Debra Miller is a first grade teacher at the Raymond Geiger School in Lewiston. She has been teaching for 33 years – all in the Lewiston School District. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Special Education and Elementary Education from the University of Maine at Farmington and a Masters Degree in Literacy from the University of Southern Maine. Debra started her career as a K-3 Special Education teacher at the McMahon School.
Nominated by: Hillory Oakes and Meredith Greer, parents
“Mrs. Miller is sneakily good at her job--we adults can see how she slips her lessons into a fun game or creative activity, while the students simply know that they are finding out that words are ‘amazing’ and numbers do incredible tricks."
Susan Beaulier teaches Visual Arts at the Ashland District School and serves as the district’s K-12 Gifted and Talented Coordinator, positions she has held for 25 years. Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Maine, a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Maine at Presque Isle. She received her K-12 Art certification at UMPI. Susan is currently enrolled in the M.Ed. program at the University of Maine. In 2013 she was named the MAEA Middle Level Art Teacher of the Year. Sue serves as the MSAD 32 representative on Northern Maine Education Collaborative Team.
Nominated by: Superintendent Dr. Gehrig Johnson
“Sue is a special person who loves all of our students, not just those who are easy to like. She cries with them and laughs with them. There are many children in this school whose reason for getting up each morning is to see Mrs. Beaulier's smiling face at school.”
Talya Edlund teaches third grade at Pond Cove Elementary School, a position she has held since 2004. She has also served as a Literacy Teacher and Team Leader. She started her teaching career as a second and third grade teacher at P.S.23 Carter Woodson School in Brooklyn, NY. Her first teaching position in Maine was as the Program Coordinator for Project Safe and Smart at Lincoln Middle School in Portland. For two years, Talya was an adjunct instructor at Southern Maine Community College teaching college prep reading to English language learners. Talya holds a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from University of Michigan and a Masters of Science in Elementary Education from Brooklyn College.
Nominated by: Chris Straw, parent
Talya “engages her students by identifying their interests and encouraging them to pursue these interests in areas outside of the standard curriculum. When some of her students developed an interest in origami (and began taking all of her square post-it notes), she encouraged their interest and tasked them with making an origami place setting for Thanksgiving.”
Brenda LaVerdiere is a fourth grade teacher at Academy Hill School. She has been in this position since 1999. Her thirty-seven years of teaching have all been in RSU 9. She started her career in 1978 as a Title I teacher and has done a 3-4 Loop and 3-4 Multi-Age classroom structure throughout her career. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education from the University of Maine at Farmington and a Masters in Education from the University of Maine. Brenda serves as an advisor for the Kids Can Club, an after school program for at-risk students. She was instrumental in establishing the business partnership with Hannaford in 1990 that continues still.
Nominated by: Arin Hilton
“Mrs. Laverdiere engages each and every one of her students at whatever level they are at, academically, emotionally, and developmentally. She implements the ‘Habits of Mind’ providing a firm foundation of skills for school and life. She has trained many student teachers, all who carry on her style of firm compassion combined with a determination to serve their students.”
Mickie Flores teaches science and algebra to sixth, seventh and eighth grade students at Deer Isle Stonington Elementary School. She has held this position for four years. Prior to that she taught Special Education at the district’s high school. She retired from a stellar teaching career in New York. Mickie holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences from Cornell and a Masters of Science-Secondary Education, Biology. In 2012 she was named a Maine Governor’s STEM Fellow. Every two weeks Ms. Flores and her students videoconference with faculty from Vanderbilt University as part of the Beaming STEM Labs/AspirNaut program. As a way to connect her geographically isolated classroom with others, she became a lead teacher for the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Lunder New Naturalist Program so her students can join twenty schools across Maine collecting, sharing, and responding to biodiversity data via the Lunder website.
Nominated by: Gus Goodwin
“Mickie is a life long learner with a curious mind… a patient and dedicated teacher and is always pushing her students to do their best.”
