Fourteen teachers are in the running to be Maine’s 2014 Teacher of the Year, Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen announced today.
The winner will be announced in September at a surprise event at the teacher’s school. The 2013 Teacher of the Year was Shannon Shanning, a special education teacher at Bruce M. Whittier Middle School in Poland.
The 2014 nominees are:
— Anne Carney, St. Albans Consolidated School
— Susan Carpenter O’Brien, George B. Weatherbee School, Hampden
— Christiane Cullens, Mount Desert Island High School
— Mary Graziano, Hartland Consolidated School
— Kerri LeSieur, Biddeford Primary School
— Karen MacDonald, King Middle School, Portland
— Joshua Pietras, Penquis Valley High School, Milo
— Suzen Polk-Hoffses, Milbridge Elementary School
— Susan Ray, Sacopee Valley Middle School, Hiram
— Cynthia Raymond, Hall-Dale Middle School, Farmingdale
— Laurie Rodrigue, Cony High School, Augusta
— Nancy Sargent, Cumberland and Oxford Canal School, Westbrook
— Marsha Snyder, Thornton Academy, Saco
— Tracie Wagenfeld-Hallissey, Willard School, Sanford
A teacher can be nominated by anyone, from fellow teachers to students. The nomination is sent to the school principal, who submits the nomination.
During the selection process, a panel visits the semi-finalists’ schools and talks to parents, colleagues and students. Semi-finalists create a portfolio and give an oral presentation. The final three are interviewed by a group of past winners, who select the next Teacher of the Year.
The winner attends five national events, including a White House visit to meet the president and a trip to NASA Space Camp, and participates in various events and panels.
All costs for the winner are reimbursed by a state Teacher of the Year Association, which is fully funded by Hannaford. Bangor Savings Bank pays the cost of a substitute when the Teacher of the Year is not in the classroom.