2013 Teacher of the Year Nominees

Eight teachers from across Maine have been nominated to become the 2013 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Only one will be named Teacher of the Year, and will become part of the National Teacher of the Year Program. This includes an annual conference in January 2013, a National Teacher Forum in Washington, D.C., in April 2013, “Space Camp” at NASA’s Alabama headquarters in July 2013, and a national education conference in Princeton, N.J., in September 2013.

Matthew AmorosoMatthew Amoroso - Nominee

Thornton Academy, Saco
Grades:  9-12, AP Physics B & C, Astronomy, Intro to Western Philosophy
Headmaster: Carl Stasio, Jr.

Matthew Amoroso has been teaching at Thornton Academy since 2006.  He is the faculty advisor to the Anime club, which is Thornton’s largest club, and the 2012 senior class advisor. While filling several roles at Thornton Academy, Mr. Amoroso always makes his students top priority. The dedication and passion he shows for his students and their success demonstrates his abilities as an exceptional educator.  Both students and colleagues alike praise Mr. Amoroso, not only for his teaching abilities and techniques, but also for the high level of energy and enthusiasm he brings to the halls of Thornton Academy.

Katherine BousquetKatherine Bousquet - State finalist

South Berwick Central School
Grades: 2/3 looping
Principal:  Vicki Stewart
Superintendent: Dr. Mary Nash

Kathy Bousquet is a grades 2/3 looping teacher at Central School in South Berwick. She knows teaching, children, and families. As a lifelong learner, she has pioneered several sustained programs at Central School including Responsive Classroom and Dr. Ross Greene’s Collaborative Problem Solving. She has also emerged as a leader in STEM education in MSAD 35. Recognizing the tremendous influence that teachers have over their students’ learning, Ms. Bousquet will go to any length to ensure that her students learn and that their experience at school is a positive and memorable one.

Richard LentRichard Lent - Semi-finalist

Leavitt Area High School, Turner
Grades: 9-12, Latin
Principal: Eben Shaw
Superintendent: Dr. Henry Aliberti

Rick Lent has been teaching Latin at Leavitt Area High School for the past 27 years. During that time, he has established himself as an institution amongst students, staff and parents. The connections that he is able to create with his students last well beyond the four years of high school, and it’s not uncommon to have former students return to reconnect with their former Latin teacher. Mr. Lent uses the connections he builds with students to push them to be successful - working tirelessly to help them achieve their personal goals, not only in Latin, but in any activity in which they take part. He is a teacher who cares about the success of his students, not because it’s his job, but because it’s the right thing to do. Mr. Lent is an amazing teacher, mentor and colleague. Leavitt Area High School is fortunate to have him as a member of their school community.

Elizabeth MarassElizabeth Marass - Semi-finalist

Sanford High School
Grades: 10-12, Biology, Marine Biology, AP Environmental Science
Principal: Jedediah Petsinger
Superintendent: David Theoharides

According to the editor of the Sanford News, “It’s a philosophy – an enthusiasm for learning with her students in addition to teaching themthis is one of the reasons why Beth Marass has been named the Sanford School Department’s Teacher of the Year for 2012.” Mrs. Marass has been with the Sanford School Department for the past 11 years. In addition to teaching science, she developed the AP environmental science program and founded the high school’s Environmental Club. She is also the coach of the school’s Ocean Bowl team. Mrs. Marass creates a real-world learning environment for her students by partnering with community groups. Her students have worked with the town’s highway department to promote recycling and have performed water-quality testing on local waterways with the York County Soil and Water District. The Environmental Club was recognized as number one in New England in January 2012 for reducing carbon output through education and action. She inspires everyone with her dedication and caring as she strives to get to know her students as individuals and empower them to make a difference in their community and the world.

Tracy ScullyTracy Scully - Nominee

Acton Elementary School
Grades: 7/8, Language Arts
Principal: Tricia Halliday
Superintendent: Elizabeth St. Cyr

Tracy Scully has been teaching at Acton Elementary School for the past 18 years. With boundless energy, enthusiasm, and attention to detail, she is a source of strength, support and inspiration to her students, colleagues and community. She continually strives to learn more and meet the challenges of an ever-changing world. Ms. Scully was the first one to seek out the Maine Learning Technology Initiative and became Acton Elementary School’s MLTI lead teacher and continues to serve in that capacity. In addition, she is the team leader for the 7th and 8th grade teachers, athletic director, Best Writing Contest lead coordinator and the teacher liaison to the Parent/Teacher group. Ms. Scully’s nickname is “Squirrel,” because no one can do so much, as efficiently with thoroughness and enthusiasm. She is an example of a teacher who loves what she does and continues to grow and learn, not out of sense of duty, but because learning is exciting. Ms. Scully transfers this to her students and those fortunate enough to work with her.

Shannon ShanningShannon Shanning - 2013 Maine Teacher of the Year

Whittier Middle School, Poland
Grades: 7/8, Special Education (Reading, Writing, Math and Integrated Studies)
Principal: Ayesha Farag-Davis
Superintendent: J. Michael Wilhelm

Shannon Shanning is a special educator in a self-contained, integrated learning classroom at Whittier Middle School. She demonstrates a remarkable ability to embed learning into real-world experiences and connect students to the school and greater community through such efforts as the “MidKnight Fire-Slayers,” a partnership with the local fire department. Ms. Shanning provides an environment of high engagement, challenge, and support that inspires students to become more confident, capable, and productive learners.

Beth SkotarczakBeth Skotarczak - Nominee

Oxford-Cumberland Canal School, Westbrook
Grades: 3/4 looping
Principal: Vickie Hebert
Superintendent: Marc Gousse

Beth Skotarczak has been a grades 3/4 looping teacher at Oxford-Cumberland Canal School for six years and a Maine teacher for 10 years. She is a natural leader within the school and continually strives for excellence, not only in herself, but for her students as well. She displays high expectations for her students’ achievement and behavior. This is evident in the character development of her students throughout the year. Students from Ms. Skotarczak’s class show genuine leadership skills and truly embody the Canal School Coyote spirit. They are students that teachers look forward to having in their classrooms in subsequent years. She is the embodiment of a superb educator. Working alongside her and seeing her diligence and dedication to the teaching profession, her colleagues can testify that Ms. Skotarczak shines as a bright star of the school. 

Beth SwitzerBeth Switzer - State finalist

Coastal Ridge Elementary School, York
Grade: 4
Principal: Sean Murphy
Superintendent: Dr. Henry Scipione

Passionate in all she does, Beth Switzer teaches fourth graders with sparkle and spunk… and lots of hugs! She unites children and colleagues in a warm, safe community of respect, one in which they learn life’s lessons about character and perseverance. With her wealth of instructional prowess, Ms. Switzer tactfully brings out the academic best in all children and gives them the confidence they need to stand up for what’s right. She is an astute role model who gently orchestrates her community in taking risks and growing. As a result, Ms. Switzer is representative of what a Teacher of the Year embodies.