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Maine Teachers Honored at Events in D.C. and Los Angeles
Obama honors Noyes of Westbrook; Gagne, of Auburn, feted at “Oscars of Teaching”
May 5, 2009
AUGUSTA – Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles rolled out the red carpet for the nation’s top teachers, including two from Maine, in separate events in recent weeks. Gloria Noyes of Congin Elementary School in Westbrook, the 2009 Maine Teacher of the Year, was among those recognized by President Barack Obama at a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House, April 28. Michelle Gagne, an elementary school teacher at Sherwood Heights School in Auburn, was one of 70 top teachers from around the country honored by the Milken Family Foundation on April 18 at a black-tie gala that Teacher Magazine calls the “Oscars of Teaching.”
“We could not ask for finer representatives of teaching from Maine than Gloria and Michelle,” said Maine Education Commissioner Susan Gendron. “Their energy and dedication to the students and to the teaching profession are clear to all who meet them, most of all their students. I commend them on their achievements and I am so glad they are receiving the national recognition they deserve.”
At the White House ceremony, Noyes and the other state Teachers of the Year met the president, First Lady Michelle Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden. The honorees attended a day-long event hosted by Smarter Technologies, which provided each teacher with an interactive Smart board, projector, Senteo program with remotes, software and training. The teachers also spent a morning at the Smithsonian Castle, and an afternoon at a reception hosted by Dr. Jill Biden at the vice president’s home. Noyes met with U.S. Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who will visit Noyes’ classroom later this month.
Noyes, who has taught fifth grade at Congin for 15 years, was named Maine’s 2009 Teacher of the Year at a surprise all-school assembly last September. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Maine at Farmington and her master’s degree in literacy from the University of Southern Maine.
Gagne was one of 70 teachers from across the country honored at the gala held at the Westin Bonaventure hotel. The awards ceremony was a highlight of the Milken National Education and Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) Conference, one of America’s premier education events joining together leaders in academia, government, business and the community to tackle solutions to education’s most pressing challenges today. Gagne was presented with a check for $25,000.
Gagne was first announced as Maine’s Milken Educator Award recipient in a surprise school assembly in October. Maine Department of Education Commissioner Gendron presented the award to Gagne in front of colleagues and her first and second grade students, along with all the students at the school.
Gagne received her bachelor’s degree in English from Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vermont in 1988, and her K-8 teaching certification from the University of Southern Maine in 2001.
Contact: Jennifer Pooler, 207-624-6638/215-0381 David Connerty-Marin, 207-624-6880/831-3313
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