Gretchen is a fourth grade teacher at Helen Thompson School in West Gardiner where she has been in that position for seven years. Prior to that she had a one-year position as an eighth grade teacher at Gardiner Middle School. She incorporates Economy in her Classroom, where students apply for classroom jobs, gather recommendations, pay rent for their desks, receive fines, earn a paycheck, pay taxes, design business plans and become entrepreneurs on our shopping days. Gretchen is a facilitator and Student Learning Objectives coach for the Teacher Incentive Fund grant. She is also on the district dropout prevention committee and facilitates the published books for her school. Gretchen holds a Bachelor Degree in Education from the University of Maine at Farmington and a Masters Degree in Literacy from University of New England. She is currently working on her national board certification.
Nominated by: Rep. Matt Pouliot
“Gretchen brings a dynamic approach to classroom instruction. Gretchen has a level of energy, incredible personality and would be a great ambassador for public schools in Maine.”
Fallyn Adams is a fifth grade teacher at Union Elementary School. This is her second year in the position. For eight years she was an Education Technician at Camden Rockport Middle School where she gained invaluable skills, including training in the Marzano’s framework of instruction. Recently, she piloted a one to one individual Chromebook project in her classroom. She weaves the use of this technology into explicit instruction, independent practice, differentiated instruction and interventions where needed. Fallyn holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Maine and has one course left to complete her Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
Nominated by: Principal Christina Wotton
“Mrs. Adams makes learning fun, yet keeps her lessons direct and to the point. Putting students in charge of their learning. She uses class dojo to communicate to parents. She extends an open door for parents to come into class and see our learning.”
Jennifer Wright Gregg is a third grade teacher at the Great Salt Bay School. She has been in this position since 2008. She spent several years as a classroom teacher in Massachusetts before moving to Maine. At Great Salt Bay, Jennifer established the Junior Oyster program. The program provides students an authentic learning opportunity that introduces them to experts in the field of aquaculture, marine science, scientific research and writing, and informational text. The Program gets students out of the classroom and into the field where they experience the science of aquaculture first hand. Jennifer integrates all aspects of the Grade 3 curriculum into the Program, including art and music. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Multicultural Education from Hampshire College and a Masters degree
in Creative Arts for Education from Lesley College.
Nominated by: Stephanie Nelson, parent
“Her passion for teaching science is inspiring, and her integrated approach makes the learning accessible to all her students across a range of ability levels. As a parent of a former student, I’ve spent time in the classroom and have witnessed Jen’s gift of engaging the students and making the learning experience relevant for each of the students.”
Laurie currently teaches seventh grade Language Arts at Oxford Hills Middle School. Since she began teaching in 2007, she has worked with grades five through eight. Laurie emphasizes Experiential Learning in her classroom, and prior to her current position, she worked with a team of teachers to develop a new Experiential Learning program for the district. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from Saint Joseph’s College and just recently completed her degree in Masters of Science in Education Leadership.
Nominated by: Superintendent Richard Colpitts
“Her goal of engaging students through project based community experiential instruction has permeated the instructional practice of all staff and has changed the culture of the school. Laurie is unafraid of challenges and this attitude is modeled daily for her students.”
Angela has been teaching in Glenburn since 2000 and is Glenburn’s first literacy coach. At Glenburn Elementary, she helps coach students and guide teachers to improve student achievement. She also works as an adjunct professor at UMaine and has previously taught third grade and middle school students. Angela has an MS in Literacy Education from the University of Maine Orono and now helps to teach masters level classes in advanced reading and writing to other Glenburn teachers.
Nominated by: Vicki Grotton
“Angie is knowledgeable of what it takes to propel student achievement. She is instrumental in guiding teachers. She asks the difficult questions, making educators reflect, purposefully plan, and assess to develop and defend sound pedagogy.”
Mia has been a leader in bringing technology to her classroom, school, district and beyond. Recently recognized by Apple as a Distinguished Educator, she has traveled across the country for numerous speaking engagements and workshop facilitation. She currently teaches at Foxcroft Academy where she has been a Media and English Teacher since 2007. She filled the newly created position of Technology Integration Specialist in 2013. In addition, Mia is an adjunct at UMaine in the College of Education and Human Development, teaches courses for the Maine Educators Consortium, and has published courses through iTunes U that boast a subscription of over 125,000 students around the world.
