Nominated by: Clayton Carver, Katherine Gilpatrick, Zachary Gagne, Jeannie Doherty, Annabelle Pendleton, Katelyn Breton, Mel Pawlina (current or former students); and Laura Gilpatrick (parent)
Shawn Rice is a man of many talents and a man of dedication. When I couldn't turn to other adults in my life and helped me through art./Mr. Rice is extremely charismatic and has a great sense of humor but at the same time works extremely hard to make sure everyone succeeds in their own lives and pushes all of his students to go for their dreams and visions. /In a world where kids are dealing with so many issues - self image, safety, peer pressure, all the while trying to learn and grow and find their place; Mr. Rice is one of those special teachers who truly cares! /Mr. Rice encourages his students to do the best they can in everything, and to pursue their dreams. A true Red Eddie.
Nominated by: Karen Theriault (community member)
Kim is very passionate person, both inside the classroom and outside in the community. She has an unconditional form of teacher's love for all the students that she comes into contact with. She strives to make sure that they are all treated fairly and as an equal while always keeping an eye on those who need extra, whether in the classroom or out. She openly shares her insight and ideas with her colleagues, listens to their ideas and works with them to make Caribou Middle School better for all the children. Kim mentors new teachers as they begin their career in an ever-changing profession. Kim has gained the respect of her students, their parents, and her colleagues. She is a Gem of a teacher.
Nominated by: Robert Riley (principal)
Heather works with our students who have demonstrated an inability to regularly attend school, participate in traditional content area studies and enjoy the fruits of traditional learning experiences reserved by society for adolescents. She takes students on a series of hikes culminating with a three day, two night camping trip on the Appalachian Trail. Last year Heather instituted the Backpack Program providing many students with food for the weekend and school vacations to help improve the family food security. Heather is the driving force of our school garden. She incorporated the garden into her Alternative Education curriculum and has arranged to have some students work the garden one day a week during the summer. Because of her innovative, can-do nature, her refusal to give up on any student and her selfless contributions to our school community and to her students, I believe Heather is an excellent candidate to represent all that is good in our educational system.
Nominated by: Lily Bailey (current or former student)
Mr. Taylor offers cool programs like Gifted and Talented Math and Science. He does a ton of extracurriculars like Lego League Robotics competition, Cross Country, Environthon, and he recently started a Hunting and Fishing Club. The extracurriculars that he does are so successful that students compete at a national and sometimes world level. Mr. Taylor personalizes programs to meet individual students' needs. He is always at school working on GT and Environmental Science curriculum.
Nominated by: Peter Neill (community member) and Anne Redman (parent)
Knowledge, initiative, creativity, empathy, flexibility, and demonstrated results. Her peers respect her; her students love and respond to her; their parents welcome and participate in the home and the school. She embraces fresh thinking from any source. / This teacher goes above the call! She treats all kids the same and goes out of her way to get them involved in experiments in the community. All the kids are excited to take her classes and they hope they get to have her as their homeroom teacher. I just think she is the whole package of a teacher who is the very example of who you want your kids to have for a teacher.
Nominated by: Kimberly Sellers (teaching colleague)
Emily inspires colleagues with her kind demeanor paired with the energy and stamina in keeping an active classroom even while she splits her time between middle and high school. She engages her learners by immersing all levels in language and French culture through connections with French history and pop culture. Learners are constantly moving, conversing, and collaborating. When asked, learners use the terms kind, relaxed, prepared, and fun to describe Emily as an educator. I would add organized, engaging, grounded, and unbiased in her approach with learners. Emily Bowen is the first educator to come to mind when considering the qualities embodied in the Maine Teacher of the Year candidates.
Nominated by: Senator David Miramant (parent and community member)
Tom has a passion for his subject and his students that is exceptional. He keeps in touch with legislators to bring the background of the most current issue into the classroom. I know we are all welcome to address his classes as well as the students having all the information they need to establish a relationship with their elected leaders. No student of Tom's will ever be intimidated by the governmental process and I'm sure many will be drawn to run for office when they find themselves in a position to do so. Tom teaches critical thinking about the issues that face us as a society. He understands that the role of journalism is critical and that we all must dig deeper to really understand the issues.
Nominated by: Charlotte McGreevy (current or former student)
Ms. Andrews is definitely the most extraordinary teacher that I have had in my many years of school. As well as running back and forth between the elementary school and the high school, running the school store, and running student council, she manages to find the most interesting projects for her students to do all throughout the school year. Whatever question I (or any other student) asks, she invariably has an answer. She cares for each and every student who comes into her room. She has been committed to our school and our community for thirty years, and has taught me for the past five years and in that span of time, I have come to anticipate and love every Gifted and Talented class.
