Nominated by: Principal, Jessica Madsen
Jessica Harvey is one of the most hard-working and talented educators that I have ever encountered in my 20 years working in education. Her classroom is a place where students and families thrive because of her dedication, experience, compassion, and love for her students. She is deeply invested in her own professional growth and continuously attends and advocates for professional development that is relevant and will help her continue to grow as an educator. She brings her new learning into her classroom through engaging, thoughtful activities that encourage her students to take risks, demonstrate a growth mindset, and take on new challenges in their learning. She celebrates diversity and she is always finding creative opportunities to highlight ways that individuals from a variety of backgrounds and experiences have contributed to their communities in meaningful ways. She teaches her students the importance of civic responsibility, advocacy for others, and the importance of taking care of the world they have been given. Her students feel loved, accepted, and they know they have found their school family within the walls of her classroom because of the way Jess so delicately and intentionally crafts a classroom environment where all students can thrive. Jess is a special person, a talented teacher, and one of her parents last year said it best, the world needs more teachers like her because she makes kids feel empowered to create a world where everyone belongs and everyone is loved.
Nominated by: Andrea Hallett, Guidance Director, Presque Isle High School
Andrew is always looking for ways to use the most up to date technology to give his students the best understanding of his subject matter. He is an adult that many of our students make an instant connection with. His sense of humor, caring nature, and love of teaching are things that students see first hand from Andrew. He is a staff member that is in the building early, and ready to work with students needing extra assistance. As a School Counselor I know Andrew is a teacher that will go above and beyond to work with students that need extra help, he sees when a student understands the material and may just need an alternative route to explain it, and is willing to adjust his classroom to the needs of his students to keep them successful. In the world we know now due to Covid-19, Andrew has gone out of his way to teach students in remote fashion and still delivers top notch lessons, and information to his students. He has tried out Schoolology, which our district recently purchased and recently taught a professional development session to staff on how to use it in their classrooms. Andrew is exactly what I think of when I look at a County Teacher of the Year. He would be a fabulous choice for Aroostook, and Maine!
Nominated by: Ray Grogran
I have been in education for over 20 years and there truly is not another person like Paige Fournier. She makes incredible connections with students. They love working with her. The academic and social/emotional growth the students make is amazing. The parents are constantly reaching out to me about their child and how much they love Paige. When we switched to remote she was able to create an incredible remote learning program for our life skills program. In the current hybrid model, she has maximized the learning opportunities for all of her kids. Paige regularly has activities that bring families and community members into our school. It is not uncommon for her group to walk into town to meet with business people, stores or community members to connect our school to the real world. Families are regularly joining her program for festive meals. Paige’s influence on our building stretches well beyond the four walls of her classroom. She truly has changed the lives of many kids. She has such a positive impact on our entire school from the life skills classroom.
Nominated by: Kathryn Kay, Parent
Mrs. Laliberte is a wonderful PreK teacher for many reasons. She is warm, caring, and patient. Her calm demeanor and zest for fun and creativity helps all of the students feel comfortable and enjoy their time at school. This is so important because PreK is their first introduction to school and my daughter and her classmates love being there. Mrs. Laliberte has made my daughter feel so at ease and welcome that she has really broken out of her shell and overcome her intense shyness around other kids. She values play time in addition to learning and tries to get the students outside on a daily basis, whether it be exploring in the woods or painting on the snowbanks. She is wonderful at communicating with parents and getting everyone involved with what they are doing in their classroom. We get constant updates through various means of communication and real time photos and videos of the kids during their day. Mrs. Laliberte truly makes learning fun for the kids, teaches teamwork and responsibility to very young kids with regular assigned classroom "jobs," and involves the students' families to help ignite the passion for learning both in and outside of the classroom.
Nominated by: Carla Magoon, Principal
Sarah is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic teachers I have had the honor to work with. She is excited about learning and helps her students to become excited right along with her. She spends incredible amounts of her own time and money to plan activities where the students will be engaged and have fun while they are learning. She works with all the other teachers in the school to create integrated Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) lessons that are aligned to their curriculum and the standards that the students are working on. She is always ready to help with any special ideas like Maine Day, or Screen-Free Week, and she finds community resources, such as local artists and places where students can get first-hand knowledge. Sarah also partners with community organizations such as Haystack and Blue Hill Heritage Trust to bring opportunities that otherwise our students would not have, such as using a laser cutter, or screen printing. She always goes above and beyond and her love for learning and for her students is always at the forefront of everything she does.
