Three central Maine teachers — from schools in Kingfield, Oakland and Skowhegan — are among eight semifinalists for the Maine 2017 Teacher of the Year, state education officials announced Thursday.

The eight were selected from among the 15 people who were named 2016 County Teachers of the Year. They will go through a portfolio review and oral presentation before three finalists are named. The winner will be announced at a surprise assembly at his or her school in October.

In Somerset County, Skowhegan Area Middle School English teacher Tamara Ranger, a reading intervention teacher, is part of a teacher of the year dynasty. It’s the third year in a row the school has had the county’s teacher of the year. Jennifer Dorman, also a reading intervention teacher, was the county winner and the state winner in 2014. In 2015, Deborah Tanner, a mathematics teacher, was the county winner.

Ranger, 52, of Waterville, has worked in School Administrative District 54 for 16 years. She told the Morning Sentinel in May that her success was part of a collaborative effort at the Skowhegan school.

“It takes a village,” Ranger said. “It’s a very supportive district and very supportive building.”

Franklin County’s Teacher of the Year, Selina Warren, 34, teaches second grade at Kingfield Elementary School.

She, like Ranger, said the honor is about more than herself. “I really feel this is something that represents all the teachers at Kingfield Elementary School,” she said in May. “I hope the students are proud of all of their teachers and the work we do together.”

Kennebec County’s teacher of the year is Andrew Forster, 49, a music teacher at Messalonskee High School in Oakland. Forster, who teaches music production and is the school’s band leader, said the honor was “humbling.”

Messalonskee Principal Jon Moody said in May that Forster “cares deeply for his students and puts in the time necessary to ensure all of them (including those not enrolled in his classes) are touched by music and given the chance to shine at Messalonskee.”

The other semifinalists are:

• Aroostook: Michael McCartney, Maine School of Science and Mathematics, Limestone. He teaches English, fitness, history and first-year seminar.

• Cumberland: Morgan Cuthbert, a seventh-grade mathematics and science teacher at Harrison Middle School, Yarmouth.

• Hancock: Rebecca Tapley, who teachers all subjects for grades 4-8 at Brooklin Elementary School, Brooklin

• Knox: Beth Heidemann, a kindergarten teacher at Cushing Community School, Cushing.

• Penobscot: Cherrie MacInnes, a third-grade teacher at Brewer Community School, Brewer.

The 2016 Maine Teacher of the Year was Talya Edlund, a third-grade teacher at Pond Cove Elementary School in Cape Elizabeth.

Central Maine’s trio of teachers were among those honored May 13 during a ceremony at the State House in Augusta. The ceremony was part of the third year of the Maine County Teacher of the Year program, which was started in 2014 and is part of the Maine Teacher of the Year program.

Teachers selected as county teachers of the year go through a review process that includes school visits, portfolio work and an interview with a state review panel.

More than 300 nominations were submitted this year for the county teacher of the year awards.


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