Nominated by: Principal Arnold Shorey
“Ms. Morrison represents what all 21st century educators ought to be as she facilitates her students learning through the use of the instructional tools of the 21st century, teaching the students the skills that they will need for their future career pathways.”
Johnna has been teaching for 20 years and has taught English at Morse High School since 2000. Prior to that, she worked as an English teacher at Lincoln Academy for five years. Her commitment to her school and dedication to her students is demonstrated by her active involvement in numerous school committees, taking the lead on co-teaching her department, serving as Yearbook Advisor and Class Advisor, collaborating with the Special Education Department and much more. She holds a Masters of Education with a concentration in Education by Design from Antioch University.
Nominated by: Amanda Nalls
“Johnna is an outstanding teacher, a trusted colleague, a respected member of the community, and an integral –part of what makes Morse a great place to work and learn. She does not settle for ‘good enough,’ but constantly strives to make Morse a better place for students and faculty.”
Debora has been teaching for thirty years, twenty-eight at Skowhegan Area Middle School where she currently teaches. She serves as a leader in her school and community, supervising the Student Council and leading fundraising activities. Debora also serves as the Math Department curriculum chair, and has facilitated integration of the Common Core and the creation of common assessments in her school. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Gordon College.
Nominated by: Principal Zachary Longyear
“As an ambassador for the school and district making what we do known throughout the community, Mrs. Tanner is everywhere and involved in everything. She goes so far beyond teaching that she connects the community to the school. Students and families in need get taken care of in large part by Mrs. Tanner’s connections, heart, and charity.”
Kathryn holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education. She currently teaches fourth grade at the Leroy H. Smith School. Prior to that she worked at Holbrook Middle School as a fifth and sixth grade teacher. A member of the Gifted and Talented Steering Committee, the School Leadership Team, the Supervision/Evaluation Committee, and a mentor for new/provisional teachers, Kathryn is actively involved in her school community and she goes above and beyond to be a part of school and district improvement committees and endeavors.
Nominated by: Principal Dawn Moore
“Kate always strives for the best in herself. She is a life long learner who is confident and knowledgeable. She excels in whatever she decides to do.”
Benjamin teaches English at Shead High School and in addition serves as the Technology Coordinator, supervising over 150 computers as well as network services and equipment. With his guidance, Benjamin’s students used technology to create the “Games Are for Art” event to support their community. This annual twelve-hour gaming marathon raises funds for the Eastport Arts Center, of which Benjamin serves on the Board of Directors, and Eastern Maine Medical Center’s Child and Adolescent Care Center. Prior to his current position, Benjamin has taught in Florida, Massachusetts, and California and has experience working with students from a wide range of socio-economic and
cultural backgrounds. Benjamin has a Bachelors of Science in Secondary Education from the
Pennsylvania State University, where he graduated from the Schreyer Honors College with distinction
and honors in curriculum and instruction.
Nominated by: Paul Theriault
“In addition to teaching basic grammar and literature to freshmen and American Literature to juniors for the past eight years, he has put this small rural high school on the map for his innovative approach to teaching skills in critical thinking and problem solving.”
Nick currently teaches all levels of English at Biddeford High School and during the summer teaches English courses at University of Southern Maine’s Upward Bound program. For two years he taught English at Marlborough (MA) High School. Nick holds a BA in English from University of Southern Maine and has a Masters in Education Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Massachusetts and is currently pursuing a CAS in Educational Leadership. He serves as a member of the Steering Committee (NEASC) and coaches the Biddeford High’s JV Baseball team. Nick is the 2014/2015 Biddeford District Teacher of the Year.
Nominated by: Principal Jeremie Sirois
Nick “is absolutely adored by the students of Biddeford High School. Kids flat out light up when they come into contact with him. He treats students with respect, compassion and kindness. His calm demeanor and ability to reach all levels of students make him a truly special educator.”