Nominated by: Kathleen Cutler, Parent
Mrs. DeSoto goes above and beyond for her students. She makes every student feel like they can achieve their dreams. She is adept at figuring out which students are at risk and helping them understand that they have the power to change their stars. She is more than a teacher for so many. She is shelter in a storm, confidant, parole officer (her students lovingly refer to her as the Dragon Lady), nurse, coach....the list goes on. She finds the good and brings it out in every student and in turn makes them believe in themselves. She attends her students outside activities and supports their endeavors. She defends and advocates for every student and celebrates each milestone. She holds them accountable and teaches them responsibility. She has run the drama program at the middle school for years and is always inundated with students wanting to be involved. She is the Director of the Interact Program and was integral in getting it up and running. Interact is the high school affiliation of Rotary. Raye Anne is herself a Rotarian. She works with this group to teach them the value in giving back to the community, which is a cornerstone of Rotary. She and the Interact students successfully created the Tiger Food Pantry which is located inside her classroom. She set up a ready to eat meal station so that students with food insecurities can access food during the day. Students and their families may "shop" at the pantry weekly and this year they have averaged 60 families a week. There is food as well as personal hygiene products available. The Interact students worked with her to collect back packs so that students are able to come to the pantry and discreetly take food home for the weekend. She works tirelessly to make a difference in the students lives. Every student knows they can rely on her for honesty and help. Many come back years later to check in and let her know their lives are going. Mrs. DeSoto is one of those teachers that when asked later in life to name a teacher that made a big impact on their life, students name her!
Nominated by: Shawn Carlson, Principal and Kim Barnes, 2019 Aroostook County TOY
Mr. Carlson - Patti brings a huge heart and expert understanding of pedagogy to her work with students. She purposefully works with students who struggle with school or English. She is successful where other teachers have failed. As department head she leads her peers in bringing more social and emotional learning into their program, has developed and implemented a set of tier 2 interventions for students 9-12 who are struggling in English. A National Board Certified Teacher, she brings a deep understanding of education to her work.
She has been recognized in many forums for her skill and work, recently being named "The Claudette and John Brassil Distinguished Educator Award from the Maine Council for English Language Arts". She also works regularly providing professional development for the Maine Council for English Language Arts. Not only is Patti one of the best teachers I have ever observed, she is also universally liked in the building and her department. Patti really is the whole package, teacher leader, outstanding educator, and committed and passionate colleague.
Ms. Barnes - Maine students need teachers who create accepting and engaging classrooms where learning is the focus and making mistakes is inherent in the learning process. Patti Forster has achieved such a classroom culture at Camden Hills Regional High School- a place where student voices are heard and risk-taking is encouraged and supported. She is a strong advocate for equitable grading practices in the classroom and she models this for other teachers, not only in her school, but in the state by leading virtual professional development for teachers. She also launched a study of the text Distance Learning Playbook. These sessions were not only relevant and timely, but engaging, even in a virtual setting. In fact, I often implemented some of her thinking and practices into my own classroom with much success. Patti is also keenly aware of the need for teacher self-care. She is a tireless advocate of the importance of mental health for teachers. Education, especially in a global pandemic, can be emotionally overwhelming. Patti keeps this in the forefront of all she does. Her strategies to take care of ourselves provided much-needed support and the idea of the whole teacher has bolstered me through a very challenging time in my career.
Nominated by: Tamra Philbook
Mr. Hinkley inspires each and every student every day regardless of a pandemic! He is a National Board Certified math teacher who teaches all levels of mathematics, is our Boys Varsity Tennis Coach, esteemed Math Team Coach, and the founding Advisor of our Outdoor Club . . . he is not only brilliant but is a dynamic and passionate teacher who goes above and beyond to inspire all of his students all of the time. As an Assistant Principal, I have completed several mini-observations of Mr. Hinkley over the last few years and never know what to expect! He may be found out in the parking lot with a group of students measuring braking distances between vehicles, meeting with our English teacher collaborating on various projects, in our science department creating “friendly competition” with his peers, or at a hospital visiting one of our sick students. Our teacher, Bill Hinkley, is a compassionate, dynamic educator. Kids are actively engaged in mathematics in his classes, they “do” the work. They don’t just “watch” the teacher do the work. Kids are on the move in his classes. He creates challenging real-world problems for his students to investigate that allow them to see the world through a mathematical lense. He shares his mathematical ideas with his colleagues as a mentor to our two new math teachers and others through recently publishing two articles. We are not talking about an idle man during a worldwide pandemic . . . he is teaching using multiple representations to communicate mathematical ideas. Bill Hinkley is a powerhouse. He represents the best in all of us and during this “pause” in education he has continued to commandeer his classes so they promote positivity and connectedness to ensure we will all get through this together.
