February 14, 2013

Maine Teacher of the Year nominees announced

By Noel K. Gallagher ngallagher@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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.

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