; a business-led organization whose mission is to “champion college and career readiness and to increase the education attainment of all Maine people.” The program has received longtime support from the Maine State Board of Education and the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association. An overview of the Maine Teacher of the Year program can be found here.

Funding for the program is generously provided by Hannaford, Geiger, Bangor Savings Bank and Dead River.

Full biographical information and photos of the 16 County Teachers of Year can be found here.

For more information about the Teacher of the Year program contact Program Director Dolly Sullivan at or call 631-3385.


Thank You Teachers

May 5, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Week

imagesI hope that you receive the shiniest and most delicious apple this week from someone who really cares about you. If you don’t, please imagine me presenting you one with a giant hug and a THANK YOU! I know that the path of educational excellence is through teachers who have taken on the challenge and joys of teaching.

Many of you know that I am supportive of the shift to a focus on the importance on leadership in education. Leadership takes on many forms. Some educators lead within their classroom to expand students horizons, always striving to find new ways to help students succeed. Others take on leadership responsibilities within their schools and/or districts. The Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) has provided multiple opportunities for educators to step up and take on leadership roles. I believe that everyone has the potential for leadership. I’ve seen plenty of examples of teachers who join MALI and find their voices and go back to their districts and are given leadership roles. They are invited to sit at the table and participate in conversations that are game changers. MALI recognizes and celebrates the good work that Maine educators are doing in their classrooms across the state.

MALI_V3_Color_100ppiThis Friday is the deadline for two MALI opportunities. One is for PK-12 visual and performing arts teachers to apply to be a MALI Teacher Leader. The details of what this involves are located at in a blog called Calling All Teacher Leaders. The second opportunity is for Teaching Artists to become Teaching Artist Leaders (TAL). The details and what this involves are located at in a blog called Calling Teaching Artist Leaders. The second is new territory for MALI and I am excited about the possibilities! Please be sure and email me at if you have any questions about these professional development opportunities.

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Maine’s 2016 Teacher of the Year, Talya Edlund (in blue)

MALI is fully committed to leadership since the impact of influencing leaders is making a huge difference at the district and school level due to the commitment of Teacher Leaders. Ultimately the work of the MALI Teacher Leaders is impacting students education in the arts!

On Tuesday, Talya Edlund, a third-grade teacher at Pond Cove Elementary School in Cape Elizabeth was honored as the 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year, along with teachers from every state at a White House ceremony with President Obama. The ceremony recognized the National Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes, a history teacher from the John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, CT. During the ceremony President Obama shared this quote that I love by President John F. Kennedy.

“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.”

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 7.44.17 AMEveryday each teacher has the potential to influence and shape our nation by the teaching you do. Our young people are our greatest resource and we owe it to them to be the best that we can be at teaching. Thank you for the amazing work you do inspiring and changing student’s lives, going above and beyond day in and day out, for the long days you put in, for the collaboration with your colleagues, the interactions with parents, and for all the things you do as a teacher that go unnoticed. My appreciation for you goes deep and wide – THANK YOU!


Welcome Back!

November 26, 2012

The importance of relationships

Kevin Grover

I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and that you had a restful break. I know you return to school this morning after your few days off to a variety of students who have had a break that may have been similar to yours or quite different. Most importantly I hope that they are glad to see you because you make a difference in their life. Perhaps this is about the learning that takes place in your classroom or maybe it is for another reason. When a teacher connects with a student whether they are in elementary, middle or high school it is often because of the relationship that has been established. This is also true for the relationship that teachers have with colleagues.

On Friday I learned of a colleague who passed away at age 40 on Thanksgiving when he returned from a morning run. Kevin Grover taught at Falmouth Elementary School and was the 2010 Maine Teacher of the Year. His family was very important to him, he was a husband and the father of two young children. He has made an enormous impact on those he has touched over the years.

When asked about teaching in 2010 Kevin said:  “I love it, two days are never the same. Kids offer so many teachable moments.” He felt strongly about working with parents so they viewed themselves as “partners” in the educational process. He called parents “the most important teacher” in a child’s life and said “parents need to be aware of what their child is doing in school and be comfortable speaking to teachers.” And about relationships Kevin said: “To help motivate them, I have to establish relationships and figure out their interests, and incorporate their interests in their school work.” He would greet students each day as they entered his classroom to “get a sense of how each child is feeling”.

Kevin loved technology and incorporated it into his classroom in a variety of ways. Kevin was the first teacher that I saw using a flip camera. I noticed how comfortable he was with it, one time using it in between his speaking responsibilities at an event at the State House. He was curious, interested, and deeply committed to learning and teaching.

Teachers don’t know where their teaching ends and I am certain that even though Kevin is gone from Earth that his impact will continue.

Kevin with his flip camera as Governor Baldacci and the First Lady prepare to speak

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