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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO.:  78

POLICY CODE: AEB

TO:                   Superintendents, Assistant Superintendents, Principals, Headmasters, Career and Technical Education Directors, Presidents of Maine Professional Educational Associations

FROM:             Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:              January 14, 2005

SUBJECT:       Nominations for the 2006 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 the 2006 Maine Teacher of the Year.   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. The school district having the honor of being the home of the current Teacher of the Year is urged not to nominate a teacher for the coming year.

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

The 2006 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 2006, “Space Camp” at NASA’s Alabama headquarters in July 2006, and a National Teacher Forum in Washington, also in July 2006.  

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 a 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 16, 2005, or hand delivered to the Fifth Floor Receptionist in the Burton Cross State Office Building, Augusta, by 5 PM, February 18, 2005.  

The Teacher of the Year (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 2005 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 2005; Regional Finalists will receive generous checks from the Hannaford Bros. Co., which may be used for professional development or classroom enrichment.    A Regional Finalist who resigns from the process at any point is not eligible for the rewards and forfeits the honor of Regional Finalist.

Along with these checks, most of the other Teacher of the Year expenses are funded by Hannaford Bros. Co.   This is the tenth 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: http://www.maine.gov/education/edletrs/ilethome.htm

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)

gail.mazzaro@maine.gov (email)

Attachments:

Nomination Form

Calendar