Nominated by: Jason Langley and Wendy Neary (parents of former or current students)
Ms. Deschaine teaches math at OMS and coaches girls basketball, softball and the math team. She has a genuine love of teaching and for her students. My girl was never a fan of math. But thanks to 2.5 years and counting of Ms. Deschaine's instruction and guidance, her ability to pick up concepts has improved immensely. Ms. Deschaine goes the extra mile for these kids because she loves what she's doing, and that is the essence of a great teacher./Ms. Deschaine makes math interesting, challenging, and relevant to her student's lives. Her ability to know where each child is at and then differentiate math instruction appropriately within the classroom is incredible. Her dedication to both math and her students is a model for teachers everywhere.
Nominated by: Dyan McCarthy Clark (2014 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year)
Bobbi Tardif is a dedicated teacher whose passion for visual arts education is apparent the moment you walk into her classroom. Bobbi’s enthusiasm, talents and extensive understanding of the visual arts and the art world beckon her students to join her in the joy of learning and creating. Since Bobbi arrived as the visual arts teacher at SeDoMoCha Middle School, the program has blossomed into a vital, enriching part of the students' lives. As a colleague, Bobbi adds her outstanding professionalism to the teaching community. Bobbi actively promotes the arts outside the school as a member of her community theater and the Maine Arts Education Association (who awarded Bobbi the 2018 Outstanding Service Through the Profession honor). Bobbi is a powerhouse of positivity, packaged in a warm, welcoming persona. Bobbi Tardif possesses the qualities that reflect what teachers should aspire to develop in themselves.
Nominated by: Jeffrey DeRosa (teaching colleague)
Charlie Bingham is passionate for student achievement and education policy. He organizes and maintains Shipbuilders Committed. These before school meetings include students who strive for high academic achievement and drug and alcohol avoidance. Charlie’s extracurricular weekend activities include organization and coaching of Morse’s Special Olympics’ team. Recently he met his athletes to travel north for three days. I would have complained about leaving on Sunday. Instead, Charlie complained about having to miss a Unified Basketball game; a team he helped create and coach. In most cases, Charlie’s fantastic teaching, advocacy of peers, and position of Assistant Football Coach would be enough for me nominate, yet there is much more evidence to support Charlie’s candidacy for this award.
Nominated by: Ryan Arnold (principal) and Bonnie Levesque (superintendent)
Kathy is a cutting edge teacher. Her classes are aligned with the Next Gen Science standards, and based on the STEM/STEAM principles. Students have learned to "build" anything from beaver dams to aquaponic gardens. The concept of failure has been replaced with the reality of - if you don't first succeed - try and try again! MSAD59/RSU74/RSU13 received an EMBRACE STEM grant. Kathy served as the teacher for the grant and worked with the three districts modeling instruction for the science teachers. The next year a STEAM grant was approved and Kathy became the lead teacher for the three districts. She has written curriculum, presented nationally, and done professional development with a hands-on summer STEM Academy for staff from multiple districts. Her enthusiasm for what she does is infectious, and her passion spills over to the staff and students she works with.
Nominated by: Glen Widmer (principal)
Ashley is the head teacher at Captain Albert Stevens School. She is reflective and professional in her practice. I have seen her incorporate a wealth of what we've learned as a school in our professional development around math into what she does in the classroom. Ashley makes sure her class, as well as the other two second grade classes, are connecting their learning to our community. Each week she and her students, and the other second grade classrooms, travel to either the library or to Tall Pines, a local retirement community where they learn from the residents there, or bring an activity to share with them. Ashley brings the community into the school by hosting family lunches each Friday, a day when a different grade level hosts families who can come in and eat, visit, and participate in a learning activity. Ashley is a great asset to our school. I can always count on her to keep things running smoothly when I am away, and I know that her students are getting a first rate education in her classroom.
Nominated by: Monique Mills (parent of former or current students)
Mrs. Carver was the first teacher for both of my girls. It can be scary for little ones when first going to school. However, Mrs. Carver is great at what she does and always made them feel comfortable. She is very nurturing and kind. She creates a safe learning environment and demonstrates extreme patience for those just starting to learn. She is also very creative with her lessons and this instills a love of learning for her students. These are some of the reasons why I recommend Mrs. Carver for teacher of the year.
Nominated by: Ben Harris (principal)
Ethel Atkinson is extraordinary. She is that special teacher whose passion for learning and working with students is infectious. She works with students who have struggled to achieve success with literacy, many of whom have been labeled as “struggling readers” for years. Ethel practices the belief that all students can be successful. Great teachers get to know their students; extraordinary teachers empathize, practice compassion, and consider their students long after the school day ends. Great teachers are proud of their schools and their students; extraordinary teachers are symbolic of their school pride and community, who through their passion and excellence, inspire others to become the very best version of who they can be. Ethel Atkinson is an extraordinary teacher. She represents the very best of what teachers can, and more importantly, should strive to be.