AUGUSTA — A Hartland school teacher is among three finalists for 2014 Maine Teacher of the Year, Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen announced Friday.

The local finalist is Mary Graziano, a fourth-grade teacher at Hartland Consolidated School.

The Maine Teacher of the Year program provides an opportunity for the state to celebrate classroom leaders who are helping to prepare children for success in college, careers and civic life, Bowen said.

“The Maine Teacher of the Year is a valuable resource and spokesperson for Maine’s talented, professional educators and an advocate for all Maine students,” Bowen said.

The other finalists are: Karen MacDonald, an English language arts teacher at King Middle School in Portland;  and Suzen Polk-Hoffses, a kindergarten teacher at Milbridge Elementary School.

Six semi-finalists went through rigorous screening by a selection committee, including school visits, professional portfolio reviews and oral presentations. The three finalists will compete in final interviews before a winner is announced at a surprise school assembly in September.

The 2013 Maine Teacher of the Year is Shannon Shanning, a special education teacher at Whittier Middle School in Poland.