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Jandreau earns AAI educator award

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine—Aroostook Aspirations Initiative (AAI) recognizes that innovative education strategies are crucial to engaging students in their education and developing workforce skills, and each year presents the Innovative Educator Award.

Presented at the Night with the Stars Gala each year, the award recognizes an educator in Aroostook County who utilizes innovative techniques in the classroom — an educator who implements new programs, strategies, techniques and technology within the classroom in order to better serve and engage students.

Gina Jandreau, a science teacher at Madawaska Elementary School, was selected as the 2017 Innovative Educator of the Year. She was nominated by Denise Duperre, executive marketing director at NorState Federal Credit Union.

“Through her interactive classroom education, Mrs. Jandreau is able to inspire young minds to think outside of science to what the world has to offer,” said Duperre in her nomination letter.

“She raised salmon in her classroom to teach students about the ecosystem, and they released them into the wild later on in the school year. She started the Little Owls Press, and students are actively engaged in getting information from local businesses to do stories and design ads,” said Duperre. “She also does the Madawaska Elementary School yearbook, applies for Perloff Grants for classroom science projects, such as robotics, 3-D printers, kindles, and more.”

This year’s award was sponsored by MMG Insurance. Chief Operating Officer Matthew McHatten said it was an honor to recognize Jandreau for her outstanding dedication to Aroostook County students.

“Gina Jandreau exemplifies innovation in education through a unique, interactive and real-world approach,” said McHatten. “MMG is proud to support Gina, and this award, as it reflects the talent and quality of our local educators and the competitive advantage they offer to our students.”

He added, “Innovation is the key to aspiration and broadening both thought and horizons for students, which is critical in preparing them for the opportunities of the future.”

Jandreau said the excitement she sees in her students creates a huge sense of accomplishment for her as an educator.

“Allowing students to work with technology, with hands-on materials, with the community and get them outside of the classroom boundaries to deal with the real world as it is evolving, makes a huge difference in the lives of students,” she said.

“It is motivating, engaging, and rewarding. Their work gives them a sense of pride, which makes them want to achieve at the highest possible levels. They are excited to come to school and continue learning.”    

For more information about Aroostook Aspirations Initiative, contact AAI at (207) 760-0558, info@gauvinfund.org or by visiting www.aroostookaspirations.org. AAI is also on Facebook.

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