AUGUSTA — A trio of area Midcoast teachers were among teachers from all of Maine’s counties honored Wednesday afternoon in a virtual announcement of the 2021 Maine County Teachers of the Year.
As part of the Maine Teacher of the Year Program, hundreds of teachers across Maine are nominated by a member of their school community.
Through a rigorous application process, one teacher from each county is selected as the County Teacher of the Year by a panel of teachers, principals, and business community members within the county.
Four hundred and six nominees were considered this year statewide, before the list was whittled to the following:
2021 County Teachers of the Year
Androscoggin: Jessica Harvey, Elm Street School (Mechanic Falls)
Aroostook: Andrew Kirby, Presque Isle High School (Presque Isle)
Cumberland: Dr. Paige Fournier, Freeport Middle School (Freeport)
Franklin: Michelle Laliberte, Rangeley Lakes Regional School (Rangeley)
Hancock: Sarah Doremus, Sedgwick Elementary School (Sedgwick)
Kennebec: Raye Anne DeSoto, Gardiner Area High School (Gardiner)
Knox: Patti Forster, Camden Hills Regional High School (Rockport)
Lincoln: Bill Hinkley, Medomak Valley High School (Waldoboro)
Oxford: Melissa Guerrette, Oxford Elementary School (Oxford)
Penobscot: Kelsey Stoyanova, Reeds Brook Middle School (Hampden)
Piscataquis: Lisa Martell, Piscataquis Community Secondary School (Guilford)
Sagadahoc: Lianna Fenimore, Mount Ararat High School (Topsham)
Somerset: Kevin Malady, Lawrence High School (Fairfield)
Waldo: Hillary Hoyt, Leroy H. Smith School (Winterport)
Washington: Diana Mahar, Sipayik Elementary School (Pleasant Point)
York: Christine Goulet, Biddeford Primary School (Biddeford)
During the ceremony, teachers were honored by Maine Department of Education Commissioner, Pender Makin; Educate Maine Executive Director, Jason Judd; State Board of Education member, Peter Geiger; 2021 Maine Teacher of the Year, Cindy Soule; Maine County, State Teachers of the Year Association Co-President Shana Goodall; and Maine’s 2021 Poetry Out Loud Champion, Emily Paruk, a senior from Gorham High School.
After being named, Maine County Teachers of the Year serve as ambassadors for teachers, students, and quality education state-wide throughout the year, and continue to participate in an intensive Maine State Teacher of the Year selection process.
In the fall, one of the 16 aforementioned teachers will be named Maine Teacher of the Year.
Midcoast Area Teachers of the Year
Freshman and sophomore English teacher Forster, a teacher of 29 years and alumna of California State University and Western Governor’s University, was nominated by CHRHS principal Shawn Carlson and 2019 Aroostook County Teacher of the Year Kim Barnes.
“During this incredibly challenging year my focus has been on service: service to support my students every single one of them right where they are and service to support fellow educators across the State of Maine in finding more equitable and compassionate ways to move education forward,” she said in her remarks.
High school math teacher Hinkley, a teacher of 25 years and alumnus of Cornell University and the University of Illinois at Champaign, was nominated by MVHS assistant principal Tamara Philbrook.
“I’d like reassure all the parents of Maine kids that dedicated educators across the state worked super hard this year to provide rich educational opportunities in spite of all the challenges that we’ve had, your students have learned to be flexible and resilient,” he said in his remarks.
Hoyt, a teacher of seven years and alumna of the University of Maine, was nominated by LHS principal Dawn Moore and colleague Leigh Robles.
“I teach to show students how working together as a community can make a change in their life, school and world,” she said in her remarks.