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TO:                  Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Principals, Headmasters,

                        Vocational School Directors, Special Education Directors, Presidents of

                        Maine Professional Educational Associations


FROM:            J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner


DATE:             December 20, 2000


SUBJECT:       Nominations for the 2002 Maine Teacher of the Year


The Maine State Board of Education and the Department of Education invite you to nominate a teacher for consideration as Maine’s Teacher of the Year 2002.  Any certified Maine teacher who is currently giving daily classroom instruction in a Maine approved public or private elementary or secondary school may be nominated.  You may also consider individuals who have been previously nominated.


The Teacher of the Year Program does not attempt to single out any individual as the best teacher in Maine, but rather to honor one teacher who represents all the excellent teachers in our state.  As I recently stated at the banquet honoring Maine’s Teacher of the Year 2001, Elaine Hendrickson of the Skyway Middle School, Presque Isle, I believe that teaching is the noblest profession.  Selecting a Teacher of the Year is a fine way to celebrate the many outstanding and dedicated people teaching in Maine schools. 


Maine’s Teacher of the Year should be committed to excellence and to nurturing the achievement of all students.  Your nominee should bring to the classroom exemplary skills that are recognized by students, colleagues, parents, and members of your school’s community. 


Note: while serving as Maine Teacher of the Year the teacher must maintain his or her current teaching position; furthermore, all nominees must be full time and teaching at least fifty percent of that time. 


It is important that you understand that being Maine Teacher of the Year requires some time away from the classroom.  Along with the publicity that is part of being Teacher of the Year, there are usually a number of speaking engagements and requests to assist other schools in professional development.  This could amount to as many as 30 days of absence during the school year.


The 2002 Maine Teacher of the Year will automatically be part of the National Teacher of the Year Program.  This includes an annual conference in Dallas, Texas, in January, “Space Camp” at NASA headquarters in July, and a National Teacher Forum in Washington in October. 


While it is your decision how to nominate a candidate on your district or school, I encourage the use of a local nominating committee of at least three colleagues of the nominee.  This committee might also include a parent, and/or school board member, a student, and other members of the school community. The committee and the candidate are responsible for filling out the enclosed forms and returning them to the Department, postmarked by February 16, 2001. 


The T.O.Y. Committee regrets that no feedback concerning any stage of the process can be provided to the nominees. 


A calendar of the selection process for 2002 is enclosed.  It is important that you share this letter and the calendar with your nominee.

A committee of teachers, school administrators, students, and Department staff will score the nomination forms, selecting at least one Regional Finalist from each of the state’s nine superintendent regions plus up to two additional at-large finalists.  For a region to be represented there must be a nominee whose score qualifies him or her from that region. 


All Regional Finalists who complete the process will be honored at a banquet in late October or November.  Regional Finalists will receive checks from Hannaford Bros., which may be used for professional development or classroom enrichment.  


These checks as well as most of the other program expenses are funded by Hannaford Bros.  This is the sixth year that Hannaford Bros. has so generously supported the Maine Teacher of the Year Program.


This letter and the nomination forms are posted on the Department’s web page.


If you have any questions please contact the Teacher of the Year Coordinator:


David Cadigan

Maine Department of Education

#23 State House Station

Augusta ME  04333-0023

287-5807 (voicemail)

287-1344 (fax) (email)


Enclosures:       Teacher of the Year Calendar and Nomination Forms