A transparent system for student assessment and accountability allows the State and nation to ensure that every student has appropriate and adequate access to education. It also provides schools with the tools for self evaluation and improvement as they evolve alongside an ever changing student demographic, advances in technology and emerging teaching practices.
Using Maine Education Assessment student results, along with other state, federal and local data, it is determined what and where supports are needed within schools around the state.
With funding from the federal government, the Maine Department of Education assists schools, regions and specific student populations with appropriate supports that helps schools to improve student achievement and outcomes.
Meet the Assessment Team
- Janette Kirk, Chief of Learning Systems & Interim Assessment Team Leader
Janette Kirk enjoys her work at the department and strives to support colleagues and schools to the best of her ability to ensure that all students are provided a quality public education. She believes that assessment has many different functions and plays an instrumental role in instructional decision making.
Janette received her BA in Education at the Liverpool John Morres University in Liverpool, UK, with honors in Primary Education and Physical Education and an M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Kirk has spent years with the Department of Education in three different roles. As well as her current position, she has also served as ESEA Federal programs & Title I Director and Deputy Director of the Office of Learning Systems.
When Janette is not working, she enjoys fitness boxing and cheering for her 13 and 11-year-old sons at the hockey rink.
- Nancy Godfrey, General Assessment Coordinator
Nancy Godfrey oversees the general required assessments in Mathematics & English Language Arts / Literacy & Science in Grades 3-8 and 3rd year high school students. She loves education and assessment. She feels that assessment is an embedded component of an equitable instructional style, with multiple purposes for educations, students, parents, policy makers, and community members. All with the goal of supporting student growth for lifelong learning.
Nancy is a graduate of Ithaca College with a B.S. in Speech Pathology and Audiology and an M.Ed. in Special Education. She has an impressive employment background beginning at the Helen Keller National School for Deaf/Blind Students in New York. She has also spent years as a special education teacher and Teaching Principal/Assistant Special Education Director before coming to the Assessment Team.
Nancy has many accomplishments and affiliations including being a contracted Braille Transcriber through the National Library of Congress. Nancy and her husband of 25 five years currently have 4 fur baby dogs and a cat. They enjoy biking, snowmobiling and reading.
- Dr. Regina Lewis, Coordinator of NAEP & International Studies
Dr. Lewis is a perfect example of a lifelong learner. Beginning with an A.S. from UMO to a Ph.D. from Walden University in Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment. She is currently working on Certification Programs at edX-Harvard and Saint Joseph’s College.
Dr. Lewis loves her profession and says that “I developed a great admiration for the NAEP & International Assessments while working on my dissertation.” She loves analyzing and examining data. As a coordinator, she has a network of colleagues across the country and work remotely with them. She also believes that Assessment is not an evil that puts a permanent label on each student, school, or district. She believes that Assessment Systems are like military intelligence. Some assessments give you a satellite view and others provide more closely examined levels down to the formative assessments with the nitty gritty detail. We need them all to have the complete picture.
Dr. Lewis taught mathematics in RSU#4 before coming to the Department of Education. She belongs to several affiliations for work in computer, mathematics and assessment.
In her free time, Dr. Lewis enjoys hunting, fishing and sailing with her husband. They are currently rehabbing a sailboat for future use. She loves spending time with her grandchildren and pets. She has 1 black lab, 1 chocolate lab, 4 ducks, and 14 laying hens. She recently learned how to operate an excavator and her favorite vehicle is a tractor. She loves hunting, fishing, gardening, sewing, and carpentry.
- Jodi Bossio-Smith, Alternate Assessment Coordinator (MSAA, SAA) & WIDA Assessment Coordinator (ACCESS for ELLs, Alternate ACCESS for ELLs)
Jodi Bossio-Smith works for the department because she feels that “assessment is the most effective way for educators to design intentional and meaningful learning experiences for their students. The role that she serves is an opportunity to work with special populations, including multilingual students and students with significant cognitive disabilities and their families, as well as colleagues working with these students.
Bossio-Smith received her educational roots from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in English Teaching. She later earned a Master of Arts in Teaching at the same college.
Jodi’s concentration throughout her career becomes very clear after reading her previous positions. Of which, her most recent before moving to Maine. She was employed by Avenues the World School as Head Teacher in São Paulo, Brazil. She loved the experience of stepping back into the classroom and working with multilingual learners and their families.
Jodi notes that she loves traveling and living aboard. However, she is glad to be settling back in the greatest place in the world: New England.
- Varun Motay, Data Analyst / Program Analyst
Varun Motay works on coordinating and managing acquisition and the transfer of student demographic data as necessary to provide assessment vendors with data necessary for both online and paper-based assessments. Varun notes that “I like to work on DOE datasets as they are very challenging and allows me to explore new tools and technologies”.
Varun attended JNTUH in Hyderabad, India and has a major in Computer Science. He next attended Bradley University with a Master’s in Computer Science. Before coming to the department, Varun was a Data Analyst/Program Analyst for six years in Northville, Michigan.
Varun enjoys hiking and camping with his family and learn new things related to new technologies. His favorite activities are playing racquet ball and pickle ball. His favorite auther is Ratan Tata, "Ups and downs in life are very important to keep us going because a straight line even in an ECG means we are not alive".
- Cheryl Brackett, Management Analyst
Cheryl Brackett joined the team not as an educator, but, a manager. However, she believes in the power of education. “Assessments for our students let the educators know where the students are academically, to ensure students do not fall through the cracks”. One of her favorite quotes was by George Carlin. “Don’t just teach your children to read, teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything”.
Brackett received a B.S. with a major in accounting, graduating with honors from Thomas College. She later earned an MBA from the same college. She worked for many years at a local school district, most recently as the Operations Director, before coming to the department. Her duties include purchasing for her department, processing invoices, providing assistance in contract preparation and among other things, updating the assessment web site.
Cheryl enjoys spending time with her husband, their children & grandchildren. Her large family also includes three dogs and two ragdoll cats. She loves cooking, going to camp, gardening vegetables and herbs, four wheeling and boating.