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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:             January 14, 2003


SUBJECT:       Nominations for the 2004 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 2004.  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.  Selecting a Teacher of the Year is an exceptional 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 all other members of your school’s community. 


While serving as Maine Teacher of the Year the teacher must maintain his or her current teaching position.  Furthermore, all nominees must be employed full time and teaching at least fifty percent of that time.  It has been recommended by the Teacher of the Year Association that no more than one educator should be submitted from a small district within three years.  In large districts, no more than one educator should be submitted from the same school within three years.


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.  Regional and State Finalists will also be expected to participate in various activities which could amount to up to 10 days absence during the school year. 


The 2004 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’s Alabama headquarters in July, and a National Teacher Forum in Washington, also in July. 


While it is your decision how to nominate a teacher in 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 (s), and/or other members of the school community. The committee and the nominee are responsible for filling out the enclosed form and returning it to the Department, postmarked by February 12, 2003, or hand delivered to the Fifth Floor Receptionist in the State Office Building, Augusta, by 5 PM, February 14, 2003. 


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 2003 is enclosed.  It is important that you share this letter and the enclosed calendar with your nominee.

A committee of teachers, school administrators, students, and Department staff will score the nomination forms, selecting one Regional Finalist from 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 generous checks from Hannaford Bros., which may be used for professional development or classroom enrichment.  


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


This letter and the nomination form are posted on the Department’s web page:  


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


Gail Mazzaro

Maine Department of Education

#23 State House Station

Augusta ME  04333-0023

624-6743 (voicemail)

624-6731 (fax) (email)




(Note: all dates are for 2003)



February 12                 Nomination forms must be postmarked


March 12                     Dinner for all Nominees, Augusta


March 13                     State House Hall of Flags Ceremony: Governor Baldacci and Commissioner of Education honor nominees; nominees invited to display students’ work


March 28                     Letters mailed out to nominees announcing Regional Finalists


April – May                  Site visits to Regional Finalists’ schools; representatives from the T.O.Y. Committee observe the teacher in class, interview students, parents, and colleagues; MPBN TV camera and interviewer also present


May – July                   Regional finalists work on professional portfolios


July 18                         Portfolio and oral presentations, Augusta; Regional Finalists present their professional portfolios and give an informal talk before a review panel; portfolios are scored by former Regional Finalists; four State Finalists are selected


July 31                         State Finalists’ interviews with former Teachers of the Year, Augusta


September                    Announcement of the 2004 Maine Teacher of the Year


October 21                  Maine Teacher of the Year Banquet      (tentative)


November                    Maine Distinguished Educators Forum with Governor Baldacci  (tentative)



Nomination Form          2004 MAINE TEACHER OF THE YEAR


NOMINEE: ________________________________________________________


SOCIAL SECURITY NO. _____________________________________________


HOME ADDRESS: __________________________________________________


EMAIL: ___________________________________________________________


HOME PHONE NUMBER: ___________________________________________









SCHOOL PHONE NUMBER: ____________________FAX__________________


NAME OF PRINCIPAL: ______________________________________________


PRINCIPAL’S EMAIL: _______________________________________________


PRINCIPAL'S SIGNATURE: ___________________________________________







SUPERINTENDENT’S PHONE NUMBER: _______________________________


SUPERINTENDENT'S SIGNATURE: ___________________________________



Deadline for Return: Postmarked or hand delivered by Friday, February 14, 2003


Mail to:     Teacher of the Year Program

                  Attention:  Gail Mazzaro

                  Maine Department of Education

                  23 State House Station

                  Augusta, ME 04333-0023




(To be completed by the school district or Nominating Committee—please limit your responses to one double‑spaced page for each of the five questions.)


1.                  Why is this teacher outstanding in the classroom?


2.                  In what unique and creative projects has this teacher been involved?


3.                  What has been this teacher's influence on students?


4.                  To what extent has this teacher demonstrated leadership?


5.                  Describe this teacher's relationship with his/her colleagues.


Signatures of Nominating Committee and their Positions:


            ____________________________________   ____________________________  


            ____________________________________   ____________________________  


            ____________________________________   ____________________________  


            ____________________________________   ____________________________  


            ____________________________________   ____________________________  


            ____________________________________   ____________________________  


            ____________________________________   ____________________________  


            ____________________________________   ____________________________  


            ____________________________________   ____________________________  


            ____________________________________   ____________________________  


            ____________________________________   ____________________________  














Maine Teacher of the Year Nomination Form


 Nominee’s School



Date(s) Attended

















Other Education and/or Special Training

















Include the current year in calculating the following information:

Years Teaching: __________               Years Teaching in Maine: __________




Dates                    School/Location                    Position


























I give my permission for any relevant materials of the above nominee to be shared with persons interested in promoting the State or National Teacher of the Year program. I also understand that if chosen to serve as Maine Teacher of the Year I will continue as a classroom teacher in Maine for the academic year 2003-2004. In addition, I certify that the above information is accurate and true.



Signature of Nominee




The nominee should respond to the following question and limit the response to two double‑spaced pages:




In your response please address the following areas labeling each section.


1.                  Unique aspects of my teaching

2.                  Strengths as a professional

3.                  Professional interests


Be sure to include this as part of your nomination package.




The scoring committee will review up to four supporting letters of recommendation. We suggest one from a colleague, one from a parent, one from a student, if age appropriate, and one from an administrator.  Please enclose these with the nomination package.


·        Please do not send any other materials with your nomination.

·        Please do not staple your nomination papers or put them in a binder.  We will need to make copies of them.

·        Faxed forms will not be accepted.


For additional information contact:                                                                                                        

Gail Mazzaro

Department of Education

#23 SHS

Augusta ME 04333

Voicemail: 624-6734

Fax: 624-6731