Posts Tagged ‘Maine Teacher of the Year’

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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!

 

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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.

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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.

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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 dolly@educatemaine.org or call 631-3385.

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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 https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/calling-all-teacher-leaders-3/ 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 https://meartsed.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/calling-teaching-artist-leaders/ 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 argy.nestor@maine.gov 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!

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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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Another Arts Teachers’ Story: William Buzza

April 10, 2012

Featuring one teacher’s journey as an arts educator

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts telling arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to read educators stories and to learn from others.

William Buzza is the featured teacher this week; he goes by Bill because as he says “it’s less pretentious sounding :-)”. Bill started his career as a music educator 19 years ago in Turner at Tripp Middle School; for the last 14  he has been at Leavitt Area High School, RSU 52. He serves in the leadership position as visual and performing arts coordinator for his school district in which he gets to process lots of paperwork and fulfill other tasks that come up and for arts activities. His classes consist of concert band, percussion ensemble, piano 1 & 2, guitar 1 & 2 and electronic music for a total of 41 students. His school also has a marching band that participates in the regional band shows. Bill is one of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s Teacher Leaders, Phase I.

What do you like best about being an arts educator?

I enjoy sharing those “aha” moments with students when they achieve new levels of success and they recognize the progress they’ve made in learning the concepts and skills we’ve been studying in class.

Tell me what you think are three keys to ANY successful arts ed program?

I think a successful arts ed program revolves around relationship building. I came to this realization a number of years ago when reading Stephen Covey’s well known book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” which really affected me as a teacher. I’ve come to realize the importance of the following three sets of relationship building:

  1. You need to have a positive and respectful relationship with your students. The arts are about sharing: the students sharing their artwork with you, you sharing the creative process with the students; especially when you and your students experience that special moment in a performance when everything you’ve been working on comes together and the goose bumps happen. Without an atmosphere of trust, openness and acceptance, that special sharing will not happen.
  2. Arts educators need to have positive relations with colleagues and administrators. There are many times when the success of our program depends on those people, whether it’s budget time, time for the guidance department to do the scheduling, or the occasion when your students need to miss another class for a special rehearsal or field trip. The time to work on your professional relationships is not when you need something.
  3. Arts educators depend on good relations with the parents. Those are the people that will encourage the child to practice at home, help out with fundraisers, chaperone field trips, assist in the marching band pit crew, etc., etc. Without the support of my students’ parents, I don’t know how I would have accomplished some of the things we have over the years.

What specific way(s) do your assessment practices tie into the success of your program?

I try to make all my assessments formative in nature by finding ways to make these experiences instructional moments for the students.  Sometimes I will have the students reflect on the successes or struggles they’ve experienced, while at other times I will use rubrics and narrative feedback to instruct them on what they need to do to improve. My goal is for my students to become independent musicians and thinkers. I believe that formative assessments supports this goal and promotes a sense of ownership of common goals. I tell my students that I know I will have done my job if by the time they graduate, they don’t me anymore.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

The initiative has provided a great opportunity to network with some amazing teachers. It is difficult to describe the synergy that is created when a group of arts educators get together to work on educational issues that transcend boundaries otherwise imposed by considering oneself a “music teacher” or a “visual arts teacher”. It has been very fulfilling to talk about effective teaching and learning practices and have a network of colleagues to bounce ideas off of.

What are you most proud of in your career?

There are two things I am very proud of. One is the creation of a guitar program at our school. This addition to our music department has brought a new group of students into the music room that I and my colleague, Penny Appleby would not otherwise get to meet. These students bring a different energy to the music department that enhances the department’s relevancy to the general student body.

On a personal level, I am very proud to have been recognized as a finalist for the 2011 Maine Teacher of the Year. As arts educators, I think we often teach in a bubble where very few of our colleagues and administrators understand what we’re doing. I suspect we all have occasions when we may doubt our effectiveness as a teacher. The Teacher of the Year program was a challenging process that involved much outside assessment of my teaching practices and beliefs and was truly a validation of my work as a teacher. I encourage the readers to consider nominating a deserving teacher for this recognition.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

Time – there never seems to be enough of it.

Apple or PC?

Both. I use a Mac at school and a PC at home. I also have the “pleasure?” of working at a school where our students’ 1-to-1 devices are running on Linux.  So that probably makes me sufficiently qualified (or confused) in the digital age. I’m learning the significance of “open source”.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

Our administration is very supportive of all the arts in our district. This has occurred from years of regular internal advocacy. The advocacy piece always seems necessary due to the regular turnover of administrators.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

When considering your own professional development, try to take a course or workshop not related to the arts / your content, but to teaching in general. I found this experience to give me a whole different outlook on my teaching. The list of possible teaching strategies / methods is endless.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

The first thing I would do is pay off the mortgage! Growing up in Presque Isle, I always said if I ever got rich that I would buy a motor coach for the Presque Isle High School music program so the band wouldn’t have to ride a school bus to the basketball tournament or the state jazz festivals. Then I would take my two boys for an extended road trip down the eastern seaboard before they hit college – then we all know where the money would go.

Thank you Bill for taking the time to tell your story!

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