AUGUSTA — As part of the Maine Department of Education’s ongoing efforts to highlight Maine’s outstanding teachers, nominations are now open for the 2019 County Teachers of the Year and 2020 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.
Nominations can be made through the Maine Teacher of the Year website through Feb. 4 at 5 p.m.
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 recognition, and
• have a minimum of five years teaching, three of which are in Maine.
The eventual winner 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 recently named 2019 Teacher of the Year, Joseph Hennessey, an English teacher at Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford, was selected from over 300 entries and included recognition as the 2018 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year. In addition to Hennessey, the other 2019 state finalists include Connie Russell, a teacher at Mabel I. Wilson School and 2018 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year, and Shana Goodall, a teacher at Orono High School and the 2018 Penobscot County Teacher of the Year.
The 2020 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.
The Maine Teacher of the Year program is 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 Pratt & Whitney with support from the State Board of Education and the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association.
The Teacher of the Year program is 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 the Maine Department of Education website.