Nominated by: Heather Manchester, Curriculum Director
Melissa is an incredibly student-centered teacher who enriches the lives of her students on a daily basis. When you visit Melissa’s classroom, she clearly knows her students well, and they her. She is a voracious reader and shares her love of books with her class and the students at OES by bringing several authors to the school each year. In my position as the Curriculum Director, I count on Melissa to bring the teacher voice to the table as we make decisions and plan professional development. Melissa helps our district to champion high expectations for our students, and a culture of collaboration and reflection for our educators. Melissa is a teacher who positively impacts our local community. Not only is Melissa a National Board Certified Teacher, she is actively recruiting other teachers from our district and across the state. As one of the facilitators in Maine, Melissa works with other teacher leaders at the state level to support candidates through the NCBT. She regularly leads/hosts informational sessions regarding the process and leader professional development for teachers pursuing the certification. Melissa Guerrette is a teacher that creates an impact at all levels: at OES, in MSAD #17, in the greater Oxford Hills Community, and in the state of Maine. She exemplifies what it means to be a reflective practitioner and is generous with her time and knowledge of best practices.
Ms. Castrucci - She is a really understanding teacher who plans lessons with her students in mind, making the lessons suited to fit the class and environment. If we are interested in a certain event that happened in our country, we might have a class discussion or assignment about it to encourage our interest while learning the facts. She forms meaningful relationships with her students and creates an environment that is welcoming. Along with that, I feel like I can be challenged in her class to do my best while also developing and working on skills that might be harder for me. We do this by having class discussions, creative projects, and interesting assignments. Overall, Mrs Stoyanova is a teacher that listens to and understands her students while trying to create a space to encourage our interests and push us to be our very best.
Ms. Fox - Mrs. Stoyanova is an amazing teacher. She makes learning fun, and she makes sure her classroom is a safe and fun learning environment for everyone to share their thoughts and interact with others. She makes sure everyone gets their work done, and she makes sure everyone understands how the work will get done. Not only is she a teacher, but she is an incredible mom, friend to her students, a person to talk to, and overall, someone you can trust. I think it goes for all of her students that Mrs. Stoyanova has had when I say that Mrs. Stoyanova is the right teacher for this award.
Nominated by: Jessica Gregory, 2020 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year
For many, math class is not where you find choice. There are right answers and wrong ones. Lisa Martell’s classroom is always full of possibilities. She presents differentiated instruction, she instills a sense of ownership and responsibility that creates a math-minded student who sees how applicable each lesson is. Students know that she is conscientious and dedicated to her students and her craft and they respect her for it. She is structured but unconventional. There are QR codes to use if a student needs to use the bathroom; she even does push ups in class if a student uses profanity. She is the queen of spreadsheets, techie tips, and crunching the numbers. Even before the difficulties of virtual learning during COVID times, she was incorporating technology into her daily routines with a flipped classroom approach recording her lessons for students and parents to use before and after class. She is thorough and diligent in striving to meet the academic needs of every student no matter their home situation or personal issues. She was the first to send out helpful tutorials for virtual learning, even before our tech department. Lisa is an incredible colleague. During staff meetings, she is always looking for and suggesting solutions when others can only see a road block. She comes in each day with a positive attitude and a growth mindset. She is an active member of the teacher’s association, advocating for equality and fairness. She is proud to be a Maine teacher and even prouder to be from Piscataquis county.
Nominated by: Christine Del Rossi, Teaching Colleague / Brooke Vermette, Student
Mrs. Del Rossi - It is a pleasure and honor working with Lianna Fenimore, a colleague and friend at Mt. Ararat High School. She is both an advocate for teachers and students. She understands the unique educational challenges we have had this year, assisting students with enthusiasm and focus. Lianna is super organized, which I wish was as contagious as her positivity. She is always flexible and open to new ideas made by both students and staff. Lianna goes above and beyond her daily duties as an educator As a class advisor her warm nurturing demeanor is an added bonus to the school community, connecting with students at all academic levels and social interests. Lianna Fenimore always has students' best interests in mind. Her huge mural of photos of her students radiates the love and care she has for all of them. Lianna is an active member and leader in our School Association. She hosts informational meetings for all of our staff and members to keep them informed on how we can stay safe as front line workers.
Ms. Vermette - Mrs. Fenimore truly cares about her students. I got too be her student for the first semester of this school year and I was always excited for her class. She listens to her students and helps everyone be heard.
