Two Augusta area teachers are among 14 statewide in the running to be Maine’s 2014 Teacher of the Year, Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen announced Thursday.
Cynthia Raymond, of Hall-Dale Middle School in Farmingdale, and Laurie Rodrigue, of Cony High School in Augusta, are the two local nominees. Raymond teaches sixth-grade language arts and Rodrigue teaches English.
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.
A teacher can be nominated by anyone, from fellow teachers to students. The nomination is sent to the school principal, who submits it.
During the selection process, a panel visits the semifinalists’ 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 Bros. Bangor Savings Bank pays the cost of a substitute when the Teacher of the Year is not in the classroom.
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