Congratulations to Maine’s 2024 County Teachers of the Year

Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills, and thank you for listening.

In addition to being Governor, you know that I’m the daughter of a long time public school teacher in Maine. And I’m someone who raised five daughters who went to public schools in Maine. And I’m the grandmother of five children in Maine. I know how hard all of our teachers work every day to set our kids on a path to a bright and successful future.

Well, last week – which also happened to be Teacher Appreciation Week – I was very proud to welcome sixteen of Maine’s teachers to the State House in Augusta and to name them “County Teachers of the Year.”

Taken altogether, these County Teachers of the Year have taught thousands of students from kindergarten to grade 12 on every topic, from social studies and science to health and phys. ed to biology and technology.

All the colleagues, parents and community members who nominated these teachers spoke highly about their decades-long dedication to their classrooms, their commitment to holding their students to the highest standards, and their compassion for the children in their care.

For example, Teacher of the Year from Franklin County, my home county, is Vickie Lailer. Vickie has taught second grade students at the Mallett School in Farmington since 2019, but she’s been teaching overall for about 15 years. When she nominated Vickie Lailer, her principal Tracy Williams said Vickie is “a great example of finding ways to connect with each student all while she ups her game instructionally.”

I’m glad I was able to congratulate Vickie in person and thank her for the contributions she’s made to our state and our students. I hope that you send your thanks to the County Teacher of the Year from your hometown too. You can find the list on the Department of Education’s website at That’s

Maine teachers deserve our respect and our recognition every day, not just during Teacher Appreciation Week. And in my administration, they have it.

Just this session of the legislature, I’m proud to say we enacted a supplemental budget this year that provides an additional $22.6 million for Maine’s public schools in order to maintain the state’s commitment to pay 55% of the cost of education. And it was my administration that was able to meet that 55% of education funding for the first time in history, something I’m pretty proud of.

And over the course of my administration, we have invested in hands on learning opportunities, expanding computer science, outdoor education, technical education opportunities. In fact, we’ve seen a lot more students enrolling in the CTEs which is great because, you know, we need a lot more students entering these important, good-paying and in-demand jobs, plumbing, electrician, etc. These are the kinds of engaging learning opportunities that teachers and students truly value.

On behalf of the many children that you serve across Maine, I want to thank teachers across our state for everything you do. And I congratulate, again, our county teachers of the Year on this well-deserved honor.

This is Governor Janet Mills, and thank you for listening.