Teacher Leadership in Maine

Teacher leadership is "the process by which teachers, individually or collectively, influence their colleagues, principals, and other members of the school community to improve teaching and learning practices with the aim of increased student learning and achievement." -York-Barr & Duke, 2004

Welcome to the Maine Department of Education’s Teach to Lead® website designed to share the work of Teach to Lead® Maine, a collaborative statewide effort uniting educators, policy-makers, and the greater community around the common vision that every Maine student will benefit from the purposeful involvement of teacher leaders who collaborate in guiding the continuous improvement of schools and the teaching profession. 

Through background information, profiles of district teacher leadership models and a “Standards and Stories” section profiling Maine teacher leaders, this website provides a variety of resources to support stakeholders interested in developing, supporting and highlighting teacher leadership in their own organizations and communities.

Teach to Lead LogoVision Statement:

Every Maine student will benefit from the purposeful involvement of teacher leaders who collaborate in guiding the continuous improvement of schools and the teaching profession.

Mission Statement:

  • To promote and expand teacher leadership in all Maine schools.


  • Advocate for and support teacher leadership as a means to promote school improvement
  • Prepare and develop potential and current teacher leaders
  • Share best practices for teacher leadership statewide

Teach-to-Lead® Maine is committed to:

  • Increasing success for all students through teacher leadership in instruction, professional collaboration, policy, advocacy, and teacher preparation;
  • Changing and increasing the public and practitioner understanding of the potential of teachers as leaders;
  • Creating opportunities to promote and improve best practices in teacher leader development;
  • Optimizing the effective use of teachers with skills and knowledge of leadership;
  • Identify the resources to provide the training and support to teacher leaders and administrators as they develop cultures of collaborative leadership;
  • Improving practices in teacher leadership through opportunities for continuous improvement; and
  • Using the Teacher Leader Model Standards (as developed by the Teacher Leadership Exploratory Consortium) to guide the work.

    Teacher Leadership Standards and Stories

    Whether manifested in formal, titled leadership roles or in the day to day interactions among colleagues, teacher leadership is alive and well in schools throughout Maine.  The stories below explore the many dimensions of teacher leadership as defined by the seven domains of the Model Teacher Leader Standards and described by teachers themselves. 

    The teacher leader is well versed in adult learning theory and uses that knowledge to create a community of collective responsibility within his or her school. In promoting this collaborative culture among fellow teachers, administrators, and other school leaders, the teacher leader ensures improvement in educator instruction and, consequently, student learning.

    Voices from the Field:
    Sue Williams

    Voices from the Field:
    Connie Russell

    The teacher leader keeps abreast of the latest research about teaching effectiveness and student learning, and implements best practices where appropriate. He or she models the use of systematic inquiry as a critical component of teachers' ongoing learning and development.

    Voices from the Field:
    Stephanie Hendrix

    The teacher leader understands that the processes of teaching and learning are constantly evolving. The teacher leader designs and facilitates job-embedded professional development opportunities that are aligned with school improvement goals.

    Voices from the Field:
    Sherri Gould

    The teacher leader possesses a deep understanding of teaching and learning, and models an attitude of continuous learning and reflective practice for colleagues. The teacher leader works collaboratively with fellow teachers to constantly improve instructional practices.

    Voices from the Field:
    Kara Beal

    Voices from the Field:
    Theresa Cerceo

    Voices from the Field:
    Kasie Gillambardo

    The teacher leader is knowledgeable about the design of assessments, both formative and summative. He or she works with colleagues to analyze data and interpret results to inform goals and to improve student learning.

    The teacher leader understands the impact that families, cultures, and communities have on student learning. As a result, the teacher leader seeks to promote a sense of partnership among these different groups toward the common goal of excellent education.

    Voices from the Field:
    Suzen Polk-Hoffes

    The teacher leader understands the landscape of education policy and can identify key players at the local, state, and national levels. The teacher leader advocates for the teaching profession and for policies that benefit student learning.

    Voices from the Field:
    Tammy Ranger

    Voices from the Field:
    Jennifer Dorman


    Teach to Lead Former Chairs 

    The Teach to Lead Committee is chaired by Kaitlin Young, Chris Coleman, and Jennifer Wright.

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    Kaitlin Young

    Kaitlin Young is the Maine's 2018 Teacher of the Year. She began teaching career in 2010 at the SeDoMoCha School in Dover-Foxcroft, ME. Since then she has held a variety of music education positions within the district teaching students in PreK through twelfth grade.  Currently she teaches general music to students in Pre-K through fourth grade and choral music to students in fifth through eighth grade.  Beyond the RSU #68 school district Kaitlin has worked with the Center Theatre as a music director for several student and adult musical productions.  Kaitlin participates in several community music ensembles including a contemporary a cappella group and a steel pan band.

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    Chris Coleman

    Chris Coleman has been teaching 4th grade for 10 years at the Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta, Maine. He is the 2017 Lincoln County Teacher of the Year. Chris enjoys getting his students outside to enjoy the beautiful woods and waters that Maine has to offer, and getting their hands dirty in the school garden. He has fully embraced the title of “Teacher Leader” as the current Damariscotta Area Teachers Association President, and the Co-Director of his school’s Performance Evaluation and Professional Growth Steering Committee.

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    Jennifer Wright

    Jennifer Wright is a third grade teacher at the Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta. For several years, she has been a teacher leader in science education, working with the RiSE Center at UMO to improve science instruction across the state of Maine. She is the 2015 Lincoln County Teacher of the Year and has been actively promoting teacher leadership ever since.