Nominated by: Haley Hersey, Student
Kevin Malady is a legend throughout the halls of Lawrence, where he has dedicatedly taught for decades. As a science teacher and the sole AP biology teacher for the school, Mr. Malady is known for his difficult curriculum; yet he spends his free time ensuring his students are well prepared for labs and exams. Thursdays, Mr. Malady often stays in his classroom late into the night, allowing his students who wish to receive extra help and feedback on labs the opportunity to work in a school setting. He truly loves his students and on multiple occasions has baked treats and brought them in the brighten up random days. He has made his students fresh apple crisp with ice cream. Nearly every day he supplies hot cocoa mix for those who wish to make a cup. His ability to teach and lecture in a standup way is admirable. Ask any student at Lawrence what “SHADOW” is and their face will light up with wonder as they recall the puzzle game Mr. Malady sets up within neighboring towns in the springtime. Students of Mr. Malady are well-prepared for college science courses after successfully completing his courses. He teaches more than what is required, and is truly passionate about what he does. The way his eyes light up when teaching and the excitement in his voice as his students ask questions is beyond impressive. Due to COVID, learning and teaching looks very different, but Mr. Malady doesn’t let this hold him back. He adapts and continues to teach with the same zest and passion as before. Heck, he takes on the challenge and found a new groove. Kevin Malady is beyond worthy of this recognition. He is one of the most intelligent, selfless, caring, admirable teachers I have ever had the privilege of learning from.
Mrs. Moore - Ms. Hoyt is a child advocate. She will always do what is best for children. When in her classroom you will see teamwork and collaboration, two traits she expects from her students. Her expectations are taught, practiced, and respected. She is a positive role model for all. Her desire to make sure each child feels like they are important is evident in her ability to individualize for each child, yet set high expectations of citizenship and respect. Her ability to restructure lessons and units to meet student’s interests, with such a diverse classroom, is unique. Ms. Hoyt has many community contacts that benefit the school, and uses her resources to enrich the education of our students. Her leadership and enthusiasm is admirable and worth recognition. Ms. Hoyt not only works hard at school, but also serves as a coach at a local University and a dance teacher at a local dance company, again, demonstrating her commitment to our future generation. Ms. Hoyt works with the Literacy Volunteers of Bangor to bring free books to our students over the summer. Her class participates in the yearly Literacy Tea of Bangor by designing a table for whichever author they are studying. She is a true believer in children. Ms. Hoyt is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher. I can't say enough about Ms. Hoyt's uniqueness and creativity. She is an AMAZING teacher who puts her all into it. Any student who has had Ms. Hoyt will tell you her love for education is catchy; even the toughest students learn to love school.
Ms. Robles - Hillary's dedication to her students is always apparent. Her creativity consistently keeps her students engaged and successful. She often transports learning into another world with the use of her successful theme days including Candy land, under water, and space days. Not only is Hillary an extremely engaging professional, but she also does an amazing job making sure students come into her room feeling loved and ready to learn. Her involvement in the community has helped her build great relationships with the families in our school, and leave a lasting impression on students that I have witnessed years after they have had Hillary Hoyt as their teacher. Hillary is always willing to go above and beyond and try new things with her students.
Nominated by: Airyn Kenney, Colleague
I'm not sure if Diana's dedication and passion for teaching could even be summed up with words. I have known her in my community for years but have also gotten the pleasure of working with her. My children have been lucky enough to have her as their teacher. Diana spends her free time bettering herself to become a better teacher for her students and also for other staff members. When everyone was unsure about how school was going to happen this year, Diana stepped up and offered her time and knowledge helping all of the teachers succeed with remote learning. She is patient and kind. She is always willing to help and if she isn't sure of something she will take the time to learn about it. She helped my children be confident in themselves and their ability to learn at school. She welcomes feedback from students and parents and on more than one occasion has changed her plans to accommodate needs. Diana deserves to be the teacher of the year any year, but even more so this year. Her willingness to change and adapt to help others has not gone unnoticed. I know her hard work is appreciated by her students, colleagues, and parents who have been lucky enough to call her Mrs. Mahar.
Nominated by: Mandy Cyr, Director of Instruction
Mrs. Goulet teaches second grade at Biddeford Primary School and exudes all the qualities of an outstanding teacher. She creates a fun, exciting, student driven learning environment where students have voice, choice, and accountability. Mrs. Goulet integrates social emotional learning opportunities each and every day with her students. In addition, she is a strong teammate to her colleagues, and is always open to ongoing change that takes place in education. Christine is an extraordinary teacher, mentor, and involved community member. Christine has been a part of our Tiger community where her passion for teaching and learning has engaged, empowered, and supported all students in her learning environment which is not necessarily determined by the four walls of her classroom. Christine has a positive attitude, a growth mindset, and a strong passion of teaching all learners. Each day at school, one will find Christine with a big smile, laughing, and interacting with all students. Her positive energy beams within our hallways and fills the hearts of our students. Christine has a gift of connecting with students, and colleagues. She is able to build relationships and truly understands what each learner needs in their education. Christine naturally embeds social emotional learning which helps support the amazing community she builds within her classroom. Students feel empowered yet understand the boundaries within a learning environment and the importance of working together and accepting one another.